[Update: Magnetic Charging] Xiaomi Mi Band 5 official teaser shows off design, band colors, period tracking function, and more
The Mi Band 5 is the next generation product in Xiaomi’s highly successful fitness tracker lineup. In the past, each generation upgrade brought along some good updates that made it a decent upgrade even for existing users, especially at the signature Xiaomi-value price tag. But this year, the upgrade is expected to be more of the incremental type instead of a drastic product overhaul — after all, there was very little that really needed improvements on the Mi Band 4.
Previous reports on the Mi Band 5 showed off graphic assets found within the Mi Wear APK, and these suggested that there is unlikely to be much deviation from the previous Mi Band design. But still, these did not completely rule out the possibility of the renders being mere placeholders. Now, Xiaomi has officially revealed the Mi Band 4 design on Weibo, and it does indeed look pretty much the same as the Mi Band 4.
At first glance, the Mi Band 5 might appear to have a different band design from the Mi Band 4, with the straps attaching with the main body in a different fashion, as seen on the orange and yellow color variants. But the olive green color variant follows the band color all around the tracker body, so it looks like the orange as well as the yellow color bands will simply sport a black color alongside the holder perimeter.
In terms of new functionality, the official poster shows off period tracking functionality, which would be new for the Mi Band 5, at launch. We also spot wallet functionality, but that is likely to stay limited to China only. Features previously spotted include SpO2 tracking, PAI, meditation guidance, and integration of Amazon Alexa digital assistant.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is launching in China on June 11. The device will very likely make its way to other markets as well, even though the lower cost Redmi Band has not been released outside China.
Update: Mi Band 5 comes with a magnetic charging connector
One of my main complaints on the previous Mi Band 4 was the then-new charger design, which was changed from the Mi Band 3. Here is the excerpt from my review:
What isn’t cross-compatible is the charger, as the Mi Band 4 comes with a new charger design. The tracker now has pogo pins exposed on the bottom as opposed to the pogo pins being stealthily hidden away on the side in the previous-gen product. Despite the change, you still have to pop out the tracker from the strap to charge it. The charger has a cup-like design, with a USB Type-A on the other end of the wire. Chargers have always been a weak point for the Mi Bands in my experience — I have had difficulty in getting my tracker to charge reliably, consistently and effortlessly on the Mi Band 3; and I foresee even more of the same as the Mi Band 4’s chargers are worse in my opinion. Even within just 3 charges, I have already begun facing issues with getting my tracker to tightly sit within the charger cup — the pogo pins just bounce it out all the time, and the small latches on the inner sides of the charger are ineffective to hold the tracker in place due to the build material and design of the charger. I have had to hold my tracker in place by placing a heavy object on top, so I count the charger as a negative. Hopefully, Xiaomi explores better charger designs for the next generation. Magnets, maybe?
As it turns out, Xiaomi has indeed explored a better charger design for the Mi Band 5, and it does involve magnets.
As teased by a Xiaomi official on Weibo, the upcoming Mi Band 5 comes with a magnetic charging connector that snaps itself into place on the band. What’s even better is the fact that you no longer need to pop the fitness tracker module out of the band for charging the device. This fixes my sole complaint from the previous generation, and I am excited to see how the Mi Band 5 now stands as a comprehensive experience.