Xiaomi Mi Band 3 review: There’s more than just fitness on this tiny device
Product name: Mi Band 3
Key specifications: 0.78 inch OLED display, 110mAh battery, 3-axis accelerometer and PPG heart rate sensor, Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, compatible with devices with Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 4.4 or iOS 9.0 or higher
Xiaomi earlier this week introduced its next generation fitness band Mi Band 3 in India. Priced at ₹1,999, Mi Band 3 is a major upgrade over the predecessor in terms of design, features and overall specifications.
Unlike the HRX edition, Mi Band 3 has key fitness features like heart rate monitor without altering the battery life of the wearable.
Xiaomi's Mi Band 3 has a capsule shaped 0.78-inch OLED display which is bigger and better than its predecessor, Mi Band 2. It still features the circular menu button but is less prominent, making the device more subtle. The Mi Band 3 strap is 247mm long and fits pretty easily on your wrist. Even for someone with a tiny hand like mine, I could still manage to fit it properly while the display took up my wrist completely.
We had the black colour Mi Band 3 which is also the only variant available now. It also comes in blue and orange colours which are definitely more attractive.
Xiaomi's fitness bands have been catering to only one function, fitness. With the Mi Band 3, the company has introduced notification alerts, a feature I enjoyed using. Mi Band 3 is compatible with many apps for notifications including WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Gmail, and SMSes as well.
Getting app alerts on the Mi Band 3 can be a little confusing, and took me a while to come around too. On the profile section of the Mi Fit app, tap on Mi Band 3 and you will get a menu for different app permissions. Here, you can select apps that you wish to receive notifications on the Mi Band 3.
There was no delay in messages appearing on the Mi Band 3. It doesn't show just the alerts but displays the full message as well. You can just swipe right to read the full text of your message. I could receive and read WhatsApp, Instagram messages, and reject calls as well. You can also check notifications on the Mi Band 3 and clear them once you're done. Mi Band 3 uses Bluetooth v4.2 for connectivity, so note that both devices need to be within close distance.
Other health-focused features on the Mi Band 3 include counting steps, calculating burned calories, and distance walked. It also tracks your sleep and you can set alarms to it. Mi Band 3 showed regular updates on all these categories. There's also an exercise section for your workouts. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A2 review
Xiaomi has included a heart-rate sensor on the Mi Band 3, something which was missing in the HRX-edition. The Mi Band 3 takes about 20 seconds to calculate your heart rate.
Xiaomi's phones are known for their battery prowess. The Mi Band 3 doesn't shy away from delivering the same. Its 110mAh battery is promised to offer juice for up to 20 days straight. The Mi Band 3 takes about an hour to fully charge. The Mi Band 3 lasted well for three days with around 20% of charge. May be not 20 days, but battery life can surely be relied on the Mi Band 3.
It also comes with 5ATM making it water resistant up to 50 metres. Xiaomi says that you can the Mi Band 3 for your regular swims. I'm not a swimmer but the Mi Band 3 did just fine with regular sink splashes and is easy to dry up too. The touchscreen also doesn't face any delay in response. ALSO READ: Redmi Note 5 Pro Review
The Mi Band 3 is more than satisfactory in terms of performance. It's like the perfect companion for your phone without burning a hole in your pocket. There are other alternatives from brands like Lenovo and GOQii. But if your pick is Xiaomi, then you should definitely go for the Mi Band 3.