Having made an entrance on the market 4 years ago, Xiaomi gives us the affordable Mi-Band which stands out with its amazing features, considering its price.
Mi Band soon became the most popular product from Xiaomi and it was 2016 when Mi Band 2 was created. The 2016 model really made an impression with its OLED display and heart rate monitor, for less than $25.
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What’s special about the Mi Band 3? At a glance…
Mi Band 3 comes with a larger OLED screen, better activity monitoring features and better heart rate. It’s even water resistant up to 50 meters. its price makes it affordable (just like in the case of previous models) and you can get a model with NFC connectivity (for $30, give or take).
Loaded with so many features and coming for an amazing price, we can only understand why Xiaomi is the second-largest wearable manufacturer in the world.
Checking all the essential boxes for a fitness band, especially if you’re a beginner, we can only go through the details to get the full picture.
A detailed look at the Mi Band 3
Weighing only 20 grams or so, the Mi Band 3 presents a long list of functions:
- Heart rate sensing
- Step tracking
- Distance counter
- Calorie counter
- Date and time
You can also check your real-time notification and have a sleep analysis.
In addition, Mi Band 3 is compatible with devices using Android 4.4 or above and iOS and above.
What are the best features of the Mi Band 3?
Standing out as an affordable way to check your sleep pattern, daily activity and mirror notification from your phone to your wrist, Mi Band 3 has its place on the market, especially if you’re an entry level user.
- The OLED panel
Mi Band 3 comes with a 0.78-in OLED panel which is great for notifications or weather updates, fitting plenty of info on the screen. Even if the responsiveness is going to need some improvement, it’s still performing better than other similar models.
- The comfort
Mi Band 3 can be worn as a necklace
Even if the screen is a tad wide, Mi Band 3 is very comfortable to wear as it’s lightweight and has just the right size for most wrists out there.
- The functionality
The size of the screen is really useful as you may easily scroll through various screens on the band (weather info, steps taken, various incoming notification). You may also choose from a great diversity of watch faces.
The button at the bottom of the panel helps you go back to the home screen, which is always handy. The Mi Band 3 is able to log your resting rate and you may also trigger a measurement by simply long-pressing the home button.
- The hardware
You do need an app to break down all the info in a format that is easier to use. With Mi Band 3 is easy to see the calories burned, the activity details or your sleep data.
The app is quite basic and you shouldn’t expect insights like in the case of Garmin or Fitbit. You get what you pay for.
- The battery life
The battery life doesn’t disappoint either and you should be able to use Mi Band 3 for more than a week with its 110mAh battery. The battery needs less than 3 hours for a charge. Make sure you pay attention to the charging cradle though as it’s easy to lose it.
- Conclusion: Mi Band 3 is one reliable option when you’re new with the wearables. Affordable, it comes with plenty of features that satisfy many budget fitness tracking aficionadas.
What are the downsides?
Even if it comes with many good things, Mi Band 3 is not perfect.
- The silicone strap
Truth be told, the silicone strap is the most popular option at the moment as it’s comfortable and takes the intense wear. But not all silicone straps are created equal and this one does feel a tad cheap. Nevertheless, you can simply solve the problem by changing it altogether. There are plenty of other models out there for you to try (from third-party).
- The precision
Unfortunately, this may be the main flaw when it comes to Mi Band 3. It’s not as accurate as Fitbit or Garmin, but you do pay a lot less for it. It may be off by 5% when counting steps and 5-7BPM in the case of heart rated readings. But this is the price you pay considering the money you actually pay for it. However, Mi Band 3 does a good job for automatically tracking and logging workouts, so it’s far from being useless.
- The lack of more functions
You cannot get a lot of reminders for your daily activity when using Mi Band 3. You may set up an inactivity reminder when you’ve been idle for several hours, but that is all.
Let’s sum it all up
Listing things gives us a clearer picture, so let’s see our pros/cons:
Let’s start with the pros:
- It’s water resistant up to 164ft.
- It comes with a large OLED panel
- The menu is user-friendly and pretty intuitive
- It comes with automatic activity tracking
- It has heart rate monitoring function
- The battery life is long
The cons aren’t deal breakers, but they help you get the whole picture:
- The silicone strap feels a tad cheap
- The screen could be more responsive
- The design isn’t impressive
- The accuracy could be improved
- It’s a bit difficult to read the screen outside.
The final conclusion
Even if Mi Band 3 lacks some functions and some overall refinement, it’s still a good choice to consider, especially if your money is tight. It may could use some improvement, but beggars cannot be choosers. Nevertheless, MI Band 3 is far from being a lemon and you should give it a go, especially if fitness tracking is your very new hobby.
Here’s an independent review by Beebom: