Live Science Verdict
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a great buy if you want to save money and track your basic metrics, but some of the more advanced features require more accuracy
Advanced health monitoring includes blood oxygen and stress levels
110+ sport and fitness modes to choose from
Some metric tracking isn’t accurate
The screen isn’t very responsive, particularly when sweaty
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The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is another addition to the flourishing lineup of the self-proclaimed number one wearable brand in the world. It’s proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to access your daily health and fitness metrics from your wrist, nor do you have to sacrifice fancy features either.
The affordable wearables market is ever-expanding which is good news considering the current climate, so while the price and fit might be lightweight, this watch certainly isn’t featherweight on features.
Available colors: Interchangeable band colors are available
Compatibility: IOS and Android, Mi app
Battery life: 14 days
Display type and screen size: 1.62” AMOLED
Water resistance: Up to 50 meters
Heart rate tracker: Yes
Sleep tracker: Yes
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 enters our best fitness tracker round-up as our tried and tested budget-buy recommendation. We were surprised by the sheer number of features available on the model but didn’t find the watch very user-friendly at times, and the screen can be unresponsive too. But it does look great on your wrist and carries a look not dissimilar to a Fitbit.
Below, we detail the highs and lows of this model and deliver our verdict on whether this fitness watch is worth your hard-earned dollars. Discover the best place to wear a fitness tracker or find out everything you need to know about the Smart Band 7 with our full review.
Price and availability
The MSRP of the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 varies by location, listed as £54.99 on its main website, and you can add changeable strap colors at checkout for £4.99. Mi ships worldwide, and you can also purchase this watch via third-party retailers like Amazon for discounted rates down from $50.99.
We think this fitness tracker is reasonably priced considering the number of features available, its fantastic battery life, and access to an app. For that reason, it ranks highly in our round-up of the best budget fitness trackers.
Design and display
The Smart Band 7 is the new and improved sibling of the Smart Band 6, with a few fancy features thrown into the mix to add even more bang for your buck.
It looks nearly identical to a Fitbit, with a sizable, crisp color 1.62'' AMOLED high-resolution display that provides a 25% larger and brighter screen than its Xiaomi Smart 6 predecessor. The screen size measures the width of our wrist from top to bottom, and the improved interface design allows you to instantly read your core stats without the need to scroll or fuss.
The fitness tracker itself is easy to set up. You can download the Mi Fitness app straight to your phone and sync the watch (after its first charge) to the app. From the profile tab, you can set up your information like weight, age, and height and navigate your connections to other apps like Strava or Apple Health.
The touchscreen design is handy for on-the-go and easy selections, allowing you to swipe up, down, left and right to access apps and features. Swipe down for notifications or swipe up to access your key apps like heart rate, sleep, oxygen monitoring, and workout mode; you can choose which apps you want to access from the Mi app, and they’ll automatically update your watch. Swiping between left and right will also give you access to features like music, daily goals, and quickstart workout mode.
The display provides an always-on mode and custom clock faces, and you can use interchangeable straps to switch up your style.
Whilst the watch is designed for quickstart selections, the app is where you can set up more detailed data analysis (like your goals and feature settings) and access a comprehensive health and fitness dashboard. There are a wealth of features to cover off, but we do our best to break it down below.
The Smart Band 7 is stacked with health features like heart rate, sleep, and all-day SpO2 blood oxygen monitoring, as well as capturing stats on your stress levels and VO₂ max during workouts.
You can select to perform a real-time heart rate reading just by swiping to the heart rate feature on your watch. Swipe again, and you can perform a one-minute guided breathing meditation that will update your stress analysis readings on the spot, capturing how long you spent in green, orange, or red zones of stress throughout your day.
Via the device tab (found in the Mi Fitness app), you can flit between all available features (listed as widgets) and set goals. For example, you can track your blood oxygen on all-day mode and receive an alert on your wrist if levels drop below a set percentage. We love the ‘relax reminders’ that prompt us to perform a breathing exercise when stress levels reach above 80 during our awake time.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 tracks metrics in real-time; you can view live results in the app's health tab, including information on sleep, time spent standing, or step count, in detailed graph form. You can also compare results in a daily, weekly and monthly summary to help you notice patterns around your lifestyle.
What’s more, you can track your sleep by time spent in REM vs Non-REM stages of sleep to help you gauge the quality of your snoozes. It’s worth mentioning that you must turn on advanced sleep monitoring in your Mi Fitness settings to access the REM sleep feature.
From the 30 fitness modes of the Band 6 to over 110, the Band 7 has undeniably undergone a makeover. The watch is also water resistant up to 50 meters if you fancy taking your new wearable for a swim.
The watch works like most basic fitness trackers. You can access workout mode from your app, selecting options like walking, indoor running, or outdoor cycling, and the intuitive GPS maps will kick into gear to track your route. The watch will then measure heart rate, pace, calorie count, and total time straight from wrist to app. You can access vast workout modes from your wrist, including detected activities like jumping rope and yoga.
We were impressed with the training load analysis – something you don’t always find on smartwatches. It tells you whether you should increase or decrease activity based on previously logged workout data. It works off a measurement of EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) – effectively a measure of how long your body takes to recover from exercise, resulting in increased calorie burn post-workout, according to the Journal of Sports Sciences.
The watch can then recommend recovery when it thinks you need it and provide overall ratings of how hard you’ve worked.
A feature we love is the PAI (Personal Activity Index). Using HUNT Fitness Study Project data, Xiaomi uses continuous heart rate monitoring to help you hike your heart rate above 100 throughout the day, earning you PAI points. It’s claimed (by the study) to reduce risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Female Health Management
An increasing number of wearables now account for period cycling and track your cycle to provide important information about your energy levels and mood. Not only does this matter for your wellbeing, but it can also help you prepare better for workouts.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 hasn’t added this as an afterthought. Instead, the app allows you to track symptoms and predictions in calendar format, even tracking fertility and ovulation status throughout the month. From the app, you can add reminders and log your period history, which can help you to identify patterns throughout the month, and help you scale up or down on your workouts.
If these features alone aren’t enough, you can also access additional widgets like weather, smartphone notifications, flashlight, night mode, goal alerts, timers, stand-up alerts (nudges telling you to move when you’ve been stationary for long periods), and sync your music.
We were impressed with the battery life of the Xiaomi Smart Band 7. It can easily hit two weeks without a charge, depending on how many features you use throughout the day. What’s more, it only takes a few hours to charge up, so you’re not left in the lurch chasing after battery life.
Aside from basic metric tracking, we did experience some teething issues with more advanced monitoring features like sleep analysis and workout data.
The sheer wealth of data analysis can feel overwhelming if you’re new to fitness trackers, so we recommend prioritizing your basic stats first, and focusing on calories, step count, workouts, and daily movement goals.
Every tracking feature breaks information down into minute detail. For example, your step count shows time spent walking slow versus fast. Heart rate data divides into cardio heart rate zones, including aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise. Stress monitoring also divides your results, this time into minutes spent in mild, moderate, and severe stress zones – it goes on and on.
Everything comes on a detailed (albeit bitesize) sliding scale. It makes for a very comprehensive health and fitness tracker, but in the bid to cover everything, some features are wanting in accuracy. On most occasions, our sleep data recorded 3-4 hours of sleep starting from random times like 2:00 am or 5:00 am and provided vastly different results to other trackers we were using in conjunction with the Smart Band. As a result, REM and deep sleep data were also way out.
Unfortunately, workout mode was also off the pace in places, over-egging our calorie burn and distance traveled on most workouts – we wish we could burn 150 calories in 10 minutes of moderate activity!
However, fitness tracker calorie counts are known to be somewhat unreliable regardless of their cost, especially when measuring from your wrist, and it’s not unusual for calorie burn data to be off.
Some users might struggle with the responsiveness (or lack thereof) of the touchscreen. We found it tricky to navigate our workout status when sweaty, which is quite frustrating mid-class. The watch screen is made with tempered glass and anti-fingerprint coating though, and we wonder if this could affect sensitivity.
We checked out some reviews on the Mi website and Amazon and found some of our problems mirrored by users identifying recurring issues, but we think these could be an easy fix by Mi.
Aside from a few blips, we found the watch worked well with our lifestyle. The guided one-minute breathing meditations help to slow you down during flustered rushes for the bus or last thing before bed. We also enjoy how customizable the watch is, allowing you to taper widgets, clock faces, and even your watch strap to your requirements.
If you want to maximize features without paying hundreds of dollars, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 fitness tracker is for you. Reliability is still lacking in places, and there is certainly room for improvement in the workout and sleep features. However, the sheer availability of data tracking ups the likelihood of teething issues during everyday use, and it’s unusual to find this level of quality and detail for $50.
If this product isn’t for you
If you’ve got some serious money to spend and need a jewelry upgrade too, the $400 Oura Ring Generation 3 is our favorite find (pictured above). It’s positioned as more of a health and sleep tracker but does track exercise and has a workout mode to record live training. The health and sleep capabilities are mind-blowing, and we couldn’t get enough of this model during testing.
If you prefer a subtle approach to fitness tracking, the Withings ScanWatch combines a beautifully traditional wristwatch with intuitive health and fitness tracking. It can even perform on-the-spot ECG readings.
Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and resident fitness writer at Future PLC. Having trained to work with both the mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and aims to bring mental wellbeing to the forefront of fitness. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and how we can build more sustainable training methods. You’ll find her writing about the importance of habit-building, nutrition, sleep, recovery, and workouts.