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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review: Big-screen tracker

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review: Big-screen tracker

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is a newer version of the Smart Band 7 Pro we reviewed in 2022. I found the improvements over its predecessor modest. However, for what it's supposed to be, a fitness tracker with a larger screen, the Smart Band 8 Pro gets the job done. Furthermore, its sub-$100 price tag makes it an attractive upgrade over a basic tracker.

Quick specs

  • 1.74-inch AMOLED screen (336 x 480 pixels)
  • Size: 46mm x 33.4mm x 10mm, 22.5g
  • 289mAh battery (up to 14 days battery life)
  • Requires Android 8.0 or later, iOS 12 or later

By design, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro looks more like a watch than a fitness tracker. The 1.74-inch, 336 x 480-pixel AMOLED screen is sharp, really bright, and has an always-on display (AOD) function, which means you can glance at it to get the time without waiting for it to light up. The screen resolution and brightness are slightly higher than the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro, but these aren't significant enough to make a big difference in your experience. Primarily made of plastic, the Smart Band 8 Pro is very light at just 22.5g (without strap), with a face that's small enough to look good on those with narrow wrists.

The strap that came with my unit is similar to what Apple calls the Sport Band. This means you choose which hole the strap's pin will go into first to determine the size, before you tuck away the rest of the strap into a loop. The material used is soft and comfortable, and can be easily replaced. Xiaomi offers a good range of options including fabric and metal straps that will match your office wardrobe better.

Back of Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro
Credit: John Chan/Can Buy or Not

Fitness tracking on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is good, which is exactly what I expected given that its basic trackers have already been doing that well for years. Its biggest upgrade over the non-Pro version is GPS, which means you can go running without your phone, and still have your route recorded. I tested the 5ATM water resistance doing laps at the pool, and found it to work as advertised, accurately recording my workout with lap times and strokes. However, since it doesn't have any buttons, stopping a exercise session will have to be done through the touchscreen. For a swim session, this requires quite a few steps since the display is locked to prevent accidental touches.

All the health tracking features we've come to expect from a fitness tracker are also on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro. These include heart rate, SpO2, sleep tracking, as well as movement over the day. You can also receive notifications on the band, which is a better experience over the regular version because of the former's larger screen. However, like its predecessor, you still can't make or receive calls through Bluetooth. There's also no app store to increase its functionality, though there is a huge watch face store so you can customise the display to your heart's content. Everything is controlled on your smartphone through the Mi Fitness app, available for both Android and iOS.

One of the many watch faces you can download through the Mi Fitness app. Credit: John Chan/Can Buy or Not

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro's battery is rated for 14 days on a single charge, or six days if AOD is turned on. This is consistent with my experience, getting about two weeks use without AOD, based on my desk-bound lifestyle with occasional exercise sessions. Active users may have to charge more frequently, which is done using the provided magnetic pogo pin charging cable.

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The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is a worthwhile upgrade for those who find their basic fitness tracker screens too small. At S$89, it's pretty inexpensive, and offers nice customisation options through digital watch faces and optional straps. It's available now from Shopee and Lazada.

Review unit provided by Xiaomi.

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Attractive large-screen fitness tracker

Available at Lazada
Buy it at Shopee

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