Xiaomi to launch $13 fitness band next week

The ridiculously cheap fitness band will go on sale Monday, but don't pull our your wallet just yet. There are a couple of caveats.

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Xiaomi's Mi Band on China's Tmall.com Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Chinese vendor Xiaomi will launch its new rock-bottom-priced fitness band on Monday. Known as the Mi Band, the device will sell for 79 yuan, which translates to about $13 or 10 euros.

The first wearable gadget from a company known for its increasingly popular smartphones, the Mi Band can monitor and help with your exercise routine, wake you up when you oversleep, and last for 30 days on a single battery charge. The Mi Band can also track your swimming routine since it's water resistant at a depth of more than three feet.

So what's the catch?

Well, for now the device apparently will be sold only in China, and Xiaomi has yet to reveal any global availability. Like other fitness bands, the Mi Band takes on extra powers when paired with a smartphone such as unlocking your phone when the two devices are nearby -- but this bonus works only with Xiaomi smartphones. Of course, you can still use the Mi Band as a fitness tracker without pairing it with a phone.

Outfitted with Android 4.4 and Bluetooth, the Mi Band comes in a range of colors, including blue, pink, brown, black, purple, and gray.

Based on price alone, the Mi Band could be a hot seller whether it stays in China or branches out to the rest of the world. Other fitness bands sell for considerably more, notably the Withings Pulse O2 at $120, the Jawbone Up24 at $150, and the Pebble Steel at $250.

(Via Phone Arena and Gizmobid)

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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