Xiaomi Mi Band 4: the best low-cost fitness bracelet

by Kelvin
Xiaomi Mi Band 4: the best low-cost fitness bracelet

Xiaomi Mi Band fitness bracelets have been and remain perhaps the most popular devices in their class. And why? Yes, because they are very, very cheap. Of course, if you wish, you can find something even cheaper on Aliexpress, but “it” will work so-so, and you should not rely on a community that industriously “dopped” initially medium-sized bracelets, equipping them with all the necessary functions.

Not enough dials? Please, now there are as many as you like. Need a smart alarm clock? The application (albeit paid, but not so expensive) Tools & Mi Band has been able to do this for a long time, and not badly, and steadily supports all new versions of bracelets. Need to control the music? The Play Market also has applications for this. All this made it possible to put up with the main shortcomings of the Mi Band, which, in my opinion, primarily included the obscure display, which was practically impossible to use during training.

  

Actually, in Mi Band 4, in my opinion, they fixed the main drawback of previous versions of devices. The display has become much larger, and (hooray) color, AMOLED, 0.95 ”, 120 x 240 RGB, with a color depth of 24 bits, brightness up to 400 nits. This (in my opinion) is already enough to control the progress of even running training in bright sunshine.

Of course, in comparison with expensive smart watches (for example, Amazfit Bip), the display still looks archaic. The frames are a bit thick, and even for devices used on the street, the use of transreflective technology is still more meaningful (I dragged the Amazfit Pace watch for a long time until its battery completely died and it did not work for just 1.5 days, which, it seems to me, not enough at all). But to compare devices more expensive than $ 100 with what costs less than 40 at a discount, and even in Russia at least incorrectly.

Now a little about the “disappointments” of Xiaomi Mi Band 4. We have been told for a long time that there will be NFC in the device, and on the forums people have been dreaming that maybe with this version it will be possible to pay via Google Pay, or even ride the metro on a virtual payment card. Alas and oh, the miracle did not happen – the Chinese version, in which there is NFC, was unsuitable for using our payment methods.

There is nothing to be done about it – because payments through such technologies are not only the chip itself, but also all kinds of protection technologies that need to be developed together with Google or other American corporations, and the Chinese company did not want to do this for cheap wristbands. And they can be understood – it is unlikely that a working NFC would increase the popularity of the bracelet so much that it would pay off the delay in release and the cost of bureaucracy and coordination.

Of course, the user can nod here at Xiaomi smartphones that support payment via Google Pay, but here you need to understand the difference – after all, the phones have an installed, but still Android, in which everything was already carefully written by Google, and in The bracelet has its own propietary axis, for which the bike would have to be fenced independently.

Another of the advertised features is the ability (finally) to switch music out of the box. Yes, before all this could be done using third-party applications, but not everyone wants to give their data to an independent developer (and even the fact that we already give them to the Chinese giants is not an argument for everyone). It works well, switches smartly, does not depend on the application. If the device is connected via Bluetooth 5, then generally a bullet, on the 4th – with some delay.

By the way, about Bluetooth 5.0. Now the bracelet supports this new communication technology, which means that it “falls off” less and responds faster, and also works longer even with constant communication with the phone. Moreover, according to my feelings, the difference is really great – from my main Samsung Galaxy S8 + the new Mi Band 4 never fell off, and with the previous one this happened all the time. But when I tried to connect the device with Samsung Galaxy S7, which doesn’t support the fifth blue tooth, the situation was straightforward – periodic rolling off again (and yes, I know that the Korean giant is partly to blame for this, for some reason smartphones have constant small, elusive, but no less infuriating problems in connection with Chinese bracelets).

In terms of battery life, I did not notice any features. Yes, the screen of the bracelet is now larger, but the battery has also increased. With constant heart rate measurement and three workouts, the device worked for me for almost 10 days. In my opinion, this is more than enough – when Mi Band 4 starts to “ask for food”, you have 1-2 more days to attach it to the charge.

And here is just the biggest, in my opinion, miscalculation in the design of the fourth band. Instead of an elastic rubber charging wiring, which was much easier to lose than tearing, we slipped some ridiculous “bath” on a thin wiring that looked very shaky. At the same time, the capsule also needs to be removed from the strap in order to charge! The charger itself has become more bulky, and if you do it like that, then why not give the opportunity to charge the bracelet assembly? Yes, of course, bracelets are different, but it was possible for emergency cases to come up with some rubber insert for attaching the capsule separately!

What will appeal to individuality lovers is that the bracelets from the third Mi Band are also supported. So, if you suddenly bought yourself hipster clothes for a band of the past generation, then you can use them. At the same time, the assembly assembly looks much stronger than last year (I just safely lost my Mi Band 3 about a month ago due to the fact that it simply slipped out of the mount, but I did not notice this). Let's see what will happen in a few months of continuous wearing, of course.

At the same time, in terms of design, the new version of the bracelet, in my opinion, loses the previous one. There was a spectacular (and convenient) recess, indicating the position of the touch button, and the rounded screen looked nicer. But on the new devices without problems you can stick protective films (many Chinese stores even immediately put them in the kit). True, I instantly tore my own, unsuccessfully clinging to the door jamb. But there were no scratches on the screen, tempered glass with an oleophobic coating is good (again, we'll see in six months, but on the last Mi Band, the third version, I “planted” the scratch in the first week of use). By the way, I didn’t understand why the oleophobic coating is scolded on the Internet – yes, fingerprints remain, but if you do not look at them, they do not interfere.

The new bracelet also claims protection against leaks, the level of moisture resistance is 5 atm, the water resistance class is now not WR30, but WR50 – that is, you can take a shower and swim without diving. I had nowhere to swim during the test, but I took a shower specially without removing the device – and no drops appeared under the glass (as this, alas and ah, happened to my Mi Band 3). But when I swim in the sea, I will still remove the bracelet – just in case.

Another plus is that even the version that came to me from a Chinese store (international, without NFC) immediately correctly worked with a Russian, there were no cracks on the screen, no dancing with a tambourine was needed for Russification.

Of unrealizable dreams – yes, Xiaomi Mi Band 4, like its predecessor, does not support GPS. However, this was not to be expected – to determine the location by satellites, a lot of energy is required, and the chip itself and the antennas would make the design more expensive. So, for training, you also have to take your phone with you.

At the same time, the new bracelet now has a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope, as well as a new heart rate sensor. In my opinion, now the data has become more accurate, and swimming has appeared in the training list (though I could not try it out). Measurement of the pulse still does not work very accurately, and to get the bracelet closer to the real one you need to tighten it quite tightly, which is uncomfortable and unpleasant in training.

In general, despite some reservations, the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 seems to me the best purchase for the money. When you buy in China, it costs about 2,000 rubles (and in gray stores you can find it for about the same amount), and the official delivery will cost you 3,000 rubles. Among the competitors of the bracelet, Honor Band 4 can be noted, which has a better display (and less battery life). But taking into account the Xiaomi community, the Honor device loses in functionality – yes, it has a “smart alarm clock” out of the box, but there are much fewer possibilities for completing it.

Thank you for the GearVita bracelet. Here they are for sale Mi Band 4 priced at $ 30.99 (you need to use the IXBTM4RE coupon, then there will be such a price.

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