What can we expect from the Xiaomi Band 5? Well, when the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 went on sale in June 2019 it proved to be a popular addition to the fitness tracker market. So popular that in just eight days it had achieved total sales of one million units.
But now Huami has the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 waiting in the wings and that’s got people thinking. After all, the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 bought users a colour touchscreen display as well as the swim tracking capability. So exactly what kind of innovations could the company have in store for the next model? Here, we will take a look at some of the rumours that have been swirling around the internet since the news of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 broke – and when we might expect to be able to get our hands on one.
What is Huami?
Founded in 2014, Huami is a Chinese company based in Beijing. It’s the largest wearable device company in the world, ahead of Fitbit and Apple. To date it has sold over 50 million units and has a 17.1% global market share.
It aims to provide fashionable activity trackers at affordable prices to help promote a more active lifestyle. Huami markets a number of trackers under the Amazfit brand name. They are also the exclusive provider to Xiaomi of wearable technology. In collaboration with Xiaomi, it makes the Mi Band.
The company is headquartered in Beijing and Mountain View, California USA.
How do we know Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is in the pipeline?
The company made the announcement at Huami’s Q2 2019 earnings call during a question and answer session.
The question that prompted the revelation centred around whether Huami would be continuing to work in co-operation with Xiaomi in the future and if there were any plans to produce more models in the Xiaomi Mi Band range. The chief executive officer and chairman of the board for Huami confirmed that collaborative work was already going ahead with Xiaomi to develop a Mi Band 5.
When questioned further he confirmed that the work had already begun and went on to discuss a possible launch date for the Mi Band 5.
What is that launch date?
While launch dates are all too often subject to change, Huami indicated that the launch date for the Mi Band 5 was unlikely to take place until sometime in 2020.
For reference, the Mi Band 4 was announced and then launched in June 2019 whilst the previous model the Mi Band 3 entered the marketplace in May 2018, so it is reasonable to assume that a similar timeframe will surround the launch of the Mi Band 5.
Time will tell, so in the meantime it is worth keeping an eye open for that all-important launch date announcement.
What will it look like?
Those in the know in the wearables industry believed that the Xiaomi Hey+1S fitness tracker might just be an indication of what the official launch of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 will bring us. Given that the launch of all previous Hey trackers has given some strong design cues to the following Mi Bands, this may well be a reasonable assumption.
Released shortly after the Mi Band 3 the Xiaomi Hey+ had very similar specs. The only real change of any significance between the two models was the larger, colour display on the Hey+. The same thing happened again when the Mi Band 4 was released in the middle of 2019 and speculation is rife that the Hey+ 1S will therefore be a strong indicator of just what we can expect from the currently being developed Mi Band 5.
It is worth noting that there are actually no significant changes in the new Hey+ 1S when it is compared to the design and features of the Mi Band 4. What is noticeable however it that the display has had a little bit of a design tweak in order to offer users a screen that is a little more rectangular in shape and that features more rounded corners.
This blockier look may well be exactly what we will see from the Mi Band 5 if it follows the example of the Hey+ 1S.
What features can we expect?
It has already been indicated that Huami and Xiaomi will continue to work together on new products and that any long-term plans that both companies have for the Mi Band product line will remain unchanged.
Huami has, however, suggested that it is looking forward to producing and developing future generations of the Mi Band as well as also targeting different segments of the global market and even different customer profiles to their current ones.
When it comes to discussions surrounding the type of features that we might expect to see on offer from the Mi Band 5, the company has been keeping that information very close to their chest. It has been speculated that some of the features on the Band 4 may in fact appear in the Band 5. This could include such features as ECG support.
If you take a look at the Hey+1S from Xiaomi, then the new NFC, which facilitates contactless payment, may well be a feature that we will see appearing in the Band 5. When it comes to NFC technology, this is not only used in China at most payment terminals but is becoming a popular solution to replace bus tickets and even work passes.
All previous Mi Band models have offered NFC functionality. However, support was limited to China only, so there’s a good chance that this will continue to be the situation.
Features for the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 included a microphone as well, but this feature together with the NFC capability were not available in the global variant of the tracker that the company launched.
At the moment, the news surrounding the features we could expect from the Mi Band 5 is sketchy and largely based on rumours as no official information has been released by either company. It is widely expected that the new tracker will be more durable and advanced than any of the previous models we have seen.
What sort of price can we expect?
Unless Huami add some really different new features to the Mi Band 5 – such as GPS tracking, which none of the trackers in the Mi Band range have – then it is highly unlikely that we will see any significant increase in price from the Mi Band 4 to the Mi Band 5. All in all, the early indications are that we should be expecting the Mi Band 5 to deliver many of the same features, with a few tweaks here and there, to its predecessors with a similar very affordable price.