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Xiaomi Mi Band 5: What’s New?

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Every year, we call Xiaomi’s latest Mi Band the “best affordable fitness tracker.” And every year, the company needs to do very little to achieve that distinction. Xiaomi nailed the formula early on; its trackers have always offered the basics for a fraction of the price of competing products.

This year’s release is no different. The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is only a small step up from the Mi Band 4, and really only offers a handful of new features over its predecessors. Are those small changes enough to let it compete in the big leagues? And how does it compare to closer competition such as the Fitbit Inspire HR? Read our Xiaomi Mi Band 5 review to learn more.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5: What’s new?

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 (aka the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 in some regions) is Xiaomi’s latest affordable fitness tracker. It’s a slight improvement over 2019’s Xiaomi Mi Band 4, with a somewhat upgraded design and a few new health features to keep you motivated.

The Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 4 look very similar, though the new fitness tracker is actually slightly larger. It has a 20% larger AMOLED display at 1.1 inches and supports 100% of the P3 color gamut. The display is fine. It can get pretty bright outdoors in direct sunlight. There’s no ambient light sensor, so you might find yourself adjusting brightness more than you’d like.

The Mi Band 5’s larger size unfortunately means you won’t be able to use your older Mi Band 4 or 3 bands with the new device. There are lots of third-party options available on Amazon if you want to add a splash of color to your wrist.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is a battery champ.

The Mi Band 5 is a battery champ — not as much of a champ as the Mi Band 4, however. It can last 14 days on a single charge with “normal use” compared to the Mi Band 4’s 20 days. Xiaomi says you can still get 20 days out of the Mi Band 5 if you take power saving precautions like turning off heart rate monitoring, raise-to-wake, and sleep tracking.

With normal use and tracking a few exercises throughout the week, my Mi Band 5 is on track to last about 13 days on a charge — just under what Xiaomi estimates. I was also digging into the interface quite a bit during that time, so I don’t think it’d be too difficult to squeeze a little more battery out of the device. Regardless, you’ll be able to wear the Mi Band 5 for well over a week without worrying about charging it.

Speaking of charging, the Mi Band 5’s charger is vastly improved over every other Mi Band charger. It’s magnetic and connects to the tracker via pins, so you no longer need to detach the device from its band in order to charge it. Hallelujah! The charger is longer now, too, so no more of this four-inch-long charging cable nonsense.

Xiaomi integrated PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) metrics into the Mi Band 5 to give you a better idea of your overall health and wellness. PAI gives you a score based on your sex, age, heart rate, and other data. Basically everything you do throughout the day adds to your PAI score, but you’ll get the most PAI points for vigorously exercising and keeping your heart rate in a higher zone. The goal is to keep your PAI score above 100.

PAI is similar to what we’ve seen from Fitbit with Active Zone Minutes and Google with Heart Points and Move Minutes. Since it takes into account how you’re moving — not just the fact that you are moving — this should give you more accurate insights into how healthy you are.

A few other notable upgrades Xiaomi included in the Mi Band 5:

  • Additional sport tracking: The Mi Band 5 can track 11 sport modes, up from the Mi Band 4’s six. It still tracks outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, walking, pool swimming, and the catch-all freestyle, and adds elliptical, jump rope, indoor cycling, yoga, and rowing machine exercises.
  • More frequent heart rate monitoring: The Mi Band 5 can record your heart rate 24 hours a day, even while you’re sleeping. You can set it to automatically record throughout the day, only when you sleep, or both depending on how much battery you’d like it to use.
  • Better sleep tracking: The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 can now track REM sleep in addition to deep and light sleep. It can also track naps during the day.
  • Menstrual cycle tracking: Xiaomi added menstrual cycle tracking to the Mi Band 5, which records your menstrual cycle and ovulation phases. Mi Fit will give you reminders before each period, too. I wasn’t able to test this feature, of course, so I can’t comment on its usefulness.

What’s it good at?

Above all else, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is a solid overall fitness tracker — especially for the money. Step tracking is good, and I never once thought my daily step count was outrageously off compared to other trackers.

I’ve found sleep tracking to be quite accurate compared to my Galaxy Watch 3. The addition of REM sleep in Mi Fit is helpful for getting a more detailed overview of your sleep quality. I also like Mi Fit’s sleep quality analysis. It provides genuinely useful feedback instead of some boilerplate response many other fitness apps give you.

My sleep score has been relatively accurate, too, though I do want to note that not all reviewers have had the same experience as me. My sleep score never got above a 78/100 — which is about how I’ve felt over the past week or so. Others have reported outrageously high sleep scores. I’ll update you if I experience any of these issues going forward.

The quality of the heart rate sensor was good, for the most part. It actually matched up quite well with the readings I got from my Garmin Fenix 6 Pro and Wahoo Tickr X chest strap during a five-mile run (see above). All three reported an average heart rate of 148-150, and each device stuck closely to one another for highs and lows throughout each interval.

Other upsides to the Mi Band 5 include:

  • Connected GPS performance: First, the fact that connected GPS is here in the first place is extremely handy. It was also quick to catch on to my phone’s GPS, and reported data accurately in Mi Fit after my two bike rides around town on one night.
  • PAI support can help keep you on track: I like that Xiaomi included PAI in the Mi Band 5. It’s not always super clear how to earn a certain amount of PAI points, and the interface can be a bit confusing. However, any attempt to gamify activity to keep people motivated can prove to be really beneficial for users.
  • Useful smart features: App notifications and phone calls come through quickly and reliably. Night Mode dims the band’s screen automatically on a schedule, and you can set the display to only recognize lift-to-wake at certain times of the day. You can even set vibration patterns for certain apps.
  • Overall reliable connection: The Mi Band 5 didn’t drop connection with my Pixel 4 XL or Pixel 4a one time throughout the review period. I wish I could say that for other wearables.
  • New watch faces: Everyone likes customizing their devices. The Mi Band 5 supports more than 100 new watch faces. It was easy to find a handful that I would use on a daily basis.
  • iOS compatibility: Not all fitness trackers are compatible with iPhones, but the Mi Band 5 is. As long as your iPhone is running iOS 10 or above, you can connect the Mi Band 5 to your phone.

Are there any downsides?

Yep. Remember, this is a sub-$50 activity tracker, so there will be some downsides.

Xiaomi’s Mi Fit app is fine and will surely satisfy the majority of users, but I’ve had a hard time getting used to it. I don’t like how difficult it is to check my activity history. There’s no tab for it, and once you find the current day’s stats it’s not all that intuitive to find what you’re looking for. Also, Mi Fit prioritizes dedicated tabs for tracking walks, runs, and cycling sessions, but you really wouldn’t need these unless you’re taking your phone with you during your exercises. The whole app could use a refresh in my opinion.

Xiaomi’s Chinese roots show themselves in various parts of Mi Fit, too. Translation issues like “21 PAI less than the next goal” and “Why PAI is scientific?” can be found in the app. Mi Fit doesn’t always respect your time format (12hr vs. 24hr) either.

There are data issues in Mi Fit, too. You are able to set the Mi Band 5’s heart rate monitor to record every few minutes throughout the day. However, Mi Fit doesn’t show resting heart rate data over time. It only shows manually taken heart rate readings.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 region-specific features

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is available in the UK, Europe, China, India, and other regions, but not all Mi Band 5s are created equally.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 in China comes with NFC support for contactless payments, the XiaoAI voice assistant, as well as a pulse oximeter for SpO2 readings.

Global variants (aka all variants outside of China) don’t have NFC, a voice assistant, or a pulse oximeter. Womp womp. Mi Band 5s sold in Russia have NFC, though.

I tested the global Mi Band 5, so I didn’t have access to any of these features. It’s possible an updated Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Pro would launch globally with NFC, a pulse oximeter, and Amazon Alexa support, but we’ve heard nothing official from the company in regards to that launch.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is absolutely the best fitness tracker you can buy under $50.

Mi Fit is kind of a headache to use. Many other pricier devices offer better apps and give you easier access to your health data. Fitbit comes to mind right away. The Inspire HR is the closest competition to the Mi Band 5 in terms of price and features, though it’s not readily available online at the time of this writing.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is our favorite fitness tracker available right now, even after reviewing the Mi Band 5. It costs triple, though, which puts it in a very different market than the Mi Band.

Xiaomi has done it again. The Mi Band 5 is absolutely the best fitness tracker you can buy under $50. Just remember you’re making some sacrifices for that lower price tag.

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WhatsApp End-to-end Encryption rolled out for backups

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WhatsApp recently made an announcement related to the end-to-end encryption to the cloud backups on both Android and iOS. As you may be aware like WhatsApp itself has been end-to-end encrypted by default,  and now if you chose to backup your chats history to Google Drive (Android) or iCloud (iOS), those data is also encrypted. Now,  you can enable end-to-end encryption for your backups. It’s an announcement from WhatsApp, and it won’t be on by default option but the user has to choose to enable it by going to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.

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Apple Unleashed event today at 10.30 PM IST

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After the release of the iPhone 13 series and a new smartwatch, Apple is ready to host another launch event today. Users can expect to see the launch of new Macbooks running on Apple’s in-house M1 chipsets on the Apple ‘Unleashed’ event.  Apple fans eagerly waiting for the new MacBook Models and a new mini version of the same. Also, we can expect a new or upgraded version of AirPods in the event. The event will begin at 10:30 PM IST today and we can watch the event on the Apple website and on the YouTube channel. If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s Apple unleashed event and rewatch old ones if you are interested.

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Oppo F19s Launched, Specifications

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oppof19s

Oppo recently launched Oppo F19s mobile on 27th September 2021. This one also has a 6.43-inch touchscreen display. This display is equipped with a resolution of 1,080×2,400 pixels at a pixel density of 409 pixels per inch (PPI) and an aspect ratio of 20:9. F19s comes with 6GB of RAM and packs 128GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 256GB). The Oppo F19s runs Android 11 and is powered by a 5,000mAh battery.
Also, the Oppo F19s supports proprietary fast charging. Dimensions of the Oppo F19s measures 160.30 x 73.80 x 7.95mm (height x width x thickness) and weighs 175.00 grams.

On the camera department, the Oppo F19s on the rear packed with a triple camera (has autofocus) setup featuring a 48-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.7 aperture; a 2-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front a single camera (has autofocus) setup for selfies, featuring a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. The Oppo F19s runs on ColorOS 11.1 is based on Android 11. This phone is available in Glowing Black and Glowing Gold colors. On the connectivity section, the Oppo F19s is a dual-SIM (GSM and GSM) mobile that accepts two Nano-SIM cards. Connectivity options on the Oppo F19s include Wi-Fi, GPS, USB OTG, USB Type-C, 3G, and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, compass/ magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and in-display fingerprint sensor.

oppof19s

Connectivity options on the Oppo F19s include Wi-Fi, GPS, USB OTG, USB Type-C, 3G, and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, compass/ magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and in-display fingerprint sensor. Oppo F19s price in India starts at Rs. 19,990. The Oppo F19s can be ordered from Oppo’s official store.

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