I finally made a brave decision and went for Xiaomi Mi Band 2. Well, it’s almost a no-brainer for me since it was one of the cheapest of all fitness band. I was not sure what I will gain from going for those higher-end smartwatch or fitness watch. After all, I was using my mobile phone majority of the time to tell me the current date and time rather than a watch, which I was wearing most of the time. In fact, my watch was either showing incorrect time when daylight saving time changed or incorrect date after a month without 31 days and I did not take notice of it.
Before I made the purchase, I looked online in order to know how to differentiate an original Xiaomi Mi Band 2 and a fake one as I was quite worried that the one that I am going to buy will turn up as a fake one. The post came and thankfully, it did not take long for me to verify that the one I bought is a real Xiaomi Mi Band 2.
Anyway, I have had Xiaomi Mi Band 2 for about a month now and I have used it for telling me the time more than the watch I used to wear. In some way, I am quite glad that I did not spend more than a hundred pounds for a fitness band or a smartwatch. In other way, I am hoping that the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 could do more. Well, what more can I ask for when I bought it only for £32.
When I first looked for fitness band, I was hoping that it could track how well I sleep and also act as a silent alarm. To be honest, I am quite satisfied with how Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tracks my sleep. It is controlled by the Mi Fit app and it separates my sleep session into light sleep and deep sleep. During the sleep session, it will also track my heart rate but the information is not shown in Mi Fit app. I guess it uses the heart rate data to determine whether I am in my light or deep sleep.
For the silent alarm, Xiaomi Mi Band 2’s customisation is limited. Basically, you set a time and when it vibrates, you press the band to stop the alarm. If you do not do anything, it will vibrate intermittently. What I find is that the alarm will also stop if I shake the band. That leads me to think that the alarm will stop once it thinks you have woken up. However, it does not always work. Most of the time, there were no subsequent alarm. I am quite a deep sleeper, so it does not work for me.
Fortunately, there are other apps that are compatible with Xiaomi Mi Band 2. I believe that Mi Band Tools is the most talked about app for Xiaomi Mi Bands. I bought it but I wish I did not. Mi Fit app is quite sufficient for me without the extras in Mi Band Tools. The one works best for me is Notify & Fitness app for Mi Band. It shows the heart rates which are recorded during sleep session and it has an alarm function which cannot be turned off using the band. How cool is that? With the latest update, it can show the full text when I get a text message or Whatsapp message. Well, this function is annoying as there is no way to turn off the vibration when the band is displaying the message. Imagine that the band keeps vibrating while displaying a message of hundred words long. Bear in mind that Xiaomi Mi Band 2 can only show a small line of scrolling text. The app does have a note saying that it is a limitation of the band. I am hoping that it is more of a firmware rather than hardware issues. It is worth noting that when I bought the band, it is not even possible to show a line of text. When receiving a call or a text, only an icon is being displayed. Caller ID was added after that and third party apps make use of the caller ID line to display custom texts.
Some users said that their Xiaomi Mi Band 2s only need recharging every three weeks or so. I probably need to recharge it every 10 days or so. I believe it is because I use the alarm quite a lot. As I am a deep sleeper, the alarm has to work harder too.
Overall, I am quite satisfied with Xiaomi Mi Band 2. Sometimes, I did not even realise that I was wearing it. Smartwatches look cool but I think all of them require charging on a daily basis. Furthermore, I do not think that it will be comfortable wearing smartwatch while sleeping. Having said all these, I could actually do without it. It is just another gadget to keep myself occupied. It is interesting to see the data but not essential. I do not think that I will recommend it for people who are serious about keeping fit indoor or outdoor.