Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Review: A big time deal

South Africans are spoiled for choice when it comes to wearables, with brands like Apple, Huawei and Samsung dominating the market. Not to be left behind, Xiaomi’s Smart Band series made an effort in standing out from the pack with a bevvy of fitness and health options and statistics.

During the height of the pandemic, Xiaomi’s Smart Bands launched with a feature to check your blood oxygen levels and new women-aligned health tracking measures through the Female Health app.

With fitness as the focus of the Xiaomi Smart Band, we were pleasantly surprised to find a device that knocks many of the other wearables basics out of the park when we got hands-on with the Xiaomi Smart Band 7, the latest Xiaomi smartwatch to come to the local market.

The Smart Band 7 is everything it says on the tin and its affordable price make it a real deal for anyone looking for a solid smartwatch experience on a tighter budget.

A no fuss wearable

The Smart Band 7 is easy to set up straight out of the box. Smartphone pairing is quick through the Mi Fitness app, which will also serve as your main control and statistics centre for the watch.

Through the Mi Fitness app you will be able to input personal data like height, weight, age and gender and set up your personal goals, like the amount of kilo-calories you want to burn in a day, the amount of steps you want to reach, and your stand targets.

The app tracks all of this information through the Smart Band. You can track just about any aspect of your health, from weight gain and loss, to your workout load, and even your menstrual cycle.

It is extensive, but make no mistake, the Smart Band 7 is not just a fitness tracker. It also provides smartwatch capabilities like receiving notifications like emails and WhatsApp messages, it will showcase the current weather and you can link and control your music app of choice through the watch.

You can also set alarms and check what events you have on your calendar for the day.

The actions are simple on the Band, but it may take you a bit of time to decipher all the screen functions. Such as the difference in swiping right instead of swiping left, what direction you need to swipe to hide notifications, and how do you access specific features like widgets (you swipe right or left instead of down).

You may experience some lag, especially if you’re quickly scrolling through options and features and sweaty fingers can make it a bit difficult work the device. Generally, however, the performance is acceptable.

Also, the message notifications are simply notifications and you can’t answer messages or send voice notes like the Apple Watch. You can delete the notifications, though but it will vibrate on every single possible thing.

For example, if you are sent a string of images to your WhatsApp, expect your Smart Band to blow up uncontrollably for a few seconds straight. It isn’t just a light rustle either. You will definitely feel when you’re getting an email, and if you get emails often prepare to live in fear.

Notification options can be easily tailored on the Mi Fitness app, so this is a none-problem.

Display and customisation

The display of the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a particular highlight. It has a 1.62″ AMOLED screen and colours on the watch pop, especially in the dark.

Our display of choice.

We particularly enjoyed the bounty of customisable Band Displays available to download for free.

There are easily hundreds and each will give different information and aesthetics to your Band. The screenshots above don’t do justice to how good they look on the actual device.

We settled on a mech-themed watch face that showcases active daily steps, the weather, your active heart-rate, your PAI (we’ll get to that later), the current battery and of course the time. All this information is smartly fit within the face, and aesthetically, it made us feel like a Power Ranger.

It’s fun to mix and match Band Displays and all are available through quick downloads. Once downloaded they can be changed without delay. You can also set your own image as your display through specific watch faces.

Fitness top of mind

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7’s advertising often proclaims its enormous amount of sports and fitness modes to choose from, over 110 options, and we could not test all of these.

Some of the most eccentric modes we found include billiards, fencing, esports, table football (foosball), Muay Thai, and there is even an option to track your workout during a spirited board game. Perfect for active DnD players

The breadth of workout tracking options is downright outrageous, but there are a few trackers that you will be using most often. These will include tracking your blood oxygen, sleeping habits and there is even a stress tracker.

I am officially 62 percent stressed.

Checking your blood pressure, blood oxygen and stress will require you to wear the Band tighter than usual and moving could abort the process. These options will require you to remain very still and the tight band can be make it uncomfortable.

We had to try a few times to measure our blood oxygen because we like to wear our watches a bit looser.

Overall, the sports and fitness tracking works as indicated. We tried the general “Workout” option specified in the Mi Fitness app to go for walks and found that it very closely follows you via GPS tracking.

Once you complete a workout you will receive general analytics, like your average speed, the steps you took and the calories you burned.

The device is made to be worn at all times to track your daily activities and break this down into specific details. If you like this sort of uber-control over your body and health then you will find a very capable partner with the Xiaomi Band 7.

You can set the display to not shine light when you’re sleeping with it on. It is waterproof up to 50 meters so you don’t have to take it off when washing your hands and can be worn when swimming in the pool or in shallow water.

Another reason you won’t have to take it off is its formidable battery life. It refuses to die and will stay on for the whole week without issue. If you’re not using all the options and simply have it on as a smartwatch, expect it to stay on for more than 10 days easily.

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Verdict

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is compatible for iOS and Android devices through the Mi Fitness app and is available in South Africa for the very reasonable retail price of R999.

We think this is a big time deal for a no fuss wearable that will make a great fitness partner, has fun display capabilities and seemingly endless sports tracking modes.

Its only drawbacks are the few moments of lag when scrolling through options on the watch, and the difficulty that can emerge when attempting to track some of the more medically-inclined aspects, such as blood pressure and oxygen.


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