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Xiaomi Mi band 3: a budget wristbands with successful design

ByLinky Johnson 2019-04-16 1815

Sold only about 30 euros, Xiaomi Mi band 3 prides itself on offering functions-notifications, followed by activities-which are usually found on models with more than 100 euros. Real connected bracelet or simple gadget?


●​ A sober and successful design

●​ A very good autonomy of 10 days

●​ Apple health sync and Google fit

●​ The price defying all competition


●​ No display of emojis

●​ Silent mode is not so good 

Renowned for its products at ultra competitive rates, Xiaomi has recently marketed its Mi band 3 in France, a connected bracelet that comes to play on the field of Fitbit charge and other Huawei band. Its peculiarity? Its incredibly low price of 29.99 euros, well below those practiced by the competition. Connected to the Smartphone, the Mi band 3 can receive your notifications or serve as a fitness Assistant, all with a 20-day announced autonomy. Compatible with iOS and Android via the MI fit app, does it have the strengths to become the perfect companion for your everyday life?

Minimalist design

At 30 euros, the Xiaomi bracelet obviously does not compete with ultra-sophisticated products like the Samsung Galaxy watch and the Apple watch, the latter working independently in its 4G version. This is a simple bracelet that is connected to its Smartphone and offers much more limited functions. A limitation that also feels at the level of design, extremely minimalist. Everything fits in a small rectangular module inserted in plastic strap, which did not seem to us any more solid. After three weeks of use, his fastener was already beginning to show first signs of weakness, forcing us to force a little to hang it on the wrist.

The Mi band 3 however has a small screen even if it does not pretend to compete with those of the most upscale of its competitors. With a diagonal of 0.78 inches, it is limited to black and white, displaying a definition of 128 by 80 pixels. The Chinese brand has nevertheless made the choice of an OLED slab which allows to maintain a good legibility in the darkness and even elsewhere in all conditions, including outdoors. It's pretty nice, especially at this price level.

Touch, the screen of the Xiaomi Mi band 3 allows you to navigate from one function to another with a simple swipe from bottom to top. We pass the time, to the health information (number of steps, kilometers travelled), then to the weather. A tactile physical button allows you to return to the time of a short pressure or to validate actions of a long pressure.  

Connected in Bluetooth to the Smartphone, the Mi band 3 is largely piloted through the MI fit companion application. In this one there is a diary of activity but also the settings of the bracelet. From an ergonomic point of view, the application is rather successful.

Complete connected functions

At 30 euros, you certainly say that the Mi band 3 only has very few connected functions. Imagine that this is not the case. On the contrary, the Xiaomi bracelet delivers a fairly complete offer. Display of notifications, messages (SMS, mails, etc...) or phone calls (without possibility of answering), pedometer, activity tracker, weather, stopwatch, alarm clock, heart rate sensor... Mi band 3 knows how to do a lot of things. Too bad his screen is a little too small for reading messages and the Xiaomi OS does not handle the display of emojis. They are automatically replaced by squares on the screen of the MI band... Which sometimes gives unreadable results.

To interact with its owner, the Mi band 3 has an extremely powerful vibrator. Besides, most of the other bracelets or watches seem very soft to us. It is almost disturbing the first few times, but it is done rather quickly. If you are using the wristband in alarm mode, expect a morning jump... impossible to arrive late.

To interact with its owner, the Mi band 3 has an extremely powerful vibrator. Besides, most of the other bracelets or watches seem very soft to us. It is almost disturbing the first few times, but it is done rather quickly. If you are using the wristband in alarm mode, expect a morning jump... impossible to arrive late.

Sleep monitoring function

Another feature offered by Mi band 3 is sleep monitoring. Keeping the bracelet on its wrist at night, this one monitors your heart rate and offers you in the early morning a review of your stay in the land of dreams. Unfortunately, the information given to us seems quite incomplete. The bracelet has everything good for the total assessment of sleep time but the phases are quite unclear, the fault to a heart rate monitor probably mediocre. Of a quality clearly inferior to the sensors of this type present in the competitors, it lacks precision. You don't have to be a few BPM close.

Also note that the do not disturb mode, set to "automatic detection" by default is not the most reliable. If it has not detected that you are asleep (and Yes, you can have a restless sleep), expect to be awakened in full NAP by a strong vibration on your wrist. We advise you to opt for a manual activation to the periods of your choice, a mode to be configured from the application "Mi fit" on his Smartphone. It is regrettable that Xiaomi does not offer a way to activate the mode directly from the MI band... A real downside.

sporting functions

The Mi band 3 is not a fitness bracelet in the strict sense of the term but nevertheless offers some functions in the field of sport. Connected to the Smartphone during a session (on foot or by bike), it uses the GPS of the latter to reconstruct a mapped path of your route. The MI fit application then offers a very complete balance sheet. Good point, data can be synchronized with Apple health and Google fit

The Xiaomi bracelet can also be used to measure your swimming sessions. Waterproof up to 50 meters deep for 30 minutes, it can be used at the pool as in the shower without any problem.

Autonomy: the little cheat of Xiaomi

Officially, Xiaomi announces a 20-day autonomy for its bracelet. The Chinese manufacturer just forgets to clarify that this estimate is made on the basis of a bracelet on which notifications and calls are deactivated, as is the case by default. When you activate all the settings, the autonomy is only 10 days according to our own measurements. It's already huge, but twice as much as advertised.

It is to be concluded that the loading is carried out by means of a proprietary cable provided (via a practical magnet system).

The verdict

In view of its very affordable price of 30 euros, the Xiaomi Mi band 3 is a very good surprise. The product has a rather correct finish and, far from being a simple gadget, has many connected functions. It works globally on the same model as competing products like the Fitbit charge 2, yet 5 times more expensive. The difference is played on the results sometimes less accurate on the MI band, especially because of a less reliable heart rate sensor. Pretty impressive anyway. If you are looking for a connected product but do not want to ruin yourself, do not hesitate for a second. 


 You may also want to read:
 Xiaomi Mi band 3 review: a good low-cost fitness tracker worth buying
 Xiaomi mi band 3 vs. Xiaomi mi band 2: is the latest fitness tracker worth buying?
 Xiaomi Mi band 3 vs. Xiaomi Hey Plus: which one is better?


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