Fitness trackers are all the rage, but big brands like Fitbit and Garmin tend to get fairly expensive. With the Mi Band 4, Xiaomi aim to provide a more budget-friendly smartband with comparable quality and functionality.
Inside the box you get the Mi Band 4 itself, USB charger and an instruction booklet. The fitness tracker has a flat oval shape that squeezes inside a slim TPU band. The front of the device has a 0.95″ 120×240 24-bit colour AMOLED touchscreen covered in anti-fingerprint 2.5D tempered glass, while the back houses the optical heart-rate sensor and a couple of Pogo pins for charging.
Scanning the QR code from the user manual lets you download the Xiaomi’s Mi Fit app via the Play Store. With this installed, setup was plain-sailing – the app automatically detected and paired with the Band 4 before asking the few simple questions needed to build your health profile. The app even detected my phone manufacturer and guided me through the steps needed to prevent the phone’s battery optimisation features from killing it in the background.
The display can be ramped up to a full brightness of 400 nits, but even set at the 50% default I had no visibility issues. The bright, colourful screen has excellent contrast ratios and really sets the Mi Band 4 apart from many budget fitness trackers on the market. It even does a good job of repelling fingerprints.
You tap the capacitive circle button below the screen to activate it and swipe up or down on the display to cycle through the various options. You can also swipe left or right to quickly access the music controls. The touchscreen is very responsive and even worked nicely in the shower. The Mi Band 4 has 5ATM waterproofing allowing it to be submerged in 50M for up to 10 minutes.
In fact besides walking, running, cycling and sleep you can also track swimming distance, calories burned and strokes. As well as being available within the app, stat data can be synced with Google Fit. From my testing all the figures seemed to be accurate.
The app is straightforward to use and lets you set up various alerts including notifications from other installed apps. These work well (considering the limited screen real estate) giving you a good idea about what the notification is about without lifting your phone. The app also lets you choose from a selection of watch faces and you can even create a custom face using your own photo.
The default home screen has time, date, steps and a tiny battery level indicator displayed. Distance, calories burned and idle alerts are a quick swipe away, as is the heart rate monitor, weather and notifications. A “More” menu gets you access to further settings plus features like alarms, stopwatch, timer and Do Not Disturb mode. I liked how DND mode can be set to automatically activate when the band detects you’re asleep.
To charge the Mi Band 4, it needs to be removed from the strap and clipped onto the proprietary USB charger. This isn’t difficult, but we have seen more convenient charging solutions – plus I’d be a little concerned about the long-term wear and tear to the silicone strap. Happily you don’t need to charge this device very often, with the device offering up to 20 days of battery life from a 2 hour charge.
The Mi Band 4 maintained a strong, stable Bluetooth connection with
my phone – even at a distance and through walls. Everything worked reliably with no glitches or performance issues. The silicone band is also very comfortable to wear 24/7.
With the Mi Band 4, Xiaomi have definitely brought their A-game as it can easily compete directly with the top brands – not just in terms of hardware performance but also with a seamless software experience. Hopefully they come up with a better charging solution for the Band 5, but otherwise in the world of fitness trackers it’s hard to fault everything the Mi Band 4 delivers for the $50 price tag…
A big thanks to our friends at Banggood for sending us the Mi Band 4 for review. They are currently offering some great discounts, coupons, and funny giveaway games as part of their 13th anniversary celebrations so check them out from the link below…