Great news if you’re a fan of the Xiaomi Mi Band series: Huami and Xiaomi have announced a 3-year extension of its strategic cooperation agreement.
The deal means that Huami continues to be the “most-preferred-partner status to develop Xiaomi wearable products”.
The last iteration of a Xiaomi branded fitness tracker, the Mi Band 5, went live earlier this year; the very first one was a China-only launch way back in 2014.
Xiaomi and Huami tend to launch their wearables in their homeland first, with global launches following. Each year, the Mi Band gets increasingly more sophisticated and packed full of sensors, but the price point always remains firmly in the budget fitness tracker camp.
The original Mi Band went on sale for just $19.99 in the US in May 2015 and, while the 5th-gen model is double that price, it’s still a tracker that comes in at less than half the cost of Fitbit’s cheapest option, the Inspire 2.
And, given Huami has managed to pack in a heart rate monitor, sports profiles, sleep tracking including REM, as well as notifications and music controls to the Mi Band 5, it’s still an attractive option.
However, with the likes of Realme and Redmi offering fitness bands for as little as $15 nowadays, Xiaomi somehow now feels like the premium offering in this new super-low cost micro-market.
And, of course, Huami now has its own wearable brand that directly competes with Xiaomi – Amazfit. Recently we’ve seen the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and Amazfit Band 5 go head to head, although it’s in the smartwatch category where Amazfit is really excelling.
The emergence of these Chinese brands has really given the wearable tech market a major boost in the past few years and the Xiaomi / Huami deal means more exciting innovation is still to come. The partnership renewal statement also mentioned “research and development of AI-chips and algorithms for wearable devices.”