Rehan HoodaJul 26, 2016 14:35:15 IST
Xiaomi, one of the largest smartphone makers in China has not limited its business to smartphones. It has established its base and slowly expanded it to provide accessories related to general usage. The company is not exactly a smartphone company. Instead, it is an established consumer electronics company. It makes smartphones, routers, smart TV's, external battery packs, fitness bands, air purifiers, webcam, action cams, smart home solutions, and drones. The availability of the device portfolio is somewhat limited in India though - where only smartphones, power banks, headphones, fitness band, Bluetooth speakers and protective cases sell.
The unique selling point for Xiaomi in India has been the price range. They are making and selling devices at a cut-throat prices. Regardless, their policy on minimum pricing works in India. I am a huge technology enthusiast, and Xiaomi's fitness band caught my eye when it had launched. I went ahead and bought the Xiaomi Mi Band when it first came out, selling for a cool Rs 999 and came out mightily impressed with the device.
I upgraded to Mi Band 1S as soon as it was released in China, but the upgrade was not immensely significant. Xiaomi had tweaked and removed the multi-coloured LED notification lights from the device. I was religiously following all the alerts, leaks, and updates about the Mi Band 2. The design change to include OLED display in the fitness device was expected and official announcement aligned with the rumors.
With no plans regarding the Mi Band 2 launch in India announced by Xiaomi, I ended up buying the latest device as soon as it was launched in China. Xiaomi Mi Band 2 was shipped approximately a month after the order was placed.
When I opened the device, the silicon band, which holds the main module, was unbelievably soft and gentle to touch. It was a major step up from the older materials used in the Mi Band and Mi Band 1S. I have been using the Mi Band 2 since last one month now.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2 build upon the same formula that made the Mi Band a success. A reasonable priced, premium quality fitness band with robust tracking. Even though the accuracy is slightly questionable in comparison to the tracking doing by previous generations of the device, it is still much better than the competition. I had invested in Runtastic Orbit after I lost my Mi Band to check the competition, but that tracker was dull at best in comparison.
When I started using the Mi Band 2, I was afraid at what the battery life will be with the OLED display and heart rate sensor built in. But it performed admirably well, lasting up to 23 since the first full charge. This included normal usage to track sleep, steps, setup of 3 alarms and call alert enabled.
The main module has gained thickness after the addition of the display and you can customise the things that you want your Band to display. There are sweeping changes in terms of design - addition of the display and a circular capacitive button that cycles between the information displayed. The back latch system of the Band to keep it secure in the hand has also improved immensely with no fear of easy wear and tear to the Band. The button sensitivity sometimes looks over the board as it gets activated by water drops while washing hands or taking a bath. Another neat feature that I loved with the Mi Band 2 is the twist to check time. The minimum recorded twist in personal experience is a 45-degree twist which ends in the Band display facing up at the end.
The latest generation introduces live heart-rate tracking which can be enabled using the capacitive button and there is no need to trigger the tracking using the Mi Fit App. The tracking experience is great and to this date, I can never figure out how the Mi Bands automatically track the sleep durations. I could guesstimate that the Mi Band 1S and Band 2 have heart rate sensors and they can judge the relaxed and sleep patterns apart from the movement patterns of the device.
There are a few quirks in tracking which can be fixed through a firmware, but overall Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is a great improvement over the previous generations of the device.
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