Back in 2019 I wrote about the wonderful Xiaomi Mi Band 4 and it is no secret, despite owning and reviewing many smart watches and bands in detail, that the Xiaomi Mi 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watches remain my favourites – one or the other being in use every single day. As the charge on the otherwise excellent Samsung tends not to last that long (3 days maybe), the Mi 4 gets most of my attention.
That is until my new Xiaomi Mi Band 5 arrived. I have high hopes for this upgrade.
Ok, some help for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, the OLED-based Mi5 is the latest smart band from Xiaomi – and the Mi 4 was until now IMHO pobably the best low-cost smart band on the market. Both have excellent charge life and a very wide range of faces available. If you refer back to my Mi Band 4 review link at the top you will see a SMALL selection out of the countless free watch faces I’ve used over time.
Xiaomi seem to have improved the Mi Home APP since the last time I took a look and they’ve definitely improved the band – while the overall band size is the same size as the Mi4 if a little thicker, the display area is definitely bigger and the charging arrangement has changed for the better – no longer do you have to yank the module out of the band for charging as the tiny magnetic charger just clips onto the back – much easier.
You CAN still remove the module if you want to change the default strap to any of a range of lovely, coloured (inexpensive) straps – but the Mi Band 5 is very slightly thicker than the Mi Band 4 so I would check advertised straps carefully before purchase. Mi Band 5 coloured straps ARE available and people have already dedicated entire videos to that subject alone.
Oh and I just found out about THIS: PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) score “to help you contextualize how physical activities contribute to your fitness” on the Mi 5.
Instructions are multilingual and comprehensive. As a Mi Band 4 user, I didn’t need them. The box is lovely and the whole thing looks more expensive than the price suggests. If you don’t like “plastic” straps – others are available from Banggood and elsewhere – even Amazon has a few.
Setup was easy – the App told me I could only have the Mi 4 OR 5 attached at one time – and that was pretty much it. I watched as the firmware was automatically updated to the latest version and a minute later I was in business with my new Mi 5.
The Mi 4 claims battery charge of 20 days and I regularly get 3 weeks or more out of it (with brilliance turned up) whereas the Mi 5 claims 14 days – I hope that’s an understatement – but then, the larger display HAS to impose SOME penalty. Time will tell.
As for handling bright daylight – judge for yourself… and yes, it has been in the hot tub with me, without problems – as has the Mi 4.
A random sample of free watch faces including analog from the independent MiBand5 app on Google Play this morning. For newcomers to the Mi – don’t confuse this with the Huawei or other bands with a choice of only 3 or 4 watch faces – the Mi4 and 5 have VAST selections of faces available and are water resistant (well and truly tested).
Due to Xiaomi being tight with storage you can only keep a few on the band at any time but downloading on your phone and syncing to the band takes seconds. Right… I’m going out tonight – time for a new watch face.