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Xiaomi Mi band 3 review: a good low-cost fitness tracker worth buying

ByLinky Johnson 2019-04-16 2191

Two years after the Mi band 2, Xiaomi returns to the world of activity sensors with its Mi band 3. An activity sensor with heart rate monitor that promises a battery life of more than 10 days.

After a convincing Mi band 2 in 2016, Xiaomi returns with the Mi band 3 at the end of the year. An activity sensor whose ambition is to reach the widest audience by relying on its competitive price: only €30. In the program, the promise of a long battery life and a successful heart rate monitor. Words in the air or success? The answer in this test.

Ergonomic design

The design of the Mi band 3 does not revolutionizing the series and is simply improved by small touches. The aesthetic of this third Cru differs mainly by its sensory button. It is now better integrated into the sensor design, extending the screen. It also shows itself to be quite reactive and enjoys a haptic return activated in most situations.

Still as light (20 g), the formula with an oval sensor, inserted in a rubber strap, is back. Hypoallergenic, it also reveals itself rather pleasant to the touch and never irritates, even wet. It is also equipped with enough notches to fit all wrist sizes. However, it is necessary to force a little bit to remove the sensor from its wristband. Fortunately, the latter is flexible enough to survive many strains and tortures.

The Mi band 3 features a 0.78-inch OLED slab displaying 128 x 80 PX. It shows bright enough to suit all situations. At the back, in an oval outgrowth, are the two green LEDs used to calculate the heart rate. Like its seniors, the Mi band is waterproof to 5 ATM.


Purified as possible, the interface of the Mi band only displays the time and date. You have to play with the touch screen to get more, thanks to vertical and horizontal movements. Embarking on a sort of upstairs menu, the Terminal finally proposes the minimum Union on the wrist. We find the steps, the calories spent, the distance traveled in the day, the notifications (SMS, Whatsapp, Messenger) or even the weather. It is also possible to start a Chrono or a sporting activity, directly from his wrist. Obviously, the battery level is shown on the screen, but at the bottom of a menu. Luckily, the autonomy is high enough not to have to check it every two minutes.

Unfortunately, the Mi band does not prove to be the most ergonomic when receiving a message. The small size of the screen and its inability to manage emoticons limit the reading quality as well as the usefulness of the maneuver. Scrolling the text remains possible, but in a very unengaging way.

Already problematic when reading a message, the interface of the Mi band suffers from a more general defect. The small slab of 0.78 inches sometimes has difficulty recognizing movements, complicating navigation. A little learning time is therefore necessary in order to find the right gesture and to reach through the menus without a hitch. An effort always a little frustrating to provide.


The Mi band is compatible with the Mi fit app, available on iOS and Android. From the first contact, this one is distinguished by a smoother navigation and proves to be a particularly pleasant Companion. Very refined aesthetically, it has the merit of going straight to the goal, thanks to an aerated interface. A graphic choice all the more pleasing as it is supported by a real depth in terms of possibilities.

It is thus possible, with a single click, to access rather complete balance sheets concerning various measures, such as heart rate, a particular workout or sleep monitoring. Grappling with a whole bunch of day-to-day data, the MI fit app details the average distance travelled daily, activity schedules, sleep quality and is pretty relevant in terms of tracking.

On the other hand, MI fit offers a wide customization. Where some manufacturers restrict the settings to a minimum, Xiaomi offers a wide range of parameters. Always taking advantage of a clear and coherent interface, it is thus possible to configure each of the notifications, to regulate the reading of the heart rate at rest or even to activate the Smartlock with compatible smartphones.

Behind this beautiful record, however, one can regret the exaggeration of the use of the data collected. MI fit spends its time placing users in competition against other users, believing that  "you sleep better ", that you are  "lighter ",  "more active " than a number of  "competitors " '. The application also allows to disclose a whole host of tips to help the user to live well his day according to his sleep. It finally gives a tone between that of the parent and that of the sports coach. It remains to be known what you expect from such an application and to retain only what interests you.

Sensors precision

To measure the performance of Mi band 3, we compared its results with those of the polar H10 pectoral belt, which we consider to be very reliable in terms of measurements. We measured the running by linking the towers on a circuit of 1.9 km. Regarding cycling, we have a typical circuit, of 3.12 km.

Based on lifestyle, the Mi band 3 has an accelerometer and a heart rate monitor at the rear with two LEDs. However, no GPS on the program. The Terminal relies on the geolocation data of the associated Smartphone. You don't have to judge them here. It is necessary to have his laptop nearby during his physical activity, a rather logical constraint on a product launched at €30.

The Mi band 3 focuses on the measurement of heart rate. Unfortunately, its results are half-toned, sometimes very accurate, sometimes completely on the street. Thus, during a jogging outing, the Mi band underestimated the average heart rate by about 13%, which corresponds to about 20 beats. Same thing during an equally intense bike outing, with underestimated results of more than 10%. On the other hand, Mi band 3 showed much more precision during a softer physical activity, such as walking, with a margin of error of less than 1%. Relevant to rest, much less in intense effort, the Terminal logically has problems during fractionated exercises. The Mi band then recorded a linear heart rate, far from reality. A result not really surprising both the split is the enemy of the sensors currently embedded in watches and bracelets connected.

The Mi band also operates its heart rate monitor to perform sleep monitoring. Its results remain broadly consistent, with few exceptions. It is sometimes necessary to get up so that the awake state is recorded.

Battery performance

With its 110 mAh battery, the Mi band 3 offers relentless autonomy. We measured about ten days of autonomy with daily physical activity, receiving regular notifications as well as constant monitoring of the heart rate. A solid result for a companion who won't let you down anytime soon.

Charging the Mi band 3 requires about 2 hours with the owner charger supplied with the wristband.


● 10 days autonomy with intensive use.

●​ Nice wrist

●​ The Mi fit application is very ergonomic and complete.


●​ Messages from the phone sometimes complicated to read on this small screen.

●​ The touch screen that sometimes refuses to obey.

●​ A semi-figue medium-grape interface.

●​ A heart rate monitor sometimes with strawberries.

●​ ​Sleep monitoring sometimes in cabbage.


 You may also want to read:
 Huawei Honor Band 4 vs. Xiaomi Mi Band 3: which smart band is better and what are the main differences?
 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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