I’ve written in here several times about my love for the Xiaomi Mi Band range – I’ve had them all and yesterday the brand-spanking new Mi Band 7 arrived on my desk from Hekka. How exciting!! (Yes, I’ve had the Samsungs and Garmins etc, ultimately I prefer the bands but most are not very exciting). Ok, credit due to Hekka who will be shipping this from June 29 onwards – and it seem anyone interested can get a $10 (€9.60, £8.23 etc) discount using code techscargill10 – note that I don’t get anything out of that. Save it until June 29th however…
By now I have Mi Band setup off to a fine art, I make sure the band is reset (just in case), ensure Bluetooth is turned on in the phone (my Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro in this case) – pull up the sadly-named Zepp Life APP and hit + to add a device at which point “searching – keep the band close to your phone” – I do this (mainly using the predecessor to Zepp Life, the sensibly named Mi Fit) – there is now also a Mi Fitness…. but let’s stick with Zepp Life.
But no, for the first time EVER, band not found. I tried several variations (the APP did not know about the Mi Band 7 by model yet but I did a search) to no avail.
Having torn out my last hair, I went off to the Android Play Store to look for Zepp Life and sure enough, an upgrade was available and that uprade DOES support the Mi Band 7. I grabbed it.
Note to Mi Band designers – they refer to “the App” in the leaflet. Better to name the actual APP and minimum version required?
The Zepp Life APP told me that my Mi Band 6 and would be disconnected and proceeded to pair the Mi Band 7. Seconds later I noted it was updating the firmware on the Band 7… I waited patiently. (The red+white band in the photo above is my smaller Mi Band 6.
“Please wait for about 6 minutes” – well, I guess that’s better than the usual, unrealistic “wait a sec…” that everyone else does…
“Downloading…” and so it did. Good job I’d charged everything as instructed. Like watching paint dry? Yes. And after the 6 minutes, the phone started transferring the update to the Mi Band 7 – more paint drying. Be prepared to lose the best part of 15 minutes the first time around. During this second half of the installation, the APP was saying “connecting” instead of “updating” which seems a bit odd but it got there in the end.
I have to say that extra width is worth it for those of us with less than 100% eyesight. The built-in faces are very good and there are a shedload of new modes, but more importantly (for me), the store has some NEAT new watchfaces and I was hoping the independent watch faces will still work – I note my small local collection has disappeared from the APP.
The older independent Mi Band 6 Apps won’t work (yet) but I see that someone has been quick on the ball – Mi Band 7 Watch Faces is already in the Android Play Store even though it will be several days before the band is widely available. The image on the left is one of theirs – AND.. YES… I LOVE IT ALREADY – new band, new faces, new sports modes, improved heart and oxygen checking, bigger screen – what more could you want?
Now, don’t get me wrong, the independent Mi 6 band APP doesn’t work with Mi Band 7 (yet) and the Mi 7 Band APP has only a small-ish independent selection but as the band has just been released this month that’s not at all surprising – clearly, in-house AND external face support is there already – I’m glad I have the Mi Band 7 and I feel confident it will succeed and the number of faces will grow rapidly.
The new band is lovely – needs a new strap I reckon (I’m not that keen on the default black silicone strap but then I never was) and beware, these will be wider as well so don’t expect bands for Mi5 and 6 to fit. When I’m done with this update, I’ll go looking for straps. About 30% wider incidentally.
I’ve just passed my Mi Band 6 onto a local – I’m that confident that lots more watch faces will soon appear for the Mi Band 7. As for straps – there are a couple – and of course, AliExpress claim they have some until you look carefully at the ad. Nothing special yet – I’m betting by the start of July 2022 there will be LOADS of faces, straps and more. I kind of fancy a gold strap myself.
Keep in mind however, there’s a chance that wider display will necessitate more frequent battery charges especially if, like me, you keep the brightness up full.