Xiaomi Mi Band is a $13 fitness band, can also securely unlock your phone

July 22, 2014
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At a special launch event in Beijing, Xiaomi took the veil off its new Mi 4 flagship, but that’s not the only exciting new device coming out from the Chinese smartphone manufacturer. Xiaomi has now formally announced its very first wearable, the Mi Band.

Probably the most exciting part about the Mi Band is it packs a similar set of features to wearables like Sony’s SmartBand, but instead of pricing it at $140 like Sony, Xiaomi is delivering the goods for only CNY79 — roughly $13. So what exactly does the Mi Band do? Probably the most obvious use would be for fitness, with the Mi Band offering up sensors that can track various health metrics. There’s also sleep tracking and an accompanying smart vibrating alarm that wakes you up gradually.

The Mi Band doubles as a security token that unlocks your smartphone when you are in close proximity to it.

Outside of the fitness aspects, the Mi Band works as a security token that unlocks your smartphone when you are in close proximity to it. At least initially, we imagine support for this feature is limited to select Xiaomi devices, but we’re sure that enterprising Android modders will likely find a way around any such limitations. The Mi Band is also waterproof with a rating of IP67 and stands out from the competition in terms of battery life, as Xiaomi claims the device can last 30 days on a full charge.

Combining all of these factors, the Mi Band is pretty darn impressive for just $13, though keep in mind that it will probably only arrive officially in China and other neighboring countries in Asia. The good news is that it’s only a matter of time before you can pick one up through an importer, in a similar manner to the Pressy-clone MiKey. What do you think of the Mi Band, worth picking up at such an aggressive price? Or is the absence of a screen too big of a turn off for you?

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