Since the first version launched in 2014, Xiaomi’s Mi Band has emerged as the fitness tracker to buy if you really don’t want to spend big. It’s undercut the likes of Fitbit, Samsung and Huawei and with every generation, has improved to make it one to comfortably recommend.
Its latest, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, launched in 2020 and it certainly felt more evolution than revolution in terms of the changes that were made to the budget band.
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That brings us to what comes next. We know that Xiaomi and Huami, who’ve brought those Mi Bands to life, have signed an extension in an agreement to work together. That makes it highly likely that we can expect a new Mi Band and we imagine it’s going to be called the Mi Band 6, unless Xiaomi makes a radical name change.
So what exactly can we expect from a new Xiaomi Mi Band? What’s the latest speculation surrounding the next gen tracker and when can we expect to see it? Here’s what we think we know so far.
Xiaomi Mi Band 6: Release date and price
So when will we get our hands on the Xiaomi Mi Band 6? If we look at when the Mi Band 5 and Mi Bands before that have landed, we are likely looking at some time in June.
The Mi Band 5 launched in China in June 2020 and then was made available globally a month later. The Mi Band 4 global launch was much closer to the China launch in 2019, so an early summer release date seems the most likely.
In terms of that Mi Band 6 price, things have crept up ever so slightly with each generation as Xiaomi adds in extra features like that more impressive AMOLED display.
The Mi Band 5 came in priced at £29.99, with the Mi Band 4 priced at £34.99. It feels highly unlikely that Xiaomi will want to break that £50 price and our money is on its new Band sitting below that number again.
It’s worth looking at the Amazfit Band 5, which launched at £44.90 and offers many of the features touted to land in the Mi Band 6. If it goes any higher than that, it’s certain to lost its attractive budget tracker status.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5
Huami makes the Xiaomi Mi Band and it also makes the Amazfit brand of wearables. That now includes the Amazfit Band 5, which launched not long after Xiaomi’s tracker offering largely the same design and features. One notable feature included on the Amazfit was Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant. Using an onboard microphone, it let you throw out queries for weather forecasts and recipes just like you would at an Amazon smart speaker or another Alexa-packing device and it displayed a response.
There’s a strong chance that Xiaomi could join the Alexa party and there’s potential evidence to support that. A forum user on Geekdoing, snooping around in the Zepp companion app, says they’ve stumbled across revealing coding that points not only to the Mi Band 6, but also mentions Alexa.
One of the most on-trend measurements to find its way onto a host of trackers and smartwatches is the ability to measure blood oxygen levels.
We’ve extensively covered why SpO2 on wearables is a big deal, but to summarise, it can be a source of information that can be used to help detect health issues, but it also has its uses for exercise and insights into your fitness. Particularly if you’re working out in high altitude environments.
Again, this is something that was supported on the Amazfit Band 5 with the inclusion of Huami’s BioTracker 2 health sensor.
The same Geekdoing forum user mentioned above points to evidence SpO2 measurements will be supported, which would also point to the inclusion of that BioTracker sensor.
A bigger display
Xiaomi Mi Band 5
When Xiaomi launched the Mi Band 4, it introduced the kind of AMOLED display we’d expect to find on a much pricier device.
With the Mi Band 5, it retained that high quality screen tech and went bigger, offering more room for app icons, menus and new animated watch faces.
The same digging that discovered potential inclusions of Alexa and support for blood oxygen measurements also point to Xiaomi going bigger with the screen on the next Mi Band.
Watch face preview pictures found in that app code suggest those previews are larger and may point to that screen growing in stature.
The Mi Band 5 included a 1.1-inch, 126 x 294 resolution AMOLED display, so could Xiaomi really go bigger? We wouldn’t rule it out.
More sports tracking modes
On the Mi Band 5, Xiaomi offered 11 sports tracking modes in total, which included outdoor running, power walking, cycling, indoor running, pool swimming, indoor cycling, elliptical, jump rope, yoga, rowing machine and a freestyle training mode.
It additionally offered automatic exercise tracking for running and walking if you didn’t want to take the manual tracking route.
That was up from the six modes included on the Mi Band 4. While many of these outside of the core sports offer limited activity-specific metrics, it looks like Xiaomi will ramp up those profiles once again.
Details shared by the same Geekdoing forum user points to another 19 modes being added to the new Mi Band. Those modes will be:
- Indoor fitness
- Indoor ice skating
- Core training
- Street dance
- Table tennis
Amazfit GTS 2 Mini introduced a Pomodoro Timer
While a timer might not sound like the most exciting addition to the Mi Band setup, those familiar with the concept of the Pomodoro timer will know it’s all about helping you stay productive during the day.
It does that by breaking things up into small periods of you fully concentrating on a task and then taking small breaks.
It’s a feature that recently popped up on the Huami-made Amazfit GTS 2 Mini.
A description of the feature was found in the same app code and feels like a feature that could be quite easily added into the Mi band mix.
Xiaomi Mi Band 6: What will stay the same?
We’ve gone through what new features the Mi Band 6 could bring, but we think there will be plenty that will stay the same – as will Xiaomi’s approach to the Mi Band.
Like the decision to offer NFC and non-NFC models, with the former built for Chinese markets to offer payment and transport card support.
It will likely offer the same core fitness and sports tracking features including the PAI Health Assessment system, and rely on connected GPS to map outdoor activities. We may see Xiaomi’s Mi AI smart assistant reserved for the China version and Alexa used on the global version too.