I have always been a fan of smartwatches and fitness bands ever since they first came up with the idea like the Pebble back then. That was about 7 years ago. And fast forward to today, we have improved so much in its technology and that it is now well adopted by many.
Today, we see tons of companies producing smartwatches all year long from known brands to those lesser known ones. But Xiaomi has been consistent with their smartwatches that most people are happy with. Me included.
I received the new Mi Smart Band 6 from Banggood a few weeks ago and I have been using it on a daily basis to track my daily routine and health monitoring. The Mi Smart Band 6, or Mi Band 6 for short (for the sake of this review) is one of those fitness trackers that works well, in my opinion. I had an Amazfit Bip a few years ago, also made by Xiaomi, that I love so much. But so many improvements have been made to its OS that the Mi Band 6 offers more functions.
Now here is my full review on the Mi Smart Band 6.
Mi Band 6 – Unboxing and First Impressions
It came in a thin long back box with a large number 6 near the bottom. That will be the first thing you’ll see apart from the image of the band itself. Inside the box you will find the band itself and the magnetic charger which has a dome like design with two connector pins. Charging it is simple. The magnet easily sticks at the back of the band. Which also means that I will have to take the band off in order to charge it.
The first time you take the band out from the box, you will notice that the main body is detached from the silicone strap. You will have to fit it in the strap yourself, which is quite easy. It fits snuggly into its “house” so you don’t have to worry about it falling off.
There are no buttons on any sides of the band. The Mi Band 6 only responds to touches and swipes but it is very smooth and responsive. The edge-to-edge full colour AMOLED screen is good. Colours are vibrant with black being totally black. This will save tons of battery power that made it last for more than a week. The design is very similar to the previous Mi Band 5 with rounded top and bottom. The screen is definitely larger, up to 1.56” from 1.1” on the Mi Band 5. And the texts are clear and crisp, thanks to the 326ppi resolution display.
To fasten it onto your wrist is very easy. It is not like a normal strap but those who have used an Apple smartwatch will find this looking familiar. Simply pull the strap through the loop and snap on to one of the many holes available. And it doesn’t unsnap that easily, which is good.
At the back of the band, you will find the sensor and two charging metal to fit the charging pins from the charger near the bottom. The heartbeat sensor also doubles up as SpO2 sensor to monitor your blood oxygen. This is a new function that comes with the Mi Band 6, hence why the sensor looks different than the one found on the Mi Band 5.
All in all, the overall look and design is good. It may look a little small on someone who has a large wrist but bottom line is, it works. It still looks good on my wrist. Best of all, it is so light that I often forget that I have a band around my wrist as it only weighs 12.8 grams.
Interface and Functions
First thing you have to do is to download the Mi Fit app in order to start connecting the Mi Band 6 to your phone. Mi Fit is available for both iOS and Android, making it compatible for all devices. Syncing is easy. Once Mi Fit is installed, you can immediately fire it up to detect the Mi Band 6 and voila, you’re done.
The Mi Band 6 can be operated by swiping in all directions, each direction will show different menu selection. Swiping left or right will go in a full loop so no matter which direction you swipe, you will end up back to the main screen. You can customise the “pages” for the left and right swipes to show you the shortcuts. You can also rearrange the shortcuts to your liking from the mobile Mi Fit app. But there is a limit to how many shortcut pages you can have. Only 6 pages are allowed, but you can access the others by swiping up or down and entering each of the functions from the menu.
There are many settings you can tinkle with on the Mi Fit app as well. For health monitoring, you can either leave it to monitor your heartbeat once every 30 minutes as default or you can have it to continuously monitor your heartbeat so that it can notify you of any abnormality. This however will reduce the battery life slightly because of the constant monitoring. Same goes with stress monitoring function.
I left the heartbeat monitoring as default but I turned on the sleep monitoring to track my sleeping time. It works well. I can know how my sleep pattern works every night like the duration of deep sleep, light sleep and REM. The information is very useful for someone who has trouble sleeping at night.
The new function, blood oxygen SpO2 monitoring is good. It does not activate automatically nor it monitors continuously but instead, you have to activate it manually. This is where the shortcut comes in handy. You will have to sit still in order to obtain the correct reading.
For some other functions, it can also do sport tracking, show notifications, act as a camera shutter, control your default music player, and has the usual alarm/timer/stopwatch functions. PAI – Personal Activity Intelligence mode and Stress calculations are also present. These are the basic functions that are also present on the Mi Band 5.
You can also set up Alipay to work with touchless mobile payment on the Mi Band 6. Alas, I’m not able to set it up on my device as I don’t have an Alipay account. Not many merchants accept Alipay here in Malaysia yet but it is made ready for any future use.
In fitness mode, there is an abundance of fitness tracking that you can monitor. There are about 30 different sports modes that you can choose from. The usuals are outdoor running, treadmill, walking, cycling, elliptical, swimming, yoga, jump rope, dance, gymnastics, volleyball, badminton and even bowling. This is the first time I see bowling in the list. If you’re a bowler like me, you can use this to track your fitness for bowling. There are many others that I feel are too long for me to list it here. But you get the idea.
Also to note, there are many watch faces that you can choose from. It is available via the Mi Fit app and the download will only take a few seconds. Go crazy!
The Mi Band 6 is a great fitness tracker for sure. Apart from fitness, it can also help in monitoring your health, heart rate and sleep patterns.
Battery life is great. With the 125mAh battery, I can get it to last close to 2 weeks on a single charge, provided that I disable the continuous heart rate monitoring and PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) mode. Turning on these features will drain up the battery quicker but it can still last up to about 5 days before you need to charge it up again. And charging up back to 100% takes close to 2 hours but halfway through you can still use up for a few days.
If you’re thinking of purchasing the new Mi Band 6, it is very affordable. It is currently on discount on Banggood.com for US$52.99. I got mine from Banggood.com so you can be assured that the delivery is good. It took about a week to arrive at my doorstep and it is packed nicely. I received the China version but not to worry, English is available as one of the language options. And I believe that the China version has NFC for touchless Alipay payments. But I’m still playing around with it so I can’t really confirm that at the moment.
My overall experience has been very pleasant. I feel that the new Mi Band 6 will be popular here in Malaysia due to its affordability and durability. It is one of the best fitness trackers at the moment and it does the job well.
Go grab yours at Banggood.com today. But if you’re looking for a great bargain price, you can check out this link on 6 June 2021 for the 6.6 Bargain Day on Banggood. Link only works on coming 6 June so be sure to come back to this page for the bargain. Bookmarking this page is also a good idea.