The much-anticipated Xiaomi Mi band 6, which is the sequel to the best-selling smart band and honestly, to some extent, smartwatch killer, delivering so many features at such a low price, is finally out. So, the Mi band 6 has some huge shoes to fill, but honestly, it really does that. So, this smart band features some big improvements.
So, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is a waterproof, smart band with 14-day battery life and a meager price tag. This Band has a reputation to live up to. In this article, we’re reviewing this smart band. We’re going to figure out what’s new about the Mi Band 6. What’s unique about this band, why you might want to buy it. And of course, I will give you the result of the test I carried out on the accuracy of these sensors on board.
So, definitely, a lot to talk about in this article. You can jump to the information you are actually looking for.
Every year Xiaomi comes out with a new Smart band, and I always wonder before they release it what kind of changes will be made because last year’s model almost always delivers a lot and a perfect price.
The Mi band 6 has a bigger and better display now. So, instead of having that little home button on the bottom and then a square display, this is now an old display that takes up pretty much the entire front of the band, which you still see the same shape and size of the band. But the display, like the screen to body ratio rather, is substantially improved.
If you look at the back, we do have the heart rate sensor. It also works as a SpO2 sensor on the back. And we have the same little magnetic charge we saw last year, which was a big improvement from the band for remembering the band, for you had to take it out and snap it into a cradle. Now you never have to take it out of the band. Instead, you have a nice little magnetic charger. It just sticks to the back, and it’s great.
I mentioned this was water-Resistant, and the previous generations have been water-Resistant for a little while. This one’s rated for 50 meters. I’ve done swimming with it. I’ve gone surfing with it, and they never fall off from my experience.
They also never take any damage from water, even saltwater. I wish I had more to talk about with the design of this device. But it’s such a simple small device that that’s really all there is to it.
You’ve got a 50 percent larger display compared to the Mi Band 5. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 features 1.56 inches AMOLED display with a resolution of 152 x 486 pixels. It’s 326 pixels per inch, which means that you can really see the text really well. And on top of that, if you put any custom background. For example, on Mi’s website, they showed a cat, and you can see the whiskers on the cat, which shows it’s definitely a good quality display.
The display unit actually comes out of the band, so you can easily replace the bands with any colour you want. You could buy them from Xiaomi’s website or other online shopping platforms. You can even use last year’s Mi band 5 bands on this one because it’s going to be the same size.
Other than that, there are five different brightness levels. There’s still no auto-brightness adjustment from what I can tell, not a huge deal. I always leave it at max brightness anyway. But you can actually go in your phone and set it to a night mode based on a schedule so that you can have full brightness during the day.
And then at night, after a certain hour, it’s going to dim it down, so you don’t blind yourself in the middle of the night.
Health and Fitness Tracking
Health and fitness tracking is actually the objective of this band. It’s supposed to track your health and encourage a healthier lifestyle. And they really improved a lot this year. Previously I think we saw about 11 or 12 different workouts. This one now has 30. If you want to do something like a Zumba workout or if you want to do high-intensity interval training and you want to track that with this device, there are now 30 different exercises you can track.
Among these 30 different exercises, there are actually six that are auto-tracked. So, when it comes to sensors, we have an accelerometer, which works as a pedometer. It’ll try to count strokes when you’re swimming, all kinds of stuff like that.
As long as you’re not doing sprint intervals, this is actually a very accurate fitness tracker. Something else I noticed is that the auto fitness tracking takes about a quarter mile until it recognizes what you’re doing. And even then, it just vibrates and tells you it recognizes something, and then it’s up to you to select what you’re doing, so it doesn’t actually auto-track your workouts.
This is a little drawback of this band, I really don’t have a good reference to which I could compare this, but I can say, based on how I feel, 96 is very accurate.
Heart rate tracking
It also tracks your heart rate, blood, oxygen levels, and it has a connected GPS by your phone. So, if you’re running with your phone, then you will be able to get GPS. Obviously, if you’re running without your phone, this still works, but you won’t have any GPS attached to your workout.
It’ll track your heart rate all day based on whatever interval you set within the app from one minute up to 30 minutes. If you’re trying to save battery, obviously, to have it measure once every 30 minutes, that really doesn’t tell you much.
So, once every minute makes a little bit more sense if you’re trying to monitor your heart rate. And, of course, it will actually notify you if your heart rate is above a certain threshold that you set in the app.
Testing the accuracy of the heart rate sensor, I compared the Mi Band 6 to the Polar H9, which is considered one of the most accurate in the industry. And you can see from the picture above that I was running at a consistent pace at the beginning of my run in the first mile or so, and it really nailed it. It was very accurate, very consistent, and it was showing exactly what I wanted it to.
Then I turned around. I started doing some sprint intervals to test out how it would perform in that setting. And you can see it missed a couple of the peaks and valleys. And I think that might be the sample rate of the watch. It doesn’t sample the heart rate fast enough to keep up with that. But then I went back to a more consistent run at the end, and It was accurate there as well.
This band also has some enhanced sleep tracking. So, they use the SPO2 sensor to track blood oxygen and estimate the breathing quality while you’re sleeping. And this might be a good reference to figure out if you have sleep apnea or something like that. It is a good way to get better. Understanding how well you’re sleeping in different conditions, so that’s something that I like, I’ve always been a big fan of sleep tracking, so I’ll get into some testing and show you how well it did with sleep tracking.
For me, it’s like 150. If it gets over 150 and it doesn’t detect a workout, it will notify you that, for one reason or another, your heart rate is higher than it should be.
Another thing I like about the Mi Band 6 is it feels like the engineers who made this just really knew exactly who is going to be using it and what they wanted for it. One of the things is that they know many people using these will be looking for a healthier lifestyle, trying to lose weight, or otherwise work out more.
To gamify that, they give you an index called PAI (Personal activity intelligence), which just uses a lot of the information. Like how often you work out and your heart rate and stuff like that, it gives you an index from 0 to 100. And it basically tells you how healthy and how active you’re being. And so that’s something I really like having on here. When you first start wearing it, sometimes you’re like people are confused with the pieces.
Testing the Sleep tracking personally. It shows exactly the time I slept, and that was good. It showed that I had no disruptions. It really did a good job. Granted, it was easy because it’s hushed. But regardless, I think the sleep accuracy is pretty decent.
You also have stress tracking, you’ve got breathing exercises, and if you are a female, you’ve got female cycle tracking. I did not test this out, however.
Testing the stress tracking is also probably pretty accurate. I mean, I don’t feel stressed, and it’s showing that I’m generally either mild or relaxed. As far as I can tell, that also seems to be pretty accurate.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 comes with a lot of other features. We’ve got the music player, alerts, the notifications, and the user interface is pretty great.
The phone has a well-organized user interface. From the home screen, you can swipe up and down. So, swiping up and down takes you through a whole loop.
If we go down, for example, you have a whole bunch of different apps here. We’ve got our status, which is just going to tell us basically what our health is for the day, personal activity intelligence, heart rate SpO2, notifications, workout’s, workout history, and stress. There’s also period tracking and a bunch of other things you will see there.
Other features include weather, and it is actually pretty in-depth. They tell you the wind speed, the UV levels, and the weather for the entire week. I think as far as weather widgets go, this one does an excellent job.
We also have a settings app and other things. You can have like remote shutter for your camera. You can find your phone. If you type that, your phone will beep. And of course, there is actually in the app on your phone a find my band feature, which makes this vibrate.
That’s pretty much the entire interface. Very simple, very easy to use, and has a lot of features and is pretty robust, so just a quick look at the app on the dashboard. This tells you how many steps you took today, your stress level, your heart rate, stuff like that.
If you go over to profile on the bottom, you can tap on your device, the Mi Band 6, and change many settings there. If you go down to, for example, a store, it’s going to allow you to choose from tons of different watch faces. And you can choose, I mean, all kinds of crazy designs. You can customize them. You can go down to notifications and reminders and choose what is actually going to be vibrating on your wrist.
Some people don’t want to be connected to their emails; they want to know when they’re getting a phone call. And that’s a great way you could set that up.
There’s also health monitoring. Suppose you want to set up some certain things. Like I said earlier, if you want to track your heart rate at different intervals and set different thresholds, you will do all of that right here.
Band settings are the next big one. We can change the units. You can change a band if you want a little passcode on there, the international model. The global model of the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 those not have NFC. But other than that, there are all kinds of settings that, once you get it, you can really customize a lot with this band.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 will be selling for around fifty dollars which is still a low price, and it has a 14-day battery life, and that’s what Xiaomi is promising. From my experience, you can get up to like 20 days if you’re not really using the notifications in heavy monitoring as much. But if you’re really pushing it, it might be lower, maybe around eight days at the minimum, from my experience.
But you’re really going to be getting a great battery life with this. You also cannot store or stream any music, even though there are music controls.
Obviously, this doesn’t have any Bluetooth to connect to our headphones. It’s only going to be connecting to your phone. The device has no external app. The other thing, so you can get all kinds of different like watch faces, but you’re not going to be getting Strava on here or any other apps. It’s typical of a smart band, but I wanted to point out that out here.
This does not have a microphone, so there won’t be any voice assistant. It also doesn’t have a speaker to have any beeping or anything like that. Instead, the only way it communicates with you besides the display is the vibration, the vibrating motor on board. It’ll use that for any haptic feedback or maybe for notifications or alerts on your phone.
And as far as software goes, if you’re not using Xiaomi’s UI, like Xiaomi phone, you won’t get the phone to unlock feature. But other than that, all the features, are there some cool things like when you plug it in the display, turn sideways while it’s charging? I thought that was really useful.
There is no underwater mode for when you’re showering. I know some people don’t wear it when they shower, but I don’t feel like taking off, and I like seeing the time. So that’s something that I wish they did have. But you can go into a swimwear account if you want, and that’ll disable the screen. There’s also a sleep tracking knap tracking. This doesn’t have an always-on display right now, but other than that, you’ll get notifications, and you have quick replies, all kinds of features like that.
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Review: Verdict
So overall, guys, I think we saw this coming. The Mi Band 6, in my opinion, is a very successful redesign of the Mi Band 5. I think they fixed all the right things. And I think this is a straightforward recommendation.
There are a couple of drawbacks. Of course, it doesn’t have an always-on display. There are no microphones and no voices. But other than that, there’s really nothing I can complain about.
This delivers a lot of features at a low price. It has good accuracy, good sleep. Tracking the screen is fantastic, and I think the aesthetic is really, really great for a small, smart band, especially at this price. And, of course, the battery life is also incredible.
In conclusion, the Mi Band 6 is a fantastic buy. There is really not much to like about this device.