Xiaomi introduced the fifth generation of a smart fitness bracelet from its hugely popular Mi Band model line in 2020. The new Xiaomi Mi Band 5 brings significant improvements over previous models, both in terms of design and hardware, as well as in the range of functions.
Even as a first impression, we can surely say the Mi Band 5 definitely did not disappoint – even in the fifth version, it is an excellent choice for enthusiastic athletes and for less active users who just want to have a better overview of their lifestyle and health.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Table of Contents
- Improved display
- Practical design
- Focused on sport
- Sleep for better health
- Stress relief
- More functions
- Battery and charging
- Price and Conclusion
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Improved display
One of the main features of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 fitness bracelet is the increase in the display size from 0.95 to 1.1 inches, ie by almost 20%. The resolution is also higher and with 126 × 294 pixels we get more than a decent 290 PPI (pixel per inch) fineness.
Precise colours, true black and perfect viewing angles for change are ensured by the AMOLED display, one of the best display panel technology today.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 even tries to largely compensate for the biggest disadvantage of this panel – poorer readability in the sun. In this matter, the maximum luminosity is crucial, and the fifth generation has increased from 400 nits to much better 450 nits, which significantly improves the readability even in direct sunlight.
The only disadvantage might only the manual brightness control, which is ‘hidden’ in the settings. At the maximum value, we could read the data even outdoors during a sunny summer afternoon, but indoors, the display brightness is unnecessarily too high and it is relatively impractical to constantly adjust the brightness.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 cleverly uses the high-quality display and gives you a choice of three beautiful dials. They benefit from a larger display and display even more information or larger font, whichever you prefer.
In addition, the type of information displayed on the default dials is highly customizable, whether you’d like to show heart rate, stress, weather, number of steps taken, or anything else.
The great news is also the possibility of downloading dozens of other looks, including those with moving interface (for example the doll is waving our hand). The number of recorded dials in Mi Band 5 is limited to six, but that will certainly be enough for most users.
The display does not cover the entire front side, so it is advisable to prefer dials with a black background. Specifically, the AMOLED panel’s top feature is displaying true black colour, allowing dark-edged dials to merge with the rest of the body so the display doesn’t look cut-out.
The display remains switched off by default and is only triggered by touching or lifting the wrist, which not only saves energy but also extends the potencial life of the display.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Practical design
The construction also deserves comment. Xiaomi Mi Band 5 retains the traditional style of an elongated capsule measuring 46.95 × 18.15 mm. The thickness is 12.45 mm, which is not a bad value, but 1-2 mm narrower device would look better on thinner wrists.
Anyway, this is a logical consequence of the fact that the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 catches up with the smart watch’s functionality, but compared to them, it has limited space for the hardware deployment.
The silicone strap belongs among one of the best on the market and deserves good praise. Not only does it look great, but it’s also very pleasant to the touch and, unlike other materials, it is perfect for outdoor sports or swimming. Thanks to its universal size, it wraps around the wrist with a diameter of 155–219 mm, which is such an extensive range that it must fit almost everyone.
The colour is also worth mentioning. Although the manufacturer directly displays the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 in eight colour variants, it is natively sold with a standard black strap. Other colour viarants can only be purchased separately.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Focused on sport
Each new generation of Xiaomi Mi Band fitness bands comes with even more sophisticated range of sports features, and the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 can now be compared to sports-oriented smartwatches. As standard to the fitness bands, we will find common elements in the form of counting steps, distance travelled or calories burned here. We can also easily avoid too long inactivity, for example during a session, which Mi Band 5 will be happy to warn us about at any time.
The 5th generation of the popular fitness bracelet expands the list of supported sports to 11 and can now handle walking, yoga, outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, exercise bike, elliptical trainer, skipping rope, rowing machine, freestyle, and even swimming thanks to 5 ATM water resistance.
During sports, Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will inform you about all important parameters, including the duration of the activity, the distance travelled or, for example, the heart rate. It is worth mentioning the heart rate measurement got up to 50% more accurate, and in some sports, you will also appreciate an automatic stoppage of activity even without the GPS presence. For example, during a stop sign at an intersection, Xiaomi Mi Band 5 spontaneously pauses the measurement, thus preventing your data to be unnecessarily distorted.
The heart rate can be measured continuously throughout the day, and Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will also alert you to unusually high values. In addition, the bracelet independently detects running or walking, so these activities do not need to be switched on manually, although in our testing, automatic detection was not 100% successful.
We must not forget to mention the GPS technology, which is, unfortunately, missing in Xiaomi Mi Band 5 this year, but can be replaced by using a smartphone with GPS. Practical tests have shown that finding the position takes less than a second and the route recording shows exceptional accuracy. Although to a large extent, it depends on the telephone used, which must always be within range. So if you require GPS fro your tracking and at the same time refuse to carry your smartphone with you, Xiaomi Mi Band 5 might not be the best choice for you.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Sleep for better health
Rest is also an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, Xiaomi Mi Band 5 won’t surprise with the recording of sleep in terms of duration and individual stages. In addition to the light and deep phase, it also recognizes the period of REM sleep (typical movements of the eyes under the eyelids and the greater occurrence of dreams). During testing, the record corresponded quite accurately to reality, and at the time of numerous awakenings from dreams, REM sleep was successfully marked. However, don’t expect a precise record at all times as sleep measurements can’t ever be 100% accurate and your sleep quality will always be best judged by yourself and how well do you feel when you wake up.
The second major innovation is the recognition of afternoon sleep, which of course has a significant effect on regeneration. The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 records the nap time accurately, but it does not evaluate the quality or the individual phases, even in a two-hour nap, where the intersection of stages must have taken place. The nap does not affect the sleep score either, so this value cannot be considered a complete record of regeneration.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Stress relief
For those, who have to deal with daily stress situations, Xiaomi Mi Band 5 have prepared breathing exercises to calm yourself down, which, according to your choice, last from one to five minutes.
There is an animation which accompanies us throughout the process, and the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will inform you by how much your heart rate have reduced thanks to the exercise you have done.
With Mi Band 5, woman can monitor their the menstrual cycle, offering an organized overview of the menstrual and ovulatory phases, including appropriate notifications.
We must not forget a single unique indicator of PAI (Personal Vitality Index), which is a speciality in Xiaomi wearable devices. Based on gender, age, heart rate and daily activity, the PAI determines a numerical value indicating the level of healthy exercise. If you keep your PAI above 100, you have enough exercise to prevent a number of serious diseases.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: More functions
Although the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 belongs to the fitness bracelet segment, the versatile arsenal of functions is useful anytime. Stopwatch, countdown, world clock, phone find, calendar events and weather forecast are available even without the GPS. You can also control the media played on the smartphone with start/stop, volume or skip between tracks options.
A completely new function is the control of the camera shutter, which works reliably in a flash. Just put the smartphone in the right place, press the trigger on the Mi Band and the photo will be taken according to the settings of the phone.
A smartphone can also recognize if the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is nearby, which can be used to unlock the phone. However, our experience shows that authorization using Face ID or modern fingerprint readers remains a faster way to unclock your phone.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Notifications
Notices are also an important part of wearable electronics. That is why Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will inform you about incoming calls, SMS messages or notifications from your selected applications. Unfortunately, due to missing microphone, it is not possible to make calls with the Mi Band 5, although you can mute the upcoming call’s ringtone or refuse the call, again, with lack of preset auto-reply messages.
The Mi Band 5 is then only capable of receiving notifications of all sorts, yet any further intercation is higly limited to basic functionality, for example, setting a time window when you want/or not your notification be received.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Battery and charging
Expanding the number of supported features and a larger display have reduced the usage time from 20 days in the previous generation to 14 days here. We estimate the actual battery life can be somewhere around 12 days, although it largely depends on the use of specific features.
Despite slightly lower battery life then its predecessor, it is still an excellent value, to which most of the competition will not even come close. We surely welcome an innovated magnetic charger, which doesn’t require you to remove the strap to get some juice to your wristband. The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 gets fully charged in 2 hours.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Price and Conlusion
The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 brings a number of major improvements, thanks to which it can compete with significantly more expensive smartwatches. However, the widely discussed NFC variant of the bracelet remains only in China, and the global market must settle only with the basic version this year.
The Mi Band 5 with over 25,000 positive Amazon reviews is currently priced at just under £30 (discounted from the RRP £39.90).
See at Amazon.co.uk for £26.00 (discounted from £39.90)
Buy it if
If you are looking for a comfortable and highly affordable smart band with multiple functions to monitor your daily routine and health the Xiaomi’s Mi Band 5 might be a good purchase for you.
Don’t buy it if:
On the other hand, if you are looking for a multi-function device with NFC (for example for contactless payments), phone call functionality or high atmospheric water resistance, then you might have to look for a bit more expensive alternative.