Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 3i review: Mi Band 3 without heart rate monitoring

Garg Ankit, Gadget Scanner

Xiaomi launched the Mi Smart Band 3i fitness band in the Indian market last month. The band is priced at ₹1,299. It lacks the heart rate monitoring sensor when compared with its elder brother, the Mi Band 3. Not sure why the term ‘Smart’ is added in this variant when Band 3 was also ‘smart’ in every sense of the word as far as the available features are concerned. Only reasoning that makes sense is that the company adopted ‘Smart’ beginning with Mi Smart Band 4, hence from now on all the bands will be ‘Smart’.

Lack of the heart rate sensor has two advantages – the battery lasts longer, and the band is cheaper. I am pretty sure a Mi Smart Band 4i is in the works as well – colored display without a heart rate sensor.

Garg Ankit, Gadget Scanner

In this post, I review the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 3i and find out if it is worth your money.

Build and design

Garg Ankit, Gadget Scanner

Mi Smart Band 3i looks and feels the same as its elder brother, the Mi Band 3. The body of the core hardware is made of poly-carbonate material, and comes with an anti-fingerprint coating to keep it free from smudges. The rear houses the engraved Mi logo. The bottom end features the charging diodes, aka the Pogo Pins.

Garg Ankit, Gadget Scanner

The strap which holds the primary machinery is made from TPU material. It is designed such that the machine pops out of the oval strap casing. I am not a fan of this kind of pop-out mechanism since the oval-shaped cavity has a tendency to get loose over time (after a fair bit of pushing and popping), after which the band needs to be replaced.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 3i display

The 0.78-inch (128×80 pixels) monochromatic screen is as basic as one would expect in a budget-friendly wristband. An occasional scratch or two, and you are good; anything more often, and you leave a mark forever. It is sufficiently visible in direct sunlight.

The display is touch sensitive. There is also a capacitive touch button depressed at the bottom end of the display. The display supports vertical and horizontal movements to navigate through the menu and sub-menu options, and the button is used to accept and reject stuff. While the button successfully worked almost every time, the display saw a few hits and misses when trying to navigate through the functions.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 3i features

The band offers a host of features ranging from calories burnt, daily step count, distance travelled, sleep tracking, and weather forecast, to alarm clock, date and time, find my phone, notification and call alerts. The ‘idle reminder’ vibrates the band as a reminder to move the body since it had stayed idle for long. A total of three band faces are available to choose from.

Most of these features can be tracked and customized via the Mi Fit app for Android or iOS.

There is no heart rate sensor on Mi Band 3i.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 3i battery

The band comes with a battery of capacity 110 mAh. The juice given by the battery on the Smart Band 3i is surprising. I got around 16 days of backup when the band was paired with my Android smartphone via Bluetooth. It shall easily last for more than 20 days (as claimed by the manufacturer) if not connected to the phone.

Garg Ankit, Gadget Scanner

The design of the charging cable is of concern though. It requires pushing the core machinery into the cable from its open end so that the Pogo Pins are touching in order to complete the circuit. The cable widens over time, and is rendered useless. I would prefer if they started using USB port at one end of the band itself, thus giving a standardized way of charging the band, along with one less cable to worry about. While they are at it, they can actually use USB-C.

[su_row][su_column size=”1/2″ center=”no” class=””] [su_box title=”Pros” box_color=”#00bf08″ radius=”4″][su_list icon=”icon: check-circle” icon_color=”#0cc33e”]

  • Impressive battery backup
  • Budget pricing
  • Water resistance up to 50 m

[/su_list][/su_box] [/su_column] [su_column size=”1/2″ center=”no” class=””] [su_box title=”Cons” box_color=”#bf000a” radius=”4″][su_list icon=”icon: ban” icon_color=”#bf000a”]

  • Absence of a heart rate sensor

[/su_list][/su_box] [/su_column][/su_row]


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