Xiaomi has updated its most popular fitness band to the Mi Band 6. The latest band offers a larger display up to 50% more than its predecessor and a SpO2 Blood Oxygen Saturation Monitor and more fitness modes For about $ 50.
The Mi Band 6 was launched at the beginning of the year in March starting with the Chinese version. The global version was then released for the Indian and European markets. I got the Mi Band 6 from Gearbest which I use as a daily pilot from the Mi Band 5.
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In summary, here is what I liked and what I didn’t like;
- Larger display
- SpO2 blood oxygen monitor
- More fitness modes
- Affordable price level
Do not like
- Poor battery performance
- No GPS
- No permanent display
Mi Band 6 Specifications;
Product Name : Mi Band 6
Screen size: Full screen display 1.56 â³
Resolution: AMOLED display, 326 PPI
Dimensions: 47.4 x 18.6 x 12.7 mm
Strap material: Thermoplastic elastomer
Clasp material: Aluminum alloy
Adjustable length: 155-219 mm
Compatible operating system: Android 5.0 and iOS 10+
Battery capacity: 125 mAh
Battery Type: Polymer lithium
Input voltage: 5.0 V DC
Input current: 250 mA maximum
Water resistance: 5 ATMs
Bluetooth: 5.0 Low energy consumption
In the box: You get the Mi Band 6 fitness tracker, a wristband or strap (which is already attached to the wristband), a magnetic charging cable, and a manual.
Design: 50% larger bright screen
The Mi band 6 sports a large 1.56-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 326 PPI. The screen is bright and the fonts much larger than its predecessor, the Mi Band 5 which had a 1.1 “screen. The screen spills out to the shoulder straps with an almost bezel-less display curved with rounded corners. The default color of the bracelet or straps is black, but you can change to orange, blue, yellow, olive, and Ivory versions purchased separately.
Establishment of the group
The configuration of the Mi Band is simple but not very intuitive. There is no start button to begin. When you take the bracelet out of its box, you will see an on-screen prompt asking you to pair it with your phone. But this only appears if the group has a battery charge. If it doesn’t – and there’s no way to tell – you’ll need to load it first. This is what I recommend that you do anyway.
You need to pair the bracelet with your phone via the Mi Fit app before you start to use it. The first thing to do is therefore to download the Mi Fit application from the Android or iOS store. To create a Xiaomi Account if you don’t already have one or log in. Make sure bluetooth on your phone is turned on and your phone is close to the fitness band. In the Mi Fit app, tap the plus sign to add the device and select the band. A pairing request is sent to the fitness bracelet screen. Accept it and the pairing is done. The strap is now paired with your smartphone and displays the default watch face.
To remove the bracelet from its straps, hold the bracelet at each end and pull on the bracelet until you see a small gap between the activity bracelet and the strap. Use your finger to pop the activity tracker out of its straps through the front of the tracker.
SpO2 blood oxygen monitor
What is new with the Mi band 6 is that it now has Blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). Now, SpO2 is the percentage of the volume of Oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) in the blood altogether Hemoglobin (Bh). It is an important physiological parameter of the respiratory cycle of the human body. This is especially important to know during the global Covid-19 pandemic. Because the virus attacks the lungs, doctors will want to know your SpO2 levels to understand the severity of your condition.
Similar article: Amazfit band 5 review: cheap SpO2 monitor, but stick with the Mi Band 5
In general, the lower the value, the higher the risk. 95% and above of SpO2 is considered normal. Results between 90% and 94% require special attention and any result below 90% requires hospitalization.
Before having this Mi Band 6, I already bought a standalone Pulse oximeter for home use. It is a small, dedicated device that takes a non invasive and a painless test (no need to draw blood) that measures your oxygen saturation level, or the oxygen levels in your blood. So I took the pulse oximeter results and compared them with the Mi Band 6.
From my observations, there was little difference between the two measurements. The pulse oximeter was obviously more accurate with the Mi band falling close behind. For example, the pulse oximeter gave me a result of 98% while the Mi band 6 showed 96% with the same arm in the same lighting conditions.
Now Xiaomi says hair, tattoos, tremors, low temperatures, and the wrong way to wear the bracelet can affect the results. Xiaomi also adds a disclaimer that the results should only be used for reference purposes. They should not be used for medical diagnosis.
Here’s how to measure SpO2 with the Mi Band 6
- Wear the bracelet within a finger of the wrist bone.
- Place your arm on a firm, fixed surface such as a table with the band facing up.
- Wear the bracelet firmly with the correct pressure sense on the wrist.
- Stay still during the measurement.
More fitness modes
Xiaomi has added up to 30 fitness modes to the Mi Band 6, including Basketball, Boxing, Zumba, Hit, Basic training, Pilates, Skating, Badminton, Street dancing in addition to the usual modes like walking, outdoor running, cycling, treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine.
You will find yourself using maybe two or three of these modes. Personally, I walk and run most of the time and the group does a good job of keeping up with my activity. Xiaomi has not yet included a built-in GPS on the Mi Band, so you will have to use GPS connected which basically selects your smartphone’s location data when paired via bluetooth. Xiaomi included a Training history within the group itself. Previously, you could get this information only from the Mi Fit app.
In addition, you also benefit women’s health monitoring first introduced in Mi Band 5. Women can monitor their cycle patterns, record periods and track ovulation. The Mi band 6 will vibrate to let you know in advance where you are in your cycle. Xiaomi disclaims that this feature should not be used or relied on for medical purposes as it might not accurately predict your menstrual cycles and associated information.
This band supports up to Water resistance 5 ATM. This equates to depths of 50m underwater. It can be worn when washing hands, in the pool or while swimming near the shore. However, it cannot be used in hot showers, saunas, or diving. The touchscreen also does not support underwater operations. You should wipe off the water with a cloth before using it again.
This Mi band 6 packs a 125 mAh lithium polymer battery. Even though Xiaomi has increased the screen size of this band, the battery capacity has not changed from the previous version. The Band 6 retains the magnetic charging cable compatible with its predecessor. Xiaomi still claims a 14 day battery life, but according to my tests, I was lucky to have 7 days of battery life. It was without continuous heart monitoring and the PAI score activated, which significantly drains the battery even faster.
Similar article: Mi Band 4 vs Mi Band 5 vs Amazfit Band 5 vs Honor 5: Comparison of the best low budget fitness bands
The Mi band 6 has no Permanent display (AoD) again. You have to keep raising your hand to turn on the screen. I understand that AoD is draining the battery, but at least that should remain an option that users can turn on / off at their discretion. The reason I still love the Amazfit Bip smartwatch despite a low color space LCD screen is that it has a permanent display and an impressive battery life of up to 40 days.
The Mi Band 6 retains the other standard features of the Mi band 5, including the Personal Activity Intelligence Index (PAI), stress monitoring, breathing exercises, women’s health monitoring, shutter remote camera, sleep monitoring, inactivity alerts, music playback controls, find my phone, DND, weather forecast, countdown timer, calendar reminder, event reminder, incoming calls and alarms message and more. I have covered some of these features in detail in this article.
However, what some users have been waiting for is for Xiaomi to include music support instead of just playing / pausing music playback on your phone. By pairing with a headset, users can directly play group music during workouts, for example. Maybe that’s something we’ll see in later versions of the group.
The Mi band 6 is a nice upgrade to the Mi band 5 if you are looking for a larger screen and a SpO2 blood oxygen saturation monitor. It will cost you at least an additional $ 10-15.
Pricing and availability
The Mi Band 6 is currently not available in most online stores such as Amazon global / India or Flipkart. Most local stores also did not stock the device. I will update this post when the status changes. Currently you can get it from Aliexpress for $ 42.99 or from Gearbest for around $ 50, this is where I bought mine.