I have had a Mi Band 4, a pair of Mi Band 5s and at the end of April 2021 I received the brand new Xiaomi Mi Band 6. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited. In April 2022 the price seems to have gone up and it is out of stock at Banggood so also check my new entry about the Smart Band Pro or Watch 2 Lite
I opened the box – instructions in Chinese, partly charged band in Chinese, what to do next? The answer is… NOTHING. I already had the Mi Band 5 paired to my smartphone and to the Mi Fit APP. I simply told it to add the Mi Band 6 which I held close to the phone. Within minutes, the old band was automatically un-paired and the new band paired, with automatic change of language to English – it doesn’t get any easier. The APP went on to upgrade the band while telling me about the features.
The only thing I found a little disconcerting is that having completed the autmatic setup, the Mi Band 6 at first glance refused to go further before I scanned a barcode with AliPay, which I don’t use. Anyway I waited a few seconds after the band timed out, touched the display and all was well WITHOUT AliPay. The new band immediately knew much sleep I got last night. First thing I did was change the brightness to 100%. I know this will reduce battery charge a little but I don’t care, I want a nice bright band and the charge life is measured in weeks, not days unlike my Samsung Galaxy watch which is dead after 2-3 days.
So, lots of changes – but for me, the new custom rounded (not curved) display is most important, the rectangular display on previous models looks pretty but very “off-the-shelf OLED” – not this one – but the question is, how long will it take for custom rounded faces to appear? And the answer is… they’re here NOW – hundreds of them.
Next I tried the new (for this band) blood oxygen monitoring, which showed 96% but which then rose to 99% after a few deep breaths. Nice to know it actually takes notice. There are of course a range of sports modes but I’ll leave interested readers to check the link at the top for more on that, pricing etc.
Oh and the charger is compatible with the Mi Band 5 – that’s the magnetic charger I used to get some charge into the Mi 6 for this review. As for the charging indicator… lovely.
Will there be a hit on battery life for this new improved display? Yes but time will tell how much. Replacement bands are compatible with previous models which is a plus as I already have both shiny silver and black metal bands to add a touch of class.The 4-way (up/down/left/right) touch control is easy to use and responsive. Weather info includes local temperature, precipitation, UV levels etc.
I should point out that ONE of my Mi Fit 5 bands would not fit the Mi 6 due to some support on the underside of the band – my others fit perfectly.
In all, a winner.
Update April 2022
It is starting to look as if this band remains unbeatable for sheer numbers of watch faces if nothing else.
The number of free watch faces I can access on the (Android Play Store) MiBand6 app is staggering (not to be confused with an APP with the same name but including spaces). It is pretty much impossible to scroll through the faces in the APP and reach an end 🙂
Just for the sake of it here are 6 new faces I downloaded (for free) just last night onto my Mi Band 6. Note that the first and last faces don’t work too well in sunlight, the others are just fine. Indoors they all look great.
Now what we need is some enterprising individual to do something like this for the Redme Smart Band Pro (I’ve no idea if this is possible or not).
I just checked and the Amazfit website does seem to have 5122 fresh faces for the Mi Band 6. I’m not yet seeing ANY such third party sites for the Smart Band Pro or Watch 2 Lite (both of which of course have other features not on the Mi Band 6 – features including Blood Oxygen level and endless sports modes (I use all of one of the latter – steps).
Please note that the Mi Fit APP is now defunct and replaced by the oddly-named Zepp Life APP.