Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review: The reference bracelet now measures oxygen in the blood

In this Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review, we are going to talk about everything we know about it. The new Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is the renewal of the reference smart bracelet on the market: it comes with a larger screen, a blood oxygen sensor and more sports.

The Xiaomi Mi Band is one of the most popular wearable for several generations. The Chinese brand has managed to chain one success after another with a conservative design but changeable enough to encourage users to get hold of the new model.

But the market has changed a lot since the brand started selling its products. There are more and more brands and more possibilities which translates into fierce competition. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (44.90 dollars) will not have it easy and will go directly to the low range with specifications that year after year they are expanding and polishing those details that make the difference.

Among the direct competitors, we can see some such as the Huawei Band 6 that arrived a few weeks ago on the market and that is committed to a less elongated format and more similar to a clock. And a very wide range that opens from 50 euros with representatives of Amazfit and other specialist brands.

Continuous design

The maxim within any industry is “if something works, better not touch it.” We can see it with an iPhone whose design is minimally changing generation after generation -with some important jumps- and also in a Xiaomi Mi Band whose external appearance has been almost unchanged since generation 4. Something that, on the other hand, demonstrates the good work of the company that has practically created a segment by itself with a design that has become a hallmark.

The only external changes from the previous generation come from the screen. Xiaomi, since it started with a lowercase in the Mi Band 2, has progressively increased the inches until reaching that of the Mi Band 6. In this case, we have a 1.56-inch AMOLED panel  and a format that occupies practically the entire frontal.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6
Xiaomi Mi Band 6

They have eliminated the capacitive button by redesigning some gestures -which we will see later- and allowing us to gain a few square centimeters. The screen experience is really good for getting in the sunlight while exercising, which is ultimately what it’s meant for.

It does not matter that we are under a righteous sun in the middle of the afternoon that we are going to see the data correctly. Of course, we must have remembered to set the brightness to the maximum because it does not have a brightness sensor that helps to increase or reduce the brightness of the screen on the fly. Something that can become annoying if it catches us in the middle of a training. If that happens, we will have to stop the exercise tracking, increase the brightness and start again at zero.

That is practically the only downside that we can find in this section of the bracelet. Because for everything else we only have good words. The straps are interchangeable with those of the Mi Band 5 and with those of the Mi Band 4, although with the latter it does not really look good. This point is surely appreciated by fans of the different types of straps that can be found in the market for very few euros or even cents.

Also positive is that it can be loaded with a magnetic adapter without removing the Mi Band 6 from the strap. This function was released with the Mi Band 5 and it is a total success that they continue to bet on the same format.

Very sporty

As we pointed out before, the Mi Band 6 is the perfect fatigue companion for daily sports. As a first step for those who are encouraged to exercise and want to have a detailed monitoring of their performance.

It must be emphasized that this device does not have a built-in GPS, so if we want the measurement to be as real as possible we will have to carry the mobile phone in the pocket that will geoposition the route.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review
Xiaomi Mi Band 6

What you do have is a letter of exercises in which it will be difficult not to find the one we are going to do. Xiaomi announces that it has 30 different sports modes with automatic detection of six of them corresponding to the most common such as running outdoors, treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, walking and cycling.

The monitoring of physical exercises is very good and collects even the smallest detail that we can imagine. Also positive is the incorporation of a screen to handle the reproduction of music while we exercise. This function is not found in other proposals on the market.

Among the functions focused on daily activity, we highlight that the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is waterproof up to 50 meters. In the swim function, it allows you to choose between 5 different swimming styles so that the smart bracelet better records each stroke and then provides better data.

Within this section we can also include sleep monitoring that distinguishes between light, deep sleep and REM phase. It is also accompanied by a general score and another that evaluates the quality of breathing. All seasoned with tips to improve rest.

One of the most important novelties compared to the previous generation is the function of knowing the oxygen saturation in the blood as one more piece of information to keep an eye on personal health.

Practically all this data can be accessed from the Mi Band 6 itself, but in order to see it more thoroughly we will have to resort to the Mi Fit application. Available for both iOS and Android and it works really well as an operations center from which to manage and customize the bracelet.

Interesting extras

One of the strengths of smart bracelets is that they do not remain mere sports monitors. The applications that are attached manage to round out the user experience in day-to-day life beyond the moment of exercising.

One of the star functions is to receive notifications from the  smartphone linked to the bracelet in the form of vibration. For example, knowing that they are calling us by phone -with a name included if we have it on the agenda- or a message through WhatsApp. What we will not be able to do is respond to any of them.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 app
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 app

In the rest of the additions we find the control of music playback, a very complete weather application, receive calendar reminders, set the alarm and everything related to the classic functions of a traditional stopwatch.

The change in the way of interaction with the device has special mention before the elimination of the touch button. Now everything is done with gestures, something that on such a thin and elongated screen sometimes the expected result is not achieved. Maybe from Xiaomi they have to make an update in this regard.

Should I buy it?

Before entering the now traditional question of whether or not it is worth buying the bracelet, we have to talk about the battery. Gone are those days when smart bracelet batteries lasted for weeks. Now not anymore and the Mi Band 6 was not going to be an exception.

In real use with sports monitoring every day for 45 minutes or 1 hour and notifications activated, the autonomy remains in about 4 and a half or 5 days. It is not a bad fact at all if we take into account that there are some smart watches having a hard time arriving ‘alive’ at the end of the day, but it is something to take into account if we come from old models.

And speaking of previous models, the purchase of the Mi Band 6 is still one of the most recommended for those who want to start in this  wearable. It is discreet, easy to handle and does not have great technological displays in the form of buttons that can complicate the experience.

It is a simple device that does the job perfectly. We miss some functions such as NFC that have been in the Chinese market for several generations and do not finish landing in Europe. That’s for asking for something, because for 44.90 dollars very few better alternatives occur to us.

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