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Xiaomi Mi Band 8 buyer's guide: Specs, features, and competition
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 officially joined the company’s popular line of budget fitness trackers in the spring of 2023, with a global launch following in the fall of 2023. The device features a few minor upgrades, from a new strap design to improved internal specs. Here’s everything you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi Band 8.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8: At a glance
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 launched in China on April 18, followed by a European release on September 27. The device largely resembles its predecessor in form factor and feature set.
The latest model offers the same 1.62-inch, 192 x 490-pixel AMOLED always-on display seen in the Mi Band 7. However, the model now has a 60Hz refresh rate and brightness of up to 600 nits. Out of the box, users will also immediately recognize a new quick-release strap. The band’s straps now clip into the tracker pill rather than wrap around the display.
Beneath the hood, the Mi Band 8 features many of the previous generations’ core features with minor upgrades. The device offers more than 150 sports modes, plus continuous heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, stress and sleep tracking, and workout analysis. It also boasts a battery life of 16 days with regular use or six days with the always-on display enabled.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 initially launched in China, starting at 239 yuan (~$34) for the regular version and 279 yuan (~$40) for the NFC version. However, the company launched the Mi Band 8 in Europe on September 27 for €39.90 (~$42). The device is available in light gold and bright black.
In August 2023, Xiaomi announced the Smart Band 8 Pro. It features a slightly larger display and a larger battery than its predecessor. There is no word on global availability yet, but the device is available in China for 399 yuan (~$55).
Is the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 worth buying?
We consistently recommend Xiaomi’s Mi Bands as solid options for anyone seeking an affordable device. Last year, we even awarded the line with an Editor’s Choice after our Xiaomi Mi Band 7 review. If you don’t already have your hands on a reliable fitness tracker, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 is a great pick.
That said, we’ve yet to review the Xiaomi Mi Band 8, so we can’t yet offer first-hand critiques. The Mi Band 7 houses accurate sensors and offers a commendable user experience. The 8’s on-paper specs suggest a few nominal improvements over last year’s model and an elevated look. The ability to wear the tracker on a shoe or as a necklace makes it an intriguing buy at the very least.
However, like the Mi Band 7, the Mi Band 8 is still an entry-level fitness tracker. You won’t find a robust list of smart features like that of premium fitness trackers. This is a basic device for shoppers who want basic activity stats but don’t want to drop a ton of cash.
Design, hardware, and smart features
As mentioned, the tracker’s band is the most obvious design change. Rather than the unibody build of past generations, the Mi Band 8 features a sleek, two-piece strap. This aligns the Mi Band 8 more closely with the Pro model and other popular wearables, including Fitbit’s Inspire 3. Unfortunately, the tracker is incompatible with the company’s Pro line bands. Additionally, on the wrist isn’t the only way you can wear the Mi Band 8. The tracker can also be worn around the neck as a hanging pendant or attached to a running shoe. From these locations, the pill will still track key workout metrics.
No matter where you wear your device, the band offers the same generously-sized display as the last generation. Xiaomi added new watch faces that double as on-wrist entertainment to capitalize on the real estate. These faces feature playable games and puzzles. Otherwise, you’ve got over 200 watch faces to choose from. Below the screen, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 packs heart rate and SpO2 monitoring sensors, a 190mAh battery, and Bluetooth 5.1 LE. The new generation also adds a 6-axis motion sensor for activity tracking.
Smart features on the band are limited to basics like notifications and music controls. The Chinese Mi Band 8 lineup currently includes a model featuring NFC, but this feature seems missing from the global variant.
Fitness and health tracking features
Sticking with its pattern of sport mode overload, Xiaomi offers tracking for more than 150 unique activities on the Mi Band 8. Thanks to an upgraded accelerometer, users can tap into movement-based fitness courses in the Mi Fitness app.
These courses are in addition to the useful training tools and metrics carried over from the last model. The band tracks everything from steps, distance, and calories to VO2 max, blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, sleep, and stress.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 specs
|Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Always-on display mode
192 x 490 resolution
Up to 600 nit
60Hz refresh rate
PPG heart rate sensor
16-day typical battery life
6 days with AOD
Bluetooth 5.1 LE
Android 6.0 or later
iOS 12.0 or later
48 x 22.5 x 10.99mm
Bright Black, Light Gold
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 vs Mi Band 7: What’s new?
We’re still tickled by the incredible value of the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, the company’s last model to hit wrists. The device packs a powerful wearable into a tiny form factor. The newest model echoes many of the successful aspects of the previous generation but offers a few key upgrades.
As mentioned, the biggest change to the line is the new band design and the option to wear the tracker in new locations. The Mi Band 8 also brings an updated accelerometer for advanced training metrics and an increase in battery life.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8: The competition
Xiaomi continues to make headway in the affordable tracker market but it’s not the only horse in the race. Check out these Xiaomi Mi Band 8 alternatives for more options.
- HUAWEI Band 7 ($41 at Amazon): Also very affordable, HUAWEI’s Band 7 boasts a 1.47-inch AMOLED display, the ability to answer phone calls on the wrist, music and remote camera controls, and support for NFC payments.
- Fitbit Inspire 3 ($99.95 at Amazon): Fitbit’s gateway fitness tracker packs a bright AMOLED screen, powerful sensors, and Fitbit’s usual reliable health-tracking smarts.
- Fitbit Charge 6 ($159.95 at Amazon): For a bit more, Fitbit’s Charge 5 boasts built-in GPS, skin temperature tracking, and an ECG.
- Garmin vivosmart 5 ($149 at Amazon): Landing at a significantly higher price point than Xiaomi’s offerings, Garmin’s cheapest fitness tracker offers excellent health and fitness tracking kit, including tools like Body Battery.
- Xiaomi Mi Band 7 ($46 at Amazon): Of course, within the Xiaomi ecosystem, the Mi Band 7 still offers a worthy alternative to the newest model with accurate sensors and an attractive display.
Where to buy the Mi Band 8
- Xiaomi Mi Band 8: €39.90 / 239 yuan
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 is available in Europe and China. Global users can buy the device via Xiaomi’s website.
Xiamoi’s last three generations have impressed us. We recommend giving the device a look if you are interested in a budget tracker.
Unfortunately, the Mi Band 8 still does not offer built-in GPS. Like with the previous model, you will need to use a connected GPS through your phone.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 features a water resistance rating of 5ATM, so it can be worn to depths of 50 meters.
Unfortunately, the global Mi Band 8 doesn’t offer NFC.
Absolutely, the band offers sleep tracking and should be worn to bed when possible.