Xiaomi has confirmed via an official Weibo account that the latest iteration of its Mi Smart Band fitness tracker is scheduled for an 11 June launch in China. It is then expected to go on sale in China on 18 June, with a global launch most likely later in the year.
Mi Band 5 is the latest in a line of fitness trackers from Xiaomi, once again manufactured by subsidiary Huami, that is best-known for two key attributes: its incredible low price, with the Mi Band 4 currently retailing for as little as £26.49, and extraordinary battery life of up to 28 days.
According to TizenHelp the new version could retail for 179 yuan in China, which is around £20 / US$25 / AU$36 / €22. We’d expect UK pricing to be higher than this, potentially at around £35 in line with its predecessor.
New features in Mi Band 5
The original Mi Band was released way back in 2014, a relatively basic sleep- and fitness tracker. Since then, with the Mi Band 1S, Mi Band 2, Mi Band 3 and Mi Band 4, we have seen a slew of game-changing feature updates – from a colour OLED screen, digital clock and notifications to sleep-, swim- and heart-rate tracking – that position Xiaomi’s fitness tracker as a true rival to the likes of Fitbit.
There is still more that can be achieved in comparison to its rivals, and some interesting features are tipped for Mi Band 5.
TizenHelp reports that chief among these features are a larger 1.2in touchscreen display (up from 0.95in) with narrower bezels, built-in Alexa support, SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and menstrual cycle tracking, five new exercise modes that include yoga, elliptical, rowing machine, jumping rope and indoor cycling, a scientifically backed PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) scoring system that makes it easier to understand what you need to achieve in order to stay healthy, plus the addition of NFC to enable mobile payments in the global version.
New information from the site suggests we will also see stress and breathing management, a custom Do Not Disturb mode and a Marvel Avengers special edition. The site has also published a new image that is said to be the upcoming band, which appears almost identical to Mi Band 4 and without the buttons seen on earlier renders:
The source behind TizenHelp is not clear, but our knowledge of previous Mi Bands leads us to believe all these things are possible. We’d expect that Alexa integration might, however, be reserved for the global model, with Xiaomi’s own Xiao Ai built into the Chinese version.
Illustrating this article is a render of the upcoming fitness tracker that was leaked on Weibo, but its legitimacy is questionable: the design is practically identical to Mi Band 4, save for two new buttons that, according to the source, are used for remotely controlling a camera. We would suggest that the image supplied by TizenHelp without the buttons (above) is more realistic.
We’d take the earlier render with a pinch of salt, failing to see why external buttons are required for such a task when a touchscreen is available. And though we’d love to see a move to USB-C or wireless charging, such a design would also force a change to the proprietary charging dock that has always shipped with Mi Band.
Mi Band 4C rumours
In addition to the upcoming Mi Band 5 launch it is widely expected that we could very soon see a new, even cheaper Mi Band. According to reputable leaker Xiaomishka it will be known as Mi Band 4C.
As is so often the case with Xiaomi products, some models launch under various model names in different territories. The Redmi Band that has recently been unveiled at 99 yuan (around £11 / US$14 / AU$20 / €12) in China is thought to be one and the same as Mi Band 4C.
Redmi Band features a 1.8in (128×220) colour display, a heart-rate monitor, sleep-tracking, 5ATM waterproofing, up to two-week battery life and able to charge over USB.