THE Mi Band 6 has already been made official by Xiaomi. Now, owners of Mi Band 5 they begin to question whether it is really worth migrating to the current generation. The fifth version, released in 2020, gained a larger screen and finally adopted the long-awaited magnetic charger. But the Mi Band 6, which was introduced in March 2021, was given an even larger display and brought along the oximeter, to measure oxygen saturation in the blood.
Both devices continue to monitor your heart rate, your night’s sleep and your fitness. What is best for you today? That’s what we’ll discover in this comparison. It is important to emphasize that the objective is not to define who wins, but to show the real differences between them so that you can make the best purchase decision.
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs Mi Band 6 comparison in video
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Starting with the look, we can see that Xiaomi didn’t move much in the sixth generation project. Both feature the same pill format, are water resistant to 50 meters deep and the strap is made of TPU. The big difference, after the screen, is the weight: the Mi Band 6 weighs 24 grams, while its predecessor, 22 grams. Of course, it’s not a far-fetched difference, which also means they’re both still comfortable, even for sleeping.
The gadgets are available with colored wristbands (yellow, orange, blue, olive and ivory). The coolest thing is that you already find options for steel, metal and sports models to buy.
Xiaomi has always increased the bracelet’s display every year. Note: the Mi Band 2 was 0.42 inch, the Mi Band 3, 0.78 inch and the Band 4, 0.95 inch. The fifth generation was equipped with a 1.1 inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 294×126 pixels. The Mi Band 6 has a 1.56 inch AMOLED screen and a resolution of 486×152 pixels. Both wearables can reach 450 nits of brightness.
In other words, today’s wearable displays make better use of the big screen and consequently display more information, just like smartwatches. The main display contains shortcuts that lead to the heart rate monitor, step counter, PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence) as well as the weather forecast menu. The brightness and definition of the icons are decent on both devices.
In fitness tracking, Mi Band 5 has 11 workout modes, including walking, running, swimming, yoga, elliptical, rowing and more. The 2021 smartband has all the exercises of its predecessor and adds pilates, badminton, basketball, zumba, stretching and more. Both are able to record your workout and save everything in the Mi Fit app. The gadgets, however, do not have a built-in GPS, so they are dependent on the cell phone to record routes during runs and hikes.
Check out the complete list of Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 6 activities below:
Mi Band 5 Activities: outdoor running; belt; cycling; indoor cycling; walking; elliptic; rowing; yoga; jump rope; swimming; exercise.
Mi Band 6 Activities: outdoor running; belt; walking; cycling; indoor cycling; rowing; elliptic; swimming; yoga; jump rope; exercise; dance; indoor fitness; fitness; HIIT; fundamental training; stretching; stepper; Pilates; basketball; volleyball; table tennis; badminton; cricket; bowling; boxing; free training; Street dance; hum; indoor ice skating.
In health monitoring, the two Xiaomi products can monitor your heart rate, stress level, sleep quality and menstrual cycle. But the Mi Band 6 stands out in this regard, as it offers a pulse oximeter to measure the oxygen saturation in the blood. This feature often appears on more expensive smart watches such as Apple Watch Series 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro.
At Mi Fit the experience doesn’t change. You will have access to all the metrics collected and this data can be shared with Apple Health (on iOS) or with Google Fit, for those on Android.
In smartwatch features, they remain similar, but the Mi Band 6 earns points in this regard for some details. Before talking about them, reinforcement that both display notifications, let you control music, set reminders, alarm, check weather forecasts and work as a camera shutter. Unfortunately, global versions don’t have virtual assistant or NFC for approach payments.
The differential of the sixth generation, which I mentioned earlier, is the display of special characters that the previous version doesn’t support. Also, she went on to show popular emojis; some are not yet compatible, but we already have an important advance here.
In the last topic, the two devices are equipped with a 125 mAh battery and the autonomy varies according to use. That is, the more features you activate, the more energy the bracelets will use. Xiaomi says the person gets 14 or even 20 days of use; these numbers drop considerably if all functionality is working.
In my tests, even sharing the same cell, I noticed that the Mi Band 5 has a better autonomy. With all features enabled, I was able to use Band 5 for more than 8 days, while the current version only lasted 6 days. As the Mi Band 6 underwent a screen upgrade, it would be fair to increase the battery capacity as well, but unfortunately Xiaomi didn’t pay attention to this. Who knows in the next generation, right?
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs Mi Band 6: which one to buy?
In theory, Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is the best option for most people. It gets points for the bigger screen, for delivering 30 training modes and for having an SpO2 sensor which, while not very reliable as I commented during the product review, is an important extra feature. All of this, however, does not mean that the predecessor is no longer worth it. Both Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 6 are great companions to monitor your training and fitness. In health, they have a reliable heart rate sensor, sleep monitoring is detailed, and stress tracking works well.
Analyzing the cost-benefit, in June 2021, when this comparison was published, the retailer asks for around R$200 for the fifth version and the Mi Band 6 appears for R$100 more. So, if you’re coming into the world of smartbands now, it makes more sense to invest in the current model that has more features. If it’s in the previous version, I recommend analyzing if it’s really worth the upgrade. On the other hand, if you are in versions 2, 3 or 4, updating the bracelet can now be a good deal.