Fitbit Devotees, This $60 Fitness Tracker Just May Lure You Away

ByRachelle R. Sowell

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My favorite overall conditioning tracker is the Fitbit Demand 5. But priced at $150 (£169, AU$270), it may well not be the ideal solution for your funds. If you happen to be on the lookout for a strong physical fitness tracker on the cheap, permit me introduce you to the $60 Xiaomi Mi Band 7. It has a major colour display screen, snooze monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring and 24/7 coronary heart level checking just like Fitbit’s tracker. At less than 50 percent the price, can it quite possibly match-up to the Cost 5? Surprisingly, in several strategies it does.

I appreciate to come across more affordable alternatives to significant-identify solutions and even have an overall YouTube collection focused to the bring about. The new Mi Band 7 is a feasible competitor to far more high priced smartwatches and trackers from models like Fitbit and Amazon, as lengthy as you don’t need particular well being characteristics. Even even though it’s not as precise as the Charge 5, it is packed with a lot of training monitoring choices and connectivity options to fit most people’s demands.

View my whole comparison in the video on this page or examine on for the cheat sheet.

Mi Band 7 and Fitbit Charge 5

Each bands perform on iOS and Android.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

A big, dazzling display makes the Mi Band 7 truly feel high quality for its price tag

Set these two trackers side by aspect, and you will recognize each of them have colour touchscreens. But the Mi Band 7 edges out the Charge 5 with its greater 1.62-inch screen. This indicates you can match a little a lot more text on the monitor devoid of needing to scroll, which is useful for reading through information notifications or viewing work out stats. Both screens have an normally-on setting, so you never require to elevate your wrist to see the time. I uncover them both uncomplicated to see in broad daylight… as lengthy as I try to remember to flip up the display brightness to max on the Mi Band 7.

Navigation is effortless on both, but I choose the Cost 5 for usability overall since I can double-faucet on any display to get straight back to the clock experience. With the Mi Band 7, I at times want to swipe back again quite a few pages to get back to the begin.

Convenience is highly subjective, but the Mi Band 7’s slimmer style can make it far more suited for more compact wrists.

Fitbit is improved if you want exact heart level monitoring

I take a look at all trackers in opposition to a upper body strap, which is deemed the gold regular for purchaser coronary heart amount tracking. The Cost 5 does a great job of matching the strap following a moment or two of embarking on a cardio-based mostly work out like a jog or operate. But the Mi Band’s heart charge readings lag behind the strap considerably when undertaking the similar exercising. I found this on a hike whilst strolling up a steep incline, for the duration of which the two Fitbit and the strap reflected my heart charge at all over 130 beats for every moment. The Mi Band remained a much more subdued 95 bpm.

The Cost 5 is improved at correctly capturing heart fee all through vigorous exercising and exercise routines that involve arm movements, like dancing, working or going for walks. But for more stationary exercises like spin bike rides, the Mi Band 7 did just fine.

That stated, the Mi Band 7 has a ridiculous amount of obtainable training forms: 120 in whole. That’s not a typo. The Charge 5 only has 20 training solutions, with six slots on the system itself which you can customize manually in the application. 

Additional importantly, the Demand 5 is the only 1 of these trackers that has developed-in GPS. This indicates you can leave your cellphone at house and even now precisely observe distance and route info. The Mi Band 7 only has related GPS, which is most likely my most significant disappointment with its health and fitness tracking functions all round.

Mi Band 7 and Fitbit Charge 5

Snooze monitoring differs on both of those bands.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Slumber monitoring is also far better on the Fitbit Demand 5, as I uncovered it additional precisely reflected my awake time for the duration of the night time. I also felt the Cost 5’s snooze rating was far more in-tune with how I felt in the early morning in comparison to the super-superior rating I might get from the Mi Band 7. Soon after 14 times of tracking your slumber in a thirty day period, Fitbit Quality subscribers get a snooze profile with further insights, and a so-called sleep animal that reflects your slumber model.

You can expect to want to toggle on the state-of-the-art monitoring alternative in the iOS or Android app to get a lot more in-depth slumber monitoring on the Mi Band 7 considering the fact that it is not on by default. The Charge 5 also arrives with a Foods and Drug Administration-cleared electrocardiogram application to detect indicators of atrial fibrillation, unlike the Mi Band 7. Each also can keep track of blood oxygen at night, but the Mi Band can also get location readings on demand from customers or observe constantly all over the working day.

For clever attributes, the Mi Band 7 wins palms-down

You can set alarms and timers and view mobile phone notifications on the two the Demand 5 and Mi Band 7. When paired with an Android phone you can also mail and customise quick textual content responses on both equally. But only the Mi Band 7 has audio playback controls for your phone and a calendar application to see your agenda. 

The Mi Band 7 has way more look at faces to decide on from, such as third-social gathering options. It also has a come across my cellphone attribute, a camera remote and a flashlight. The Charge 5 is far more confined with only 24 watch faces, but Fitbit did just include a find my cellular phone characteristic in the most up-to-date update in July 2022. It also has Fitbit Pay out for NFC payments from your wrist, while worldwide variation of the Mi Band 7 that I have does not include NFC.

Battery everyday living is also one more gain for the Mi Band 7, but it is not as lengthy-lasting as prior versions like the Mi Band 6. In my screening with each day workout routines, slumber monitoring and the always-on exhibit turned off, I get 4 days from the Demand 5 and 7 times from the Mi Band 7.

Mi Band 7 and Fitbit Charge 5

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Tracking techniques and sleep does not have to dent your wallet

The Charge 5 is the very best general tracker if it suits in your spending budget. It has detailed snooze monitoring, terrific coronary heart amount accuracy for the duration of cardio-based workouts and offers important insights into your general wellbeing. You can find a purpose why it acquired an Editor’s Alternative award in 2021.

But at less than fifty percent the price, I am pleasantly surprised by the Mi Band 7, and it truly is now my most loved finances-helpful substitute. The battery lasts for a longer time than the Demand 5’s and it has a staggering array of work out monitoring possibilities. In addition it truly is additional of a smartwatch substitute than Fitbit’s tracker if you want a additional extensive 2nd display for your telephone.