Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness tracker series is without a doubt the most successful of its kind. With a plethora of features at a low price, it has become many people’s go-to budget wearable. However, its previous two generations have been lackluster, because to how few enhancements Xiaomi offered with each new edition. Thankfully, the new Mi Smart Band 6 (or Mi Band 6) is the most significant update in the lineup’s history. And that concludes our look at the Xiaomi Mi Band 6.
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Specifications:
- Body: 47.4 x 18.6 x 12.7 mm, 12.8gm (without strap)
- Strap: Removable TPU straps
- Display: 1.56″ AMOLED panel, 450 nits
- Resolution: 152 x 486 pixels resolution, 326 PPI
- Control: Touch, swipe
- Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
- Compatible with: Android 5.0, iOS 10.0 and above
- IP Rating: 5 ATM water-resistance
- Functions: Alarm, Camera Shutter, DND, Heart Rate Monitor, Notifications, Sleep Tracking, Step Counter, Sports Mode (30), Blood Oxygen, Women’s Health
- Sensors: 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyro, PPG heart rate, SpO2
- Companion App: Mi Fit (Android | iOS)
- Battery: 125mAh, Up to 14 days endurance
- Charger: Proprietary Magnetic charger (
- Colors: Black, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Olive, Ivory
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 5,999
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Review:
- 1.56-inches AMOLED panel, 326 PPI
- 130 watch faces, 152 x 486 pixels
The screen itself is the main upgrade in this case. In comparison to its predecessor’s 1.1″ display, the manufacturer has extended it vertically to fit a taller 1.56″ AMOLED screen on the new Mi Band 6. This results in a sharper console for you to work with—as well as one that is more visually appealing.
With a resolution of 152 by 486 and a pixel density of, everything from text to animations looks sharp here. Even the smallest typefaces are not plagued by pixelation problems. Nonetheless, my main beef with this display is Xiaomi’s choice of design approach to give a larger footprint. Sure, the expanded screen doesn’t look half terrible, but I’m not sure what else it adds to the table—or, better yet, what it should have offered instead.
You see, aside from a more appealing watch face and greater room for a few apps like Weather, this 1.56” screen doesn’t address the major concerns that the Mi Band 5’s smaller 1.1″ display had. Texts and other materials are nevertheless crammed within this artificial form factor due to the small horizontal area. In comparison, I’ll take the Honor Band 6’s squarish resolution any day.
The larger type distributed across a larger screen here means I don’t have to squint my eyes to see the material on the screen, as I did with the Mi Band 6. This is especially true when you’re out walking or exercising and the natural distance between the band and your eyes when you raise your wrist isn’t close enough to clearly read what’s on the display.
That’s not how you make a large-screen fitness tracker.
But, hey, if you prefer the elongated layout, my gripes won’t apply to you. This screen is bright enough for a walk in the sun, with 450 nits of brightness (similar to the Mi Band 5). However, there is no auto-brightness option available here. You have a choice of five lighting levels, and I usually set mine to 3 or 4—while lowering it to 1 at night.
I also appreciate how dark this screen becomes. I also can’t complain about the vibrancy of this AMOLED panel. The colors are vibrant and have high contrast levels. It can host up to 7 widgets (including the homescreen) here for quick access to your favorite apps. To do so, you’ll need to use the companion app because the Mi Band 6’s customization choices are somewhat limited on the fitness tracker itself.
Moving on, you may modify the look of your watch by selecting from over 130 different watch faces. But, sadly, the most of them are cartoonish, with some verging on childish. However, anime fans will undoubtedly enjoy this pick. And I’d be lying if I said the Evangelion-inspired ones aren’t cool. Furthermore, you can specify which information should be displayed on which dial faces.
In addition, you may personalize it with a custom photo on top of the five available templates. However, if none of the options work for you, there is still the option of looking for third-party watch faces for the Mi Band 6. However, if you frequently switch between various dial faces, you’ll be disappointed because the band can only hold up to six watch faces at a time.
This comprises the three pre-installed programs that cannot be removed. In comparison, the Honor Band 6 can store up to 32 watch faces directly on the band. Regardless, unlike the competitors, the Mi Band 6 also supports a few emojis—mostly smileys. Nonetheless, I was disappointed to discover that the Nepali Unicode font displays as illegible blocks instead.
When it comes to the user interface, touch and swipe are your only options because there are no specific physical or capacitive buttons. The slight curves around the screen’s edges simplify swipe gestures, while the raise/tap to wake capabilities work flawlessly. Unlike Honor’s latest fitness tracker, this one has a separate control center tab, and the swipe up and down movements bring up the identical set of settings from opposite ends.
As previously stated, you can configure up to six widgets that may be accessed by swiping left/right. Set notifications as one of them, or you’ll have trouble keeping track of the incoming alerts. They are non-actionable, as one would expect from a low-cost fitness tracker.
- Elongated squarish body, lightweight
- Removable TPU strap, 5 ATM certified
Because of the extended display, Xiaomi has made few to no changes to the design. As a result, the Mi Band 6 is virtually identical from its predecessor in terms of appearance and weight. Additionally, if you already own a Mi Band 5, you will be able to switch its strap with the new one.
The default Black strap isn’t particularly appealing, but you may also choose from Blue, Orange, Yellow, Olive, and Ivory alternatives. Third-party alternative straps for the Mi Band 6 are also widely available on the market. Anyway, I’ve never been a fan of Xiaomi’s affordable wearables’ iconic pin-hole design, but that’s just me.
Fit is comfortable.
It fits well on my wrist, and the strap is supple enough to eliminate any concerns about comfort. The band has not caused me any skin irritation or allergies during my use. Having said that, the main reason I prefer a classic look/buckle design over this is the possibility of the pin here unintentionally coming out when running it over something or someone. This has happened to me a few times.
The back indentation is still prone to dust collection over time. As a result, you’ll have to wipe it off now and again. Anyway, I like how the Mi Band 6 lacks any Xiaomi branding, resulting in a clean, uncomplicated visual style.
It is also 5 ATM waterproof, which means it can withstand immersion in up to 50 meters of water for up to 10 minutes. So wearing it on your wrist while it’s raining or swimming isn’t going to be an issue. Overall, the Mi Band 6 maintains the iconic style that we’ve seen in this lineup throughout the years. It’s lightweight and comfy to wear, though I think the pin-hole design is overdue for an update.
- Mi Fit (Android/iOS)
The Mi Band 6 then syncs with the Mi Fit app. You’ll need to sign up for a Xiaomi account (if you don’t already have one) or login in with a third-party account to achieve this. Since the days of the Mi Band 4, the app’s UI/UX has stayed largely unchanged. The dashboard provides your most recent health data, such as steps taken, stress levels, SpO2 levels, and more.
All of the information is given in a relatively easy-to-read format, which is supplemented by useful hints or FAQs under specific parts. But it’s 2021, and the lack of a dark mode in the app is a little aggravating. This may appear to be a minor complaint, but lacking such a basic functionality is pretty frustrating in the first place.
Surprisingly, only the exercise overview UI uses the dark mode more frequently for some reason. In well-documented graphs, you may see your training path, pace, heart rate, and other statistics. The Mi Fit app is also where you can experiment with the band’s settings, like as changing watch faces and tweaking notifications, display settings, and more.
Surprisingly, the Mi Band 6 also functions as your phone’s camera shutter button, however it cannot display a preview of the frame. This function is not activated by default and must be enabled explicitly using the “Lab” menu.
Health, Fitness Tracking
- 30 workout modes, SpO2 monitoring
- Auto workout detection, PAI index
It’s time to discuss about this fitness tracker’s health tracking functions. Xiaomi has increased the total number of sports modes on the Mi Band 5 from 11 to 30 on its sequel. More crucially, the Mi Band 6 completes the company’s array of low-cost wearables by including blood oxygen saturation monitoring.
Unfortunately, it does not enable continuous SpO2 monitoring like the somewhat more expensive Huawei Band 6. I compared its SpO2 data to that of the Huawei and Honor Band 6 and discovered that all three produce similar results with a 1-2 percent difference. Throughout the review, I noted that the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 was a touch faster in recording your blood oxygen level on the majority of times.
Half-baked overnight blood oxygen monitoring
Despite the fact that the on-demand nature of its SpO2 monitoring is extremely impressive, Xiaomi has tried to add to the attractiveness by including the sleep breathing quality functionality. The band monitors your blood oxygen saturation level overnight and then assesses your breathing quality on a scale of 0 to 100. Keep in mind that this is not the same as a sleep score.
Unfortunately, this functionality is still in development and does not provide more insights into your SpO2 levels throughout the night. All you get is the last night’s breathing quality score. Xiaomi should improve it with time, but in MKBHD’s iconic words, “Never. Ever. Purchase a technological device on the promise of future software updates.”
Anyway, let’s get into the sports tracking part of things now. As previously stated, the Mi Band 6 can now track up to 30 training types, including six that are automatically detected. Auto workout detection is also disabled by default. You may also tell the Mi Band 6 which workouts to identify on its own.
Auto workout detection
For walking and outdoor running modes, I enabled auto-detection, while the remaining options include treadmill, cycle, elliptical, and rowing machine. I must remark that the Mi Band 6 detected my walking routines fairly effectively. There’s also a “auto-pause” feature that will stop your workout if it detects that you’ve taken a break.
Because this is a low-cost fitness tracker, there is no built-in GPS, so you’ll need to bring your phone with you if you want to track your progress. I compared it to the Huawei Band 6 to see what the difference in fitness tracking ability was between the two wearables.
And I discovered that the Mi Band 6 over-records practically every aspect of the workout by a little margin. As you can see from these screenshots, both bands roughly accounted for my heart levels. However, the Huawei Band 6 accurately detected the speed of my stroll.
I was simply going to the drugstore at a steady pace, which is accurately portrayed by this fitness band. The Mi Band 6, on the other hand, exhibits significant spikes throughout the session. The cadence graph, which is a measure of steps per minute, also depicts this.
11 professional workout modes
Moving on, the Mi Band 6 allows you to select several workout notifications such as heart rate levels, distance, and speed. It also allows pool swimming tracking, with the ability to set the pool length. Aside from the 11 professional exercise modes, it can also record various workouts like as pilates, HIIT, basketball, Zumba, and so on.
However, as with the Huawei Band 6’s various exercise mode, the 19 workout types only record your heart rate levels and nothing else. Aside from that, the Mi Band 6 can track your sleep, heart rate, and stress levels, among other things. When it came to logging my time to sleep and time to wake up, I found it to be quite accurate.
You also gain a better understanding of deep, light, and REM sleep. It also generates a score between 0 and 100 based on all of these parameters to provide you with a quick overview of your sleep quality. This fitness tracker enables all-day heart and stress monitoring in terms of heart rate monitoring. Xiaomi allows you to change the frequency of all-day monitoring between several intervals, and for the best information, I set it to “every 1 minute” during my usage.
Heart rate alert works fine
Stress monitoring, on the other hand, is set to every 5 minutes by default, with no way to change it. Mi Band 6 can also send alarms if it detects that your heart rate has risen above a certain threshold. The vibration motor is powerful enough that you will not miss the alert. It also includes a PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) index, which calculates a score based on your heart-rate demanding workouts throughout the day.
It also includes breathing exercises and menstrual cycle tracking. Incoming call alerts, music playback control, weather forecasts, and even circumventing your phone’s unlock mechanism are among the other functions of the Mi Band 6. The latter, on the other hand, is limited to devices running Xiaomi’s MIUI.
- 125mAh, Up to 14 days battery life
With that out of the way, allow me to talk about its battery life. By adding more health tracking features on the identical form-factor as its predecessor, Xiaomi couldn’t upgrade the battery size on its newest fitness tracker. As a result, this 125mAh cell still promises up to 14 days of battery life on regular use.
Now that it’s out of the way, let’s speak about its battery life. Xiaomi was unable to increase the battery size of its newest fitness tracker by putting additional health tracking features on the same form-factor as its predecessor. As a result, even with daily use, this 125mAh cell can provide up to 14 days of battery life.