All fitness trackers worth their salt cover the basics: distance, calories, steps taken. Now budget models are adding heart-rate monitoring, what was previously exclusively the domain of the higher-end models.
So many trackers now offer so many features, so how do you pick the one right for you? Chinese tech giant Xiaomi tends to distinguish itself by offering their wearables at rock bottom prices – their Mi Band going for just $15 – and it seems the Mi Band 2 follows suit.
Regardless of the low price, the Mi Band 2 brings just about everything you would seek in a fitness tracker before you ended up in smartwatch territory. The basics are covered, as well as sleep tracking, basic phone notifications, and movement reminders. But will this convince you to opt for the Xiaomi over the Fitbit?
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 price and availability
Pricing: Roughly £28/$35/AU$50. Available now.
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a fitness tracker, the Mi Band 2 is ideal. It’s currently selling for less than £30 and $35 on Amazon UK & US.
You’ll be hard pressed to find comparable trackers for less. Hovering around £50/$70 online you have the Huawei Band 2 Pro, while the nearest Fitbit product, the Fitbit Alta HR, goes all the way up at £130/$150.
Having launched in 2016, you’re likely to find decent deals for the Mi Band 2 online. With time, the software & hardware has had time to become bug-free and reliable.
Display & Design
- Plastic, yet comfortable feel
- Bright, readable OLED display
Let’s be real, the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 looks cheap, but not that cheap. The rubber strap is steady and reasonably comfortable, and comes with a clasp system that’s secure and strong. The tracker itself, snapped into the strap, has the proper heft of a wearable technology.
It lacks the looks of an Apple Watch 3 or Fitbit, but it is a fraction of the cost, so make your choice & pay your money. It’s far from ugly though, and the monochrome OLED display is clear and crisp.
The Mi Band 2 comes with a button on the front, which when pressed shows the time & other vital statistics. This is actually preferred to the alternative, waving your wrist around hoping to wake the screen, although this setting can also be enabled.
As for straps, black is the only option, although third-parties provide other hues. The tracker is easy enough to remove to do this, although we can’t attest to the quality of these other straps.
We can say, however, that the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is both comfortable and light to wear. It can start to rub by day’s end, but not more than other trackers or smartwatches that we’ve tested.