Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Review: This $60 fitness tracker continues to uphold Xiaomi’s value proposition

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Review: This $60 fitness tracker continues to uphold Xiaomi’s value proposition

Xiaomi’s line of fitness trackers has gone through several minor name changes over the years, from Mi Smart Band to Mi Band, to now, Smart Band, but the appeal remains the same — it’s a very affordable fitness tracker that can provide accurate fitness and health tracking, with data immediately viewable on a screen that, in recent years, has gotten larger and more vibrant. We now have the Xiaomi Smart Band 7, or as the common folk will call it “the Mi Band 7”, and it promises to do more of the same.

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Considering that these bands can do almost the same fitness tracking as an Apple Watch or Galaxy Watch at a fraction of the price, it’s no wonder that these have been selling very well. This newest model sees a slight price hike — it’s $60 now — but it’s still a far cheaper option than say a Fitbit Charge 5. While it may not be as flashy or attention-grabbing as a smartwatch or a large-display fitness tracker, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is proof that a practical product will still find itself a market when it is priced right. It does what it says on the box, and most people buying this will be happy with that.

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      The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is an affordable fitness tracker that does a good job of keeping track of steps, heart rate and sleep, with a large and vibrant screen too.

        Pros:

        Cons:

    Xiaomi smart Band 7 worn on wrist with a white watchface

    Xiaomi Smart Band 7: Pricing and Availability

    The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is available now worldwide — including the elusive North American market — via Amazon and other online retailers. It will also be sold in Xiaomi’s physical stores for those who live near one. The official price for the Mi Band 7 is $62, but on Amazon, the price varies between $58 to $66.


    Xiaomi Smart Band 7: Specifications

    Specs Xiaomi Smart Band 7
    Size and weight
    • 46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm
    • 13.5g
    Materials Polycarbonate
    Wristband Silicone
    Compatibility Android, iPhone
    Display 1.62-inch AMOLED (152 x 486)
    500 nits brightness
    Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2
    GPS No
    Sensors
    • PPG Heart rate sensor
    • 3-axis accelerometer
    • 3-axis gyroscope
    • Barometer
    • Proximity sensor
    NFC payments No
    Battery 180 mAh
    Water resistance 5ATM or 50m up to 10 minutes

    About this review: Xiaomi sent me a Smart Band 7 for review. This article was written after nine days of wearing the device. Xiaomi did not have any input in this review.


    Xiaomi Smart Band 7: Hardware and Design

    Like its Mi Band 6 predecessor, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is in fact a tiny oval-shaped device that is entirely detachable from its rubbery band. The little pod-shaped core measures just a hair more than 12.2 mm thick (thinner than the Band 6’s 12.7mm) and weighs an inconsequential 13g. Even with the strap, the weight jumps to 16g only. It’s so dainty and petite that I’ve had the device (without the strap) in my pant pocket and forgot it was there for an entire day.

    Xiaomi Smart Band 7 detached from its band.

    The 1.62-inch OLED screen is the largest it's ever been

    The 1.62-inch OLED screen is the largest it’s ever been, a small bump from last year’s 1.56-inch and a huge jump from the 1.1-inch from the Xiaomi Band 5. The display size increase mostly stretches horizontally, which means the Smart Band 7 has a wider screen (instead of longer) than last year’s Band 6. Maximum screen brightness has been bumped up to 500 nits, still not quite enough to see easily in direct harsh sunlight, but the screen looks great everywhere else.

    Xiaomi Smart Band 7 side

    On the back of the device are sensors for heart rate and blood-oxygen levels, along with a magnetic pin space for the proprietary charger. I can confirm the Band 6’s charger still works with the Smart Band 7, though I am not sure the Mi Band 5’s charger will (because I don’t have one to test).

    Xiaomi Smart Band 7

    This little pod slips into the rubber strap snugly. There are no switches or buttons to deal with, the rubber strap just wraps around it like a rubber band and the fit is secure.

    Xiaomi Band 7 with rubbers trap

    One of the selling points of Xiaomi’s band series is the replacement bands, which Xiaomi sells in vibrant colors such as “neon green,” “khacki green,” and orange. If you find these options lacking, third-party sellers will soon pop up, giving access to many more options in different styles and colors. There will be a bit of a dearth of “premium” bands, but considering what this fitness tracker lineup has been historically, you will be very content at the selection of bands.

    Personally, I am not a fan of rubber straps, they feel sticky and “slimy” when I sweat (I always buy a third-party leather strap if available). But considering its two-digit pricing, I have no issue with the rubber strap being the included band. This isn’t like Apple or Samsung giving us rubbery straps for wearables that cost over $300. At this price, this is great, and you can always plop down a few dollars and get something else if you need to.

    Xiaomi Smart band 7

    The strap fits comfortably around my wrist, with enough notches for incremental size adjustments. The wearable is rated 5ATM, which means it can be submerged in water up to 50 meters for up to 10 minutes. This number is a safe estimate — I’ve worn the Band 6 (also rated 5ATM) underwater for well over 20 minutes without issues.

    There’s a 180 mAh battery inside, which is enough to power the Smart Band 7 for up to two full weeks depending on settings. More on battery performance in the performance section. While the China version of this band features NFC, the global version (the one I’m reviewing) does not. There’s also no GPS so you need to have your phone with you to track runs. Again, these are acceptable compromises for the price in my opinion.


    Xiaomi Mi Band 7: Software and Features

    Navigating through the Xiaomi Band 7 is done entirely via swipes and taps, as there is no physical button. This is fine for the most part, but sometimes when the display screen is wet, or if my finger is wet, it may take more than one tap to get the desired action. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I’d try to wake the screen, and it takes two to three taps. Perhaps a physical button would be helpful. There is a raise-to-wake feature that works well, by the way. I’d say 98% of the time I have been able to navigate through the band’s UI fine.

    The UX is pretty standard for wearables: swipe down from the top to see notifications, swipe up from the bottom to access a set of features that you can customize in the companion app. Horizontal swipes cycle through all the various features like music player, exercise tracking, etc.

    There’s virtually no app ecosystem to speak of, meaning everything you can do with the band is already present out of the box, and you can’t go and download more things to do. While this sounds like a shortcoming compared to other Android smartwatches, the reality is all non-Apple Watch smartwatch platforms, whether it’s Google’s own WearOS, Samsung’s Tizen, Huawei’s HarmonyOS, or Fitbit’s OS, have anemic third-party app support anyway. If we compared the Mi Band 7 to an Apple Watch, sure, then the Apple Watch can do a lot more things, like access a digital assistant or control Spotify playlists or open up a digital boarding pass (for North American airlines, at least). But compared to, say, a Huawei Watch GT 3 or Fitbit Sense? The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 can do virtually everything those pricier smartwatches can do.

    Xiaomi Smart Band 7 with a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

    The band pairs to your smartphone via Xiaomi’s Mi Fitness app which is available for Android and iOS. I paired my Smart Band 7 with a Xiaomi smartphone, and then with a Galaxy S22 Ultra, and everything worked fine. There are no features exclusive and limited to Xiaomi smartphones like there are with Huawei’s wearables, so you can use this very flexibly across Android without any OEM lock-in.

    You can check your current day’s health data — steps walked, heart rate, workouts completed, sleep time — directly on the wearable. But if you want to check older data you have to jump into the Mi Fitness app which offers a rather typical overview. By typical, I mean it’s fine, it isn’t any more or less insightful than what a Fitbit or Apple Watch shows me. For workouts, for example, I can see a detailed map of my heart rate during the entire session. For sleep, I can see when I was in deep sleep or REM.

    The Mi Fitness app also has dozens of watch faces to choose from, and they’re quite aesthetically pleasing — much better than the options in Samsung’s or Huawei’s wearable store, in my opinion. The community has figured out ways to create custom watch faces too, so there’s plenty of room to explore here.

    Changing watch faces also takes just 10-30 seconds (you have to download the watch face first), unlike Fitbit, which almost always takes five to ten minutes (this is a bug of Fitbit’s app, one that hasn’t been fixed for years).

    Some of these watch faces even support complications, though it’s quite limited (you can assign a complication to show you heart rate or steps or weather, for example). This is nowhere close to the variety of useful complications you get on an Apple Watch watch face, but still much better than, again, any Fitbit or Huawei watch faces that support zero complications.

    Have you noticed the trend in this review yet? Any shortcoming or nitpick I have with this $60 band is when I compare it against the Apple Watch which costs a minimum of $199. Otherwise, this band often keeps up or even surpasses the performance of other wearables from everyone else.


    Xiaomi Smart Band 7: Performance and Battery Life

    As a fitness tracker, the Smart Band 7 gets the job done. I wore the band alongside an Apple Watch 7 for a series of walks and workouts, and the numbers were comparable. Sleep tracking also seemed reasonably accurate, as the band was smart enough to not think of my constant tossing and turning was me “waking up.”

    xiaomi smart band 7 detached from the band in the hand showing a black screen

    In addition to tracking expected things like blood-oxygen level, and heart rate, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 can also track menstruation cycles, and breathing, though the latter is in beta stage.

    I wore the band alongside an Apple Watch 7 and for a series of walks and workouts, and the numbers were comparable

    The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 doesn’t automatically detect workouts and begins tracking the way pricier fitness trackers do, so you will have to manually log the exercise. There are an overwhelming number of workout modes, ranging from the basics like cycling to yoga to the obscure like fishing and parkour. I always take these fitness modes with a grain of salt — I mean, can a wrist-worn device really accurately tell the difference between badminton and tennis? Fishing or tai chi? This isn’t a Xiaomi problem, I’m skeptical about whether the Apple Watch can tell too. My advice is to just pick a workout close enough to what you’re doing. When I’m at the gym, I can just pick “freestyle workout,” or “strength training,” I don’t need to differentiate between walking on an inclined treadmill or on the stair climber. It’s a waste of time in my opinion.

    working out with the Smart Band 7

    One gripe I have with the band is that the band can only mirror notifications from my smartphone in static form. I can’t interact with the notifications at all. But again, this problem exists on virtually 99% of fitness bands and most Android smartwatches too. So I’m not even sure if this is a reasonable complaint if $300 Android smartwatches also won’t let me respond to notifications.

    Battery life is very good. If you leave the always-on display off, you can get up to 14-day battery life. I haven’t used this band for 14 days yet, but after nine days of use at the time of this writing, my band still has 38% battery left so it seems like it will surpass the 14-day mark. If you leave the always-on display on, Xiaomi says battery life drops down to about a week. That’s still pretty good.


    Should you buy the Mi Band 7?

    Xiaomi Smart band 7

    You should buy the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 if:

    • You want an affordable fitness band to keep track of fitness data
    • You want a thin and lightweight wearable that won’t get in the way of long-sleeved shirts, sleeping, or other activities

    You should not buy the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 if:

    • You already own the Xiaomi Smart Band 6
    • You don’t mind paying much more for a more capable overall wearable like the Galaxy Watch 4 or Apple Watch

    Even with a slight price bump, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is an easy recommendation for those looking for a good value fitness tracker. At $60, the product more than lives up to what it claims to do, and offers a larger, more vibrant screen and better watch faces than other trackers at this price range. However, the Mi Band 7 just isn’t a big step up from the Mi Band 6 (the only improvements are better battery life and a larger screen), so those who own last year’s wearable already need not upgrade.

      The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a $60 tracker with a large, vibrant screen and accurate fitness tracking

    About author

    Ben Sin
    Ben Sin

    I'm a senior editor at XDA Developers. I have been a journalist for a decade, the last five years covering the mobile tech scene closely, reviewing just about every phone and attending trade shows and launches. I also run a gadget review channel on YouTube.

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