Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review: Still the best cheap fitness tracker you can buy
Updated: May 13
If you’re reading this Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review, there’s a good chance you’ve either heard a lot about Xiaomi’s Mi Band line and want to know what the hype is about, or you’ve already placed your Mi Band 4 order and are awaiting its arrival.
If you’re in the market for a fitness tracker, you’re more than likely hoping to modify your health behavior — whether it’s remembering to walk more, tracking how often you work out, or making sure you’re working out appropriately hard when you do. The wearables market is saturated with options, but you won’t find one that’s much more affordable than Xiaomi’s latest Mi Band 4. It’s packed with features for half the price of counterparts from Fitbit and Garmin.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 was one of the best value FITNESS TRACKERS OF 2018, and the Mi Band 4 aims to improve on it in a few key ways. It has a better display and more activity profiles, but with those things comes a slight price bump, though the Mi Band 4 is still significantly cheaper than other fitness trackers with similar feature sets.
The question is, are you really getting anything worthwhile by spending an extra $50 on a competing product, or should everyone run out and buy the Mi Band 4 right now? That’s what we’ll answer in our Xiaomi Mi Band 4 review.
One of the best features of the Mi Band 4, by far, is its battery life. I wore the band for two weeks and only needed to charge it on the 13th day. (By that point, it was at 15 percent and probably could have lasted another night.) Of those 13 days, I used it to track 10 days of 35-minute workouts. Compared to my chest-strapped heart rate monitor that I wore while exercising on a Peloton bike, the output numbers didn’t vary too much. The heart rate numbers were nearly identical, and calorie burn calculations were off by an indiscernible amount.
To get the Mi Band 4 to track your workouts, however, you do have to manually tap it to begin; the band does not automatically detect sudden spikes in heart rates as a potential start to an exercise. You also have to manually stop it when you’re done, which can be annoying to remember to do if you’re like me and you hop right into the shower after you’re done with a workout.
Take, for example, the analysis of my first night of sleep with the Mi Band 4. Despite getting eight hours of sleep, I woke up to find some oddly worded, fear-mongery tips, such as how sleeping after 11 P.M. is going to speed up aging and wreck my immune system (which is especially not fun to read, given that I already have half the immune system of a normal human). It also vaguely suggested that I can improve my deep sleep times by not “strain myself,” making “arrangements for work,” and keeping a “good mood.” Um, what? That’s as “helpful” as your partner saying the meal you cooked could be improved by “making it tastier.”