Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: The best just got better


If you glance through the reviews section on GizChina, you’ll notice that unlike a lot of others we don’t often deal with superlatives in our review headings. The Mi Band 2 though, is an exception.

After a crazy-successful stint with the original Mi Band, Xiaomi released a bit of an incremental update in the Mi Band 1S by adding a heart rate sensor. The fitness band remained practical and affordable, which is a feat hard to pull off.

Xiaomi seem to have found their peace in the ‘don’t fix if it ain’t broken’ mantra. It would definitely have been a challenge for Xiaomi to add necessary features without going overboard, while trying to stay relevant in the wearable market which is getting tougher by the day.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: Pricing

The Mi Band 2 was launched in China for an utterly lucrative price of $23. For those outside of the country, the Mi Band can be had for $39.99 with free shipping, which despite being 2/3rds higher than the original price, is still a great price to pay as you shall read in the review here.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: In the box

Apologies for the horrid focus. Still trying to learn how to use the camera…

The Mi Band 2 ships in the typical cardboard-themed Xiaomi retail boxes we all have come to love. This box is no different in general appearance (and perhaps the dimensions) from those in which the Mi Band 1 and the 1S shipped.

What you get inside:

  • The Mi Band 2 capsule with OLED display
  • Wrist strap
  • Charging cable
  • User’s manual

Pretty no-nonsense like the whole of the band.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: Build Quality

Having used the previous Mi Bands, I can say that the Mi Band 2 is by far the best built one. The strap feels a bit more polished — and rubbery — at the same time, which should help give it a bit more longevity.

ohto 64_resultWhile I was quite happy with the build quality, I got an unexpected chance of testing it out nonetheless. While bowling (cricket), my arm hit my waist at quite a high speed, flinging the Mi Band 2 in the air. The gadget fell side-first, but damage was a lot less than I expected.

That said, long-term usage will invariably damage the top of the OLED screen especially if you’re into any sort of adventure sports.

Read Also:  Top 3 major upgrades of the recently released Xiaomi Civi 1S

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: Battery Life

Amazing as ever, and the number one reason why the Mi Band is my go-to fitness tracker since it came out. I received the Mi Band 2 on the 13th of June with 74% battery.

I’ve used it with all kinds of features on — sleep tracking, vibrate on calls, daily alarms, notifications for a couple of apps, etc — and I have 40% battery still remaining. I also have enabled ‘gesture wake up’, which seems to work really well.

This is quite insane, if you ask me. At this rate, a month of battery life shouldn’t be surprising!

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: Other & Mi Fit app

The Mi Fit app now supports a few more functions and is a lot easier to use compared to the previous version of the app. Features such as notifications for apps (you can choose which ones you want to be notified for; the Mi Band 2 also has icons on the OLED screen for some!).

The locking mechanism on the strap has gotten better also, and it’s a little easier to use now.

There’s a capacitive area on the Mi Band 2 which you can touch to:

  • turn the OLED screen on
  • move between various screens
  • turn off the vibration during an alarm
  • turn off the vibration during a call

Some screens from the Mi Fit app:

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: Gallery

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 Review: Conclusion

Very happy the way Xiaomi are approaching the wearable situation. I don’t think they even need a smartwatch for now — perhaps for another year. Whatever usable features we’ve seen on smartwatches from China, the Mi Band 2 has already.

There’s virtually nothing I would rather have the Mi Band 2 do. Widespread availability would be a boon, but then that’s not something directly related to the product.

A little more on my thoughts about the Xiaomi Smartwatch: they probably don’t need one for now unless they’re really keen on the ‘for the record’ aspect of it.

Thanks to Geekbuying for shipping the Mi Band 2 for review! Check them out if you wish to buy one.

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39 Comments

  1. G'n'T
    June 22, 2016

    Yash do you know if this will integrate with other Apps like RunKeeper or Strava for the heartrate monitor?

    How accurate do you see the heartrate monitor?

    • June 22, 2016

      No official integration with those apps. You can kind of make it work with Strava on iOS: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vpkTISft2mY

      The heart rate sensor seems to be the exact same as the one on the 1S. Fairly accurate if you can stay still, but will give you a little surprise every now and then.

      • June 25, 2016

        Yash, thanks for mentioning Mi Heart Rate app. It works fine with Mi Band 1s on iPhone and Endomondo. In a couple of weeks it will supposingly work with Mi Band2 🙂 More info: http://www.mimhr.com/

  2. Jobayer
    June 22, 2016

    That video makes me motion sick . Music tastes varies so no comments on that .

  3. vijay sud
    June 22, 2016

    Yash Indians are officially still stuck with Mi Band 1 . Xiaomi has not seen India fit for even Band 1s. Therefore unless one pays the usual ranson 2x price, i don’t see this arriving officially here before 2018. Some how i think some smart Indian outfit will have to manufacture something similar here within next coupla months and inundate the willing Indian market.

  4. John
    June 22, 2016

    Is the wristclock only for showing health-related stuff or will it also show incoming call for example?

    • June 22, 2016

      It will. Check out the first screenshot posted under the Mi Fit app heading, that’s the stuff it’ll show (plus icons for some notifications, Gmail for instance).

  5. G'n'T
    June 22, 2016

    Yash do you know if this will integrate with other Apps like RunKeeper or Strava for the heartrate monitor?

    How accurate do you see the heartrate monitor?

    • Yash Garg
      June 22, 2016

      No official integration with those apps. You can kind of make it work with Strava on iOS:

    • Yash Garg
      June 22, 2016

      The heart rate sensor seems to be the exact same as the one on the 1S. Fairly accurate if you can stay still, but will give you a little surprise every now and then.

    • Mi Heart Rate
      June 25, 2016

      Yash, thanks for mentioning Mi Heart Rate app. It works fine with Mi Band 1s on iPhone and Endomondo. In a couple of weeks it will supposingly work with Mi Band2 🙂 More info: http://www.mimhr.com/

  6. Jobayer
    June 22, 2016

    That video makes me motion sick . Music tastes varies so no comments on that .

  7. vijay sud
    June 22, 2016

    Yash Indians are officially still stuck with Mi Band 1 . Xiaomi has not seen India fit for even Band 1s. Therefore unless one pays the usual ranson 2x price, i don’t see this arriving officially here before 2018. Some how i think some smart Indian outfit will have to manufacture something similar here within next coupla months and inundate the willing Indian market.

  8. John
    June 22, 2016

    Is the wristclock only for showing health-related stuff or will it also show incoming call for example?

    • Yash Garg
      June 22, 2016

      It will. Check out the first screenshot posted under the Mi Fit app heading, that’s the stuff it’ll show (plus icons for some notifications, Gmail for instance).

  9. E8hffff
    June 22, 2016

    The Mi 1 band definitely a better wrist band. They had the metal and leather one but it was too expensive. The rubber one also broken around the seems of the device.

    • June 28, 2016

      Why do you say so?

      • E8hffff
        July 1, 2016

        Sorry Yash my mistake. I failed to put in NEEDED a batter wrist band…

  10. trapchan
    June 22, 2016

    Finally they give us a way to turn off the vibration on alarm.

    • AHappyKoalaBear
      June 23, 2016

      this feautre was already available for the first mi band, you just had to move or tap the band to turn off the alarm.

      • trapchan
        June 23, 2016

        except it doesn’t work most of the time

        • June 28, 2016

          Really? Worked just fine for me on my Mi Band 1.

  11. E8hffff
    June 23, 2016

    The Mi 1 band definitely NEEDED a better wrist band. They had the metal and leather one but it was too expensive. The rubber one also broken around the seems of the device.

    • Yash Garg
      June 28, 2016

      Why do you say so?

    • E8hffff
      July 1, 2016

      Sorry Yash my mistake. I failed to put in NEEDED a batter wrist band…

  12. trapchan
    June 23, 2016

    Finally they give us a way to turn off the vibration on alarm.

    • AHappyKoalaBear
      June 23, 2016

      this feautre was already available for the first mi band, you just had to move or tap the band to turn off the alarm.

    • trapchan
      June 24, 2016

      except it doesn’t work most of the time

    • Yash Garg
      June 28, 2016

      Really? Worked just fine for me on my Mi Band 1.

  13. sunny
    June 24, 2016

    when you using the miband 2 have any problem.You can find the answer from here

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/420314704818444/

  14. sunny
    June 24, 2016

    when you using the miband 2 have any problem.You can find the answer from here

  15. StuckonDroid
    June 24, 2016

    Can it displays Date apart from time?

    • StuckonDroid
      June 27, 2016

      really wanted to know if it can display, date, day of the week? If it does, I’ll go for it.

    • June 28, 2016

      No date. Please have a look at the first screenshot of the Mi Fit app – Mi Band 2 can display Time, Steps, Distance, Calories, Heart Rate and Battery.

    • po
      September 23, 2016

      it can now

  16. StuckonDroid
    June 24, 2016

    Can it display Date apart from Time?

    • StuckonDroid
      June 27, 2016

      really wanted to know if it can display, date, day of the week? If it does, I’ll go for it.

    • Yash Garg
      June 28, 2016

      No date. Please have a look at the first screenshot of the Mi Fit app – Mi Band 2 can display Time, Steps, Distance, Calories, Heart Rate and Battery.

    • Guest
      September 23, 2016

      it can now