Xiaomi has yet again outdone itself by launching another cheap fitness tracker, the Mi Band 3i. Due to its honest pricing and great features, the earlier versions of Mi Bands have gained immense popularity. However, is the Mi Band 3i just another victory, or is it a legacy broken? Let's find out.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i: Specifications
The device sports a 0.78-inch OLED touchscreen panel. The company claims that it is water-resistant up to 50 meters. It can be used to track your steps along with calories burned during walking, running, cycling and various other activities. You can also, check the weather and get calls and other notifications after pairing the band to your smartphone. What's it is missing is a heart rate sensor, which I think is a really crucial feature.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i Review: Design & Display
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i features a 0.78-inch OLED touchscreen display along with a button at the bottom that can be used as an action button to help navigate that small touchscreen. Just like the Mi Band 3, the display is grayscale and can be used to check your steps, notifications, calls and more.
The only major difference in the 3i when compared to the 3 is the heart rate sensor. The charging unit, the dimensions, and the display are all the same. It looks sleek and utilitarian.
The band that comes with that base unit the same one as seen on the older generation with a slight change to make it look a little sleeker. Overall, the design of the Mi Band 3i is somewhat understated. This is good as it does all the things you need it to without interfering with the overall look of your clothes, which is a big issue with certain wearables.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i Review: Features and Performance
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i is packed with quite a few features. It comes with all the basics that we expect from a fitness tracker: a screen, notifications, step count, sleep tracking, alarms and more.
The notification interface is quite bad as it only shows a call icon for calls with an option to snooze the band and not reject the calls. Unlike some other fitness trackers, it shows the app which has sent the notification and we can also read the text in it. If needed, we can also go into the notifications tab and check our recent notifications on the band, which is a pain considering the screen size but a handy feature none the less.
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Talking about battery life, the company claims around 20 days of battery life. With the device connected to my phone all the time, and it receiving tons of notifications, the battery life lasted about 2 weeks or 14 days give or take. Which is still a good time but less than what the company claims. If we keep the device disconnected from the smartphone, one might be able to get the claimed 20 days of battery life.
Now coming to the real test here. How accurate it the step tracking. In the past, we have seen many great fitness trackers fail in this department. Well, while the Mi Band 3i offers a pretty accurate step count while walking, many times it read steps on activities like driving.
I was driving and I got distracted by the band saying I completed my step count. apparently, I had covered around 500 steps only while driving. While taking a run, the distance tracked was pretty accurate.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i Review: Verdict
Xiaomi Mi Band 3i looks average and has a lot of features, which leaves people looking for a cheap fitness tracker, quite interested. However, I think the ability to track your heart rate is pretty crucial especially while taking a run.
If you are looking for a smart fitness tracker and you don't mind the exclusion of the heart rate sensor, then the Mi Band 3i is a pretty good deal. However, if you are a little more serious about tracking your runs, I would suggest considering its elder brother the Mi Band 3 or the newer Mi Band 4.