When it comes to fitness bands and smartwatches in the budget category, there are always compromises. I have reviewed many now to know that not all claims are true. Either the step count is completely disabled or the software is faulty. But one company that has provided reliable fitness bands time and time again is Xiaomi. Its latest Redmi Smart Band Pro is billed as a “SportsWatch” and here’s what I thought of the device.
Redmi Smart Band Pro: what’s good?
The Redmi Smart Band Pro has a 1.47-inch AMOLED display. It’s slightly smaller than the Mi Band 6 which has a 1.56 AMOLED screen. But given the more rectangular shape, it feels larger than the Mi Band 6. Still, it suits me better. The length of the Mi Band 6 did not suit my thin wrists.
The display on the new device is excellent and also performs well in direct sunlight. Keep in mind that the Always-On feature must be enabled from the app. The Redmi Smart Band Pro has a strap made of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which is a mixture of rubber and plastic. It doesn’t offer the most comfortable fit, especially if you wear it tight, which is necessary for the most accurate heart rate readings.
The Redmi Smart Band Pro is billed as a “sports watch” as it packs a number of features and can track over 110 fitness modes. While I’m not sure if I call it a full-fledged smartwatch, it’s still an accurate fitness tracker. The step count was perfect with the Redmi Smart Band Pro. I also used it to track an indoor cycling session and found it to be accurate. The displayed heart rate range was similar to that displayed by the Apple Watch 3.
It will also automatically detect whether you are in the middle of an outdoor walk, on the treadmill, or running. Again, the band was very specific with this feature. Every time I started my daily walk, it detected it quickly and accurately. And when I stopped, even for a few seconds, it automatically paused the session.
The band also comes with 5ATM water resistance so you can take it for a swim and track that session as well, provided you have access to a pool in these pandemic times. The device also comes with blood oxygen levels tracking, sleep tracking, heart rate monitoring. These can all be found by swiping from the main dial. All training modes are also listed here and you can customize them according to your preference.
You can choose more watch face options from the Xiaomi Wear app. The band will also track stress levels, though you’ll need to enable all-day monitoring from the app. This will result in a significant consumption of battery life.
The Redmi Smart Band Pro will also let you track how many times a day you stand, calories burned, daily exercise minutes. You can also set a daily step goal. The overall system reminds me of Apple Watch, where you have to complete your “rings” for the day. This can be a good motivation to keep going if you’ve just started your fitness journey all over again.
The device is also compatible with Apple Health and Strava fitness apps. The device will also show notifications, but again you need to grant access to app notifications from the Xiaomi Wear app. But you need to enable notifications for each app individually, as they are all disabled by default. It might sound annoying, but it at least ensures that the device isn’t inundated with random notifications.
The band also supports menstrual health tracking. In my case, I noticed that the device predicted one in the next three days, which was obviously wrong. This is because it was extracting the data recorded in August 2021 from the Xiaomi Wear app. My cycle has gone for a throw since then. Updating with new app data fixed the issue. For anyone switching from another Mi fitness device, keep this in mind if the data is not displaying correctly.
The battery life of the Redmi Smart Band Pro is excellent. I’ve been using it for over a week and only charged it when I first unboxed the device. With basic use, you should easily get the promised 14-day battery life.
Redmi Smart Band Pro: What’s wrong?
While the device can be used for sleep tracking, it’s not a comfortable wear for this purpose. In addition, the screen lights up at the slightest movement, which is annoying. Another thing I noticed was that the device was showing sleep data for today morning, which is odd since I wasn’t wearing it at all. I have no idea what happened here for the group to detect this.
The magnetic charging cable always took me two to three tries to snap into place. The lack of other interchangeable straps is another lack I would say. The straps aren’t the most comfortable. I hate when bracelets or watches leave a bracelet mark on my wrist and this also happens with the Redmi Smart Band Pro.
Redmi Smart Band Pro: Verdict
Xiaomi has found the perfect formula to create reliable bracelets and fitness trackers. They’ve got the basics down and it continues with the Redmi Smart Band Pro. If someone is looking at a complete device for fitness tracking but has a budget of less than Rs 4000, the choice is easy.
Keep in mind that the introductory price of Rs 3,499 will soon give way to the full price of Rs 3,999. The Mi Band 6 is also priced at Rs 3,499 but sports modes are limited to 30 on it.