Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Fitness Tracker – Better display, NFC and call acceptance for $44.99

After weeks of speculation and new leaks, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 was finally presented to the public. At the presentation of the Xiaomi Mi 8, company boss Lei Jun also unveiled the new fitness tracker, which he had already presented on his wrist. This time it comes in two versions.

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 colours

Name Xiaomi Mi Band 3
Display 0.78 inch OLED (128 x 80)
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2
Battery 110 mAh, standby up to 20 days
Functions Pedometer, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitor, alarm clock, message reminder, call acceptance; 2nd version with NFC
Weight 18,5 g (with bracelet)

The new display of the Xiaomi Mi Band 3

Xiaomi does not change much in the design and remains true to the basic concept. However, there are some small changes. First of all, it is noticeable that the new band has gotten a bigger display. The OLED display now measures 0.78 inches and has a resolution of 128 x 80 pixels. But it has not become a colour display. In the previous model, the display diagonal was only 0.42 inches.

The new edition also consists of two parts: the actual fitness tracker and the band. This way you can charge the tracker, but also change the band easily. While the Mi Band 2 is only available in black, the colour palette of the successor is slightly larger. Besides black, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is also available in red and blue.

Mi Band 3 Details

Even before the official presentation, information about the touch display had already become known. By brushing the display vertically, you can switch between the different functions. For example, there are notifications or weather as a feature, but there should also be other features integrated. A light touch displays the various information such as clock, number of steps or pulse. However, this does not mean that the touch-sensitive button under the display is omitted. It probably always serves as a “Back” button and can take on an additional function by a long pressure.

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Screenshot Touchscreen

This is a novelty compared to its predecessor, which could only be controlled via the capacitive button. In addition, water resistance has been improved and the band should be waterproof to 5 atm, which would correspond to a depth of 50 metres. This way, the strap can finally be worn without hesitation while swimming. We recently had this with the Amazfit Stratos, which also measures the distance we swam, which we still do not know for sure from the Mi Band 3.

New features: cashless payment & call acceptance

In addition to the slightly modified design, the tracker also has more functions than its predecessor. It is now possible to answer calls via the wristband. Especially interesting for the Asian and Chinese markets is that there will be a second version of the band, which also supports NFC and thus cashless payment. It may also be possible to link Mi Band and smartphone via NFC, something Xiaomi has neither confirmed nor denied so far.

Mi Band 3 red

Classic Fitness Tracker Features

In addition to the new functions, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 naturally also masters the familiar features of its predecessor. The heart rate monitor measures the wearer’s heart rate; it would be particularly desirable here that permanent tracking is also possible in the in-house app. It should now also work a bit more precisely, since Xiaomi has probably worked on positioning the tracker more firmly on the arm – essential for good tracking.

The pedometer shows the distance run per day in steps and converted the distance. He also gives a recommendation to get up if you have been sitting for a long time.

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Red

Even though these are the main features of a fitness tracker, it is the small details that have made the Mi Band 2 so ingenious. This includes, for example, the intelligent alarm clock that wakes you up during a light sleep phase to help you wake up. Also the possibility to unlock your smartphone via Android Smartlock is given again.

An interesting point is the notification display. The Mi Band 2 was relatively limited: only the app icon was displayed. Third-party apps like Notify had a little more feed space. Perhaps the larger display now allows a better display, as for example with the Huami Amazfit Bip. But we can only judge that in a test.

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Notifications
Apparently the notifications become more detailed and show the whole text.

Larger battery, same running time

The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 has been the most popular fitness tracker in our community so far, mainly because of the battery life. The Mi Band 3 gets with 110 mAh again a somewhat stronger battery, which should provide at the end for a similar long running time (~20 days), since with more functions and the larger display also the consumption increases. GPS was not used here again, which would have further limited the runtime.

Xiaomi also uses Bluetooth 4.2, the first versions of Mi Band 2 were still using Bluetooth 4.0. We assume that charging is probably done with a charger similar to its predecessor.

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 with Mi Mix 2

Evaluation – a worthy successor?

The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 was not only eagerly awaited by us. The Mi Band 3 is definitely an interesting fitness tracker, but it doesn’t have many new features. The larger touchscreen display is probably the decisive difference to its predecessor. The Amazfit Bip has shown us how well this can work on such a small display. However, this has the advantage of GPS and a larger display with the same battery life. Therefore the Mi Band 3 as well as the Mi Band 2 is a very good fitness tracker, especially in view of the price. We don’t see the big leap from the predecessor yet, but of course we wait until we can test it in detail!

The official retail price in China for the Mi Band 3 is 169 RMB, the equivalent of about $26.39. One cannot yet speak of a competitive price, nevertheless this is pleasingly little. However, the pre-order prices in the various China shops currently still amount to a good $40. In China, sales of the bracelet will start on June 5. The second version with NFC will be released later and will cost a little more.

Profile picture from Maike

Maike

I love Gadgets destined to ease your everyday life - e.g. smart home gadgets. I own a few Xiaomi Gadgets (Xiaomi Mi A1, Xiaomi Yeelight Bedside Lamp, Xiaomi Wifi Repeater etc.), and would consider myself a fan :) 

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