Xiaomi has announced the Mi Band 7, the latest in its long-running line of budget fitness trackers.
Like the brilliant little Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6, low cost is the big draw. The Mi Band 7 costs 239 yuan, equivalent to around $36.
This conversion is necessary because the band has only been announced for the Chinese market so far, but is likely to come to other countries in the next few months. It may also be known as the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 in the US and Europe too — Xiaomi added “Smart” to the naming of the last generation.
A larger display is the clearest chance in the Band 7. It now measures 1.62 inches across, up from 1.52 inches in the last model.
It’s a full-color OLED panel, much larger than the 0.76-inch display of the more expensive Fitbit Luxe.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 also has an always-on display mode, which keeps the time on-screen at all times. While the Mi Band 6 had an OLED screen, it did not have an always-on mode. OLED tech is crucial here as its emissive pixels draw little power when only a relatively small number of them are lit.
Xiaomi rates the Mi Band 7’s battery life at two weeks. It has not published any figures for the always-on mode, but this typically halves stamina. A week’s use with the screen lit all day? That is not too bad at all. Xiaomi also says the battery is fit for nine days of heavy use.
This always-on display mode adds the one feature I missed most in the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6. However, Xiaomi has not also implemented full GPS, which would truly level up the Mi Band 7 as a fitness tracker.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 has to lean on Connected GPS, like the last model. This is where a fitness tracker takes location data from a phone hooked up over Bluetooth.
Xiaomi instead bolsters the Band 7’s fitness credibility with a huge array of fitness tracking modes, 120 of them. However, most of these are likely to be identical other than how they appear in the companion app.
The Xiaomi Band 7 can also record SpO2 readings, which indicate the oxygen saturation of your blood. Xiaomi’s Mi Band 7 is available to buy now in China, not elsewhere. But this alone should be enough to make some of you consider waiting for a release in the US or Europe.