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Everything you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi Band 5
The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 was the company’s late 2020 entry to its long-running and highly successful fitness band series. It initially launched in China but soon made its way to the UK, some additional European markets, and India. Like its predecessors, the band offers a ton of features at an ultra-cheap price point.
Everything from the display to the sensors to the processor saw an upgrade on the Mi Band 5, making it more feature-rich than ever. Let’s look at all that’s new on the Mi Band 5 and how it differs from previous Mi Bands and its pricier successor.
Our verdict: Xiaomi Mi Band 5 review
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Specs and features
First, the AMOLED display of the Mi Band 5 is slightly bigger than that of the Mi Band 4. It measures 1.1 inches as opposed to the Mi Band 4’s 0.95-inch screen. That’s not much of a difference, but the screen now has smaller bezels and a larger area to display more information. The resolution is set at 126 x 294 pixels, and it supports 100% of the P3 color gamut. It also comes with a 2.5D tempered glass panel that protects the screen from scratches and abrasions.
There are more than 100 new themed dials to choose from, including 54 IP featured themes such as Spongebob Squarepants, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hatsune Miku, and Detective Conan. You can also customize the band interface by adding function modules based on your preference, everyday mood, and personal style.
Also read: The best fitness trackers you can buy
The Mi Band 5 also gets several new sports modes, bringing the total up to 11 in all. In contrast, the Mi Band 4 offered a total of six sports modes. It’s nice to see more indoor activity features on the Mi Band 5. Check out all the new sports modes below.
- Outdoor running
- Pool swimming
- Elliptical (New)
- Rowing machine (New)
- Jump rope (New)
- Indoor cycling (New)
- Yoga (New)
Besides the added sports modes, the Mi Band 5 gets many new tracking features and improvements.
Improved sleep tracking
The Mi Band 5 now has improved sleep monitoring, with continuous heart rate tracking as you snooze. Xiaomi claims this will help identify sleep problems such as irregular and sporadic sleep patterns and rapid eye movement. Based on the data collected, the app will give you suggestions on how to improve your sleep quality.
Blood oxygen tracking
The Chinese Mi Band 5 also gets a built-in SpO2 or blood oxygen tracker. This was absent from the Mi Band 4. The tracker can apparently detect your blood oxygen saturation levels every second for eight hours in a row. That’s a total of 28,800 readings in a span of eight hours. This continuous SpO2 monitoring is also aimed at improving sleep quality. It will work in tandem with the Mi Band 5’s sleep tracking function to provide more comprehensive sleep quality feedback.
Women’s health and PAI scoring system
Other new features include menstruation cycle tracking, breath training, remote control for your smartphone camera, and a new PAI Vitality Index. PAI stands for Personal Activity Intelligence and is a feature borrowed from Huami’s Amazfit wearables. It essentially gamifies health tracking by giving you a score between 1-100 based on your daily activity and heart rate.
Apart from the new sports modes and tracking features, the Mi Band 5 also brings a major design tweak. Traditionally, all Mi Bands have had to be popped out of their silicone straps for charging. The new Mi Band 5 does away with that hassle and brings all-new magnetic charging onboard.
The band has a 100mAh battery which, Xiaomi claims, can keep the lights on for up to 14 days on a full charge.
NFC and voice assistants
In China, the Mi Band 5 includes support for NFC and the XiaoAI voice assistant. The Russian variant of the Mi Band 5 launched with NFC, but the global model lacks this option. In fact, it lacks NFC, SpO2 tracking, and a voice assistant.
Now that you know all that’s new with the Mi Band 5, here’s a quick table summarizing the specs.
|Xiaomi Mi Band 5|
1.1-inch AMOLED color touchscreen
126 x 294 resolution
2.5D reinforced glass and AF coating
Dimensions and weight
46.95 × 18.15 × 12.45mm
155–219mm adjustable length
Colors and materials
PC plastic case
Aluminum alloy wristband buckle
Black, blue, pink, orange, purple, yellow, green, gray
Water resistance rating
512KB of RAM
16MB of flash memory
Heart rate sensor
Digital MEMS microphone
14-day battery life (advertised)
Android 5.0 and above
iOS 10.0 and above
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs. Xiaomi Mi Band 6: Which is the right fitness tracker for you?
Xiaomi’s Mi Band 5 is an impressive fitness tracker, but if you’re yet to pick one up, you might want to consider its successor instead. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 comes with an even better display experience. Xiaomi removed the bezels and managed to squeeze in a 1.56-inch display into a largely identical body to the Mi Band 5.
Our verdict: Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review
The differences between the Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 6 extend to the sensors, too. While only the Chinese Mi Band 5 variant packed a SpO2 sensor, it comes standard on all Mi Band 6 models. Activity tracking also gains some additional points on the Mi Band 6. While its predecessor tracked only 11 sport modes, the Mi Band 6 turns this up to 30. Six of these are automatically recognized by the Mi Band 6, too. If you’re concerned with multisport compatibility, the Mi Band 6 is the ticket.
The newer model isn’t without its drawbacks, though. The heart rate tracking isn’t as good with the Mi Band 6, and sleep tracking accuracy could also use some work. The Mi Band 6 is also nearly double the price of the Mi Band 5. If you’re okay without the numerous new sports modes and are willing to give SpO2 tracking a pass, the Mi Band 5 is definitely up to the task.
What are some good Xiaomi Mi band 5 alternatives?
While the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 still stands as a good value wearable more than a year after its launch, there is no shortage of alternatives at varying price points. Beyond the Mi Band 6, here are a few of our recommended challengers:
- Fitbit Inspire 2: The Inspire 2 is the best gateway Fitbit thanks to its included year-long Fitbit Premium trial for new users. It is much pricier than the Mi Band 5, though.
- Huawei Band 6: Huawei’s surprise fitness tracking hit of 2021 packs an SpO2 sensor, a large, bright smartwatch-like screen, and excellent battery life. The Band 6 is relatively cheap, too.
- Amazfit Band 5: If you’re looking for a near carbon copy of the Mi Band 5, the Amazfit Band 5 is that product. It’s effectively an upgraded Mi Band 5 that’s also available in the US. It includes an SpO2 sensor and a two week battery life.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5: Price and availability
The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 launched with the same affordable price tag as its predecessor. In China, the regular variant of the Mi Band 5 without NFC debuted at 189 yuan (~$29). Meanwhile, the version with NFC landed at 229 yuan (~$36).
Bear in mind that these were launch prices, so expect the Mi Band 5 to cost a lot less now that it has been around for more than a year.
The Mi Band 5 is also available in Europe and the UK as the Mi Smart Band 5 (albeit without NFC, SpO2 tracking, and voice assistance). You can buy the global Mi Band 5 for $39 on Amazon. Meanwhile, you can pick up the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 in India for Rs 2,999 (~$40).
Q: Where can I find Xiaomi Mi Band 5 bands?
A: There’s are plenty of Mi Band 5 straps available online. Browse a selection on Amazon here.
Q: Can I use Xiaomi Mi Band 6 bands with the Mi Band 5?
A: Yes. Xiaomi Mi Band 6 straps will definitely fit the tracker.
Q: Does the Mi Band 5 ship with a charger?
A: No wall charger is included in the box, but you will get a magnetic charging cable.
Q: Is the Mi Band 5 a good tracker for kids?
A: Functionally and practically, yes. It’s compact, features a variety of health-tracking tech, and is relatively inexpensive. That said, you might want to consider a fitness tracker specifically made with children in mind. For more info, read our more extensive look at the best fitness trackers for kids at the link.
Q: Is the Mi Band 5 water-resistant?
A: Yes. It features a 5ATM rating.