The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 has been slowly teased out for months (and even leaked on Weibo hours before the unveiling event), but the company has finally unveiled all the details about its next-generation fitness tracker.
Xiaomi’s affordable fitness trackers have proved immensely popular, so much so that it’s given Xiaomi a significant sales lead over Fitbit.
It’s been a couple of years since the last iteration of the Mi Band, however, and fans have been clamoring for details and information on the new device for a while. Finally, their thirst has been satiated and, better yet, we have all the details for you right here, right now.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3: Design
The major physical difference between the Mi Band 3 and its predecessor is in the display. The Mi Band 2 had a touchscreen, but it also had a small navigation button under it. The Mi Band 3 replaces that with a full touchscreen, a 0.78-inch OLED display – up from the 0.42-inch display on the Mi Band 2.
The display sports a 128 x 80 pixel resolution, which is enough room to fit 26 Chinese characters on a single screen. On the inside, there’s a 110 mAh battery that Xiaomi says matches the 20 days of battery life that the Mi Band 2 enjoyed. That’s not quite as good as the 30 days of battery life on the Xiaomi sub-brand Huami’s Amazfit Bip, but it’ll do.
The biggest new feature on the inside is an NFC chip that enables contactless payments, though that’s only available on the slightly more expensive NFC version. Of course, there’s also a built-in heart monitor, but sadly there’s no GPS.
All of these internals will survive in up to 50 meters of water, bringing it to parity on water proofing with Fitbit Ionic and Versa. On the outside, you’ve got a new elastomer band that comes in your choice of blue, black or red.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3: Fitness tracking
The Mi Band 3’s fitness tracking features start at the heart rate monitor, which has been optimized for more accuracy and now works all day long, giving you access to real-time changes in your heart rate.
Xiaomi has also improved its pedometer algorithms to offer more accurate step counting. While you’re working out, you’ll also see real-time distance, duration and other related metrics.
As for what workouts you’ll be able to do, the standard set of running, cycling and walking are here. You’ve got swimming in there too thanks to the 5ATM rating, though it’s not yet clear what kind of swim metrics we’ll be seeing.
You can also set your goals on your wrist and your Mi Band 3 will buzz when you’re getting close to completing them, so you’ll know when to give that extra push of effort.
There’s also sleep monitoring on board, the results of which you’ll be able to view on the newly revamped companion app. The Mi Fit app also provides some of our favorite sleep tracking metrics, so it’ll be interesting to see how this changes – if it changes. And, of course, there are inactivity reminders to get you off your butt and do something.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3: Smart features
The big new feature here is NFC payments, though you’ll need to buy the slightly more expensive NFC version for that. It’s not clear whether NFC payments will only be available for the Chinese version or whether it’ll make its way out to other countries as well.
That larger new display will let you see your messages a little better. In China, that means WeChat and QQ. Elsewhere in the world, that likely means WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Of course, you’ll also be getting notification support, Caller ID, alarm clocks and a raise-to-wake feature that will let you quickly glance at your stats for the day. New for the Mi Band 3 is 3-day weather forecasts and a timer.
If you’ve got an Android phone, you can use your Mi Band 3 to unlock your phone. It’s not clear which Android phones will support this, but at the very least you can expect Xiaomi’s own Mi line of phones to have support.
Xiaomi also says it’ll continue to update the Mi Band 3 with new features over time, though it didn’t say what those features could be.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3: Pricing and availability
The Mi Band 3 will be available for 169 yuan (or $26) while the NFC version will come in at 179 yuan, or $30.
Currently, we don’t when the Mi Band 3 will make its way to international markets, but we do know that it’ll head over to India in July following its launch in China. Stay tuned, we expect to hear details over the coming weeks.