If you saw me, you could probably guess I don’t often visit the gym, in fact never visit the gym. You’ll probably also guess I like cake and may even ask me if I ate all the pies. I’ve lost weight before, that’s the easy bit, it’s trying to maintain the weight loss and not putting it back on that I find the problem. But, I’m hoping by embracing my love for tech that I might be able to do it this time. That’s why I thought I’d review for the Xiaomi Mi Band 4. And hopefully, if you see me at any gaming events in the future, you can see for yourself if it has helped me lose this gut I’m carrying around with me.
BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN – 5/5
I’ve actually been sent so many of these devices from Chinese sellers based on Amazon in the past, and none of them really felt right for me. Many felt cheap, weren’t operating quite as I’d liked, there is a list of issues I found with them. But with the Xiaomi Mi Band 4, it actually feels different. I’ll get onto the operational side of things further down, but in terms of build quality and design, I’m genuinely impressed. It feels well built, robust even. And as for the design, it really does look like a nice bit of kit to be sporting.
The main part of the fitness band is a control unit, which has a 0.95 inch AMOLED colour display that pushes 120 x 240 pixels resolution. The display is customisable, with touch-sensitive controls that are easy to operate, after it connects to your phone anyway. But I’ll get onto that later. Underneath the control unit, there is a sensor that is used for measuring your heart rate. This whole unit locks into place in a TPU band, which is a plastic material that is pretty much waterproof, dirtproof, oilproof, it has many properties. The band itself closes like a simple watch band, well, minus the traditional buckle, swapping it for a push close button style lock instead.
COMFORT – 5/5
As for comfort, well after a while you hardly notice this thing is on. So what does that say? It’s just like wearing a typical watch, you almost forget it is there and once you take it off after having it on for so long, you almost feel naked without it. And I think that’s part of the point of it because it’s designed to measure you not just whilst you’re awake but during your sleep too. So you know they’ve had to create it with comfort in mind, even after it gets wet. Because yes it’s waterproof up to 5ATM so you can wear it whilst showering or even if you’re going for a swim. But the best bit is, unlike some bands after getting wet, this dries quickly and doesn’t cause any irritation.
That’s down to the TPU material used to make the band itself, which is a nice thickness and feels smooth to the touch. There is a tonne of room for adjusting the band as well, with 12 holes to choose from (if I counted correctly), meaning it should easily fit most wrist sizes. And the way the control unit fits into the band forms a nice tight seal around it, protecting the pins that connect to it’s charging cradle, which is what makes it waterproof as mentioned above.
FUNCTIONALITY – 4.3/5
There are so many features on this thing I probably won’t remember to cover them all. But what I can say is they all work amazingly once you pair it up with your phone via the Mi Fit app, which is free to download from the App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play store for Android devices. And you will need this app if you receive the same version I did because otherwise, you won’t understand a thing unless you can read Chinese. Yep, the whole thing was in Chinese; the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 itself, the packaging, even the instructions. However, after a quick google search, I discovered a Gearbest blog post, that advised when you install the app and pair the device, it’ll update to the language on your phone. Which is easy, but I had to find that out myself.
Once you get over that hurdle though it’s essentially flawless. You can set everything up on your phone, although some of it requires you to give the device permissions and it’ll require the device to be at least 10% charged. If you’re worried that because it’s a Chinese brand you’re giving access to their government to spy on you it probably isn’t for you, and you’re also probably suffering from paranoia. For those of you without that somewhat irrational fear though you’ll have access to things such as; the time and date, a status update on the number of steps taken, distance walked and calories burned, your heart rate and the weather. There is plenty more too including being able to tell it what kind of exercise you’re doing so it can better calculate things like the calories burned.
But that still isn’t all, because you can also get notifications, control calls, use a stopwatch and timer, set alarms, control music and also find your phone if it has gone missing and it’s still connected to the band. Like I say, it does so much and I’ve probably missed a few things off, but you can catch them in the video further down below. What I like most about this particular Smart Bracelet though is that unlike others I’ve tested, the display is customisable. You have a number of screens to choose from and your phone will update them on your device; everything from cats to rockets, and more traditional looking faces to more futuristic styles too. It allows you to really personalise it and capture your personality.
The only thing left to mention is the battery life, which can be monitored on the device too, or from your phone. I mentioned above that it does require to be at least 10% for it to update, but you won’t have long to wait with a full charge taking less than 2 hours. And that charge? It lasts for up to 20 days, obviously reducing the more time you spend tapping away on the screen. But it means you won’t have to take it off every day, which is good, especially if you want it to keep track of you during your sleep and throughout the day.
VALUE FOR MONEY – 5/5
The price of the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is currently £22.85 on Gearbest (as of 15/10/2019), which is fantastic value for how much this bad boy can do. I’ve had a few cheaper Chinese versions and their apps don’t compare, nor do the list of features available. And those that are a similar price, are still way below par in terms of quality. The closest thing you’ll get quality-wise going off decent product ratings from other sites is a FitBit device, which may have more styles and a bigger screen, but also cost more than double the price.
OVERALL – 4.8/5
We had a rocky start with the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 because despite looking and feeling like a quality product, we had the issue of the fact we do not understand either of the two Chinese languages I have heard of. Which is all that came up on the display, the box and the instructions. And, since I don’t have a Chinese keyboard I couldn’t type stuff out for Google Translate to help. But luckily, Google was still my friend and helped me discover how to change the language on the device by connecting it to the Mi Fit app. Once connected I could see how much this Smart Bracelet could do, and was blown away at how well it all worked. Add to that the amazing battery life and the great value of it, it seems like the perfect tech device to try and help me get on the road to losing a few pounds, and hopefully, keeping them off. If you’re on the lookout for a device like this yourself, I can’t recommend it enough.
- Smart, easy-on-the-eye design, and simple to operate once you figure out how to get passed the Chinese language barrier;
- Comfortable to wear at all times of the day, even after getting wet;
- More features than I’ve got fingers and toes (I have them all, not lost one yet);
- 20-day standby battery life means you’ll not have to charge it up for a long time;
- Pairs with a free app that records all the data wirelessly through Bluetooth.
If you want to purchase the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 yourself, or just find out more information about the product, you can do so by clicking HERE to go to the listing on the official Gearbest website. And if you want to check out more of the reviews on our website, games, gadgets or otherwise, just click right HERE.