Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: The most practical wearable gets an incremental upgrade


Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review

The first-generation Mi band wasn’t the most feature rich wearable around back in the day when it was first announced by Xiaomi. Yet, the ease of use, combined with what you can call an insane battery life meant that Xiaomi sold hundred of thousands of Mi Bands.

Come (end of) 2015, and Xiaomi decided to give the Mi Band a bit of a refresh. Mind you, too many changes could’ve resulted in fixing something that didn’t need fixing; so Xiaomi had to be careful, clever and resourceful to make the new Mi Band, which later came to be known as the Mi Band Pulse 1s.

I spent over a week with the new Mi Band Pulse 1s, and here’s my take on the newest fad in the wearable market. Presenting to you, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s review!

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Pricing

The Mi Band Pulse 1s is the equivalent of $15 in China, and that is pretty darn affordable. We got ours from TinyDeal.com, where it is priced $34.99 for now.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: In The Box

Xiaomi stick to their trademark style of shipping devices in recycled yet extremely durable cardboard boxes. Xiaomi were among the first online-only brands in China that was shipping smartphones, which explains the sturdiness of the boxes.

In the Mi Band Pulse 1s box, you get:

  • The Mi Band capsule (the main unit)
  • Wrist strap
  • Charging cable
  • User’s manual

For a more visual experience, check out the unboxing video below.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Build Quality

The new Mi Band Pulse 1s is built pretty much using the exact same material as the first-gen wearable from Xiaomi. However, the strap seems to be using some higher-grade rubber as compared to the first-gen Mi Band.

The strap feels higher quality, and according to Xiaomi, this is done to prevent the Mi Band Pulse 1s capsule from falling off. Even with the first-gen band, the fit was quite a tight one (for the capsule), so I don’t quite understand how it can just fall off like that. But it doesn’t hurt to have better quality paraphernalia.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Battery Life

This, along with the waterproof nature of the Mi Band Pulse 1s is what you’re going to like the most. Even with 1-2 alarms ringing per day (this, with the band vibrating with each one), you’ll easily get over three to four weeks of battery life on the Mi Band Pulse 1s.

Xiaomi will make it a point to tell you that it is the vibrator motor inside the capsule that takes the most energy, and so you should turn off vibration… but I reckon a 3-4 week battery life that you get even with vibration on is more than good enough.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Heart Rate Sensor

This is the killer feature of the Mi Band Pulse 1s, and one that gives the band a middle name (‘Pulse’). Heart rate sensors on wearables aren’t something we haven’t seen before, but the Mi Band Pulse 1s is perhaps the most affordable wearable to offer the feature.

Mi Band Pulse 1s 3

originalYou can configure the Mi Fit app to keep monitoring your heart rate via the Mi Band. The Mi Fit app, I feel, lacks a few heart rate related features for now. There is an APK available on the internet that offers a standalone heart rate function, but I recommend you wait for the update to come officially via the Google Play channel.

As for the accuracy of the hear rate sensor, I believe it is fairly accurate… with an error of  ±5%. Which is acceptable, considering the amount you’re paying for this gadget. Just use the data is provides as a rough measure and not to replace your family physician and you’ll be alright.

Read Also:  Xiaomi 12T spotted on Geekbench with key specifications

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Tracking Features

These remain the same, i.e., as seen on the original Mi Band. The Mi Fit app will tell you:

  • How much distance you’ve covered on foot
  • How much you’ve slept
  • How many calories you’ve burnt
  • How much fat you’ve burnt

While the heart rate sensor is the killer new feature, this section is probably why you should buy an Mi Band, Pulse or otherwise.

12232882_10153781570592460_2023488007545582728_oThe sleep tracking feature is creepily accurate; more than the hardware, it’s the complex algorithms that help calculate your exact sleep duration. Needless to say it’s my favourite feature about the Mi Band Pulse 1s, but one that exists on the first-gen Mi Band also.

Moving on to your activity, the Mi Band will tell you: (i) how many steps you’ve taken, (ii) total distance you’ve covered on foot, (iii) total distance covered running, (iv) total distance covered walking.

While there’s no foolproof way of checking the exact number of steps (please don’t expect me to keep a count!), the total distance does seem accurate with a 5-8% error.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Other Features

Not much has changed from the original Mi Band. However, thanks to the app, you can now set the Mi Band to vibrate for notifications. The catch here is that you can set only up to three apps the notifications of which the Mi Band Pulse 1s will listen to. So it is generally a good idea to keep this turned on for important stuff, for example mail, etc. and off for WhatsApp, Facebook and the like.

The Mi Fit app will sync to Google Fit if you need, but again that’s not an Mi Band Pulse 1s feature per se. Oh, and did I mention, since the 1.1 update (of the Mi Band), the LEDs are only one colour, instead of RGB. Mine is white… and I truly miss the cyan and green and blues of the original Mi Band.

Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse 1s Review: Conclusion

Mi Band Pulse 1s 7

I feel that Xiaomi have been extremely wise with the Mi Band Pulse 1s. Instead of giving it a complete overhaul and adding useless features, Xiaomi stuck to the minimal approach and have yet again delivered a killer budget device.

If you don’t own an Mi Band yet, the Pulse 1s is what you should go for. On the other hand, if you already have the first-gen Mi Band, you needn’t bother getting the Pulse 1s just for the heart rate sensor.

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74 Comments

  1. MaxPower
    November 30, 2015

    I’ve got mine from Gizchina shop with the new Xiaomi Hybrid earphones.
    DHL is supposed to drop it tonight.
    Hurry up already 🙂

    • MaxPower
      November 30, 2015

      here they are! 🙂

      • Tajwar
        November 30, 2015

        Gimme

      • Tajwar
        November 30, 2015

        Wai… DHL does night deliveries? Didn’t know that!

        • MaxPower
          November 30, 2015

          yeah, they deliver even at 10 pm.
          bad news though:
          my wife came back home saying that her phone (the OPO bamboo i won here @ Gizchina) is broken.

          she was trying to remove the battery but she couldn’t remove the back cover (no wonder)
          then she tried to remove the sim card and she put that metal tool inside.
          And she told me that some gold pieces came off.

          she broke the sim reader.

          note she

          • Tajwar
            December 1, 2015

            *Awestruck*
            Moto g 2nd edition is not bad but…
            The only thing that she might say is that it doesn’t feel snappy but she won’t complain 😛
            Are going to try to repair the OPO?
            What about theAmazon tablet for $49? I mean decent right.?

            • MaxPower
              December 1, 2015

              I’ll give a it try, hopefully i will be able to fix it.
              what she did was really retarded.

              I’ve heard that the tablet is not good, but you can’t expect good stuff at that price.
              i would buy one for my 3 years old son but he already owns an ipad mini (i bought it when he was 1)

          • Dante
            December 1, 2015

            you must repair it lol

            • MaxPower
              December 1, 2015

              im going to give it a try.
              otherwise I’ll sell it on eBay for spare parts.
              only the sim doesn’t work, the rest works nicely.

          • Ruby
            December 1, 2015

            Sorry to hear about your wife’s OPO. I use the same phone but realize it’s just not worth repairing here in the US if it ever breaks. Good choice with the Moto G2. My three teens are using that phone and I just picked up a spare on Amazon for $99 when it went on sale over the weekend. Glad I did as it’s now back to $150.

            • MaxPower
              December 1, 2015

              i usually fix my stuff, i did in the past with a laptop dc jack and my phone screen.
              i can do a “not so clean” basic soldering .

              I’ve checked some forum about the OPO but it looks a big deal even for skilled solders.

              i might give a chance trying to fix it just soldering those golden plates that came off (in not going to replace the whole socket because it seems very hard.

              The G2 for $99 was a good deal, there’s was really nothing better on her budget.

            • Akimitsui
              December 1, 2015

              Why not try and replace the motherboard of the OPO itself?

            • MaxPower
              December 1, 2015

              how much is going to cost me?
              that was the 64GB version.

      • Dante
        December 1, 2015

        oh my hybrids are still getting shipped – you luckt brat

        • MaxPower
          December 1, 2015

          lol. did you pick DHL?

          • Dante
            December 1, 2015

            in the country where i live in the moment dhl shipping’s Average cost is 50 bucks , Btw where did yoy buy those? Gearbest or ali?

            • MaxPower
              December 1, 2015

              here on shop gizchina

            • MaxPower
              December 1, 2015

              Aliexpress sellers charge crazy money for DHL shipping.

      • Nilzie
        December 1, 2015

        Sweet how do you like them? I got mine a while ago. Are your volume control buttons mushy to press?

        • MaxPower
          December 1, 2015

          i can’t use them because they were supposed to be a present to put in the stockings. (i know, that’s weird)
          i have to wait till xmas

  2. Tajwar
    November 30, 2015

    No colored led is a bummer, but hey you’re getting a heart rate sensor.

  3. Angry Mobile Nerd
    November 30, 2015

    I’m also curious about the heart rate sensor’s accuracy are you just guessing +/- 5% or did you actually compare it’s accuracy while wearing a real heart rate monitor (ie. chest strap model) at the same time?

    • November 30, 2015

      Got a retired doc to check my heart rate using a good old stethoscope while the band did the same.

      • Angry Mobile Nerd
        December 1, 2015

        I’ll still give an “A” for effort but really in today’s day and age the good old stethoscope is actually the least accurate. Actually some hospitals have stopped using them altogether.

      • sweetheart
        December 1, 2015

        Is it able to continuously monitor HR throughout the day/night/longer period/workout?

  4. MaxPower
    November 30, 2015

    I’ve got mine from Gizchina shop with the new Xiaomi Hybrid earphones.
    DHL is supposed to drop it tonight.
    Hurry up already 🙂

    • MaxPower
      November 30, 2015

      here they are! 🙂

    • Tajwar
      November 30, 2015

      Gimme

    • Tajwar
      November 30, 2015

      Wai… DHL does night deliveries? Didn’t know that!

    • MaxPower
      November 30, 2015

      yeah, they deliver even at 10 pm.
      bad news though:
      my wife came back home saying that her phone (the OPO bamboo i won here @ Gizchina) is broken.

      she was trying to remove the battery but she couldn’t remove the back cover (no wonder)
      then she tried to remove the sim card and she put that metal tool inside.
      And she told me that some gold pieces came off.

      she broke the sim reader.

      now she wants a new phone and i asked what was her budget.
      she said 50-100 bucks. lol
      i told her if she realized she broke an almost brand new $400 phone. jeez!

      Motorola is giving the MotoG 2nd generation for $99 on cyber Monday deals.
      I’m buying her that one.
      i would buy a cheaper one if i could.

    • Tajwar
      December 1, 2015

      *Awestruck*
      Moto g 2nd edition is not bad but…
      The only thing that she might say is that it doesn’t feel snappy but she won’t complain 😛
      Are going to try to repair the OPO?
      What about theAmazon tablet for $49? I mean decent right.?

    • Dante
      December 1, 2015

      you must repair it lol

    • Dante
      December 1, 2015

      oh my hybrids are still getting shipped – you luckt brat

    • Nilzie
      December 1, 2015

      Sweet how do you like them? I got mine a while ago. Are your volume control buttons mushy to press?

    • Ruby
      December 1, 2015

      Sorry to hear about your wife’s OPO. I use the same phone but realize it’s just not worth repairing here in the US if it ever breaks. Good choice with the Moto G2. My three teens are using that phone and I just picked up a spare on Amazon for $99 when it went on sale over the weekend. Glad I did as it’s now back to $150.

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      i usually fix my stuff, i did in the past with a laptop dc jack and my phone screen.
      i can do a “not so clean” basic soldering .

      I’ve checked some forum about the OPO but it looks a big deal even for skilled solders.

      i might give a chance trying to fix it just soldering those golden plates that came off (in not going to replace the whole socket because it seems very hard.

      The G2 for $99 was a good deal, there’s was really nothing better on her budget.

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      i can’t use them because they were supposed to be a present to put in the stockings. (i know, that’s weird)
      i have to wait till xmas

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      lol. did you pick DHL?

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      im going to give it a try.
      otherwise I’ll sell it on eBay for spare parts.
      only the sim doesn’t work, the rest works nicely.

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      I’ll give a it try, hopefully i will be able to fix it.
      what she did was really retarded.

      I’ve heard that the tablet is not good, but you can’t expect good stuff at that price.
      i would buy one for my 3 years old son but he already owns an ipad mini (i bought it when he was 1)

    • Akimitsui
      December 1, 2015

      Why not try and replace the motherboard of the OPO itself?

    • Dante
      December 1, 2015

      in the country where i live in the moment dhl shipping’s Average cost is 50 bucks , Btw where did yoy buy those? Gearbest or ali?

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      here on shop gizchina

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      how much is going to cost me?
      that was the 64GB version.

    • MaxPower
      December 1, 2015

      Aliexpress sellers charge crazy money for DHL shipping.

  5. Tajwar
    November 30, 2015

    No colored led is a bummer, but hey you’re getting a heart rate sensor.

  6. E8hffff
    November 30, 2015

    Good review.

  7. Angry Mobile Nerd
    December 1, 2015

    I’m also curious about the heart rate sensor’s accuracy are you just guessing +/- 5% or did you actually compare it’s accuracy while wearing a real heart rate monitor (ie. chest strap model) at the same time?

    • Yash Garg
      December 1, 2015

      Got a retired doc to check my heart rate using a good old stethoscope while the band did the same.

    • Angry Mobile Nerd
      December 1, 2015

      I’ll still give an “A” for effort but really in today’s day and age the good old stethoscope is actually the least accurate. Actually some hospitals have stopped using them altogether.

    • Guest
      December 1, 2015

      Is it able to continuously monitor HR throughout the day/night/longer period/workout?

  8. Dante
    December 1, 2015

    RIP rgb led

  9. E8hffff
    December 1, 2015

    Good review.

    • Yash Garg
      December 2, 2015

      Thanks

  10. Dante
    December 1, 2015

    RIP rgb led

  11. Nilzie
    December 1, 2015

    If you want to save some money its 25 usd from coolicool

  12. Nilzie
    December 1, 2015

    I was told the only way it will monitor the heart rate is when you are in the program and press a button. meaning it doesnt monitor it during the day. is it true? seems useless then

    • December 1, 2015

      Yeah, that is true. There is an option in the Mi Fit app that will let you turn on ‘heart rate monitoring in the night to track sleep better’, but that of course doesn’t return any heart rate data per se.

  13. Ruby
    December 1, 2015

    I bought the original multi-color Mi-Band back in March. I never realized how ‘self-competitive’ I was until I got this thing. I set my daily walking goal to 8K steps (about 5 km) and would not miss that goal for the next four months. In July I increased the threshold to 10K steps and stayed with that until the weather started getting colder before going back to 8K. There’s a big difference between telling yourself ‘I want to get into shape’ and actually seeing, measuring and improving your own performance. I’ve lost about 7 kg since March and feel remarkably better than I did before. I’m not sure the added heart rate monitor is necessary. I would much rather have prolonged battery life. I usually can get 4-5 weeks on a single charge. Best $15 I every spent!

  14. Ruby
    December 1, 2015

    I use a free app called ‘Mi Band Notify’ for notifications. No ‘3 app limit’ like the Mi-Band app. Upon feeling my Mi-Band vibrate, the LEDs pulse, letting me know which app is receiving a notification. I configured mine to coincide with the color of the app’s icon.
    Blue=Facebook, Red=Gmail, Green=WhatsApp, Yellow=SMS.
    There’s also a ‘PRO’ version of the app with additional features.

    • December 1, 2015

      I’m assuming you have the first generation Mi Band?

      • Ruby
        December 1, 2015

        Correct.

  15. Nilzie
    December 1, 2015

    If you want to save some money its 25 usd from coolicool

  16. Nilzie
    December 1, 2015

    I was told the only way it will monitor the heart rate is when you are in the program and press a button. meaning it doesnt monitor it during the day. is it true? seems useless then

    • Yash Garg
      December 1, 2015

      Yeah, that is true. There is an option in the Mi Fit app that will let you turn on ‘heart rate monitoring in the night to track sleep better’, but that of course doesn’t return any heart rate data per se.

  17. Ruby
    December 1, 2015

    I bought the original multi-color Mi-Band back in March. I never realized how ‘self-competitive’ I was until I got this thing. I set my daily walking goal to 8K steps (about 5 km) and would not miss that goal for the next four months. In July I increased the threshold to 10K steps and stayed with that until the weather started getting colder before going back to 8K. There’s a big difference between telling yourself ‘I want to get into shape’ and actually seeing, measuring and improving your own performance. I’ve lost about 7 kg since March and feel remarkably better than I did before. I’m not sure the added heart rate monitor is necessary. I would much rather have prolonged battery life. I usually can get 4-5 weeks on a single charge. Best $15 I every spent!

  18. Ruby
    December 1, 2015

    I use a free app called ‘Mi Band Notify’ for notifications. No ‘3 app limit’ like the Mi-Band app. Upon feeling my Mi-Band vibrate, the LEDs pulse, letting me know which app is receiving a notification. I configured mine to coincide with the color of the app’s icon.
    Blue=Facebook, Red=Gmail, Green=WhatsApp, Yellow=SMS.
    There’s also a ‘PRO’ version of the app with additional features.

    • Yash Garg
      December 1, 2015

      I’m assuming you have the first generation Mi Band?

    • Ruby
      December 1, 2015

      Correct.

  19. Mikhail Preuss
    December 2, 2015

    actually Gearbest got them in stock yesterday,
    so might be a good spot to order now – http://bitly.com/xiaomi-miband1s

  20. Mikhaillll
    December 3, 2015

    actually Gearbest got them in stock yesterday,
    so might be a good spot to order now – http://bitly.com/xiaomi-miband1s

  21. Mikhaillll
    December 3, 2015
  22. Mikhaillll
    December 3, 2015