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Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review: the bill works!

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 cover picture
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2021 TechnikNews)

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 joins the successful “Mi Band” fitness tracker series from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. TechnikNews tested it for you.

The Mi Band 6 sets new standards in Xiaomi's fitness tracker series. The basic design has stayed the same, but the display now takes up the entire device. The circular touch button is now a thing of the past, operation is now exclusively via touch gestures. The processing is still quite cheap. It is placed on plastic, the bracelet is still made of polycarbonate. But that doesn't feel “cheap” on the arm and is fair to the low price.

Display

The Mi Band 6 is the same size as the Mi Band 5, but the display now fills the entire device. That’s how it turned out enlarged from 1,1 ″ to 1,56 ″. So it's about enlarging the display whole 42%. By removing the button, the display area even increases by 50%. The display itself also solves 152 x 486 pixels on and uses AMOLED as display technology. This results in a PPI value of 326. This is also an increase from the Mi Band 5. Content such as text or icons are now displayed even sharper and better, the technology is on a smartwatch level.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 display

The display of the Mi Band 6 is excellent for a fitness tracker (picture: TechnikNews)

Those are the positive sides of the display. There is still no automatic brightness adjustment. The display can be laboriously adjusted in the settings from levels 1-5, but an automatic adjustment would slowly be necessary. At least an automatic night mode can be activated in order not to be dazzled at night.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 software

The Mi Band 6 runs again with in-house software, which allows some customization options. Over 120 watch faces are available in the Mi Fit app, and an infinite number of more can be loaded via third-party providers. Five watch faces from Xiaomi can also be customized, for example with your own photo and changing the text color.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 app

The Mi Band 6 can be set up in either the Mi Fit or Xiaomi Wear app. (Picture: TechnikNews)

Some animated watch faces are also new, but they consume more battery. Widgets can also be set in the “customizable watch faces”, including “steps, pulse, calories, steps / hour, pulse graph, events, weather, PAI value, battery level, sunrise / sunset, humidity, air quality, alarm clock, events or Training".

With the Mi Band 5, a kind of "tiles" function was added for the first time. So you could now swipe from the side to get a quick overview of the weather, music, etc. At that time, up to 10 of these tiles were still possible, with the Mi Band 6 it is "only" 6. Most users won't need more than weather, music control, training and notifications anyway.

Apps

The apps are relatively identical to those of the Mi Band 5. There are still status, PAI, pulse measurement, notifications, workout, weather, music, stopwatch, etc. New are Sp02 and other sport modes. There are also improvements to the weather app (more details) and notifications (emojis & more icons for apps). This order of the apps can be set as desired in the Mi-Fit app. This has been improved on the Mi Band 6, functions that are rarely used can now be hidden under "More". So only the "really important apps" can be displayed.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6: tracking

The tracking has been improved a lot in the Mi Band 6. Now 30 sport modes (previously there were 11), Sp02 and breathing while sleeping can be tracked. It does this through a three-axis accelerometer, a three-axis gyroscope, and a PPG heartbeat sensor.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 tracker

The Mi Band 3 has three sensors on the back. (Picture: TechnikNews)

Sleep tracking

The sleep tracking got a big update. The tracking became even more accurate and the breath quality can now be recorded (currently still in beta). With the Mi Band 5 I noticed again and again that "falling asleep" was only roughly measured. When I lay in bed in the evening and turned on Netflix, it was already measured that I was already asleep. This is no longer the case with the Mi Band 6, the values ​​are almost 1: 1 with mine Nest Hub (Gen 2) match. But what bothers me a lot is that I have to go into the app for the results. During a workout, I can now see the results myself in the tape; this is not yet possible with sleep tracking, but it is due.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 sleep tracking

The sleep tracking of the Mi Band 6 has now become more accurate (Image: TechnikNews)

Sports

Sports tracking has also been improved. Simple sports such as running or cycling can now be recognized automatically. I went running a little again with the Mi Band 6, unfortunately the Mi Band 6 has no GPS. If you really want this, you can get the My Watch Lite look, which is also in the 50 euro range.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Sports

The Mi Band 6 unfortunately still has no GPS, but tracks jogging reliably. (Picture: Techniknews)

The sports tracking works really well in cooperation with a smartphone, the most important data is tracked and the data also sounds plausible. However, I would not consider this as health data, but rather as "hobby tracking". Who really in the proIf you want to go to a professional area, you should look at Garmin and Co.

Accumulator

The battery of the Mi Band 6 already left me very speechless in my announcement article. How is the Mi Band 6 supposed to achieve the same battery life of the 5 series with the identical small battery of the Mi Band 125 (5 mAh) and larger display? Answer: software optimizations. Can you do it? Yes and no. It's not as bad as I thought, but the 5-6 days are of course less than with the 5 series. But I had also activated all possible additional functions, if you don't need all of them, you can easily get by for 7-8-9 days.

The Mi Band 6 continues to be charged via the magnetic charger from the Mi Band 5. This is simple and only takes about 0 minutes from 100 to 90%.

Summary

The Mi Band 6 is Xiaomi's best fitness tracker, the display is terrific, and many functions have already been expanded, especially sleep and sports tracking. Unfortunately, this is at the expense of the battery, which is the worst in a Mi Band so far at 5-6 days. If you can do without the extra functions and the better display, you should go to the Mi Band 5 to grab. This has a battery life of 7 to 8 days and also has many good features. Everyone else, for whom the battery life is not the most important thing, will be very satisfied with the Mi Band 6. I personally accept the poorer battery life for the display, whoever has used it once does not want to return it. Switching from the 5 to the 6 is not absolutely necessary. Unfortunately there is only the black color in Germany so far, hopefully the rest of them will come to Europe soon.

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Nils Ahrensmeier

Nils is very interested in mobile devices such as smartphones, wearables and headphones. He has been writing since 2019 TechnikNews - especially news and reviews. In his spare time he plays drums and piano or pursues his hobby, athletics.

Nils has already written 306 articles and made 32 comments.

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