How good are the Mi Fitness Bands

Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Global Version for € 20.65 on Amazon

The Xiaomi Mi Band is perhaps the most popular Xiaomi gadget; Due to the low price alone, it is the entry point into the Xiaomi universe for many. After the successful Mi Band 4, the long-awaited successor was presented with a larger display, more sport modes and an improved charging adapter. Our test of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5!

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Xiaomi Mi Band 5Xiaomi Mi Band 4
Display1.1 in colored 16 bit AMOLED, 294 x 126 pixels Touchscreen (291 PPI), 9:21 aspect ratio, 450 nit0.95 inch color 24 bit AMOLED, 240 x 120 pixel touchscreen (282 PPI), 9:18 aspect ratio, 400 nit
connectionBluetooth 5.0 BLEBluetooth 5.0 BLE
battery pack125 mAh, up to 14 days of battery life | Charging time ~ 2 hours135 mAh, Standby up to 20 days | Charging time: 1 hour 15 min.
protection5 ATM (showering, bathing, swimming)5 ATM (showering, bathing, swimming)
FunctionsMusic control, pedometer, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitor, alarm clock, message reminder, call rejection, sports tracking, menstrual cycle, camera remote controlMusic control, Pedometer, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitor, alarm clock, message reminder, call rejection, sports tracking
Weight / dimensions23.3 g with bracelet / 47.2 x 18.5 x 12.4 mm; 155-219mm tape adjustment22.1 g (with bracelet) / 46.9 x 17.9 x 12.6 mm, 155 - 216mm strap adjustment
ReleaseJune 18, 2020 (China) | August 4, 2020 (Europe)June 2019

Mi Band 5 China Version now in German

Today also has ours China version ofTradingShenzhen the update on Version 1.0.1.32 received and thereby supports German. In order to receive the update, you must first update your Mi Fit app to version 4.4.0 or higher. You can officially do that via the Play Store and App Store or unofficially download and install the APK here (Android only). If the tape is connected to the app, the update starts automatically. First the resources and then the firmware are updated.

Then you have to select “English” once in the Mi Fit app in the Mi Band 5 settings for the “Language” option and confirm with OK at the top right. Immediately afterwards set the option back to "Follow phone language" and confirm again with OK. Now it should Volume completely in German be inclusive correct date format (DI 11.8). In the case of notifications, at least the small "ü" is displayed. Strangely enough, all other umlauts and the capital "Ü" are still missing, so we have to wait for the upcoming updates. Nevertheless, the Mi Band 5 has set a new standard - never before has a Chinese version of a Mi Band received official support for German so quickly.

Design: A Mi Band 4 with a larger display

If you had made a significant leap in terms of design from the Mi Band 3 to the Mi Band 4, the new Mi Band 5 looks confusingly similar to its predecessor. Especially when switched off, the band 5 is almost indistinguishable from the 4. Because this year too, glass that is only slightly rounded on the sides is used again, which does not protrude too far from the actual tracker. As a result, the tracker is not as prone to scratches as the 3 Series was.

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Although the general design remains the same, the dimensions change minimally. The tacker of the 5 series is 0.3 mm longer and 0.6 mm wider but 0.2 mm thinner. Because of this and a slightly modified design of the silicone bracelet, the tracker of the Mi Band 5 no longer fits perfectly into the bracelet of the Mi Band 4. The tracker sits quite firmly, but is no longer flush with the bracelet. In addition, the silicone bracelet is stretched a bit in the process; with metal bracelets, which are actually for the Mi Band 4, this will very likely not work.

As expected, the processing quality is very good. The silicone bracelet is firmly in place again and the clasp did not unintentionally come off once in the test. The entire Mi Band 5 weighs only about 24g, so that you quickly forget that you are wearing it at all. It didn't bother me while sleeping either, as long as I wore it tight enough so that the green light of the pulse measurement wasn't visible. Thanks to ATM 5 protection, swimming in fresh water as well as daily showering, bathing and hand washing with the Mi Band 5 is no problem.

20% larger AMOLED display

The This time the display is approx. 20% larger than that of the Mi Band 4. While this has a 0.95 inch display, the Mi Band 5 offers a 1.1 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 294 x 126 pixels. With the resulting pixel density of 291 pixels per inch, it is slightly sharper than its predecessor (282 PPI). This is not really noticeable in everyday life, but it's still nice that you not only get a larger but also a somewhat sharper display. Incidentally, the display is hardly wider but rather higher, so that it now has an aspect ratio of 9:21 (previously 9:18).

Another improvement is the maximum brightness of the display. This was still 400 nit for the 4 series, the Mi Band 5 comes to 450 nit. For comparison: A Mi Note 10 has a typical maximum brightness of 430 nit. Due to the general increase in brightness, lower brightness levels such as 3 out of 5 can be used even better in direct sunlight than with the Mi Band 4. For the Mi Band 6, I would still like an automatic brightness control.

After all, there is already a night mode that can be configured in the Mi Fit app. If this is active, the screen brightness is automatically reduced either after sunset or within a period of time specified by you. There is a similar setting for the well-known "raise wrist to show information" function. You can always or never have this activated or you can also specify a period of time during which the arm movement activates the band.

If these two settings are not enough for the nocturnal rest, you can also schedule a “Do not disturb” mode on the tape under “More> DND” or set it so that it starts as soon as you fall asleep. A permanent activation or activation for 30 minutes, 1, 2 or 3 hours is also possible.

As you can see in the picture above, there is a cooperation with Spongebob SquarePants. In China there are also watch faces in cooperation with detective Conan, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Hatsune Miku, but we don't know whether these will also come to Europe. But there are already six Spongebob watch faces, 53 more and five customizable watch faces in the Mi Fit app. Three watch faces are already pre-installed on the Mi Band 5, the customizable complications (widgets) enable. who else a lot more watch faces is looking for the apps WatchFace for Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and AmazFaces find it. iPhone users can use the app AmazTools use.

The complications (widgets) show you optionally steps, pulse, calories, steps / hour, pulse graph, 7 days PAI, events, weather, PAI, battery, sunrise / sunset, humidity / UV / wind, air quality (not working yet), Alarm clock or workout on. They also act as a link to the respective functions.

Another new feature is that you can now use the add individual functions directly to the left and right of the home screen can. These then take up the entire screen and thus offer a faster route to the respective functions. With the Mi Band 4, the music control was represented there, while now up to ten functions can place there. The possible functions are: notifications, weather, music, alarm, training, camera remote control, status, PAI, pulse, stress, breathing exercise, appointments, DND, stopwatch, timer, find mobile phone, mute, menstrual cycle, Alipay and world clock.

The fact that the display is only a 16-bit panel and can therefore display fewer colors than the 24-bit panel of the Mi Band 4 is absolutely not noticeable in practice and is only a noticeable difference on paper.

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The only "button" is again a sensor button below the display, which is marked by a white circle. This serves as an activation key when the display is switched off. If you are in one of the many submenus, the button serves as a back button. In the sport modes, holding down the button then acts as a pause function. The other navigation of the various menus takes place by swiping and tapping on the touchscreen. Swiping from left to right takes a special position, which acts as a back gesture at least in the submenus.

The touchscreen always reacts quickly and reliably to inputs. Incorrect entries caused by water in the shower are also limited. If you want to be absolutely sure that the tape does not react unintentionally, you can temporarily lock the screen under "More> Settings> Lock screen". Incidentally, this happens automatically in swim mode.

Smart features: notifications, music & camera control

Anyone who knows the Mi Band 4 will quickly find their way around the Mi Band 5, because the beautiful color icons for the individual functions are very similar. In addition, not quite as many new functions have been added as when jumping from volume 3 to volume 4. You can access the on the tape itself status (Steps, distance, calories, stand-up alarms) that Notifications (Notifications), appointment reminders, Weather (Weather) thatSport modes (Workout) thatHeart rate measurement (Heart rate), PAI, stress, breathing exercises 1 to 5 minutes (Breathing), menstrual cycle (Cycles) and more (More). All these functions can be arranged in any order using the Mi Fit app and each one can also be hidden.

The following functions are hidden behind "More":

  • DND (Do not disturb): Deactivate notifications. Either activate it actively or let it activate automatically when you sleep.
  • Alarm (alarm clock): thedifferent alarm clocks can only be (de) activated individually, you have to set them in the app.
  • Camera: Remote camera control, so a camera shutter release on the tape
  • Music:Music control can also be activated by swiping left or right on the home screen.
  • Stopwatch & Timer:timer from 1 second to 99 minutes and 99 seconds
  • Find Device: The mobile phone plays a loud high-pitched tone to locate it
  • Silent: You can switch the cell phone to "Loud" or "Mute"
  • Alipay: Payment method via QR code (only for China)
  • World Clock: times of the different time zones (configurable in the app)
  • Band Display: Here you can choose between the 3 standard and one synchronizedWatchface select from the Mi Fit app (50 to choose from).
  • Settings: set brightness (5 levels), lock display, auto screen off time (standard or 6-10 seconds), restart & reset.

Many of the features mentioned are already available on the Mi Band 4. The stress monitoring plus the appropriate breathing exercises, PAI, menstrual cycle tracking (+ forecast) and the camera remote control are new. I will go into the new fitness features in the next section, but now I will talk about the camera remote control first. This is a simple trigger on the Mi Band 5 (see screenshot below). The special thing about it is that the remote control also works with other Android phones that are not from Xiaomi. You could even take a photo with the Mi Band in combination with an iPhone 11. At the Honor Band 5 This function is also available, but only in connection with Huawei and Honor smartphones, so Xiaomi is much more open here.

The music control works in principle in the same way as with the Mi Band 4. You have to start playback in a music app such as Spotify on your mobile phone beforehand. Then the tape needs a second to display the title being played. Now you can control the following directly from the tape: play / pause, volume up / down, next / previous song. Unfortunately, the music control still does not work during sports tracking - Xiaomi should really make improvements here.

The notifications also work the same as with the predecessor. In the Mi Fit app, you select the desired apps from which you would like to receive the notifications on the tape. In addition, I have also activated that the notifications are not on the tape if I am currently using the mobile phone anyway. If, for example, a WhatsApp message arrives, the tape vibrates and the tape displays the green WhatsApp logo and the name of the sender or the group name. The actual message then follows below.

Unfortunately, with the current software in our China version of the tape, umlauts (or the "ß") are not yet displayed. That's because the entire band is currently still in English and the English language just doesn't have these letters. As soon as the update for the German language comes, these special characters will also be supported, as was the case with the two predecessors. Emojis are currently not supported at all.

Another, unfortunately unofficial, feature is the ability to view the Show instruction from Google Maps on the tape allow. This works optionally via the app navigator or Notify & Fitness. Especially on foot or by bike, these apps can be a not perfect but helpful solution.

Everyday tracking: steps, sleep, pulse, calories, stress & menstrual cycle

Since the Mi Band 5 is still a fitness tracker despite all the other functions, there is an upgrade in this area as well. However, there are those from Xiaomi as "professional sensor upgrade " Designated improvement apparently only in the NFC version. At least that's what the official Chinese side of the band says. Particularly noteworthy here would be the 40% improved sleep tracking, which is supposed to better recognize the time to fall asleep and wake up. After all, our normal version without NFC now also has the option Record sleep for 24 hours and also record the REM phases. During the day, sleep is then recorded as a "nap".

The calories burned are calculated in everyday life mainly from the steps and the kilometers covered as well as other activities. The PAI value, which stands for "Personal Activity Intelligence", is new. The aim is to achieve a score of over 100. The PAI value is personally adjusted to you and is based on age, gender, resting heart rate and heart rate of the last seven days. You earn PAI points by increasing your heart rate, whether doing sports, working, playing with children or doing housework. The number of points is always valid for 7 days and every day all points that are older than seven days expire. This is how you should be motivated to take part in regular activities.

There is also one now Menstrual cycle function. Here, women can enter the length of the period, the length of the cycle and when the last period began. Based on this information and the future regular entry of menstrual data in the Mi Fit app, predictions are made. These predictions include the menstrual period, fertile period, and ovulation day.

There are also several modes for heart rate measurement, which of course each use different amounts of battery: heart rate during the day, heart rate during sleep tracking, both or no heart rate measurement. The pulse measurement can then take place either every minute, every 5, 10 or 30 minutes. In addition to the 50% better pulse measurement in some sports, the NFC version offers the option of measuring the pulse using an infrared sensor, i.e. without the green light that may be annoying at night, as is known from the Mi Band 4.

The stress level is calculated using the heart rate variability and stress models, so you have to activate pulse tracking. But even Xiaomi says that the values ​​are only for reference and are not medically accurate data. In my opinion, this can be extended to all of the measured everyday data: They offer a guideline value, but they are not 100% accurate and of course cannot replace a doctor's visit.

Sports tracking now with 11 sports modes

In addition to the new sensors for better tracking there is now a total eleven sport modes (vs. six in Mi Band 4). The modes running indoor, running outdoor, walking, cycling outdoor, swimming and free training are added to the modes already known from Mi Band 4: Indoor cycling, cross trainer, jumping rope, yoga and rowing machine. Running (outdoor / indoor), walking and cycling also support automatic pause detection, which works properly even without GPS.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of normal running tracking without a connected smartphone.Because the Mi Band 5 does not have an integrated GPS, the distance is calculated from the steps taken. Unfortunately, this calculation does not exactly match the real distance covered. Compared to the route measured with GPS via the Adidas Runnig app (Runtastic), the Mi Band 5 was missing approx. 2.74 kilometers.