© AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova


Wristband connected, fitness tracker or smartwatch? There are so many choices that it’s hard to decide. But that was before because Xiaomi came along and got everyone to agree with her Mi Band 3.

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Mi Band 3 – Release date and price

Currently, Mi Band 3 is only official in China, the country of Xiaomi. You can find the latest fitness tracker there for 169 yuan, which is about 22 euros. Now that Xiaomi is officially present in France, we could think that the device can be bought there but unfortunately it is not available on the shop. It is therefore necessary to go through an importer such as Xiaomi France or GearBest.

A big screen in an old design

Xiaomi is best known for his smartphones but with the popularity of his latest Mi Band 2 (a real bestseller) he has managed to show what he is capable of in the making of fitness trackers. The aim of its Mi Band range is simple: to give users the features they really need at a very affordable price. In the 4th generation (there was a Mi Band 1S / Pulse), this Mi Band 3 takes over.

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In sunlight, the screen is sometimes difficult to read. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

The Mi Band 1 and 1S did not have a screen and were mostly doing step counter work, but the Mi Band 2 looked much more deeply into the fitness tracker market. The small 0.42-inch screen displays distances and the number of steps travelled, and thanks to some icons you can see what kind of notification you have received on your smartphone. In 2016 it was enough, but in 2018 expectations have increased and Mi Band 3 must offer even more.

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It must be removed from the bracelet in order to charge it. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremov

When it comes to design, Xiaomi hasn’t gone crazy: it is always made up of two elements. The first is a bracelet, the second is a tracker. The screen is 0.78 inch, which is almost twice the size of the Mi Band 2. It uses a 128 x 80 definition, is monochrome and is OLED. A new touch feature is nice: you can swipe instead of typing. No more capacity button, just a small hollow that is sensitive to touch.

At the moment, the display is still in Chinese and according to our importer it will take a while before an international version is available.

Horizontal and Vertical Swipe

The menu is composed of 6 levels whose order can be configured from the application. Classic features include step counting, distance calculation, display of calories burned, pulse analysis using an optical sensor, weather forecast, notifications and a few other functions. I sometimes regret the lack of logic, why put the battery status with the number of steps, calories and distance travelled? What does the stopwatch have to do with the general parameters? But for 31 euros, you can quickly forget those little problems.

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The optical sensor provides approximate values. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

It is also amazing to find the watertightness (up to 5 ATP, i.e. 50 meters) for a device of this price. Samsung’s Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport are waterproof in the same way but cost much more. In short, a quality device.

As always, accuracy is not there

If you think that in 2018 step counters and heart rate monitors will be absolutely accurate, you’re in for a surprise. These values are approximate and can easily be faked, but it’s better than nothing.

Several configurations available from the application

The Mi Band 3 setup is fast although everything is in Chinese. The Mi Fit application is in several languages but in some places some elements have been translated only into English. This is the same application as the one used for Mi Band 1, 1S and 2.

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The application is very practical.  © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Thanks to Bluetooth 4.2 LE, data transfer from the Band to the application is faster and more stable than with previous models. When Mi Band 3 is connected to the smartphone, the system has more potential: in addition to the tracking features and notification display, Mi Band 3 can vibrate when you receive devices. You can even use it to stop the smartphone’s vibrate/ring or to reject the call. Of course, Mi Band 3 can be recorded with SmartLock so that the smartphone remains unlocked as soon as the tracker is nearby. 

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You can choose activities manually from the application. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Good autonomy

The 1100 mAh battery is not particularly large but according to Xiaomi it should be enough to ensure a maximum autonomy of 20 days. During my test, I realized that this is only possible if you reduce the functionality to a minimum and use the screen as little as possible. If you use it as a notification center and step counter, you will last a week. Over the same period of time, the Gear Fit2 Pro had to be recharged 3 times.

Final Verdict

Do we really need more? Sportsmen, perhaps, would like to have a GPS and MP3 function in addition. But if you’re looking for a simple, connected wristband that’s easy to use, has good battery life and complements your smartphone, then this Mi Band 3 is for you. Switching from Mi Band 2 to Mi Band 3 is not really necessary. In any case, I advise you to wait a little while because the price might still go down.