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Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs Mi Band 6: Which cheap tracker should you buy?

Does its larger screen, smarter health tracking, and revised UI give the Mi Band 7 the win?
By

Published onJanuary 19, 2024

Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Check price
Positives
Affordable price
Good battery life
Bigger, colorful display
Lots of sports tracking modes
Useful smart features
Accurate resting heart rate readings
Negatives
Battery life takes a hit with advanced features
Heart rate sensor struggles with high-intensity workouts
Sleep tracking can be off
Confusing app situation
No NFC, voice assistant outside China
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
MSRP: $46.30
Check price
Positives
Bigger, brighter display
Accurate resting heart rate
Continuous SpO2 monitoring
Negatives
No built-in GPS
No NFC or voice assistant on global model
Inconsistent sleep tracking

Newer doesn’t necessarily mean better, especially when it comes to new wearables. While no longer the company’s latest and greatest, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 still boasts many positives. But how does it stack up against older models, like the Mi Band 6? Find out in our Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs Mi Band 6 comparison for a look at two of the best fitness trackers for users on a budget.

Design and features

  • Xiaomi stretched the Mi Band 7’s screen to 1.62 inches without sacrificing pixel density.
  • Its always-on display mode adds to the new tracker’s usefulness.
  • The Mi Band 7 includes more colors, clock faces, and an improved UI over its predecessor.

While we can’t say the same for the Mi Band 8, Xiaomi has resisted the urge to switch up the established Mi Band design with the seventh iteration, and it was a good decision in our book. The biggest draw of the Mi Band series is its simplicity, and the Mi Band 7 demonstrates this.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 packs a 1.62-inch AMOLED display, up from the Mi Band 6’s 1.56-inch screen. It may not seem a huge improvement, but a larger viewing area for important info is always welcome and valuable when only a glance will do. The newer display also hits 500 nits maximum brightness, a minor improvement over the Mi Band 6’s 450 nits.

Despite its size increase, the most noticeable display improvement comes from an always-on mode. The long-awaited feature will allow users to sneak peeks at the time and other important information without tapping the screen. The Mi Band 7 also gains a reworked UI with an always-on mode and an upgraded screen. Icons and animations are refreshed, while the data presented on screen takes advantage of the AMOLED screen’s contrast ratio. On top of this, you’re also getting more than 100 additional customizable clock faces with nifty MIUI 13-inspired designs.

Xiaomi has resisted the urge to switch up the established Mi Band design with the seventh iteration, and it was a good decision in our book.

Beyond these changes, it’s tough to tell the Mi Band 7 and Mi Band 6 apart from a distance. Both feature a pill-shaped central tracker mounted snugly into a TPU band. The former arrives with at least six color options, with new camouflage and fluorescent options. For those seeking a wider array of stock band options, the Mi Band 7 does have a leg up here.

You will notice a considerable change in the battery capacity column, though. The Mi Band 7 includes a 180mAh battery, up from the Mi Band 6’s 125mAh cell. Xiaomi believes the new band will typically last 15 days between charges or nine days for more enthusiastic users. The Mi Band 6 was advertised to have a two-week battery life. This battery bump is probably necessary. The Mi Band 7’s new features could steadily drain its battery in the background, and that’s exactly what we discovered in our review. With all the advanced new features switched on, we couldn’t go beyond a week without charging the band. Notably, the big battery drain seems to be the always-on display, but you likely wouldn’t want to switch off a feature that sets the Mi Band 7 apart from its siblings.

This higher battery demand is also a normal thing for modern Mi Bands. During our Mi Band 6 review, we also found the tracker fell well short of Xiaomi’s quoted battery life target.


Fitness and health tracking

A user scrolls the workout options on their Xiaomi Mi Band 7.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 falls well short in health and fitness features.
  • The Mi Band 7 has SpO2 alerts, training metrics like VO2 max and training load, and more sport tracking modes.
  • Onboard GPS is a no-show on the newer tracker.

Design should come second to a fitness tracker’s health kit, so how do the Mi Band 6 and Mi Band 7 compare? First, the two bands share many features, including heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, female health monitoring, and stress tracking. PAI, or Personal Activity Intelligence metrics, is standard across both bands.

While the Mi Band 6 saw loads of upgrades over its predecessor, the Mi Band 7 seemingly wants to be taken seriously by avid gym-goers and runners. The SpO2 sensor returns but continuously monitors a user’s blood oxygen level, sounding an alarm if it dips below 90%. It’s a great feature, especially if users don’t want to monitor this metric actively. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6’s SpO2 sensor only continuously monitors levels during sleep, so the Mi Band 7 is a welcome step up.

More serious trainers will find four additional data fields on the Mi Band 7 to analyze their performance.

More serious trainers will find four additional data fields on the Mi Band 7 to analyze their performance. These include VO2 max, aerobic/anaerobic training advice that helps users understand how hard to push their heart to burn fat or build muscle, and recovery time. Training load is also calculated using a seven-day excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC — a standard used by the likes of Garmin. This metric should give users more insight into how their recent exercise has impacted their general fitness. You’d usually have to fork out for a more expensive training-orientated watch to gain insight into these metrics, so seeing these on a budget tracker is impressive.

Beyond these serious training features, the Mi Band 7 caters to casual users. The band now packs 120 sports modes, up from the 30 offered by the Mi Band 6. Will you use all 120 modes? Probably not, but variety is the spice of life.


Where older Mi Band models may still excel

  • If you value battery endurance, you might want to hang on to your older Mi Band 5 or Mi Band 4.
  • The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 still doesn’t fix the Mi Band 6’s more pressing issues, like the lack of built-in GPS.

We’ve spoken extensively of the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 versus the Mi Band 6, but how does the tracker contend with older models? Well, it still misses a few features its predecessors lacked.

One of the biggest omissions on the Mi Band 7 is onboard GPS. A staple on pricier fitness trackers and smartwatches, built-in GPS would allow Mi Band 7 users to leave their smartphones at home to track their runs, bike rides, and hikes. You’ll need to buy the more expensive smartwatch-like Smart Band 7 Pro for the privilege. Sure, onboard GPS would’ve depleted the Mi Band 7’s battery life even quicker, but it would’ve also made it more appealing to the serious athletes it wants to court. It would also help Xiaomi sell the band’s more advanced training metrics.

The Mi Band 7 doesn't have the worst battery life stats but don't upgrade if you want your tracker to last longer.

Again, it’s worth bringing up the Mi Band 7’s battery consumption, too. Despite its larger battery size, the Mi Band 7 eats through its battery faster than the older Mi Band 5. This tracker boasted a two-week battery life claim, and its predecessor, the Mi Band 4, could last nearly a month between charges. The Mi Band 7 doesn’t have the worst battery life stats but don’t upgrade if you want your tracker to last longer.


Specs

Xiaomi Mi Band 6Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Display
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
1.56-inch AMOLED
Tempered glass with anti-fingerprint coating
152 x 486 resolution
326ppi
Up to 450 nits
60+ band displays
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
1.62-inch AMOLED
Always-on display mode
2.5D tempered glass
192 x 490 resolution
Up to 500 nits
100+ band displays
Sensors
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
PPG heart rate sensor
3-axis accelerometer sensor
3-axis gyroscope sensor
SpO2 sensor
Connected GPS
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
PPG heart rate sensor
3-axis accelerometer sensor
3-axis gyroscope sensor
SpO2 sensor
Connected GPS
Battery
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
125mAh
14 day promised battery life
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
180mAh
15 day typical battery life
9 days with heavy use
Connectivity
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Bluetooth 5.2
Tracking and other features
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
30 fitness modes
6 auto detection modes
SpO2 tracking
Sleep tracking
Breathing exercises
Stress monitoring
Female health tracking
PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence)
Idle alerts
Camera remote shutter
NFC (limited to Chinese NFC model)
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
120 fitness modes
Continuous SpO2 tracking with low blood oxygen alerts
Sleep tracking
Breathing exercises
Stress monitoring
Female health tracking
PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence)
VO2 Max calculations
Aerobic/anaerobic training alerts
Recovery time
Training load
Idle alerts
Camera remote shutter
NFC (limited to NFC model)
Water resistance
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
5ATM
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
5ATM
App compatibility
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Mi Fitness app
Zepp Life app

Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Mi Fitness app
Zepp Life app
Charging method
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Magnetic charging
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Magnetic charging
Supported devices
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Android 5.0 and above
iOS 10 and above
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Android 6.0 and above
iOS 10 and above
Dimensions
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
47.4 x 18.6 x 12.7mm
Strap: 155 - 219mm
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm
Colors
Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Black, Orange, Yellow, Olive, Ivory, Blue
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Black, Blue, Orange, Pink, White, Dark Green, Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent Green, Camouflage Blue, Camouflage Green.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs Mi Band 6: Which should you buy?

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 in black rests on a mint yoga mat.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is no longer worth buying. However, those who already own one should think twice about upgrading.
  • Are you seeking a tracker with advanced training stats and a larger screen with an always-on mode? Consider the Xiaomi Mi Band 7.
  • Those seeking a Xiaomi tracker with GPS must choose the pricier Smart Band 7 Pro or Smart Band 8 Pro.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is pricier than the Mi Band 6, but that isn’t an immediate dealbreaker. You can find the Band 7 on Amazon for around $50. However, that steeper asking price is worth considering if you want a larger screen, more advanced training monitoring data, and a larger battery. The Mi Band 7 makes the most sense for newcomers who don’t appreciate the Mi Band 8 redesign.

If you already own a Mi Band 6 or older Mi Band, you may want to think twice about upgrading. You may not need the additional training features or prefer the longer battery life offered by older models.

Of course, if you need onboard GPS on your Mi Band, you’ll have to look at the Smart Band 7 Pro ($89 at Amazon) or Smart Band 8 Pro. Both devices aren’t true Mi Band models but feature larger screens, bigger batteries, and higher asking prices.

Finally, as mentioned, the Mi Band 8 is now available, too, but it’s a stark departure from the long-standing Mi Band formula. More smartwatch-like than ever, the Mi Band 8 boasts straps that fasten to either end of a central tracker like a watch.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7Xiaomi Mi Band 7
AA Editors Choice
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Bigger, brighter display • Accurate resting heart rate • Continuous SpO2 monitoring
MSRP: $46.30
A budget band that delivers more than it's price tag might suggest
A long battery life, bright always-on display, and impressive health and activity tracking smarts make this affordable tracker a great pick for anyone on a budget. Xiaomi's Mi Band 7 delivers more than 100 sport modes, plus continuous SpO2 monitoring. You can even personalize your device with tons of animated watch faces.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Accurate health and fitness tracking • Affordable price point • Unique form factor
MSRP: $43.00
Once again, Xiaomi delivers a well-rounded fitness tracker at an approachable price.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 features an all-new strap design and the same vibrant touchscreen display found on the previous generation. On the wrist, as a necklace, or even attached to a running shoe, the device tracks key fitness stats and offers useful health monitoring tools to users eager to keep an eye on their wellness. It's a powerful, entry-level tracker at a great price.

Overall, it’s tough to recommend the Mi Band 6 over the Mi Band 7, especially considering the former’s age. That said, if you own a Mi Band 6, there’s no genuine reason to upgrade to the newer tracker if you don’t desire its minor upgrades.

Which Xiaomi Mi Band model do you prefer?

1784 votes

That’s it for our Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs Mi Band 6 head-to-head. But what do you think of the Mi Band 7? Is it worth getting over the Mi Band 6? Let us know by voting in the poll above.


FAQ

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is worth buying if you value its upgraded screen, larger battery, and more intuitive health tracking features, but it may not be worth upgrading from the Mi Band 6 just yet.

Xiaomi launched two Mi Band 7 models in China. One includes NFC, while the other does not. It’s unclear which model will launch globally.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 features connected GPS capabilities, but this relies on the companion phone’s GPS.

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