The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is the fourth and latest generation of the wildly popular and accessible fitness tracker band. The reason of this popularity, beside the very cheap and affordable price (of just 35-40$), but also because you get a lot of features for your buck. In it’s price range it beats every single fitness tracker as Fitbit does not have such affordable product and the only actual competition is Samsung Galaxy Fit E (not the actual Samsung Galaxy Fit).
Included in the product are the main features, you would expect to see in any fitness tracker band – step counting, light sleep monitoring and ideally a heartrate monitor. Well besides those Xiaomi MI Band 4 includes some cool features like a waterproof design, enabling you to track your swimming laps and a color touchscreen display, that can be used anywhere. Other cool features include the ability to control your phones music from your band or view notifications. If you live in China you can even use it to pay your bills and shop.
Design wise it looks quite similar to the previous generation of the brand – the same cheap quality 18mm silicon band, which while low quality enables you to use any premium bands you’ve bought with the new band. The main upgrade was in the design – Xiaomi upgraded from 0.78-inch black and white display to 0.95-inch AMOLED display, sporting 120×240 resolution, which enables you to view all your data easily in all kinds of conditions. Add to that the 5 ATM waterproof rating, enabling you to shower and swim with it, it checks all the important design needs.
And the most important part for any fitness tracker – how effective it is in tracking activities. The Xiaomi MI Band has 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer sensors, so it can effectively count steps and distances. From our basic level of testing and wearing it together with way more expensive trackers our sample data shows that Xiaomi band is quite accurate, albeit it underreports a bit (200-300 steps on around 10,000 step days), which is quite good, considering its price range.
You can see a lot of simple stats on the display of the band, but for more analytical view you can jump onto the Mi Fit application on your phone, where the band transfers all your data. This is also where you will find statistics about your sleep data, which is another field where you will find drastic improvements onto the previous versions, without adding anything special or ground-breaking (nor would be expected, for a 35$ gadget). After sleeping with both Nokia Withings Steel HR and this and comparing the data, the Xiaomi fared pretty well, however it showed a bit lighter sleep (and less deep sleep) than the data of a Withings.
When it comes to tracking a workout, Xiaomi Mi Band 4 comes with 6 workout skills: running, outdoor running, cycling, walking, swimming and a general workout mode, to try to tackle anything else. Obviously, there is no built-in GPS, however you do get a connected GPS, which means that the band can use the GPS of your phone. All you do get is time, distance and pace, with a heart rate data.
The one field where this tracker fails quite hard is the swimming tracking, where it showed literally twice the distance I’ve swam compared to Garmin, so we cannot recommend this fitness tracker if you want to keep track of your swimming activities.
Finally, a quick check shows that the device is powered by a 135mAh battery, which is an upgrade from the 110mAh one that powered Mi Band 3. According to official information from Xiaomi the tracker have a standby battery life of around 20 days and our tests confirm this and using it to track 5-6 workouts a week, while using the other features it lasted two weeks, which is more than enough.
Overall, Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is the best fitness trackers at this price and you will have to pay around double that to be able to get something better. We advise you to change the band to something better if you can afford it in the budget, as the basic one is, well quite basic and low-quality(expected when you buy a full-fledged fitness tracker for the price of a nice leather or Milanese band).