There are two amazing features of Xiaomi's Mi Band - it's price of 99 HKD and its battery life of approximately 180 days.I bought mine on my first day in Hong Kong (on 2 March); and have worn it for most of the time since. The band is comfortable, although I would have preferred a band that stretches a bit more. I do take it off before showering - so I can't vouch for its water-wear.
The band has two major functions - step counting (as the general activity monitoring) and sleep monitoring. The step counter, at least when taking steps, is quite accurate. I actually tested in on the 4 odd Km walk around the top of Victoria Peak, and the distance counter was spot on. I am not sure how it works for other activities though - the reading during my bike rides seem a bit low for example.
The sleep counter has been more iffy - it largely gets it right; but I find that it sometimes gets waking up times wrong - especially if I have hit the snooze button a few times :) I do like the view of "deep sleep" and "light sleep"; but can't really vouch for its accuracy! There have been some other weird bugs - like recording sleep activity when I was not sleeping (e.g. watching a movie or reading a book for a long period of time) or not recording sleep activity during a short nap in the afternoon. Since I don't do either of those type of activities frequently, I have only noted a few examples of this occurring.
The software does integrate to Apple Health - though this aspect has been quite buggy in a few different ways:
- Apple Health and Mi Band double counts. If I have my iPhone in my pocket, and walk - Apple Health counts both those steps and those recorded by the band; and instead of correlating it adds these up.
- The sleep tracker in Mi Band is editable (to record more accurately waking time at least). However, edits do not seem to feed through to Apple Health.
- The sleep tracker in Apple Health does not account for "deep sleep" and "light sleep"
When I was in Hong Kong, the Mi Band was great to keep track of how much I actually walked in the city; and there has been a great contrast in the drop off in walking since then. I often miss the 8000 steps default target during the work days - although this does depend on which office I am based at. The activity tracker has not changed my actual routines - but has made me aware of the level of activity that I have taken. So in that way I suppose, it is quite positive.