- Smartwatches

Review: Xiaomi Mi Band 2 – Simple And Small Yet Powerful!

A cheap, good looking, well performing, feature rich smart tracker? That is a long sentence for the Mi Band 2. Xiaomi released this product some time ago so I had enough time to test it and see well it would preform. The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is the follow up on the Mi Band 1S. Let’s have a look at the Mi Band 2!

Introduction & Specifications

I always look at smartwatches, smart tracker or other new gadgets that make my life easier. The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is not the newest product on the market, but it still preforms really well. I’ve had this for quite some time now and I’m really happy with the Mi Band 2. Getting my sleep data, my steps from the day and I don’t have to take it off when I take a shower. Now all this was possible with the Xiaomi Amazfit Bip, but I choose to wear the Mi Band 2 instead. You can read about it in the review.

General 
Brand:Xiaomi
Bluetooth Version:4.0
Language:English, Simplified Chinese
Waterproof:Yes
IP Rating:IP67
Screen Type:OLED
Operating Mode:Touch Button
Compatible OS:Android, iOS
Compatibility:Android 4.4+ / iOS 8.0+
Gender:Neutral
Color:Black

Battery 
Battery Type:Lithium Polymer Battery
Battery Capacity:70 mAh
Stand-by Time:20 days
Charging Time:+- 3 hours

Features 
Functions:Alarm Clock, Call reminder, Measurement of heart rate, Pedometer, Sedentary reminder, Sleep management, SMS Reminding, Steps counting, Time
Alert Type:Vibration

Shape & Material 
Shape of Mi Band 2:Pill (Elliptical)
Case Material:Plastic
Band Material:TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane)

Weight & Size 
Dial Size:4.03 x 1.57 x 1.05 cm / 1.59 x 0.62 x 0.41 inches
Band Size:23.5 x 1.05 cm / 9.25 x 0.41 inches
Wearable Length:15.5 - 21 cm / 6.1 - 8.28 inches
Product Weight:0.0170 kg
Package Weight:0.1400 kg
Product Size (L x W x H):22.50 x 1.57 x 1.05 cm / 8.86 x 0.62 x 0.41 inches
Package Size (L x W x H):10.00 x 10.00 x 3.50 cm / 3.94 x 3.94 x 1.38 inches

Package Content: 
Package Content:1 x Original Xiaomi Mi Band 2, 1 x Original Band, 1 x Charger Base

Unboxing

The box itself is really simple, which I like! I don’t want a colorful, very busy packaging. This is just perfect. I think they stole the design of the packing from Apple, but who cares? The box has an image of the Mi Band 2 on front and the “Mi” logo on the bottom and top of the casing. On the sides, it is just empty. At the back we find the specifications of the Mi Band 2, but it is all written in Chinese. I can not read it at all.

When you open the box, you see the pill shaped Mi Band 2. If removed, you can lift the top and you will find the band, an manual (in Chinese) and the charging cable. Simple packaging done right.

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Already convinced? Buy the Mi Band 2 here: Click here!

Hardware & Design

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is super light weight. You barely notice that it is there and that is a benefit, but also a downside. I used to have big, normal watches which were pretty heavy sometimes. Now with this amazing smart tracker I barely notice that it is there! The complete opposite! I must say that I really like the design, the shape and the weight.

The Button

There is just one button on the Mi Band 2. It is not the power button, but the navigation button. It is not a click button, but it acts like a touch screen. Just placing your finger on the button, should be enough to swtich between the “tabs”.

When you take the Mi Band 2 for a shower or swim, the button stops reacting or gets “ghost-click”. I think this is due to the warm water which it mistakenly accepts as a push on the button. Sometimes this is annoying when you want to check the time while you are swimming. You have to make the button dry, or at least the water off, and hope it accepts the push of your finger. Besides that, I never had a moment where the button would fail me.

Display

There is a small display on the Mi Band 2. This is not an HD display or something like that. This is a super simple, small pixel display. (I love it, but it is basic). It is controlled with the button, which is described above.

There are multiple “tabs” you can view, like the steps taken, calories burned, distance covered or battery percentage left for example. You can switch between the “tabs” with the button by placing your finger on it once.

Waterproof

A big benefit of the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is the waterproof design. I hate it when I wear a watch or a smarttracker and I have to take it off to do the dishes or take a shower. Super annoying (first world problems!). Another reason to check out the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. You can wear it under the shower, while doing the dishes or even when your friend throw your in the swimming pool. No problem at all for the Xiaomi Mi Band 2.

I’ve tested the Mi Band 2 while taking a shower and I put soap on it, while swimming for 45 minutes and I’ve placed it in a bucket of water for 2 hours. It still works fine and I love it!

It has a rating of IP67, this means it is dust and immersion proof. As long as it stays above the 1 meter the Mi Band 2 should be fine when you come out of th water. Now with swimming or playing in the pool on a summer day, it can happen that it will be lower then 1 meter, but I did not try it. Since it is not completely waterproof I should not try to get the max out of it.

Sensors/Trackers

Xiaomi packed a lot of sensors/trackers in the Mi Band 2. This amazed me because the device is so small! The following features are packed in the Mi Band 2:

  • Heart Rate Sensor
  • Activity Tracker
  • Sleep Monitor
  • They are all expected features on a smartwatch if you ask me, but the size amazes me. It is so small but it still has (almost) all the features a regular size smart has and the battery life is way way better!

    Let’s have a look at the sensors/trackers.

    Heart Rate Sensor Performance

    This is a feature I rarely use on a smartwatch. It can help you get more accurate health or sleep data, but is also drains the battery. I prefer a longer battery life over the accuracy of the health data. I still think the health data is pretty accurate.

    At the back of the Mi Band 2 we find the heart rate sensor. There are two points which will measure your heart rate. This can be activated via the Mi Band 2 itself. If you have the heart rate tab enabled and you navigate to the tab, you will see a small heart icon. Just hold it there for a couple of seconds and it will start measuring automatically. When he got enough data, it will show the heart rate on the display.

    If it fails to measure the heart rate, it will show a small cross instead of the heart.

    Activity Tracking Performance

    The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 will tell you how many steps you took, the distance you covered and the calories burned. I use Google Fit as well but I leave my phone on my desk sometimes while I take some steps. With the Mi Band 2 I never have to miss a step. I never take it off (when I do for charging I make sure I don’t have to move) and it will record all my steps. That is why I prefer the Mi Band 2.

    The calories burned are the extra calories. The body always burns calories, even when you are sitting in front of the TV. The Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is smart enough to calculate the active calories. Whe you create your profile, you have to set your weight and length and based on the informatuin provided, it will calculate the active calories burned.

    A other nice extra feature is the distance that it shows you. Right now, it is 10:29PM and I have taken exactley 8000 steps which is 6KM. This is fun to see and it can be a goal for yourself to move 5KM or maybe 10KM! For me 6KM is pretty much.

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    Sleep Monitor Performance

    As mentioned earlier, the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 will track your sleep. It shows you a nice overview of how you slept for the days that you wore it. It shows you the following information:

  • Light sleep or deep sleep (Hours/Minutes)
  • Total sleep time (Hours/Minutes)
  • Time you fall asleep
  • Time you woke up
  • Time awake (Hours/Minutes)
  • This gives you a pretty clear overview of your night. When did you wake up, when did you fall asleep and how long were you in light/deep sleep? This is interesting to see but you can also improve your sleep with these insights with the improvement of your daily life as a result.

    My experience is that the results are pretty accurate, even without the heart rate sensor. I can cleary see when I go out of bed to the toilet or when I’m awake in the middle of the night. Now I have my heart rate sensor disabled. You can enabled it for even more accurate results, but that will costs you battery life. For me I don’t need the most accurate sleep monitor, I’m happy with the results I have now. But for some people this is a really interesting feature.

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    Notifications

    Even if it just shows you the icon of the app that is giving the notification, it is still helpful. Now I can see if my phone is vibration for a WhatsApp message, a Facebook message or maybe an incoming call. I can not read the content of the notification or see who is calling, which is a downside, but I can at least see from which app the notification comes. If, somehow, they manage to show the content, this would be the best smartwatch. Due to the small display, I think it is not possible.

    Now I’m used to it, but with the newer or bigger watches (Amazfit Bip) I expect to see the content of the notification.

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    Already convinced? Buy the Mi Band 2 here: Click here!

    Software

    It does not have it’s own OS, but it gets all the information from the connected smartphone. On that smartphone you have to install the “Mi Fit” app. This is something like the Google Fit, but from Xiaomi. Here you can connect the Mi Band 2. There is just one step you have to do first and that is creating your own account. How to do that, is written in the next section.

    The Mi Fit app will give you a clear overview of your day, your connected device and personal information.

    Create a Mi Fit account

    Creating a Mi Fit account takes some steps. Instead of writing them all down, just follow the steps in the pictures below.

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    How to connect?

    Making a connection with the Mi Band 2 is pretty simple. I took some screenshot with the steps you need to take. Just follow the pictures and you should be fine.

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    Unlock your smartphone

    You can unlock you smartphone screen using the Mi Band 2. I hear you thinking “How is that possible?”. Let me show you!

    If you go to the Mi Fit app and select your Mi Band 2 from the “Profile” tab, the first option you see in the menu is the “Screen Unlock”. What this does is it will unlock your phone, when you Mi Band 2 is connected. This is super handy if you have a longer password to protect your files, but is also a security risk. If you leave your desk and go to the other side of the room, the Mi Band 2 is still connected, so anybody can unlock your phone now!

    I’m not using this feature, since my fingerprint unlocks my phone almost right away when I want to. But this might be a fun feature to play with.

    Battery

    Wauw. Just wauw! Xiaomi amazed me before with the battery life of the Amazfit Bip, but the battery life of this super small device is amazing too!

    Charging the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is pretty simple. It is a dummy proof way of charging so you can not damage the product in the process. The duration is charging is a bit long. It takes around 90 to 120 minutes before it is at 100%. This is pretty long, but it will last for a month now! 120 minute per month is really good.

    Without heart rate sensor enabled I’m able to get at least a month of battery life out of the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. It takes, at most, 5% per day. Normally this is around 2-3% a day. With the features and the continues activity tracker I’m very pleased with the battery life.

    How to charge the Mi Band 2?

    Charging the Mi Band 2 is really simple. Like a lot of products lately, the charger is dummy proof. This means you can not insert the Mi Band 2 in the wrong direction or something like that. It just works one way and one way only. This makes it really simple to use and more user friendly.

    The charger is a cable with some sort of “dockingstation” at the end of it. You plug it into an USB port and the Mi Band 2 at the other end and you and good to go. Now just be patient, because it can take up to 2 hours before the Mi Band 2 is completely charged.

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    Conclusion

    Overall I’m really happy with the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. It has it’s limitations, like now showing the notification or who is calling. This annoyed me when I just got it (and it still does with the newer models like the Amazfit Bip), but now that I’m used to it, I can live with it. For example the Amazfit Bip is more expensive and has a bigger display to show the content, but when a watch like that does not show the notifications it is more annoying.

    The battery life is prefect for me. Lasting a month and record my steps, my sleep and show me when I get a notification is just amazing for such a small device. Being able to measure my heart rate when I want is a bonus for me, but for some users a must. I would recommend other watches if you want to use it as a sports tracker, for example the Amazfit Bip with built-in GPS.

    If we just look at the design, I like how to put all these features in such a small device. Long battery, sleep recording, activity tracking watch in that size?! Amazing!

    Xiaomi Mi Band 2

    €25
    Xiaomi Mi Band 2
    8.2

    Battery Life

    9.0 /10

    Comfortable

    9.0 /10

    Notifications

    7.0 /10

    Design

    8.0 /10

    Features (Change strap, sensors)

    8.0 /10

    Pros

    • Battery Life
    • Comfortable
    • Features
    • Notifications

    Cons

    • Ghost clicks while in the shower or swimmingpool
    • Not able to see the content of a message

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