XIAOMI MI BAND PULSE
On the surface, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse is nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor, the original Mi Band. It is still the same oblong shaped sensor, with a shiny cut edge around its aluminum top. The Pulse, however, introduces a heart rate monitor onto the tiny device. The wearable’s silicone band is quite comfortable on skin. We were only conscious about the device when we went for a run, but not during day-to-day activities, such as being at work or in bed.
The Mi Band Pulse is supported by the same app made for its previous wearable. Pairing the new Pulse via Bluetooth is just as easy as the original Mi Band’s process. The new BPM (beats per minute) feature is easily visible on the main screen, but it only tracks resting HR, since the device requires you to tap ‘measure’ in the app’s menu in order to get a static snapshot of your BPM. It does not take a live sample when you are awake, or running. That said, it is one of the most accurate HRMs in this shootout as it gives readings that are close to other HRM-capable wearables, and even home-use blood pressure monitors.
As we tested the band on an iOS platform, it’s immediately apparent that the iOS version has limited functionality when compared to its Android counterpart. The Android app lets you indicate the unique types of exercises, like Rope Jumping or Sit-ups, but this feature is seemingly missing from the iOS version. As a passive wellness tracker, the Mi Band Pulse only tells us the total number of steps and sleep accrued, and doesn’t differentiate between exercise and day-to-day activity.
While it may not pack as many features as compared to Jawbone or Fitbit trackers, it still does all the basics of a tracker, on top of its new and accurate heart rate tracking. If you’re particular about your strenuous activities, the Mi Band Pulse would be underequipped to make you satisfied. However, if you’re a sedentary office worker who’d like to see some physical progress, the Mi Band Pulse is an excellent choice given its low price point and core features. It’s more accurate than its fellow wellness tracker, the Jawbone UP3, too.
The Pulse’s Heart Rate Monitor gives you your HR reading ondemand within the app, but it doesn’t track passively.