Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs. Mi Band 6: Main Differences Explained – Wareable | Hot Mobile Press

The new Xiaomi Mi Band 7 has landed, once again promising a fitness tracker on a budget, except not quite as cheap as before.

It follows the Mi Band 6 which is still available to buy and is likely to drop in price now.

Durable verdict: Xiaomi Mi Band 7 review | Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review

If you’re in the market for a budget tracker, or you own a Mi Band 6 and are wondering if you need to make this upgrade, we spent a lot of time testing both to shed some light on their comparison.

Here’s our breakdown of the main differences between the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 and Mi Band 6.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: price and alternatives

These two trackers can clearly be called cheap, but unlike previous iterations, there’s a slight difference in the amount you can expect for them.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

Price Xiaomi Mi Band 7: About $69/£54

Price Xiaomi Mi Band 6: $59.99/£39.99

While we don’t have an official US price for the Mi Band 7, we do have the UK one and that suggests a price jump.

To put this pricing in context with the cheap tracker competition, the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2’s introductory price was $49.99 / £499.99.The Fitbit Inspire 2 is $99 / £89.99 and the Huawei Band 7 is around $60 / £49.99.

So, outside of Fitbit, the options surrounding the Mi Band are increasing and also proving to be strong competition for Xiaomi.

Xiaomi MI Band 7 v Mi Band 6: at a glance

Mi Band 7 Mi Band 6
screen size 1.62 inches 1.56 inches
screen resolution 192×490 152×486
case size 46.5mm 47mm
Touch screen Yes Yes
Always-on display Yes no
Heart Rate, SpO2 and Connected GPS Yes Yes
Battery life 18 days 14 days

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: design and screen

Mi Band 6

These bands offer a similar look and it’s mainly differences in the display department that really set them apart.

Both use the same module pressed into a band that you can swap out for a variety of other colored options. The Mi Band 6 is available in black, orange, yellow, olive green, ivory white and blue. The Mi Band 7 comes in black, green, orange, and blue colors, giving you options on both fronts.

The Mi Band 6 has a 47mm body, while the Mi Band 7 has a smaller 46.5mm body, which are the kind of differences that you won’t really notice on a day-to-day basis.

What you might notice are changes in the display department. The Mi Band 6 houses a 1.56-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 152 x 486. The 7 in comparison has a larger 1.62-inch AMOLED with an improved resolution of 192 x 490 pixels and offers a always-on display mode that you don’t get on the 6.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Mi Band 7

There are changes on the brightness front, with the 6 Series’ screen maxing out at 450 nits of brightness and the 7 Series getting brighter at 500 nits.

What does this mean for the use of the screens? We’d say not a huge amount. The 7’s screen is larger, meaning you’ve got a bit more room to view data, but the quality and elements like viewing angles don’t feel very different. It’s nice that the 7 offers improved brightness, but brightness wasn’t an issue on the 6.

Water resistance ratings remain the same here, so a 5ATM rating ensures you can shower and swim to depths of 50 meters with either band.

That improved screen resolution and size, along with the option of an always-on mode, will give the Mi Band 7 more appeal, but we’d say whichever band you choose, you’re going to get a tracker that largely thrives on day and night at the wrist.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: fitness and health tracking features

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Mi Band 7

Fitness tracking is key here, and while neither band will tell you you have a serious heart problem, they offer features to help you keep tabs on your overall well-being and health.

For the basics, these bands count steps, track distance walked, calories burned throughout the day, and send you inactivity alerts if you’re inactive for a long time. If you want an altimeter to track elevation like climbing stairs, you don’t have one of those desirable sensors. In our testing, we found the step tracking at times quite far removed from the devices we were comparing. They can feel right some days and be wildly wrong other days.

PAI scores remain a feature of Xiaomi’s fitness tracking ecosystem, measuring time spent at elevated heart rate and ranking efforts out of 100 weekly compared to 6th

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs. Mi Band 6: what is actually different?

Switching to Xiaomi’s health features, you can continuously monitor heart rate, which we found was much more reliable and accurate than heart rate tracking during exercise.

The SpO2 sensor available on both gives you the option to continuously monitor or take readings. On the Mi Band 7 there is now the ability to set up high and low SpO2 alarms, similar to the high and low heart rate alarms that Xiaomi also supports. It is also used to track breath quality during sleep.

Across the board, you get stress tracking, female health tracking, and guided breathing exercises. The key differences here, for us, are that you get a bit more reliable in terms of continuous heart rate monitoring on the 7, but it’s a tough area to really separate the two.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: sports tracking capabilities

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 vs. Mi Band 6: what is actually different?

Xiaomi has tried to improve the Mi Band’s ability to track your sports activity, although it’s still missing a fairly notable sports-tracking sensor.

Both trackers don’t have built-in GPS, but you do have the option to use connected GPS, meaning you’ll need to launch Xiaomi’s companion phone app to track outdoor exercise like runs and bike times. However, as we found, even with GPS connected on both bands, tracking accuracy could be hit and miss compared to GPS tracking on more reliable Garmin and Polar GPS watches.

It was a similar story on the heart rate monitoring front. These bands aren’t particularly good for tracking heart rate during exercise, as average and maximum heart rate readings are generally quite a distance from a heart rate monitor chest strap.

Indoor sports tracking fares slightly better on both fronts, and one reason you should snag the Mi Band 7 is that it has richer pool swim tracking. For activities like indoor rowing and skipping, the tracking experience stays the same everywhere.

You get more of these sport modes on the 7 than the 6, but the core modes are covered on both, with many of the niche modes still offering basic duration and heart rate metrics.

The Mi Band 7 also digs deeper into your data and provides insights into VO2 Max, Training Load, Training Effect and recovery time recommendations. We found some of these insights useful and others less so, as the sensors driving them (like heart rate) aren’t very reliable.

Both share data within Xiaomi’s Mi Fitness app, which supports the ability to share data with Google Fit and Strava when you get that reliable data hit.

If you want a Mi Band with workout insights and richer pool swim tracking, these are the top things you would pick for the 7 over the 6.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: smartwatch features

Mi Band 6

Mi Band 6

Once you accept that your smartwatch experience will be compromised by the amount of screens you have to play with on both bands here, you’ll find that things feel very similar here.

You get trackers compatible with both Android and iOS, offering features like notifications, the ability to control music playback on your phone, weather forecasts, and alarms and reminders.

You’ve got watch faces here too and there are plenty on both that make good use of that AMOLED screen. We wouldn’t say that the Mi Band 7’s larger screen really improves the use of these features. Notifications aren’t displayed all that differently and still feel a little cramped on this section of the screen.

Mi Band 7 screen notification

Mi Band 7

Unsurprisingly, you don’t get a music player or app store. There’s no support for contactless payments, although it does appear on versions of the Mi Band available outside the US and UK. You also don’t get a smart assistant, although it’s a feature that has popped up on budget bands like the Amazfit Band 5.

Ultimately, if you look at the Mi Band that offers you the best smartwatch experience, it’s a tie.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: battery life

If you’re looking for the Mi Band with the best battery life, we’d say basically the same performance here. This is despite the Band 7 packing a larger capacity battery of 180mAh compared to the Mi Band 6’s 125mAh battery.

Xiaomi says you should expect up to two weeks from both, but ultimately that means missing out on features like continuous heart rate monitoring, stress tracking, and enabling the more advanced sleep monitoring mode. You also have to go easy on the screen brightness, while the Mi Band 7 has that always-on mode that also drains the battery quickly.

In our testing, both typically lasted a week between charges, and unless you’re willing to sacrifice the features we’ve mentioned, you probably won’t stay much longer.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 v Mi Band 6: which ones should you buy?

We’ll start off by giving both the Mi Band 6 and 7 a solid 3.5 out of 5 in our individual reviews. None of the trackers are perfect, but if you’re looking for a good budget fitness tracker then these are good options.

If we had to choose between the two, we’d say if you can pick up the Mi Band 6 for even less than its already reasonable price, this is it. The design doesn’t differ much, you still have a great screen and the fitness, sports and smartwatch features are very similar to the 7.

The main reasons to go for the 7 would probably be the improved screen (which is very nice), the option of an always-on display mode, and the additional workout insights. The latter, however, feels a little out of place on a tracker like this, so it’s really because of that screen. Is that enough as a train? We’re not so sure.

The price difference is a factor here too, if you really know exactly how much you’re looking to spend, and if you’d rather spend a little less on the Mi Band 6 in that regard, you’re not going to get much use from an inferior fitness tracker.

Leave a Comment