Mi Smart Band 6 review: It's the coolest one in its segment | Wearables Reviews

Mi Smart Band 6 review: It's the coolest one in its segment

While its rivals have tried morphing into smartwatches, the Mi Smart Band 6 remains true to the fitness band design.

By: AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 21:16 IST
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is once again the fitness tracker to beat, both in terms of its features and value. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

Five generations of the Mi Band have come and gone, each bringing a unique new upgrade over the previous one. From LED indicators to multifunction colour display, the Mi Band in its sixth generation stretches it beyond the limit; quite literally. Add on the SpO2 monitoring as well as a host wellness tracking from the Redmi Watch, and the Mi Smart Band 6 is stretching what an affordable fitness tracker can be.

I have been wearing this all-black INR 3,499 Mi Smart Band 6 for a few weeks and I have been left astonished by what this band can do.

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Mi Smart Band 6 Design

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
image caption
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

While its rivals have tried morphing into smartwatches, the Mi Smart Band 6 remains true to the fitness band design. The narrow and tall display coupled with a slim silicon strap still makes it an extremely comfortable wear. In fact, this is one of the most comfortable wearables I have worn going to sleep, and worked wearing an entire day.

And this year, the display stretches to the edges like modern day smartphones. The 1.56-inch flattened oval display now shows more information than the smaller display on the Mi Smart Band 5. This translates to lesser scrolling, and at night, it looks futuristic. Since its an OLED display, it looks fantastic too, although the brightness levels under the harsh sunlight may not be enough for many.

Mi Smart Band 6 Smart features

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
image caption
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

Despite this supposed to be a fitness band, the Mi Smart Band 6 takes the “smart” moniker in its name seriously. The OS is essentially similar to the affordable large screen smartwatches, only narrowed for the capsule-shaped display. Hence, you swipe left and you have your music player controls; swipe right for the weather.

Unlike smartwatches, you don't have a notifications panel or a control center. Instead, you swipe into the menu and tap the notifications app to see them. When paired to an iPhone, the Mi Smart Band 6 was able to display both English and Hindi text, although emojis appeared as empty boxes. You can reject calls but can't answer them. Then there are the usual apps such as weather, flashlight, Events, Alarms, find your phone, camera controls, and other similar utilities.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
image caption
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

There's not much to play with but the interface wears a fancy colourful display that makes the most of this large display. On top of that, the Mi Fit app works equally well on both Android and iOS devices; it connects swiftly and lets you choose from a plethora of funky watch faces.

Mi Smart Band 6 fitness

The biggest addition to this department this year is the blood oxygen saturation monitoring system, which brings the Mi Band up to date with its rivals. I did not have a professional health monitoring device to check the data accuracy but the SpO2 monitoring often returned a rough idea of my blood oxygen saturation. I had to strap it tightly to the wrist in order to get results comparable with the Apple Watch Series 7.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT tech)
image caption
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT tech)

Same was the case with the heart rate data that was always giving figures closer to what the Apple Watch returned. I observed that the step tracking data in workout modes was on par with the expensive fitness watches.

The PAI scoring system is motivational, encouraging you to go the extra distance and stretch your workout slightly more. I am no fitness enthusiast but those willing to keep up their fitness game will find the PAI assessment system useful.

The sleep tracking, however, left me impressed with its data presentation and accuracy. The Mi Smart Band 6 monitors light sleep, deep sleep, and even REM sleep (the stage where you dream) – a INR 55,000 Apple Watch Series 7 cannot track as much! And, if you turn on the 24-hour health monitoring, you always have a detailed health report on the Mi Fit app.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
image caption
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

Note that you should not rely on this data as there are inaccuracies. In case you feel unwell, always consult a doctor.

Mi Smart Band 6 battery life

Xiaomi claims up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. I, however, used the band entirely with the 24-hour health monitoring systems and sleep tracking, and the Mi Smart Band 6 could only last for 4-5 days on an average. The magnetic charging puck is convenient to attack to the band but you have to leave it for almost two hours for a full charge. A small price to pay for a week-long battery life.

Verdict

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
image caption
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

There are a plethora of fitness trackers to buy if your budget is shy of INR 4,000 but none of them end up being as nice as the Mi Smart Band 6. For one, it looks cool and can sit all day (and even night) on your wrist without any bother. Fitness enthusiasts will like the number of monitoring options onboard while those looking for smart features have enough to be happy (the watch faces are fun, especially the animated ones).

The best part is that it works equally well with both Android and iOS devices. The battery life could have been better but in such a small form factor, battery capacity will always be limited. I also hope Xiaomi figures a way to show emojis with future updates.

Our take: The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is once again the fitness tracker to beat, both in terms of its features and value. Our top recommendation for a fitness tracker under INR 4,000.

Rating
4.5 out of 5
Price
INR 3,499/-
Product Name
Mi Smart Band 6
Brand Name
Xiaomi
Pros
  • Nice display
  • Health monitoring features
  • Comfortable to wear
Cons
  • Battery life could be better
Specifications
  • Display
    1.65-inch
  • Health tracking sensors
    SpO2, Heart rate, steps

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First Published Date: 23 Oct, 08:44 IST
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