Review: Mi Band

I'm a bit of fitness tracker nerd. Over the years I've had pedometers, a HRM and a Nike+ sportsband. My last and most used item of sports tech was my Fitbit Zip, which I wrote about here. Fitbits are great pieces of kit. You can customise your goals on them, they look quite sharp, you can sync them with calorie tracking apps and you can have a competitive league table of friends to pit yourself against.

Mi Band Review UK

However, with this whole mindfulness thing has come the deletion of apps from my life. No more Nike+, no more My Fitness Pal and now, no more Fitbit. 

I'd customised the crap out of mine so I could no longer see calorie burns but I had a zillion friends on there. Booting people off my Instagram feed has been hard enough, I didn't want to insult another 20 people by 'unfriending' them on there just because I don't want to feel competitive about my activity any more. 

Thankfully, something came to my rescue, the introduction to a Mi Band by a colleague in Singapore. 

Mi Band Review UK

Mi Bands are effectively a Fitbit Flex. You wear it on your wrist, the motion sensor detects your movement and, when you've added all your vital statistics into the app, you sync it and it gives you some numbers. It counts steps, distance, works out a calorie burn (in a tiny font, so I can ignore it) and it can track your sleep.

It also comes with some really nice little extras. Band has no display, just LED dots which light up to tell you how far you are through your step goal, when you hit the step goal the band gently vibrates. This function is also used in the alarm setting; so you set your wake up time in the app and the band gently vibrates to wake you up and, it's used for call alerts, so if your phone is on silent the band will vibrate to alert you to a call (as long as your bluetooth is on). 

Then they're the aestetics. Its small, very lightweight and you can change the bands to match your outfit. Yes, this pleases me.

Mi Band Review UK

A charge (via USB cable) lasts a good 30 days (and it takes about 2-3 hours to charge fully) and it's water resistant (but I wouldn't recommend swimming with it on). 

Mi Band Review UK

Oh, the really amazing thing ... this cost less than £15

I think they're £15.99 on Amazon right now, mine was £14.50 a good couple of months back, but still it's an incredible price. The colour bands can be found on there for around £2.50 each.

If you're looking for an entry level fitness tracker to monitor your own progress, this is such good value. I wore it in tandem with my Fitbit Zip for a few days and the numbers crunched were almost exactly the same - except I wore my Zip less as it was attached to my bra, bras are not worn with lounge pants - so overall I think they're technologically matched. 

I could not be happier with this little piece of kit and I hope Xiomi give Fitbit a serious run for their money. I know some people will always buy 'the brand' but this is such good value for such a lower price (and it's landed in my life at the perfect time for use) that I'd recommend it to everyone. It's a total bargain. 
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