If you're looking for a cheap and good fitness tracker, consider the Xiaomi Smart Band 7. While the price has inched up slightly from its predecessor, the larger AMOLED screen and new features in the latest model ensure that it's still the budget fitness tracker to get.
- 1.62-inch AMOLED screen (192 x 490 pixels)
- Size: 46.5mm x 20.7mm x 12.25mm, 13.5g
- 180mAh battery (up to 14 days battery life)
- Requires Android 6.0 or later, iOS 10.0 or later
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 looks similar to the previous model. But the screen is now 1.62 inches, up from 1.56 inches. It doesn't sound like much, but Xiaomi says you'll get 25% more viewing area. I had no problem reading even small text, like WhatsApp messages on the Band 7. The screen also looks bright and vibrant. More importantly, there's now an Always-On display (AOD) feature. To minimise the battery drain, this AOD has a “Smart” option which turns off the screen during sleep, or when you're not wearing it. The Band 7 uses a pin-style clasp design. I'm not a fan as I often struggle to push the pin into the hole. But I like how light the Band 7 feels — it's barely there on my wrist.
The Band 7 has the same set of sensors (PPG heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, and 3-axis gyroscope) as the previous model. But the fitness tracker is now doing more in the training metrics department. It has added several functions — training load, recovery duration, and training effect. Together with Vo2 max monitoring, the Band 7 now approaches the capabilities of more advanced wearables. The number of fitness modes has also ballooned from 30 in the previous model to over 110 now. While most users will never use anything outside the common ones like swimming and jogging, the additional modes are nice to have. But the lack of a built-in GPS means that you'll need your phone (and the Mi Fitness app) if you want accurate distance tracking during your workouts.
In my testing, the heart rate tracking was occasionally off, with some readings much higher than usual. Continuous SpO2 monitoring seems to be in line with my other wearables. Sleep tracking is decent, though there's no snore monitoring feature like the Oppo Watch Free. And like most fitness trackers, you can receive notifications like WhatsApp messages, but there's no reply option. You can control media playback on your phone using the fitness tracker, but it doesn't have a built-in music player. There's also no NFC functionality. Navigating the Band 7 is straightforward enough, while the touchscreen is generally responsive. However, I found the screen to be a tad too sensitive to the press-and-hold function, which triggers the option to change the watch face.
Battery life is outstanding, as you'd expect from a fitness tracker. Xiaomi says you can get over two weeks of use from a single charge. As a more casual user (short weekday jogs mostly), I only had to charge the device once in several weeks. At S$69, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is still very affordable for what you get. However, Huawei is giving Xiaomi a run for its money with its latest Band 7 fitness tracker, which can go for around S$60 during a sale. The Xiaomi still has the larger screen, but both devices have very similar features, performance and battery life. The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is available on Shopee, Lazada, and Amazon SG.
Review unit provided by Xiaomi.
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