Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review

Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is a fitness-tracking watch that combines a smartwatch with a fitness tracker in one device. It is the fourth generation of the Xiaomi Mi Band, which was announced in July 2018. The Mi Band 4 comes with a number of useful features and a decent battery life. However, there are some issues with the design and quality that may cause some users to lose interest.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4: Design

Xiaomi Mi Band 4 Review

Similar to its predecessor, the Mi Band 3, the Mi Band 4 has a slim, oblong shape and is compatible with third-generation accessories. It is flattering on top, with a larger, brighter touch screen. The watch comes with an adjustable black silicone strap that can be changed out for different colors or styles. A USB charging cradle is also included. Xiaomi’s Mi Band 4 has an optical heart rate sensor and is water-resistant up to 50 meters.

There’s nothing sexier or sleeker about this fitness tracker. It measures 45 x 15 mm and is 14 mm thick. It may appear larger than its competitors, such as the Fitbit Inspire HR and the Garmin Vivofit 4, but it probably won’t make a big difference unless you have particularly small wrists.

My wrists are quite small (approximately 5 inches in diameter), and the Mi Band 4 is just a little too long for me to wear continuously 24/7, especially since it doesn’t conform to my wrist’s curve. When worn on the left wrist, the watch face is slightly angled toward you due to the included strap. Because the angle really is that slight, you won’t notice a difference if you wear it on your right side. However, if it looks a little off, that’s because it is.

Its AMOLED touch screen is 0.95 inches (240 x 120) in full color, making it one of the Mi Band 4’s most prominent design features. Easy to use, the touch screen is crisp, colorful, bright enough to be read in full sunlight, and easy to use. The band has no onboard music storage. You swipe left or right to access the music controls (on your phone). You can scroll up or down through the menu options, and tap the screen to choose. In case you don’t want to turn on the lift-to-view feature, there’s a capacitive touch button below the screen that shows you the watch face when tapped. By tapping it while the watch is in a menu, you can also return to the main face.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4: Battery life

smartwatch

Depending on how you use it, the Mi Band 4 has a battery life of up to 20 days. Several optional features (such as lift-to-view and continuous heart-rate monitoring) can reduce battery life when they are activated.

With moderately heavy usage and all battery-sucking options enabled, I’ve been able to get at least two weeks of battery life.

Mi Band 4 shouldn’t require charging more than a few times a month, which is good, since the charging cradle features a frustratingly short 5-inch cable.

Xiaomi Mi Band 4: Fitness and sleep

smartwatch

Despite its basic fitness-tracking features, what did you expect for the price? For more accurate tracking, you’ll need to manually select the workout mode since the band does not automatically detect when you’re working out. From the watch face, swipe up until you find “Workout,” then tap to select your specific workout type. It offers six dedicated fitness-tracking modes: exercise (weightlifting, etc. ), outdoor running, treadmill, cycling, walking, and pool swimming. In order to track outdoor workouts more accurately, the band connects to your phone’s GPS instead.

Mi Band 4 tracked weightlifting workouts as well as yoga and barre, and while it seemed fairly accurate overall, it wasn’t as responsive to small heart rate changes as my Apple Watch. Many people are looking for basic step counting and heart rate monitoring, so this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. The band may not be your best choice if you want to track active fitness.

As part of the Mi Band 4, the Mi Band 4 also offers built-in sleep tracking. My sleep schedule is unusual – I usually don’t sleep at night – and the Mi Band 4 doesn’t track sleep during the day. Because the band detects sleep automatically based on the heart rate sensor, it cannot be forced into sleep-tracking mode. Even if you sleep at night, you can’t track things such as naps or sleep-ins. When I did sleep at night while testing the Mi Band 4, its tracking abilities were just iffy – it had the same problems most sleep-tracking fitness bands have, such as not being able to discern when I was just lying in bed versus sleeping.

Notifications

Despite its appearance, the Mi Band 4 is more than your average budget fitness tracker. The Mi Band 4 is not only a fitness- and sleep-tracking device, but it also functions as a smartwatch with customizable alerts such as incoming calls, texts, app alerts, emails, events, and alarms.

Using the Mi Fit app, you can toggle these notifications on and off (including toggles for each individual app). Also, you can create your own vibration patterns for each category, so you can have different patterns for calls, texts, apps (but not individual apps), email, and more.

The Mi Band 4 displays incoming texts on its screen – though it’s rather small and narrow, so you won’t be able to read them – but if you want to reply you’ll have to pick up your phone.

Pros Cons
Inexpensive Sleep tracking works only at night
Customizable alerts Fitness tracking is pretty basic
Excellent battery life Bulky, could be more comfortable

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 isn’t perfect, but it is extremely inexpensive. It’s worth your time to put some effort into setting up and customizing the Mi Band 4. It features a large touch screen, customizable watch faces, customizable alerts, music controls, and a battery that doesn’t die.

The Mi Band 4 works similarly to other budget fitness trackers, but I wasn’t overly impressed with its fitness- and sleep-tracking capabilities. Comparatively, the $99 Fitbit Inspire HR does not offer significantly more accurate or sensitive tracking, and the Mi Band 4 is quite a bit cheaper. It is a great band to start with if you want a basic fitness tracker with smartwatch functionality.