(This is not about the specifications and a lot of geeky stuff that you would find in any tech review)
Mi Band is a fitness tracker developed by Xiaomi. It’s been recently launched in India and I bought it a month back. It’s a useful device and so I felt like sharing my thoughts about it. It is one of the very few fitness trackers available and has been launched at a very economical price.
The device It’s a simple device with 3 things in the box:
- fitness tracking device
- wrist band
I like the design which is plain and clean. It just has 3 LEDs on a sturdy aluminium device. It has no edges and thus doesn’t hurt at all. The band is of silicon which boasts of being water and dust resistance. I wear it all the time. Many times it has come in contact with water during hand-washing but it continues to work perfectly. Somehow the tracker looks like a capsule to me and seems like the designer conceptualized it to make it look like a medicine. I appreciate the attention to the details of the belt. It’s such that it won’t fall off even when the belt opens up by chance. After using it for a month, I feel the band quality is not that great and already has marks and bends. Also, at times I look at it to check the time, forgetting that it’s not a watch. So adding a display would have been great, but then it will obviously add to the cost.
The device needs an app called ‘Mi Fit’ to manage it and the app is really easy to use.
Find the link to the playstore app here
While it downloaded, I inserted the capsule into the band and strapped it on. I turned on the Bluetooth on my phone and registered on the app. Surprisingly there is no button on the device and all things you do is via phone. The app found the device in seconds. I did the basic settings and I was good to go. It started tracking instantly. I won’t write the details here and leave you with the link to the website which flawlessly explains how it works.
What it has? (Here is the ‘diabetic’ perspective)
Well, Mi is a no non-sense device and strictly does what it’s meant to do. It saves fitness data (how much, I don’t know yet) and the battery lasts for more than 30 days (sharing a recent screenshot). It weighs only 13 grams and feels absolutely weightless. The way it tracks my sleep is amazing and it’s difficult to figure out how it does that. It breaks sleep data into my peaceful deep sleep and light sleep. Diabetes requires a peaceful and regular sleep as an irregular one directly affects blood sugars and diet control and increase complications. And so this tracker will tell me if I need to make any changes in order to increase my ‘deep sleep’ time. The main feature is the pedometer. It tracks my walking and running in terms of steps, calories and distances. It is something that pushes me to complete my fitness goal for the day. What else would a diabetic want! I keep finding ways that would help me reach the goal or even surpass it. It is fun and at the same time helps to keep my body fit. The device is good for developing a weight loss regime too. It syncs with Google fit and saves all the data, records improvements, provides graphs, and helps add widgets to my home screen through google fit. Data can be sorted into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly stats. There are a few secondary features i like:
- Early Bird Alarm (watch starts vibrating half an hour before the alarm set on the app (not the phone alarm app). Also vibrates a few times after the set alarm time.
- Notifications about incoming calls (LEDs blink for a few seconds and the device vibrates)
The secondary features work if I keep the Bluetooth connected all the time. Whenever I want to save battery(like when I am travelling), I simply keep the bluetooth off without turning off the features. Whenever I want to track my activity, I just turn on the bluetooth and then the app, it syncs all the data effortlessly in seconds.
- Well I would always want that something I have on my wrist shows me time and that is one major thing lacking. But had they included that, I would have simply replaced my watches with this economic device. But I need to wear a watch in addition to this (It might work in my pocket though, just an idea, I haven’t tried that yet).
- Another thing is that the first pairing was effortless but once I unpaired it to sync with another phone, the second pairing took quite a few turns. This can also be an issue with my phone so can’t really say.
- The current status of the goal doesn’t really work on my device. Other than that, it’s cool.
For T1D kids
Since there is no button on the device, it is an awesome thing for a kid with diabetes as it would not let her do any changes. You can easily connect the device to the app on your phone. Track her activity once she’s back from school by simply turning on the bluetooth. It syncs all the saved data in a few seconds. It would help to balance the activity to avoid hypoglycemias (low blood sugar). For example, if she’s been very active in school, you can plan a light play activity like indoor games. When she’s been inactive, the evening can include outdoor sports etc. The colorful bands, water resistance, harmless design and less weight are a plus.
I would love a fitness tracker that could tell me my blood glucose readings and I hope this elevates to that level soon without being too heavy on a diabetic’s pocket.