Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) – now upgraded with HR monitoring but still at the same affordable price point | IT Gadgets Review

Back in 2013, Mi Band made waves in the wearable industry for being the most affordable smart fitness tracker in town. Likewise in July 2014, Xiaomi announced the improved version – MiBand Pulse (小米手环光感版) which stirred good attention from Mi fans and competitors alike.

Mi Band Pulse (Band 1S) - Main Image

Not much has differed in terms of packaging and the accessories which include the USB based charging cable with the main body unit and the wrist band.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - Packaging

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - Unbox

The MiBand Pulse is water/dust resistant and will work on handsets running Android 4.4 and above or newer iPhones running at least iOS 7.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - Accessories

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - Full kit

The low-cost rubberised bracelet monitors your activity levels and analyses your sleep, but it can also track another important piece of biometric data: your heart rate. The Mi Band Pulse uses a light-based PPG (photoplethysmography) sensor to measure your body’s blood flow.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - underside HR detector

The new MiBand Pulse is crafted from sturdier material, making the buckle a lot less easier to break. The tracker’s 45mAh battery will last a little less than its predecessor but still clocking in at around 20 days of regular use.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - compare Band 1 vs Band 1S

The new Mi Band Pulse will be slightly thicker on the underside due to the embedded light sensor for the HR detection. Apart from this, there is hardly any noticeable difference between the two.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - compare Band 1 vs Band 1S (underside)

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - charging cables (old vs new)

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环) - charging cables (old vs new) TOP view

The good news is that the Mi Band Pulse unit can fit into the older silicon bands.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - bands (old vs new)

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - bands (old vs new) buckle pins

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - bands (old vs new) buckle holes

However, only consumers in Mainland China can choose from a range of colourful options, including red, orange, green, teal, and blue, as well as black.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - bands (old vs new) fitting loops

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - fit into old Mi Band strap

Setting up the new Mi Band Pulse is pretty straightforward. It will require the Mi Fit application which can be downloaded from either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The Mi Fit application will first locate the new Mi Band Pulse to be paired and the fitness statistics can then be synchronised with the phone after each workout.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - pairing steps - Search

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - pairing steps - Paired

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - pairing steps - update firmware

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - settings

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - start running

Personally, I have tried to record a workout using the Mi Band Pulse and compared to those recorded by other fitness wearables (SG HPB tracker, Fitbit Zip, Apple Watch. I must say the measurements were very close among them for both the steps and HR.

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - statistics

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - stats compared with HPB tracker

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - stats compared with Fitbit Zip

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - stats compared with Apple Watch

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - Heart Rate by Mi Band Pulse

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - workout - Heart Rate by Apple Watch

Mi Band Pulse (小米手环光感版) - display with other trackers

In summary, the Xiaomi’s new Mi Band Pulse does provide an affordable alternative for those who wish to have a no frill fitness tracker with basic functionalities.

PROS:

a. Cheap (only at S$XXX, rmb XX)
b. Basic functionality and does not support any LED display (e.g. for time, app messages)
c. Compatible with older Mi Band coloured bands

CONS:

a. After sales support may not be readily available for countries out of China
b. Charging cable can be a chore for daily usage. It would be more ideal with some magnetic charging contacts

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