There are quite a number of reviews on the Xiaomi MiBand so this isn’t a review per say though I’ve filed it under reviews. Truth be told, I don’t have the energy and time for reviews these days. *blame it on my masters program and low calorie diet*
Anyway so while I continue waiting in suspense (kinda) for ShippyMe to deliver my FitBit One fitness tracker, I decided to go for something cheaper in the mean time to track my steps and calorie burn. Officially the Xiaomi MiBand costs $13 in China but internationally you can only get it from $20 depending on the retailer.
This is my 7th day using the device so here are my observations or should I say answers to questions I had before I ordered mine.
What Operating System Does The Xiaomi MiBand Support?
The Xiaomi MiBand supports any mobile device running Android 4.3 and above with Bluetooth 4.0 LE on board. The device connects without a problem to my BlackBerry Z10 running BlackBerry 10.3.1 with Android 4.3 runtime.
NOTE: Official support according to Xiaomi is Android 4.4 + BT 4.0 LE
I tried running the MiBand app on my Lenovo P780 running Android 4.4 official ROM as well as custom rom and the phone could not connect to the MiBand. The P780 has Bluetooth 3.0 so I’m guessing that’s the problem.
It doesn’t support iOS at the moment though it’s rumored to be in the works. No Windows Phone, Windows PC or Mac OS support at the moment.
How Do I Setup Xiaomi’s MiBand Fitness Tracker
The MiBand’s manual comes in chinese only but I was able to set it up using this beautiful guide: How To Setup Xiaomi MiBand.
Does the Xiaomi MiBand Track Steps Accurately?
NO! Just like the expensive fitness trackers out there, it sometimes over-tracks or under-tracks steps. It also tracks random hand gestures too as well as vehicle movement if you’re driving on a very bumpy road. To compensate for this, I switched to my non-dominant hand and the over-tracking issue reduced drastically. It tracks movements while you’re asleep too. *it just ain’t perfect at all*
A recent update to the MiBand app now allows for step tracking while wearing it on your neck. I’m waiting for the necklace pouch I ordered to arrive so I can test this out. Hopefully it will increase tracking accuracy even further.
To further compensate for over-tracking, I’ve decided to reduce my actual weight in the app by 2kg so that I can get a near accurate daily calorie burn. In fact most days when I take a walk I have my backpack on me and all together I weigh 5kg above my actual weight thus it’s safe to say that my calorie burn is underestimated .
NOTE: The greater your weight, the greater the calorie burn and vice versa.
How Do I Switch Off The Xiaomi MiBand?
You can’t switch it off. The Xiaomi MiBand has a 30 days battery life rating thus it is designed to be constantly on but if you’d like to stop it from tracking your movement, simply unpair it. That’s what I started doing today whenever I’m on the road. It’s not convenient but it will do for now. I just wish these fitness band makers would add an easy switch on/off mechanism to their devices.
It’s been a week and I’m down to 85%. If I wasn’t using the alarm vibrate feature as well as being connected 24/7 to bluetooth, I’d probably still be above the 90% mark.
Does The Xiaomi MiBand Have An Alarm?
Yes it does and you can set up to 3 alarms on the device. It has an early bird alarm feature too that can wake you up 30 minutes before the set alarm time. The device vibrates 5 times to wake you up. If it senses no movement 10 minutes after that , it starts vibrating again to make sure you’re awake. To turn off the vibration just tap on the device.
How Do I Check My Progress On The Xiaomi MiBand?
The Xiaomi MiBand doesn’t have an LED screen but it has three notification lights on it. If your phone isn’t nearby you can check your progress by simply lifting your hand to your face as though you want to check the time. The lights will blink telling you how far you’ve gone.
1 blinking light: You’re yet to complete 1/3 of your goal
1 fixed and 1 blinking light: You’ve completed 1/3 of your goal
2 fixed and 1 blinking light: You’ve completed 2/3 of your goal
3 fixed lights: You’ve completed your goal for the day
NOTE: As soon as you’ve completed your goal for the day, the MiBand vibrates three times and all 3 lights light up alerting you.
What Activities Can The Xiaomi MiBand Track?
At the moment it tracks your steps and sleep pattern. It can also track Jumping rope, sit-ups and running using GPS. I tried these other activities and the app kept crashing on me so I don’t bother myself with them anymore. As long as my steps are well accounted for, I’m good.
If you’ve got more questions, do please leave them in the comment section and I’ll get back to you. Peace out!
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