Xiaomi is now the biggest maker of wearable tech in the world, and the new Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 is an excellent example of why. It’s a fun and full-featured tracker available at a delightfully low price, making it ideal for beginners and gym goers.
The bright and colourful AMOLED screen we enjoyed on the Band 5 is back. At 1.56 inches, it’s nearly half an inch bigger than the Band 5 but it’s just as sharp and colour rich, and looks fantastic with any of the dozens of downloadable watch faces available. For a budget-priced tracker, the overall build is impressive, with a toughened screen and waterproofing for swimming and other water sports. Battery life is an impressive two weeks of typical use.
It doesn’t have GPS, of course, but that’s not unusual for basic trackers that are mostly used indoors at gym where GPS adds no value. The Band 6 can track 30 different sports but automatically recognises the six most common activities such as walking, running and cycling, for example.
Otherwise, all the standard features are in place: step count, heart-rate and sleep monitoring. The sleep monitoring, while not especially accurate, can now be enhanced with the new SpO2 oxygen level tracker. And our most used feature on all trackers – the ability to illuminate the full face in brilliant white to use as a torch – has now been added to the mix on the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6.
However, we did find the screen occasionally unresponsive to our taps, and the app is less accessible and less detailed than the leaders such as Garmin and Fitbit. But in every other way, Xiaomi’s new tracker is the perfect entry point for casual gym goers.
Step/heart/sleep monitoring, 1.56” AMOLED colour screen, 5ATM swimproof, 13 g, R800