This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
China's general consumer electronics manufacturer Xiaomi has been steadily increasing its user base since entering the Japanese market. Like last year, the new Mi Band 5 smart band was announced this year on June 11, and it was released in China on June 18. I pre-ordered it right after the announcement and managed to get the initial lot. It arrived in my hand on June 23 with no problems in transportation.
It's been exactly one year since the Mi Band 4 was announced. It seems to have sold well around the world, and according to a study by IDC, its global wearable device market share in Q1 2020 was 14.0%. It has increased its market share from last year and holds the second place in the ranking. Incidentally, Xiaomi shipped 7.3 million wristband devices last year alone.
Well, it is Mi Band 5 that the difference is not understood visually even if it compares with Mi Band 4, but the main body size has been increased just slightly. At the same time, the display has been enlarged by about 20%, from 0.95 inches to 1.1 inches, the resolution was also increased from 120 x 240 pixels to 124 x 294 pixels. The full-color AMOLED is the same as the Mi Band 4.
The Mi Band 5, like its predecessor, is made up of a two-piece core unit and band. Previous models could not be charged without removing the core unit, but with the Mi Band 5 it has been changed to a special connector with a magnet so that it can be connected without removing the band. This charger is exclusive for Mi Band 5. By the way, the water resistance level is the same as the Mi Band 3 or later models at 5 ATM (equivalent to 50m depth).
The core unit is only available in black, but the belt is available in a total of eight colors. However, right after its release, black is the only option currently available. Once the supply is stable, a color package will be available. The belt has 13 adjustment holes for wrist thickness, with a 5mm pitch. The material is TPU, which is moisture resistant and can be washed in its entirety even if it gets dirty.
The belt, which was shared by the Mi Band 3 and Mi Band 4, has been dedicated to the Mi Band 5 due to the increased size of the core unit, and the shape has changed slightly. You can attach it to the belt of Mi Band 4 if you push a little too hard, but the fit is slightly off.
Improved accuracy of heart rate measurements and accurate measurements during various types of exercise
The Mi Band 5's heart rate sensor has the same photoelectric volume pulse wave (PPG) type as the Mi Band 4. The data sampling algorithms have been improved, especially in terms of monitoring accuracy. The accuracy of monitoring and detecting abnormal heartbeats has been improved by about 50%, and the accuracy of detection during wakefulness and sleep has been improved by about 40%. Improved heart rate analysis algorithms for accurate measurements during various sports. So, in addition to the standard sports, rowing machines, yoga and jump ropes have been added to the list, making a total of 11 sports. It is increasing.
Built-in triaxial acceleration sensor and triaxial gyro for the same measurement accuracy as the Mi Band 4 But, as with the heart rate, the built-in software improvements seem to have reduced the pedometer's measurement error considerably. With the Mi Band 4, if you use multiple modes of transportation such as walking and train/bicycle, the pedometer's Counting could be incorrect at times, but these have been improved in Mi Band 5.
While there aren't many major changes in terms of hardware other than the charging mechanism, the Mi Band 5 is also notable for its health care, which makes thorough use of heart rate data. The heart rate data, which is constantly monitored 24 hours a day, quantifies not only the abnormal state of your heart, but also your exercise, sleep, and stress levels.
Mi Band 5 combines heart rate data with other sensors and gyro data to quantify your body's activity, monitor your exercise status, and give you advice on exercise intensity with the addition of PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence).
It also adds support for menstrual cycles for women, and combined with the earlier PAI, it allows for appropriate health care for your condition. Because of these additional features, there are more items than on the Mi Band 4, but the simplicity of the display remains the same as before because you can change the contents to suit your lifestyle.
The dedicated app is already compatible with Mi Band 5
For setting up and managing the Mi Band 5 and utilizing the data, you will use the same genuine Mi Fit app as before. If you have been using the Mi Band series, you can transfer your data and measurement settings to Mi Band 5 as it is. Just pair your Mi Fit with the new Mi Band 5 during setup. Version 4.2.1 is already compatible with Mi Band 5 and can be used in Japanese.
When combined with the Mi Fit app, you can see the various data collected by the Mi Band 5 on the wide screen of your smartphone. You can also view historical data. You will be able to integrate with Health Care on iOS and Google FIt on Android, which will allow you to use your data in a wider range of ways.
Previously, the language of Mi Band was dependent on the language display on the smartphone side. However, from Mi Band 5, Chinese (Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese) and English will be available on the device. Previously, if you purchased the mainland China version, you could only use simplified Chinese characters in the Japanese environment, but now that the English version is available, it's much easier to use.
The connection between Mi Band 5 and your smartphone is Bluetooth 5.0 LE. iOS 10.0 or later and Android 5.0 or later are supported. When we asked Xiaomi about sales in Japan, we were told that the company plans to launch it in Japan by the end of the year.
An NFC-equipped model would offer enhanced functionality, but...
The Mi Band is also available in a model with built-in NFC. You can use various services via Mi Band by registering a public transportation card such as bus or train, a key for a security gate, or a credit card in advance. However, it has been limited to use in China so far, and since there was no particular change this time There doesn't seem to be anything available in Japan. An update is scheduled for August in China, so we'll see how it goes for now.
As for the Xiao AI, which has been included since the Mi Band 4, the model with built-in NFC has a built-in microphone, so you can launch the assistant with your voice and perform various operations. You can also get weather information, start and end your workout from your connected smartphone, and It also supports the configuration and operation of Xiaomi's IoT appliances. However, input is only available in Chinese and English.
Other useful features include the audio remote control feature adopted from the Mi Band 4 and the shutter button function that has been added to the device. The audio remote control, as the name implies, allows you to control the music being played on your smartphone with the Mi Band. Mi Band will also display the song titles. Shutter button is for releasing the shutter of your smartphone. It seems to be useful for group photo and solo shoot.
The simplicity of the Mi Band is its selling point, but it has evolved into a more serious wearable tool than its price tag would suggest. If you want to monitor your health in a casual manner, I can confidently recommend this device.
The Mi Band 5 equipment used in this review was used after notifying the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of the establishment of the "Establishment of a Special Exception System for Experiments Using Equipment Not yet Acquired for Technical Regulations (Article 4-2, Paragraph 2 of the Radio Act)".
This radio equipment has not been confirmed to be in compliance with the technical standards of the Radio Law and is not subject to the special conditions stipulated by the law. The use of the equipment is only permitted under the terms of the law. Use of radio equipment in violation of these conditions is subject to the penalties and other measures prescribed by law.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.