One of the world’s best selling wearable lineups just added a new gadget to the mix.
Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi today unveiled the Mi Smart Band 5 that delivers several improvements and adds features, such as a bigger screen, new wireless charging system and women’s health mode over the company’s one-year-old Mi Smart Band 4 -- while retaining its dirt-cheap price point.
The Mi Smart Band 5 features a 1.1-inch AMOLED display that is 20% larger than the one its immediate predecessor sported.
With the new band, the world’s second largest wearable vendor is also bringing a range of new animated watch faces, including characters from TV series such as Spongebob Squarepants, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Detective Conan, and eight colorful straps.
Xiaomi says the new smart band is powered by an improved processor -- the name of which it did not specify -- to enable tracking of menstrual cycles for the first time, and support additional features such as stress assessment that will tell the wearer when it’s a good time to relax.
The Mi Smart Band 5, compatible with iPhones as well as Android handsets, also monitors the wearer’s sleep cycle more efficiently now, adding support for REM sleep as well as evaluating deep and light sleep sessions. The company claimed its heart-rate monitoring is now 50% more precise.
One of the biggest improvements in the new band is its new charging system. This is a refreshing change as previous models in Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band lineup have received complaints from users who described having to get the tracker out of the strap as a clumsy process. Now the company says its new magnetic charging dock automatically snaps onto the bottom of the band. Charging the band once delivers up to 14-days of continuous usage.
Like the Mi Smart Band 4, the Band 5 supports the company's homegrown digital voice assistant XiaoAI that a user can trigger by swiping to the right of the display.
There is an additional variant of the Smart Band 5 that supports NFC. This model features support for mobile payment services, and can be used to unlock smart doors and also serve as a transportation card at select subways.
The Mi Smart Band 5 goes on sale in China next week at a price point of RMB 189 ($26.75) while the NFC variant of the band is priced at RMB 229 ($32.5). The company says the device will be made available in international markets “soon.”
Xiaomi continues to be one of the leading players in the wearable market as it aggressively refreshes and introduces new devices. In November last year, Xiaomi debuted its first smartwatch -- called the Mi Watch -- that looks strikingly similar to the Apple Watch. The Mi Watch is priced at $185.
According to research firm IDC, the company shipped 10.1 million wearable devices in the quarter that ended in March this year. It is ahead of Samsung, Huawei and Fitbit. Apple maintains its top spot in the category.