It seems like an eternity has passed since the first version of Mi Band invaded the market, not only in the East, but also in the West, obtaining a succession of successes and sales records. The most worn fitness tracker in the world has made it to the sixth declination, striving to improve that poco that you can expect from such a gadget, for example by integrating a borderless full screen display as well as a sensor dedicated to the SpO2 value, but unfortunately there are some shortcomings that I will talk about in the course of the complete review that sees Xiaomi Mi Band 6 as its protagonist.
A real restyling of the Xiaomi wearable arrived with the fourth generation and therefore the differences at a glance between the past models and Mi Band 6 are not so evident, at least when turned off. In fact, shapes and sizes are maintained, which on the one hand is good, as we could use old straps already purchased for Mi Band 4/5. On the other hand, the original strap remains one of the negative points of Mi Band 6, as although comfortable and not at all annoying due to the skin friendly silicone adopted, the closing mechanism is still proposed with the old interlocking "button" , which often opens on its own with the consequent risk of losing the bracelet during the most excited phases of the day but also during sleep.
Weight of 12,8 grams and dimensions equal to 47,4 × 18,6 × 12,7 mm make Mi Band 6 a small tech wearable to show off on any occasion, both sporty but also elegant and also considering water resistance up to 5 ATM (50 meters), we can keep it on the wrist even in the shower without the fear of damaging the electronic components inside. But let's get to the news of this new generation, namely the display, a 1,56-inch AMOLED unit with 152 × 486 pixel resolution, 326 PPI and 450 nits of maximum brightness. We therefore have an area of the display increased by 56% compared to Mi Band 5 and this allows a better reading of the information on the screen, such as notifications etc .. The effect with watchfaces on a black background is definitely satisfying but with skins with colors other than black , in reality the frames are still quite evident and in a certain sense even more annoying than in the past. But above all, what is still missing from Mi Band 6 is the brightness sensor, forcing us each time to have to manually adjust the value based on the ambient light conditions we are in. Personally, therefore, I do not consider the “larger” display a feature to focus on also because, although the company has done a good job, the panel is still small for excellent readability. At least we can still count on good tempered glass treated with anti-fingerprint coatings.
And if I really want to put the load of twelve, another thing that I did not appreciate was the elimination of the soft touch button that in the past allowed us to return to the home / back without having to resort to swipe, while now this method of navigation it's the only one you can count on. Uncomfortable if you have sweaty hands, but above all it makes us waste time in system activities, in addition to the fact that the larger surface available, shows more icons at the same time with the risk of clicking on the wrong one. Finally, the display can be awakened through a wrist rotation gesture, with a swipe or with a touch on the display, while the customization takes place by means of watchfaces available through the companion app, some of which are also animated and offer customizable complications.
Unfortunately, the bad news does not end here: in fact, if on the one hand there remains the excellent charging system by means of a magnetic cable, allowing us to recharge without having to remove the capsule from the strap in about 2 hours, on the other hand we find ourselves in the presence of a 125 mAh battery that can't keep up with the "mammoth" size of the display. The company declares an autonomy of 14 days, a value completely without foundation if we use the Mi Band 6 to its maximum potential, a case that instead will drastically drop the real autonomy to a maximum of 4/5 days considering some energy saving measures.
Oh well now I have started and then continue with the negative aspects or rather the shortcomings of Mi Band 6, which even in this generation continues to boast the absence of the NFC sensor, which can also be there given the complexity of contactless payment systems in Italy, but what I did not like, however, is the fact that Xiaomi has decided not to integrate even a GPS module, thus forcing us to track a physical activity, to use the smartphone, thus making it necessary to always carry it with itself, even when maybe it could be done without. Almost an obligation by virtue of the fact that the count of the steps of the economic wearable of the Chinese brand still remains inaccurate, with an underestimation of the steps actually taken by a good 10/15%.
But let's get to the good news: the first is that the sensor for detecting the heartbeat has changed, resulting significantly more precise in the detection, but above all (given the times that run) now we can also monitor the blood oxygenation value SpO2 with a good result of reliability of the data collected, albeit for an accurate precision, the advice is always to rely on more professional tools and I emphasize this by virtue of the fact that to obtain a good result through Mi Band 6 you will always have to respect certain conditions: therefore in the if, for example, the strap is too wide or you do not remain perfectly still, the results may be distorted.
On the other hand, the detection of sleep has been significantly improved, now more accurate in the analysis, which will also distinguish the various phases of sleep (light, deep, REM), also detecting sudden awakenings of a few minutes and daily naps. In addition to the various health monitoring, there is also the stress test, monitoring of the menstrual cycle, breathing exercises, evaluation of the PAI vitality index, inactivity alerts and the inevitable H24 heart rate monitoring, a more intelligent and precise result.
But let's go back to the cruel reality of this Mi Band 6, which while offering a larger display and therefore with more information in the screens, at the level of the graphical interface the news are definitely of poco relief in addition to the fact that the Xiaomi Wear app, it turned out poco clear in the management of some parameters, such as daily goals, so the advice is to turn to the dear and good old Mi Fit app.
The sports that can be monitored go from 11 to as many as 30, also taking advantage of the possibility of activating the automatic detection of some of these activities, such as walking, running, elliptical and others, but on balance the number of sports increases but those with dedicated metrics always remain the same. So whether you do zumba, darts, boxing or whatever poco changes. And there have been no improvements even on the smart side, or in the reception of notifications, which are not synchronized with the smartphone nor is it possible to respond, view emojis (if not those defined by Google) and / or photos. In fact, among the software innovations introduced recently, we find the possibility of rejecting a call, sending an SMS message that can be customized via the companion app. On the other hand, among the appreciated functions we have the possibility of entrusting the shooting of a photo or video recording to the Mi Band 6, which will carry out the task of remote remote control, simply by carrying out the gesture of rotation of the wrist.
Overall Xiaomi Mi Band 6 remains a good low-cost fitness tracker, just like other generations, but personally I would not recommend switching from the last generation to this one, but not even from the fourth to this one. In short, the innovations introduced do not fill the absence, see GPS, NFC, backlight sensor, but above all at the official price at which it is sold, there are many alternatives that you can take into consideration, such as Amazfit Band 5 which is coming these days sold on Amazon a poco less than 25 euros, which net of a smaller display offers all the same functions as Mi Band 6 but with the extra gear of Alexa integration in Italian. For all those who want to get closer to the world of smart wearables, then Mi Band 6 is a sensible choice especially if you use the purchase link that you find in the banners here in review.
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Unfortunately, Xaomi Mi Band does not fill the gaps seen on the previous generation, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of all owners of the fifth generation of the brand's fitness tracker. However, all the excellent considerations and functions of the past remain confirmed, but now with the addition of a larger and more enjoyable display and a sensor dedicated to SpO2.
- LARGER DISPLAY THAN THE PAST
- MANY FUNCTIONS AND HEALTH DATA
- NOTIFICATION POCO "SMART"
- ABSENCE NFC, GPS
- ABSENCE OF BRIGHTNESS SENSOR
- ORIGINAL STRAP CLOSURE SYSTEM
- LITTLE INNOVATION COMPARED TO PREVIOUS GENERATIONS
- XIAOMI WEAR APPLICATION