In the world of connected smart health wristbands and watches, Xiaomi does nothing like the others. Where the Apple, Samsung and Fossil rely on luxury products close to the standards of the world of watchmaking, the Chinese company offers a rubber strap at a price so low that it seems to be a big joke.Read our Mi Smart Band 4 review.
Marketed 39 euros (10 euros more than its predecessor), the Mi Smart Band 4 brings pretty new features like a larger color screen, control of music and better responsiveness. All without sacrificing the incredible autonomy of the previous generation that was able to exceed 2 weeks. For this price, is it a gadget or a connected accessory of quality? We tested the latest jewel of Xiaomi.
What you will learn
A design in continuity
Only the real fan of Xiaomi would be able to differentiate a Mi Smart Band 4 from a Mi Band 3. Aesthetically, the two bracelets are almost identical and use the same removable rubber strap. The only noticeable difference is in the touch-sensitive home button. Where the one last year was easily identifiable fingertip because housed in a hollow of the screen, the new is placed at the same level as the surface of the slab. It’s a shame, we can not know if we support the right place without looking at the screen.
A color screen for a record price
Until now, Xiaomi justified the incredible price of the Mi Band by the use of a monochrome AMOLED display that is necessarily less expensive to integrate. This year, Xiaomi changes its tune. Larger (0.95 inches vs. 0.78 inches), the MiSoft Band 4 AMOLED panel is now able to display colors. This is a small feat given the very reasonable price increase. We really feel like we have moved to the next category.
Obviously, the screen of the Mi Smart Band 4 is not at the level of that of an Apple Watch or a Galaxy Watch. Its resolution is so small that we can, with a little concentration, see the pixels with the naked eye. The brightness is too low for you to see your notifications in full sun without squinting. It is all the more regrettable that the bracelet does not have an automatic adaptation of the brightness which can cause you nasty surprises at night if you have set the maximum. Nevertheless, let us salute his presence which alone is the prowess, given the price of Mi Smart Band 4.
Notifications always without emojis
What is the Mi Smart Band 4 for? Like any connected bracelet, it depends on your smartphone. Connected to it in Bluetooth, it is able to display on your wrist all the notifications you receive but does not allow you to respond. Novelty of this 2019 vintage, you can also pause your music or move on to the next song. It is also possible to answer or decline a phone call but, no microphone required, it will anyway use his phone to communicate.
Despite the small size of the screen, read his notifications on the Mi Smart Band 4 is not really problematic. On the contrary, we can take a quick look to see if the release of his smartphone is worth it or if it is only an unnecessary warning. The icons of your applications appear in color which allows you to identify them more easily than on the Mi Band 3 of last year.
Unfortunately, we find on the Mi Smart Band 4 one of the major flaws of Mi Band 3: Xiaomi still has not found a way to display the emojis on the bracelet. Anecdotal according to you? Wait to receive a message filled with emojis or find yourself in a group conversation whose name contains … Full of squares appear on the screen and make reading the notification complicated. Failing to integrate the huge Unicode catalog, we would have liked that Xiaomi supports essentials like smiles or hearts … or mask the emoji outright.
To navigate between the different menus, the operation is the same as on previous models. From the customizable home screen (which displays the time and number of steps), you swipe from top to bottom. Each icon represents an application that you just have to touch to launch. To return to the home screen, press the touch button at the bottom of the screen. To access one control of the music, one makes a gesture from right to left on the screen of reception. The whole is rather intuitive.
A monitoring of sport and approximate sleep
Obviously, the Mi Smart Band 4 is also an activity tracker. On his back is a heart rate sensor that, let’s be very clear, is not professional precision. In the absence of perfect conditions (the bracelet must be really stuck to the skin and you must stay still), the measured heart rate sometimes differs from 5-20 bpm compared to a Galaxy Watch. One even suspects Xiaomi of displaying some values in a slightly hazardous way, the time to be able to realize a real measurement. At such a price, it’s not really a surprise, do not expect to have a perfect tracker.
From the application Trainingwe can initiate the monitoring of different activities: walking, cycling or even swimming (the bracelet is 5 ATM waterproof). The results are then sent to the application Mi Fit (available on iOS and Android). The latter is as complete as it is simple to use even if, unfortunately, it occasionally displays advertisements at the bottom of the screen. It must be amortized this color screen! We also noticed that the bracelet tended to overestimate the number of steps taken.
Sleep tracking is also available on this Mi Smart Band 4. Just fall asleep with the wrist strap so that the heart rate sensor automatically initiates tracking (and activates the Do not disturb if you checked the option). When you wake up, the results synchronize with the application Mi Fit. Again, we are not on a totally convincing measure. Xiaomi detects the beginning of your night and the awakening, the phases of light and deep sleep but sometimes misses some nocturnal awakenings. The result is nevertheless acceptable and the weight of the bracelet (20 g) makes it particularly discreet at night.
Finally, good news for owners of an iPhone, the application is compatible with HealthKit Apple. All data measured by Xiaomi’s wristband synchronize with Apple Health as if you had an Apple Watch.
Finally, what about autonomy? This is undoubtedly the highlight of the Xiaomi bracelet that we have been able to use for 18 days in a row without having to recharge it once. We always took the product including the night and made about ten sports follow-ups during this period. In short, good luck with the competition to compete with the Mi Smart Band 4 which is undoubtedly the best quality-price ratio of the market for a connected bracelet. Too bad the recharge requires the use of a proprietary base.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4£25.98 /$29.21
Use / Getting Started7.5/10
Report price quality8.5/10
- Great App
- Sleep tracking is spot on
- A vast variaty of clock screens available
- Great battery life
- UI on device is clean
- "Workout" options on the device is not entirely customizable
- Sleep tracking is wildly inaccurate
- Glass is not scratch-proof