How much is an arguably tiny and low-res but super-convenient nonetheless OLED display worth? Apparently, under 10 bucks, as that’s the pricing difference between the first-gen Mi Band and lightly revised 1S on one side and the radically redesigned and upgraded Xiaomi Mi Band 2 on the other.
Well, perhaps “radically” is a bit of an exaggeration, since the non-touch screen is the only important new feature brought to the table. But boy, is it important, transforming the way you interact with the world’s cheapest activity tracker by putting the time on your wrist, plus step count, heart rate, and “more.”
Basically, you can leave your phone aside for longer stints now, at least until you want to review how you slept last night. Speaking of, the Mi Band 2 can unlock your handheld in an instant without fingerprints or passcodes, and somehow, it’s said to keep the lights (and panel) on for a whopping 20 days between charges.
If that pans out, heck, even if the smart band lasts “just” two weeks, Fitbit might have its wearable crown endangered before long, and Jawbone could head for certain bankruptcy. Unfortunately, we’ve no idea when (if) the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 will go on sale outside China, and if its crazy stupid low domestic price of 150 Yuan ($22) can be replicated internationally.
It’s unclear if all of the product’s manufacturing issues are behind it as well, but it’s here, it’s got an “upgraded pedometer algorithm”, “hypoallergenic silicone band”, ADI accelerometer, IP67 water and dust resistance, second-gen Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and “anodized ultra-thin” button to control what comes up on your screen. That’s a lot, mind you, for extremely little money.