Smart watches and fitness trackers have long been a reality and do not cause past emotions. It would seem, what could be the catch? For example, in iOS. Many modern wearable devices work incorrectly or only partially with the iPhone. Xiaomi's folk bracelet has long conquered all the tops of cheap gadgets, but will it be able to cope with the main boss in the form of an iOS smartphone? The answer is positive - Mi Band 3 works fine with the iPhone, offering all the necessary range of functions. Looking ahead, I’ll say that the bracelet even interacts with the built-in Health application. The report created on the basis of such a symbiosis of technologies from Cupertino and China looks interesting. However, let's look at everything in order.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 comes in a small cardboard box, which, following the company's philosophy, looks minimalistic and does not cause vivid emotions. Inside the gaping hole lies the black capsule of the bracelet. In this rounded case the size of an eraser is the entire filling of the device. Under the cardboard partition there is a strap, a charger and some paper. The main technical specifications are carefully applied on the back in English and Chinese.
The design of Mi Band 3 is attractive, despite all its simplicity. The black oval with beveled corners protrudes slightly from the bracelet, although it sits quite firmly in it. Owners of the past generation often complained about capsules lost due to unreliable design - now such a scenario is unlikely. Initially, a black strap is supplied, but nothing prevents you from choosing another one of hundreds of solutions from both Chinese sellers and the official manufacturer. Now even metal bracelets imitating the Milanese weaving Apple Watch are on sale. Let's go back to the stock strap - the material is dense, but does not rub, scratches are collected slowly, a tendency to wear has not been identified. Fastened to the wrist with a classic rivet. It is expected that the case of the bracelet is protected from water and dust. Mi Band 3 can be immersed in water to a depth of 5 meters without fear. The protection standard that the bracelet complies with is IP68.
The dimensions of the Mi Band 3 are slightly larger than those of the second generation of the bracelet, but there is no need to talk about any bulkiness. On the smooth front surface of the capsule there is a small notch for the touch button, which is easily felt by the finger even in complete darkness, which, however, is not necessary - you can activate the screen with a simple raise of the hand. The display itself has a diagonal of 0.78 inches with a resolution of 128 × 80 pixels - enough to display text. The brightness of the screen, alas, is not always enough in the sun. The back of the Mi Band 3 is made of plastic - here is the heart rate sensor. In general, we can conclude that, due to its rigor, such a design will correlate with both a classic and a sporty look.
With design it’s clear, but what can he do? In this regard, the bracelet is more than fulfilling its $ 20. For such a modest price, the buyer receives a pedometer, a heart rate monitor, and a sleep tracker. In addition, Mi Band 3 notifies the user of notifications from a smartphone using light vibration, which, by the way, is used for an alarm clock. You can install the latter through a special application for iOS and Android - Mi Fit. In fact, all interaction with the bracelet occurs through Mi Fit. The application allows you to watch activity statistics, monitor friends' achievements, and fine tune Mi Band. You can either edit the list of applications whose notifications are broadcast on the bracelet, or perform some kind of customization of its interface. In particular, choose one of the three dials or adjust the order of menu items, their number. There, the user can activate the Do Not Disturb mode.
Mi Fit can set a goal in the form of a certain number of steps per day, based on a given "desired weight". Upon reaching the required mark, the user is pleased with the corresponding notification, and with the constant fulfillment of goals - a reward. There is a “Device Search” function, similar to that in the Apple Watch, when it is turned on, the paired device makes a loud sound, which will help when you forget where you put the phone. By the way, this feature does not work without a Bluetooth connection. However, a non-smartphone bracelet still has a certain supply of necessary functions. So, for example, you can start the stopwatch, see the weather for the coming days, find out the battery status, distance traveled and the number of calories burned, measure your heart rate, and turn on exercise mode. A version of Mi Band 3 with an NFC chip is sold in China, which supports contactless payments, however, support for the function has not been implemented in Russia.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is charged using a proprietary cradle, which is strongly discouraged to lose, since it will take a long time to wait for a new one from China. To replenish the battery, you need to remove the capsule from the strap, but obviously you should not worry about it - often you do not have to charge the bracelet. Inside this small case is a 110 mAh Li-Po battery. In normal use, with a smartphone connected via Bluetooth, the Mi Band 3 will last from 15 to 20 days, which is less than the previous generation of Xiaomi fitness bracelets, but still a lot. For example, the Apple Watch is usually only enough for a day of full use. In fact, having charged Mi Band 3 once, you can safely go on vacation or on a business trip, forgetting about the battery. Xiaomi made the simplicity of the device its strong point, because it is precisely because of the small screen and a limited number of functions that the bracelet can boast of such a working time.
Returning to the initial questions of the review, it is worth saying that Mi Band 3 erases the line between the use of a wearable gadget with Android and iOS. In conjunction with the iPhone, the bracelet performs all the declared functions and even more. Is it worth it then to buy an Apple Watch, which, for a moment, are 10-20 times more expensive? The question is incorrect. These are devices of a completely different class, which are at least incorrect to compare. Yes, the Xiaomi bracelet successfully copes with a number of functions of watches from Cupertino, however, it should be borne in mind that it was created for completely different purposes. Before making a choice, it is worth understanding why you need a wearable device? Mi Band is an interesting gadget for tracking activity, Apple Watch is a more serious solution that meets sports standards and provides more serious information. Among other things, the Apple Watch has in its arsenal a number of advanced functions that actually take interaction with a smartphone to a new level - directly from them you can answer calls, talk with a voice assistant, see photos, do you need it? If not, Mi Band 3 will be a great choice. In my opinion, now that the bracelet is sold in every hardware store, and the problems with localization have already been solved, it is clearly worth taking a closer look at it.
- Battery life
- Minimalistic design
- Low price
- Various straps
- Not the brightest screen
- Unique cradle for charging
May not like:
- The main part of the bracelet is black with no choice
Final rating: 7 out of 10.