With the announcement of the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, Mi Band 5 fans are curious to know what big features to expect.
This low-cost device is a best-selling wearable, with each version adding major health tracking functionality at a significantly lower cost to its competitors.
Here’s a rundown of the main differences between the two.
Price and Competition
Xiaomi seems to be focused on offering low-cost fitness tracking. If you don’t have much money, this is something to think about. There are less costly trackers on the market, but Xiaomi appears to have much more features than alternatives at the same price.
The price of the 5 has increased to about $35 on Amazon in the United States, and it is no longer available on the Mi Store online. However, both trackers are the same price across Europe and the United Kingdom.
The Band 6, however, costs around $60 on Amazon in the States. So, it really depends where you live.
To put the price into context, the Amazfit Neo and Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 were released for about $50. Also, the Fitbit Inspire 2 is priced just under $100. As a result, the industry is becoming more competitive.
- Find out how the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2 and Fitbit Inspire 2 compare here.
Design and Display
It’s tough to tell the difference between the Mi Band 5 and 6. They are made of the same materials and employ the same dimensions.
They also have the same rating when it comes to water resistance (up to 50 metres). Hence, they’re both ideal for swimming in pools (and showering or being caught in the rain).
Minor deviations will be visible when the dimensions are carefully examined, but the differences are negligible.
- The Mi Band 5 – 46mm x 12.45mm
- Mi Band 6 – 47mm case x 12.7mm
The screen, on the other hand, makes a noticeable distinction.
- Mi Band 5 – 1.1-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 126 x 29
- Mi Band 6 – 1.56-inch display with a resolution of 152 x 486
Xiaomi shortened the bezel around the display on the 6 to allow for more pixels.
Both have 450 nits of brightness and a cool, vivid display, but neither offers Always-On modes. The Mi Band 6’s display is sharper, more vibrant, and more colourful than the 5. This also allows for more detail to be seen on the computer at the same time.
- Read our full review of the Mi Band 6 here.
Notably, the 5’s display is already one of the strongest options with this price tag, outperforming some of the newer devices released in 2021.
The Mi Band 5 is offered in 6 colour variants (at least, the band is).
The Mi Band 6 is available in 8.
Fitness tracking features
Both Bands have a plethora of features for tracking your fitness and health, with slight differences in sensors and tracking that can focus your attention on Mi Band 6.
What’s more, both versions include accelerometers and gyroscopes and optical heart rate monitors to constantly monitor heart rhythm and movement, giving the number of minutes in heart rate zones. Finally, both Bands support stress control and PAI scores.
The Band 6 also has a SpO2 monitor, which allows for blood oxygen readings, which is also utilised to capture your sleep breathing quality.
Meaning, it will detect breathing irregularities, which could shed light on why you had a sleepless night. It doesn’t matter if it’s because you worked out late or because you drank a malt. Xiaomi is eager to say that it is not meant for medical use and lacks FDA approval.
Sleep monitoring is the same, including sleep stages. You’re given a sleep score and averages to compare with others.
More, it’s a decent physical activity tracker, keeping track of your steps, distance travelled, calories consumed, and alerting you when you’ve been sitting for a while. It effectively matched trackers from bigger brands.
Additionally, a PAI rating measures the amount of time spent at an elevated heart rate and awards a weekly effort score out of 100. If you pay attention to the numbers, you should be confident that you are doing the 150 minutes of exercise every week recommended by the WHO.
If you need accurate heart rate data, this device isn’t for you. However, the data isn’t intended for medical use though it will provide you with useful knowledge about your movement.
While the Mi Band 5 has 11 sport modes, the 6 has 30. Both include core exercises such as running, cycling, pool swimming, jump rope, indoor rowing and skipping.
- Our full review of the Mi Band 5 can be found here.
Sports sponsored by the Mi Band 6 include basketball, bowling, tennis, cricket, and boxing. You’ll actually be unable to keep track of the jabs and slog sweeps. It just requires the amount of time spent exercising and the performance of the heart rate monitor.
Bands 5 and 6 have similar interactions in terms of performance. You can utilise Connected GPS to plan routes for outdoor activities, plus it integrates your smartphone’s tracking (so long as you keep it close).
Generally, the heart rate monitoring for exercise performs well for steady workouts but fails at things like HIIT.
The Mi Fit app stores all of your files, and you can send it to Google Fit or Strava.
All usable smartwatch features on the 6 are also available on the 5. Both are suitable for Android phones as well as iPhones, and they cover the basics of smartwatches.
You will access warnings, listen to music, see the weather or other time zones, and choose from a variety of watch faces.
Payments, sports, music players, and smart assistants are not included. It’s not shocking that only a handful of those features are genuinely available at this price.
You can’t reply to your notifications, for example, and the tiny screen can make them seem claustrophobic. The larger screen on the 6 allows for more clarity.
Both employ a 125mAh battery, which will last for up to 14 days. You could forego features like 24/7 heart rate monitoring to better this. You can also switch off all-day stress monitoring and automatic sleep control, as well as dim the screen.
Finally, with all features in use, you’ll get a week of tracking, with the 6 seemingly able to get closer to the full 14 days.
Which one do you choose?
So, now you know more about them, which are you going with? The old or the new? The key distinctions between the Mi Band 6 and the Band 5 are that the 6 has an improved screen, an expanded number of sport modes, and a SpO2 sensor. The larger display, on the other hand, is one of the aspects that also stands out. Though, the 5’s display remains a bright, colourful place to see either the time or your data.
We don’t see any good reasons to upgrade if you already own a Mi Band 5. If you don’t have either and are searching for a new tracker, the price difference is so small that going for the 6 is a no-brainer.
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Last Updated on April 30, 2021