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The Xiaomi Mi Band line of activity trackers offer pretty good bang for the buck when compared with pricier options from Fitbit and other companies. The Mi Band 4 I picked up a few years ago had all the features I wanted from a fitness tracker, and ridiculously long battery life. I’d still be using it today if I hadn’t lost it and eventually replaced it with an Amazfit Band 5 (which I have to charge about twice as frequently as my old Mi Band).

Anyway, I’ve got a soft spot for Xiaomi’s little budget fitness wearables, so when the company announced the new Mi Band 8 today I wanted to see what’s new. It turns out the answer is… not much.

Compared with last year’s Mi Band 7, the new model is about the same size and shape and has similar functionality. But there are a few changes.

The new model has a screen that’s slightly brighter, a battery that’s slightly bigger, and support for fast charging which should cut the full recharge time down from 2 hours to 1 hour.

While both models have 1.62 inch, 192 x 490 pixel OLED displays, Xiaomi seems to have increased the refresh rate to 60 Hz for smoother graphics on the new model. To the best of my knowledge the company never officially disclosed the refresh rate of the Mi Band 7, but the general consensus seems to be that it’s a 30 Hz display. The product page for this year’s model explicitly states that the Mi Band 8 has a 60 Hz screen.

Otherwise the company is primarily focusing on new wrist bands that could make the new model a bit more stylish.

I’m also pleased to see that Xiaomi continues to offer clip-style accessories that will allow you to wear the Mi Band 8 on a belt or clipped to a shirt, pair of shoes, or other items.

Interestingly the Mi Band 8 seems to have seen a slight downgrade in wireless capabilities: last year’s model supports Bluetooth 5.2, but the 2023 model seems to top out at Bluetooth 5.1.

Here’s a run-down of key specs for the Mi Band 7 and 8:

Mi Band 8Mi Band 7
Display1.62 inches
192 x 490 pixels
AMOLED
Up to 600 nits
60 Hz
1.62 inches
192 x 490 pixels
AMOLED
Up to 500 nits
30 Hz (unconfirmed)
Sensors & motorsOptical heart rate
Sp02 (blood oxygen)
6-axis motion
Vibration motor
PPG heart rate
Sp02 (blood oxygen)
3-axis accelerometer
3-axis gyroscope
WirelessBluetooth 5.1 LE
NFC (optional)
Bluetooth 5.2 LE
NFC (optional)
Battery190 mAh180 mAh
Charging1 hour charge time2 hour charge time
Water resistanceWaterproof to 5 ATMWaterproof to 5 ATM
Dimensions48 x 22.5 x 10.99mm46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm
Weight27 grams (including strap)13.5 grams (excluding strap)

The Mi Band 8 is available in China for CNY 239 (about $35) for a Bluetooth-only model or CNY 279 ($40) for a Bluetooth & NFC version. There’s no word on when the Mi Band 8 will be available in other countries, but it will probably cost a little more when purchased outside of China.

via GSM Arena

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  1. How much use can you get from these without installing their app?

    Do all of the local functions still work (minus the notifications, etc)? Or do you need the app installed to initialize it?

    1. You need an app to customize some features and settings, but there are some third-party apps if you don’t want to use a Xiaomi app. I cannot guarantee that the same apps that worked with earlier models will support the latest version, but odds are good that they will.

      1. Not sure if the spec list is correct, but the new model seems to be slightly smaller… but weighs double!

        Normally I don’t care much for weight, but for the wrist, this is a notable pain-point.

        1. Xiaomi lists the weight for the Mi Band 8 with a wrist strap and the Mi Band 7 without. The actual weight will presumably vary depending on the strap you use, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the weight for the new model without a strap.

  2. i hate this because old watch dont connect to program
    app on ios not working (if turn off spy )