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Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6: The return of the fitness band king?

The first ever Mi Band was launched back in 2014. In the six or seven years since, Xiaomi‘s simple wearable has grown in stature—and now, the series arguably comprises some of the most value-for-money fitness bands around. Alongside the launch of a slew of new devices today, Xiaomi also announced the Mi Smart Band 6, which now comes with a larger, improved display.

It’s more of an incremental upgrade, although it might also be a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Regardless, here’s everything you need to know about the brand new Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6!

Price and availability

The Mi Smart Band 6 is actually available in two variants—one with NFC and one without. Based on their track record, it seems likely that Xiaomi will reserve the NFC version for markets where their NFC-compatible services (like Mi Pay) are supported. Regardless, official pricing in China is as follows:

Mi Smart Band 6 NFC – CNY 279 (~RM176)
Mi Smart Band 6 – CNY 229 (~RM144)

Pre-orders begin today, with official sales to start in China from the 2nd of April 2021.

Mi Smart Band 6 specs

From what we can see, the biggest upgrade that the Mi Smart Band 6 comes with is its display. It’s a 1.56″ AMOLED display, which is around 50 percent of an increase over its predecessor, and Xiaomi also touts the a pixel density of 326 ppi. To take advantage of the screen real estate, Xiaomi also promises over 130 watch faces that you’ll be able to choose from. Or, you can opt to use a picture of yourself (or anyone/thing, really) as your wallpaper.

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Another significant improvement here is the 30 sports modes that are built-in on the Mi Smart Band 6. On its predecessor, you had something like 11 sports modes—so this is a fairly big increase in options. You also have 50m of water resistance, so you’ll be able to take this on swims.

Out of these sports modes, six can be auto-detected, including cycling and outdoor running. Meanwhile, where it comes to health tracking features, you have more-or-less the expected range of features: 24/7 heart rate monitoring, as well as the now-standard SpO2 tracking functionality.

Sleep tracking is also supported, and Xiaomi claims that this particular functionality of the fitness band is able to help patients suffering from sleep apnea. The information that you’ll receive includes the quality of your breathing (and your sleep, of course), along with data on the stages of sleep you went through during the night.

Moving on, a rated battery of 14 days on a single charge for the Mi Smart Band 6 is identical to the Mi Smart Band 5, although Xiaomi says that battery saver mode will stretch this out to 19 days. This identical figure is probably still an improvement for Xiaomi, however, because you’re now looking at a larger, higher resolution display. Plus, you get the improved magnetic charger that was introduced on the Mi Smart Band 5.

Finally, as mentioned above, there is a version with NFC, and a version without it. This is something that Xiaomi has done in the past with its fitness bands, and it’s likely that the NFC variant will be reserved for regions where the company’s NFC features are available, such a Mi Pay.

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Is this the new king of fitness bands?