What is it?
Xiaomi just released its latest fitness band called the Xiaomi Smart Band 7. As the product name suggests, it is the 7th iteration of its Smart Band line and brings about upgraded features vs. its predecessor.
Ok, so how is it different from its predecessor?
A few notable differences I might add. The first is that the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 has the largest screen for the product line at 1.62 inches – a 0.6 inch increase from its predecessor. Brightness is also bumped up from 450 nits to 500 nits. Weight-wise, the 7 is also a bit heavier at 15.5g vs. 12.8g of the 6. Resolution is also bumped up from 486 x 152 to 492 x 192 pixels. Battery-wise, the Xiaomi Band 7 gets a beefier 180mAh battery vs. 125mAh in its predecessor.
As for the features, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is AOD (always on display) capable and also has automatic SpO2 tracking which notifies you if your blood oxygen drops below 90%
What’s it like on your wrist?
Just like most fitness tracker its light and has that oval shaped screen. Its 46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm doesn’t take too much space on the wrist. Its AMOLED screen is also good enough for reading rows of text.
However, due to the thin profile, it can only show 1 to 2 complete words per row and on certain applications you’ll even have to wait for the other letters to scroll to the left. This is evident in Settings where almost all 2 or 3 word options are already too long for the screen to display. For messages and description of its applications, its capable of displaying 12 rows with 2 to 3 words each row. Sure you can read the messages but its like reading the fine print on a credit card application form.
As for the fit, it’s good enough. The bands are not replaceable but the strap has 13 holes spaced at 3mm intervals which ensures that it’ll fit on wrists thick or thin. No word yet on the what the strap is made of but suffice to say that its grippy enough to not slide when showering or working out.
You mentioned you worked out with it. How’d it go?
Due to being in quarantine when I tested it, I only had the chance to do kettlebells, HIIT and yoga with it. What I like about it is it is unintrusive. The thin strap and the light weight means it doesn’t get in the way of any workout. During my HIIT and kettlebell and workout, I was able to rotate the band with ease to prevent the kettlebell from hitting the screen. Thereafter, I cooled down with a 15 minute yoga session, and still felt that it didn’t intervene in any way.
But, when it needs to get your attention, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 doesn’t hold back. The vibration is strong in this one. Its strongest right before a workout starts, as if to jolt you to drop whatever it is you’re doing and get on with the exercise you just activated. It made me want to say, “Ok, SB 7, you’re the boss”.
That’s fine and all but what’s the highlight?
It may not sound like it’s the highlight when I touched on it above, but the display is the star of the show. I know I’m contradicting myself here when I pooh poohed on its limited real estate but hear me out. It’s actually good. Good in the sense that the colors are vibrant and you can see the gradual shift of the colors in the heart rate bar from green to red. Good in that the AOD clock is actually clean and crisp. Good in that you can decipher each and every hair-thin bar on the 24-hour Personal Activity Tracker. In short, Xiaomi Smart Band 7 didn’t cut corners on quality even if it was limited by screen space.
How about the continuous SpO2 tracker? Is it any good?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: I’ve compared it with a pulse oximeter and the results are +/- 2 on both pulse and oxygen reading so you be confident of its accuracy. It does record for 24 hours albeit in 30 minute intervals. There’s also a daily summary of your SpO2 reading to tell you your highest, lowest and average for the day.
Anything else of note?
I found that the downloadable watch faces in the store compliment the Xiaomi Smart Band 7’s screen well. From sporty to artsy or from fashionable to mechanical, there’s one to suit ones mood. As a Van Gogh fan myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find one in the store. There’s also a way to put put in your gallery photos. However, every time I select that option, it is not able to access my photo gallery. Its possible because I’m using IOs but it’s just a letdown to not be able to put photos of my son’s paintings as a my watch face.
As for the battery, I haven’t had the chance to fully deplete the phone’s juice but will update this review once that’s done. But so far, after a full day of testing with 24 hour SPO2 monitoring, AOD on, full brightness and a 45 minute workout, it has more than 50% left. At the rate its going, it could probably last a day and a half more.
What’s the verdict then?
Unobtrusive, light and with a screen that’s easy on the eyes, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is surprisingly, a good serviceable fitness band. An all day SpO2 monitoring is a welcome addition to an already feature packed smart band. If you already own the Xiaomi Smart Band 6 it might be hard to justify the upgrade given that it looks and feels like its successor. But, if you’re on the hunt for one, give the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 a go. With an SRP south of P3,000, the value proposition is well justified.
Good, crisp AMOLED scree with a resolution that’s easy on the eyes
All day SPO2 tracker ensures you won’t miss any irregularities
AOD means there’s no blank screen
Vibrates like the boss is calling
Price. For less than P3k, it’s a good entry level fitness band for most people
Option to upload photos to personalize the watch face is not working