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Xiaomi Mi Band 5: First impression of the fitness tracker for $28.99

On June 11th, 2020 the Mi Band 5 was officially presented in China. Contrary to our expectations there are again two versions: a normal one without and one with NFC. The normal Mi Band 5 costs the equivalent of ~$27 ( ¥189) in China, the NFC version costs $32 (¥229). Shortly after the presentation they announced on Twitter that the global version will be available next month. Shortly after the presentation, it was announced on Twitter that the global version would be available in July. We already have the chinese version of the Mi Band 5 and our first impressions for you.

The seven new major improvements are: enlarged display, charging with magnetic charging adapter, NFC including payment function, camera remote control, improved sensors (incl. SpO2), 11 special sport modes and a menstrual cycle function. All further information and pictures can be found further down in the article.

The Xiaomi Mi Band is perhaps the most popular Xiaomi gadget; its low price alone makes it the entry point to the Xiaomi universe for many. After the successful Mi Band 4, almost all information about the long-awaited successor is available. What’s new about the Xiaomi Mi band 5?

Xaiomi Mi Band 5 Fitnesstracker

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Display 1.1 inch color 16 bit AMOLED, 294 x 126 pixel touch screen (291 PPI), 450 nit 0.95 inch color 24 bit AMOLED, 240 x 120 pixel touch screen (282 PPI). 400 nit
Connection Bluetooth 5.0 BLE; 2nd version with NFC Bluetooth 5.0 BLE; 2nd version with NFC (no Google Pay support)
Battery 125 mAh, up to 14 days battery life | charging time ~2 h 135 mAh, standby up to 20 days | charging time: 1 h 15 min.
Protection 5 ATM (showering, bathing, swimming) 5 ATM (showering, bathing, swimming)
Features Music Control, Xiao AI Assistant (NFC version only), Pedometer, Sleep Monitoring, Heart Rate Monitor, Alarm, Message Reminder, Call Rejection, Sports Tracking, Menstrual Cycle, Camera Remote Music Control, Xiao AI Wizard (NFC version only), Pedometer, Sleep Monitoring, Heart Rate Monitor, Alarm, Message Reminder, Call Rejection, Sports Tracking
Weight / Dimensions 11.9 g | 12.1 g (NFC) without strap / 46.95 x 18.15 x 12.45 mm; 155-219mm strap adjustment 22.1 g (with strap) / 46.9 x 17.9 x 12.6 mm, 155 – 216mm strap adjustment
Release June 18, 2020 (China) | July 2020 (Europe) June 2019

Mi Band 5 with larger display & NFC

As you might expect, Mi Band 5 also looks a lot like Mi Band 4 with a slightly larger screen in real life. So we stick to the flatter glass, which we liked much better than the strongly rounded glass of the Mi Band 3. The display is about 20% larger than that of Mi Band 4. While the latter has a 0.95 inch display, Mi Band 5 has a 1.1 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 294 x 126 pixels.

This magnification is also reflected in an overall larger tracker, but the change is only +0.05 x +0.25 x -0.15 mm (length x width x height). Thanks to this only minimal enlargement of the tracker, it also fits into the old bracelets for the Mi Band 4. Not optimal, but the tracker is at least with the original silicone bracelet of the Mi Band 4 nicely tight in the band. The compatibility might not be so good with old metal bracelets for Mi Band 4, because you can’t really stretch metal.

Here is the tracker of the Mi Band 5 in the original silicone strap of the Mi Band 4, it fits tight but not perfectly.

As you can see on the picture above, there is a cooperation with Spongebob SquarePants. In China there are also Watchfaces in cooperation with Detective Conan, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Hatsune Miku, but we don’t know if they will be available in the global version. But there are already six Spongebob Watchfaces, 53 more and five customizable Watchfaces in the Mi Fit App. Three Watchfaces are already pre-installed on the Mi Band 5, which allow customizable widgets.

NFC is not integrated as standard this time either, instead there is an extra NFC version. This time they want to cooperate with UnionPay in China (from mid to end of August), which suggests a real and easier payment function. How and if a similar function will be implemented in the Global version is currently still unclear. The Mi Band 4 NFC can be used for payment in Russia by adding a Mastercard to the Mi Fit app. Such a cooperation would also be conceivable for Mi Band 5.

The widgets can also be easily adjusted directly on the Band.

Another new feature is that you can now add widgets for the individual functions to the left and right of the home screen. In Mi Band 4, the music control was the maximum, while now you can place up to ten widgets of the individual functions there. The possible functions are: Notifications, weather, music, alarm, training, camera remote control, status, PAI, pulse, stress, breathing exercise, appointments, DND, stopwatch, timer, find mobile phone, mute, menstrual cycle, Alipay and world clock.

Improved sensors, new charging adapter & 11 special sport modes

Since Mi Band 5 is still a fitness tracker despite all the other functions, there is also an upgrade in this area. Xiaomi is talking about a professional sensor upgrade, which should lead to improved sleep, stress, breathing, pulse and of course sports tracking. Particularly noteworthy here is the 40% improved sleep tracking, which can record sleep for 24 hours and also records REM phases. Furthermore, there is now also a menstrual cycle function. These two functions are already known from Honor Band 5, for example.

The NFC version also offers the possibility to measure the pulse with an infrared sensor, i.e. without the possibly disturbing green light at night, as known from Mi Band 4. The charging adapter has also been redesigned and now works with magnets and two gold contacts on the back of the tracker. So you don’t have to take the tracker out of the Band every time you want to charge it and it’s even easier to charge it in between.

In addition to the new sensors for better tracking, there are now a total of eleven sport modes (vs. six for Mi Band 4). In addition to the modes already known from Mi Band 4: Running Indoor, Running Outdoor, Walking, Cycling Outdoor, Swimming and Free Training, the following modes have been added: Cycling Indoor, Crosstrainer, Skipping, Yoga and Rowing Machine. Running (outdoor/indoor), walking and cycling also support automatic break detection.

Another good thing is that the Mi Band 5 can be used as a camera remote control. This is a simple trigger (see screenshot below), but it also works with other Android phones that are not from Xiaomi. With Honor Band 5, for example, this function is only available with Huawei and Honor smartphones. Unfortunately, the battery seems to be a bit worse this time, as it shrinks from 135 mAh to 125 mAh, with an advertised runtime of up to 14 days.

Release of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will go on sale in China on June 18. The price is the equivalent of ~$27 ( ¥189), the NFC version will be $32 (¥229). However, the price for us should be more like $40 or more. It’s also interesting to know if in July only the normal or also the NFC version will be introduced and when Mi Band 5 will be available.

We got the Mi Band 5 today (25.06.) and will extend this first impression to a review step by step. If you have questions about the China version of Mi Band 5, please write them in the comments.

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Alex

Part of the China-Gadgets Team since 2016. I love China-Smartphones and all accessories that surround them.

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