The finest low-cost health tracker you should buy is the $45 Mi Band 6. It’s exhausting to cross up when you’re on a finances however nonetheless need options like computerized exercise detection, a blood oxygen sensor, sleep monitoring and 24/7 coronary heart fee monitoring. Bonus: it is appropriate with Android and iOS.
There’s no scarcity of health bands and smartwatches below $100. The $70 Amazfit Bip S and newer Bip U are a few of our favourite finances watches, however when you’re on the lookout for one thing smaller, with very comparable well being and health monitoring and a nicer display, the Mi Band 6 is a superb alternative. I’m a giant advocate for locating cheaper options to big-name merchandise, even making a whole YouTube collection devoted to the trigger. Here’s why I believe the Mi Band 6 is a viable competitor to comparable merchandise from big-name manufacturers like Fitbit and the brand new Amazon Halo View.
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A shiny display makes the Mi Band a pleasure to make use of
This factor is so gentle, I usually overlook it is on my wrist. Which is an effective factor in the course of a exercise when I’m attempting to focus on my subsequent rep, or at evening once I do not wish to really feel a chunky smartwatch rubbing towards my pillow.
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A 1.56-inch AMOLED show would possibly sound small, however due to its pixel density of 326ppi, the Mi Band 6’s textual content and graphics look extremely crisp. I by no means really feel like I would like to tug out a magnifying glass or squint to make out what a textual content message says. Most importantly, it is easy to see the show in shiny daylight.
The display and interface are additionally responsive and I have not skilled any efficiency points or lag. One factor I’d add to the want record for the subsequent era is an auto brightness sensor so it will possibly detect the ambient gentle and regulate the depth of the display by itself.
The display is straightforward to see.
Here’s the laundry record of good options you get on the Mi Band 6:
Music playback controlApp notifications out of your cellphone, plus name and message alertsFind my phonePhone muting possibility (Android solely)Calendar and occasion remindersRemote digicam shutter
As you’ll be able to see, there isn’t any scarcity of instruments onboard and it even goes one higher than Fitbit’s $180 Charge 5 by having a find-my-phone app and digicam distant. While I’d like a speaker and mic so I might take fast calls from my wrist, for the value, I am unable to count on that a lot.
The Mi Fit app is the weakest a part of the entire expertise. Compared with the slick expertise and icons you see when navigating the band itself, the app appears like an afterthought. Even weeks later, I nonetheless take a beat to work out precisely the place every characteristic lives, like my sleep metrics and exercise stats.
On the plus facet, loads of third-party apps can faucet into the Mi Band 6 to customise nearly each facet, from watch faces to remapping actions for the music management app. My favourite is AmazTools as a result of it lets me export my exercise knowledge with GPS and map particulars to providers like Strava.
Workout monitoring on the Mi Band 6 is ok for the value
Just among the stats the Mi Band offers you post-workout.
Screenshot by Lexy Savvides/CNET
One of my principal criticisms of earlier Mi Bands was the restricted vary of exercise monitoring choices. If you wished to document a Pilates or yoga session as an example, there was solely a generic “train” kind that wasn’t significantly exact in calculating general effort. Now, the Mi Band 6 offers you 30 health modes from the same old operating and biking all the way in which to Zumba, HIIT and indoor ice skating. It may also autodetect actions like operating, strolling and biking when you overlook to manually begin recording the exercise.
You additionally get sleep monitoring and a blood oxygen sensor that may take a spot studying, or verify it through the day and evening within the background.
For the value, I’m proud of how the Mi Band data exercises. You get detailed breakdowns of your tempo, splits and coronary heart fee zones post-workout within the app. The band additionally tracks a physiological exercise indicator or PAI rating for you. It measures the quantity of average to intense bodily exercise you do every day, much like Fitbit’s Active Zone Minutes metric. The PAI rating is a bit obscure and trickier to know than the Fitbit rating, however I do like the way it recommends what depth exercise I ought to do if I’m lagging behind on my rating that day.
But when you’re on the lookout for probably the most correct coronary heart fee tracker for cardio-based train like runs and walks, this won’t be the perfect match for you. During a leisurely out of doors stroll with just a few small hills, the Mi Band stated my coronary heart fee peaked at 180bpm — approach increased than the quantity my chest strap stated. There’s additionally no onboard GPS, which isn’t a shock given this prices $45, so you have to to take your cellphone with you on exercises to document distance and route info. But that phone-assisted monitoring continues to be a step up from the brand new $80 Amazon Halo View, which lacks any type of distance monitoring. I additionally wanted to manually sync the band within the Mi Fit app each time I began a exercise to get the GPS monitoring to kick in, which was a bit annoying.
The Mi Band 6’s battery life takes it to the subsequent stage
I’m used to carrying smartwatches and trackers that hardly final two days between fees. That’s why once I learn concerning the Mi Band’s 14 days of battery life, I needed to do a double take. Surely, that may’t be proper? Turns on the market’s a little bit of a catch. If you are doing a number of exercises, utilizing the blood oxygen and coronary heart fee sensors steadily, plus holding the display brightness on excessive you are extra prone to attain must cost after 5 days. That’s nonetheless fairly good in contrast with some options and I can commonly get to every week and alter earlier than needing to juice it up once more. I’m positive I might push it to 14 days if I used to be solely utilizing this to get notifications from my cellphone and to trace steps.
The Mi Band 6 is my favourite finances health tracker of the yr, particularly when you’re simply seeking to dip your toes into the world of health wearables and need one thing you will not must cost fairly often.