Xiaomi has done it again. Today the company announced an upgrade to its Mi Band. Similar to its predecessor, the Mi Band 2, the Mi Band 3 is a fitness tracker packed with lots of features at a very affordable price. It retains many features, and somehow they found a way to pack in new features while keeping the price nearly the same. A move that clashes with the recent trend of consumer electronics becoming more expensive year over year.
The Mi Band 3’s display got a huge bump in size. It grew from 0.42-inches, up to 0.78-inches. That’s almost double the size of the Mi Band 2. Despite the larger display, Xiaomi has opted to not make it touch-friendly like many other fitness trackers like Apple Watch, Samsung Gear and Fitbit Versa. But at around $25-$30, it’s to be expected and an omission that’s not deal-breaker.
As you would anticipate, the larger display also has a higher resolution. It offers 128×80 which is definitely an upgrade from previous models, but we can’t be certain about how much since resolutions prior to this version were never publicized. No doubt the increase in resolution and larger display will make reading notifications much easier on the eyes though.
When it comes to features, the Mi Band 3 is an excellent value. It can monitor your heart rate, automatically track sleep, tell you how many calories you have burned, offers water resistance up to 50 meters, battery life that lasts 20 days, and NFC support.
It is unclear what the NFC capabilities are for at this time. It could simply be for initial set up with Android phones, but we hope it will eventually support mobile payments or pairing with workout equipment like Apple Watch’s GymKit.
Xiaomi is offering the wearable in three colors: black, blue, and red and says that the band is more comfortable than ever before. While better comfort is always an improvement, there does not seem to be an overwhelming number of complaints about discomfort in the company’s prior releases.
Pricing is the real shocker here. It will be sold in China for a starting price of 169 yuan (about $26) or 179 yuan (about $30) for an NFC-equipped model. This is about the same price that the Mi Band 2 fetches on Amazon. International availability hasn’t been announced, but will likely be clarified in the upcoming weeks/months.
This is just one of the announcements from Xiaomi today, also be sure to take a look at our coverage of the company’s new iPhone X competitor.