Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review: A super low-cost heart rate fitness band, but it's got its limits

MSRP: $79.99

The Good The Mi Band 2 is absurdly affordable despite packing in a heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, water resistance and a battery life of a week.

The Bad The fitness band doesn't offer the exercise tracking that would make it a perfect accessory.

The Bottom Line If you just want a basic fitness tracker for walking, the Mi Band 2 does the job fine, but you'll have to look towards more expensive trackers if you want more features.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Battery 8
  • Performance 6
  • Software 7
  • Features 6

Review Sections

With the Xiaomi's Mi Band 2, the Chinese company updates its original $13 fitness tracker with a slightly more expensive version, adding new features such as an 0.42-inch OLED display and a heart rate sensor. The 149 yuan price, which converts to around $22, £17 or AU$29, is a fraction of what you'd pay for similar products such as the Fitbit Alta...or, even, Fitbit's less-expensive Zip. It's not yet on sale on Xiaomi's US website.

That said, after a week and half wearing the Mi Band 2, I've found that while it's not as fully featured as the Fitbit Charge 2, it at least tracks heart rate, something less expensive trackers like Fitbit Flex, Alta and Zip don't. The Mi Band 2 only tracks steps and sleeping patterns automatically and heart rate only gets checked when you select it in the band's menu. You can't calculate heart rate all day or during exercises, which makes it effectively nearly useless unless you're looking to peek at your resting heart rate.

By comparison, the Alta, which costs five times as much, doesn't bother with heart rate but does pack a lot more, such as automatic exercise recognition, calendar alerts and options for clock faces. On that note, the Mi Band 2 does connect to your phone to deliver alerts such as those from WhatsApp.

Because it only tracks steps, the Mi Band 2 doesn't come with exercise tracking, which means it won't keep track of how long you've been jogging or cycling. That's less than ideal if you want your fitness band to help you with those activities, and there's no barometer to track step climbing either.


The Mi Band 2 features a heart rate tracker.

Aloysius Low/CNET

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