Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Still The Best Tracker On The Market
When Xiaomi was revealed to the masses almost two years ago, I hoped it would become a success. A fitness tracker is not an essential item, so the 13 USD price tag that Xiaomi Mi Band came up with was much lower than the price of the most trackers on the market at that time while still delivering same solid features, all packed in a nice design.
In less than a month, the Mi Band reached fame and now, Xiaomi returns with a new band. The Mi Band Pulse (1S). The new Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse has a new HR sensor while maintaining an incredible price tag. It is still under 20 USD, in fact, it costs only 15 USD. More than that, Xiaomi has improved the app and the software and is now bringing a better overall experience.
I have used the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse for almost 3 months now and I am sharing with you below my findings and my tips.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Design And Specs
Let’s start with the design first. The new tracker from Xiaomi is a squared off ellipse that is 37mm wide, 13.6mm tall and 9.9mm thick. If you still have the old Xiaomi band, you are not going to see many differences, at least from a design point of view.
On top of the black plastic, sits a military grade aluminum plate fitted with 3 LEDS, used for smart notifications. On the left side of the tracker – as you look from above – you are going to see two charging pins. Then, underneath the device, you’ll find the new HR sensor. As I said, apart from the HR sensor, the design is quite similar to the previous model.
The tracker is light, weighing only 5.5 grams and the IP67 cover makes the device water and dust resistant. It means that you can take it with you in the shower or even test its endurance in some “heavy” outdoor activities, without the fear of breaking it.
Inside the pack, you’ll also find a silicone band that weighs 14 grams. The band has an “adjusting” pin that you can push in and out and fix it to your wrist. That simple. The band is also hypoallergenic and you can choose from six different colors. Black, blue, teal, orange, pink and green.
On the top of that, you can replace the default silicone band with custom bracelets from various designers. Alternatively, necklaces if you want to wear it around your neck. I feel that the new silicone bands are more robust and also more comfortable in comparison to the old ones.
Regarding the internal sensors, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse comes with the same accelerometer, a Bluetooth chip and a brand new photoplethysmography HR sensor.
Overall, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse feels, at least, as good as the old tracker. The only time I remember I am wearing one is when I am washing my hands or taking a shower. But, that is only because I can see it. In my opinion, this device must get top marks for its design and feel. Good job again, Xiaomi.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Features
Just like the first Mi Band, this new version (called Pulse) can also track your daily steps, the calories you burn, the distance you travel, and the quality of your sleep.
Conform to some users, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse tends to add extra steps if you walk and move your arms at the same time. In my tests, I was not able to replicate the issue, and I can only think that the latest software updates must have fixed the error.
When compared with the first Mi Band, the sleep tracking is more accurate this time as it adds some data from the optical HR sensor. I also like the addition of the “edit” function for the sleep tracking. You can now correct any mistakes made by the auto-sleep feature. It comes handy if you end up reading in bed. Without that, you’ll end up with 14 hours of sleep instead of six.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Software And App
The companion fitness app is quite straightforward and easy to use. It is compatible with both, Android and iOS. Once installed on your mobile, you’ll get access to your daily results, charts to swipe through and lots of settings for custom notifications.
Looking at more sophisticated ecosystems, like Fitbit or Jawbone, I can say that this app does not have any “motivational” messages or special notifications. However, the “well-done” message, when you’ve hit your steps goal for the day, is there for you.
When I reviewed the first Mi Band, my only complaint was about the lack of compatibility with any 3rd party platforms. I am talking here about the Google Fit and the Apple Health. With the new Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse, this issue is addressed. You can now export your data and share it with Google Fit or Apple Health if you like.
The Mi Fit app also allows you to set up extra features on your tracker. You can add smart alarms and apps notifications for up to three apps. My tracker, for example, is set up for WhatsApp, Pushbullet, and Gmail. The vibrations are also powerful enough to ensure you are not going to miss any important emails, calls or messages.
Also, the Mi Fit app gives you access to a summary of your activities either at the end of the day or, a sleep report when you wake up. It is similar to Jawbone’s weekly summary but, in a simpler interface.
You can also see the remaining battery of your Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse and when was the last time you have charged it. One of my fav features of the Xiaomi band is the option to unlock your mobile with the bracelet when you bring it is close enough to your device. Overall, the Mi Fit app is easy to use – even for a child – and full of useful new additions.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse – Heart Rate Tracking
The new optical pulse sensor uses photoelectric light perception and is what separates the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse from most of its rival trackers. In my readings, the HR sensor is quite accurate. Sometimes I get a max 5bpm difference when compared with a chest strap.
However, if you want to use the HR sensor during your workouts, you’ll find out that the readings are not continuous. Saying that, this is nothing new. I have experienced worse readings before, with more expensive trackers.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Battery Life
Where the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse stands out when compared to its rivals, is the battery life. The Mi Band Pulse battery lasts for 30 days, according to Xiaomi. In my case, only after a month and a half of non-stop usage of the Mi Band Pulse, I had to put it to charge again.
Similar Read: Garmin Vivosmart HR Review
The Chinese manufacturer claims that this excellent battery life is possible thanks to the military-grade, low power accelerometer, the new low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 chip, and the larger 41mAh battery. To charge the battery, you’ll have to remove the Mi Band core and attach it to its exclusive USB cable.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Conclusion And Verdict
I do not have many “bad words” for the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse. It costs just 15 USD and that is ten times lesser than you’ll have to pay for a premium fitness tracker, with similar specs and capabilities. In addition to that, the Mi Fit app is elaborate and able to display your data in a simple and user-friendly interface.
Of course, you can pick on it when it comes to accuracy and the overall look. Still, these complaints are irrelevant with a device so cheap. In my opinion, the tracker looks good, is it comfortable and I am wearing it all day, every day.
Should you buy one? If you are after a simple but good fitness tracker to help you exercise more, and improve your fitness, then the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, even if it would cost five times as much, I would still say yes.
Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse Review – Gallery
- Dirt cheap
- Comfortable to wear
- Compatible with Google Fit
- Overestimates the steps taken
- Proprietary charger