I’ve been wanting to review the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 tracker for quite some time now, as I used it for a whole year and have some first-hand (no pun intended) impressions about it. On top of that, it is also one of the most well-received trackers on the market and it seems like it will stay on top for quite a long time. It has a familiar form-factor which is now used by a lot of its competitors like Samsung, Huawei, and other big brands. The reason for that is that people seemed to like this design and are now actively looking for it whenever they are about to upgrade their old model or get a tracker for the first time.
My verdict: Small, compact, well built, and packed of useful features, the Mi Band series has always been attractive, especially now that it is cheaper than ever. The 4th model of this line is the latest variant from the Chinese company and is the culmination of everything they didn’t quite get right with the previous Mi bands. My only complaints about it is that it has some sleep tracking issues and can sometimes be inaccurate in its heart rate sensors.
Overview & Features
Before I want to move forward with the review I just wanted to let you all know that being one of the best and most universally-accepted trackers out there, the Xiaomi Mi Band is bound to get a lot of knock-off products. In fact, there are ones that are even suggested when you browse for it on Amazon, so be extremely aware of that fact and don’t buy anything that doesn’t have the official branding on it, as the replicas are usually far from the quality the Xiaomi tracker brings and have limited functionality. They are virtually unrecognizable on their pictures and some even use the official Xiaomi pictures for their promos. Just a friendly heads up, as a lot of our customers, have ended up picking a replica thinking they got a Mi Band for a killer deal.
Speaking of deals, this product is almost always influenced by holiday discounts, and right now (December 6th) it is selling at 35$ which is half its original price. With this price tag, there are zero competitors out there that can match its features and practicality. If you aren’t in a hurry it is worth waiting some time to get it at a bargain price.
Tracking is a bit controversial about the Mi Band 4. This is mainly because people are often unhappy with how inconsistent the HR monitoring is. Personally, I’ve never had issues with it, although I’ve noticed a few inconsistencies during more intense workouts.
Users mainly complain about it not tracking well during night time when you are sleeping. More specifically, it indicates that your HR is far lower than it actually is, which can be quite frightening if you’ve given this to your old folk in order to monitor their health. After all, the Mi Band 4 has heart rate alerts, which will notify you if the wearer’s HR gets either too low or too high.
Other than that, there are 6 individual tracking modes – basic exercise, treadmill, outdoor running, walking, swimming, and cycling. The Mi Band 4 knows when you’ve engaged in any of those with its automatic tracking feature, and it starts monitoring your progress accordingly.
There are also a calorie, step, and distance counting options which are consistently engaged and can display live data onto your home screen. The tracker also has idle alerts which let you know if you haven’t moved for some time. All the data is stored and can be synced to your mobile device via Bluetooth. You can use any android fitness tracker app but the Mi Fit app is the overall best choice for these products as it eliminates any compatibility or connectivity issues other apps might cause.
Sleep monitoring is available here, although it isn’t unlocked on some non-US models, so be careful with that. If you can, ask whether you are getting the US-version beforehand, as it comes with English as standard and has sleep monitoring, while the others don’t.
As I mentioned above, the heart rate sensor isn’t always super accurate
To find other models that are better at monitoring your sleep, head over my guide on some of the best waterproof fitness trackers currently on the market.
Design and build quality
In terms of design, the Mi Band has been a true trendsetter in the world of wearable tech, as almost half the new trackers you see nowadays are copying its design in one way or another. It has a sleek silicone band that has a nice clasp mechanism which is quite durable. The main body (where the tracker fits in) is wide and deeper since it has to house all the hardware.
All the materials feel premium and are well-built, which gives out a far more premium feeling that the price of the Mi Band 4 suggests.
The whole construction is sealed and is entirely waterproof (up to 50 meters) so you can take the Mi Band swimming or run in the rain without having to worry.
The display on the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is hands down the best display on a sub 100$ fitness tracker. It is 0.95 inches big and has a 120 x 240 pixels resolution. It is an AMOLED display which is great for colours and contrast, as well as battery life.
The other great part about this display is that it gets quite bright (up to 450 nits) which is excellent for daylight exercises.
While it is a great display, I cannot stress how easy it is to scratch, so if you get this tracker, do yourself a favor and get a screen protector, just in case.
The battery life claim by Xiaomi is a bit exaggerated. They claim a max working time of 20 days on a full charge, which is quite far from the truth in reality. These battery tests are usually conducted under very optimal conditions, such as reduced screen brightness, little to no activity, and so on.
In reality, the tracker can easily last 7-10 days with a moderate amount of usage but the battery will die within a week if you are training for 1-2 hours every day. This also depends on how bright you have the display. On max brightness with regular training, you shouldn’t expect more than 5-7 days on a single charge.
As a whole, this is still better than most other trackers with such a big display and so many tracking capabilities.
One feature that I really like is the customizable watch faces you can download. The combination of colourful watch face options combined with the vivid AMOLED display just adds to the premium feel of the Mi Band 4.
There are also a lot of third-party straps that range from stainless steel to fashionable real leather. All these can create any type of style you want your tracker to have depending on the occasion.
The Mi Band also displays messages, caller ID, and other notifications coming from your Bluetooth-paired phone.
As I mentioned, the price of this particular model is perfectly placed within a sea of fitness trackers. It is in the mid-price range for budget trackers and that allows it to basically shadow most of its competition. Some of its competitors are quite good, though. One example for that is the Fitbit Inspire HR, which has an arguably more accurate heart rate sensor but is ever so slightly more expensive. If the Mi Band 4 is discounted, however, there is simply no better alternative than it for the money.
Now, let’s take a look at where this tracker excels and where it falls short…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Decent battery life
- Great price-to-value ratio
- Comes with 6 pre-built activity tracking modes
- Water-resistant up to 50 meters
- Bright and colorful AMOLED display
- Has sleep monitoring capabilities
- Heart rate alerts
- Customizable watch faces
- The sensors can cause skin issues to people that are allergic to the materials or have sensitive skin
- Battery life heavily depends on your usage
- Heart rate monitor can sometimes be unreliable
If you are into zone training and want to learn more on how to take advantage of different training zones during your workout, head over to my full article on that topic!
Conclusion and Rating
In short, the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 fitness tracker has a few good reasons to be one of the best budget trackers on the market right now. It has a great design, superb build and material quality, excellent display and decent battery life. Some of its downsides are the inconsistencies it sometimes has with the HR sensor and the lack of a more detailed sleep monitoring. Other than that, it is indeed one of your best options if you are looking for a well-priced tracker that will handle your day-to-day activity.