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News18 » Tech
4-min read

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 Review: Fitness Tracking on a Budget Done Right

Xiaomi yet again proves that you don't need to compromise with fitness tracking on a budget, with the Mi Band 4 being one of the best in its price range.

Kunal Khullar | @kunalneo

Updated:October 25, 2019, 9:28 AM IST
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Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 Review: Fitness Tracking on a Budget Done Right
Xiaomi yet again proves that you don't need to compromise with fitness tracking on a budget, with the Mi Band 4 being one of the best in its price range.

Apart from smartphones and televisions, Xiaomi has a solid audience for its inexpensive fitness tracker, the Mi Smart Band or simple called the Mi Band. It has remained one of the leading smart wearable products in the country for consecutive quarters. Now it's not like there is no competition, there have been attempts by various manufacturers to earn a chunk in the market share, but brand loyalty is crucial, and Xiaomi knows that very well.

The fourth iteration of the fitness tracker now brings in a coloured display as well as the ability to track swimming activity, without compromising on the 20-day battery life and a low price point.

Maintaining the Aesthetics

The overall look and feel of the Mi Smart Band 4 isn't very different from the last variant. You still get a silicone band and a tiny capsule-shaped module that includes all the core hardware. The company has added a 2.5D glass on top of the display, which is a nice addition. At the bottom of the module is the heart rate sensor and charging pins. You get a single capacitive button below the display, which I found to be a little deceiving as you can’t really tell the position if the display is off. There is round indicator, but since it is under the glass, it is hardly visible.

Just like before, you need to take the main module out of the silicone band and place it in the charger to juice it up. The charger itself has been reworked this time around, which is one of the biggest issues with the new Mi Band 4. The main capsule module just doesn’t seem to sit well in the charger and keeps popping out. However, once you do manage to plug it in and fully charge the band, it can go for as much as 20 days or more. I easily got a mileage of 22 days before I had to plug it back in the annoying charger.

The new coloured AMOLED display actually looks great. It isn’t very large, measuring at 0.95-inch, but it is bright and crisp. Even the touch response is very accurate and I never faced any issues while swiping on the display or using the capacitive button at the bottom.

As for comfort, the new version is as good as the outgoing model. It offers a secure fit and one can easily wear it all day. Since it is lightweight you don’t feel any strain on your wrist either. In fact, there are times that you actually forget that you are wearing it. One can even wear it while sleeping, as it also tracks your sleeping patterns.

The interface on the band is pretty simple as you swipe up to scroll through different features like your basic fitness stats (steps, calories, etc), notifications, workouts, heart rate and so on. You can customise these as per your liking. Swiping left or right brings the music player that can control tracks on your phone. It can even show app notifications, along with previews of messages and emails. It even shows caller ID information and you can use it to silent or disconnect incoming calls.

Best Tracker For Its Price

Now when it comes to performance and tracking, the Mi Smart Band 4 is probably the best at its price. It can track workouts including walking, running (outdoor and treadmill), cycling, exercise, swimming, as well as sleep tracking, and continuous heart rate monitoring. There is no GPS on the Mi Band itself, so it makes use of the phone that it is paired with. This means that location and distance accuracy is entirely dependant on the phone you use. Tracking is pretty good though, as I took a walk for 2kms for which it logged 2.1kms which is acceptable. Even the step counter turned out to be very accurate with a very low margin of error. The Mi Band 4 can also log your gym exercise although it only logs the duration and potential calories lost and heart rate. Speaking of which, the built-in heart rate monitor works well, but one needs to fasten the band tight to get accurate results.

Sleep tracking is a nice addition but it isn’t completely accurate. Measurements like total sleep, deep sleep, light sleep, are correct most of the time but I found the overall sleep tracking feature to be a work in progress, and I can’t really complain as this is mere Rs. 2,300 fitness tracker.

The Mi Fit companion app further expands the functionality of the fitness band by offering you more detailed data and wider scope of functionality. Everything is easy to access and you can quickly jump into activity tracking, manage your profile and device along with the ability to change watch faces. Yes, there are a few stylish watch faces, but I would really appreciate if Xiaomi starts adding new ones soon.

Should you buy it?

If you are looking for a smart wearable without burning a hole in your pocket, this is the one to get. If you already own a Mi Band 3, no one is going to stop you from upgrading to the new version. You can’t get more value than this. The Mi Smart Band 4 is a very sturdy product Xiaomi offering a really good display, excellent battery life and the ability to track various parameters efficiently. I think my only concerns are that wonky charger and the fact that notifications (notably WhatsApp) can get confusing at times.

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