Xiaomi Smart Band 7 review

A budget fitness tracker that punches above its weight

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Budget
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The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 (sometimes known as the Mi Band 7) fitness tracker is part of the Mi Band series that Xiaomi has released over the last few years. Released globally in June 2022, the Band 7 is the latest model available worldwide (there is a Band 8, but this is currently only available in China).  

The Mi Band series has performed well, having earned a reputation as an affordable fitness tracker filled with features. The Band 7 continues in this vein, offering a wealth of health and fitness tracking and a few smartwatch-type features, still at an affordable price. 

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 has a lot of in common with the Amazfit Band 7, and at one point, the two devices even shared the same Zepp Life app. Now, however, the Xiaomi device uses the Mi Fitness app, giving these fitness trackers a slightly greater degree of separation.  

For anyone interested in tracking their health and fitness, owning one of the best budget fitness trackers is a good way of supporting this goal. And after trying this device, the Xiaomi Band 7 could well be an ideal option for anyone who wants a capable fitness tracker without breaking the bank.    

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 lying in ivyCredit: Saga Exceptional
Recommended

Xiaomi Smart Band 7

Budget

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a feature-filled fitness tracker that offers plenty of health and fitness tracking, all for a very affordable price. It isn’t flawless, but, at this price point, is undoubtedly one of the best fitness trackers we’ve tested.

Design

Features

Performance

Value


Who’s this for?

Anyone interested in tracking their health and fitness who wants reasonable accuracy, good battery life and doesn’t want to spend a lot.

Our likes and dislikes

  • High-quality AMOLED display is bright and easy to read
  • Plenty of health and fitness tracking features
  • Competitive price
  • Connected GPS lacks accuracy
  • Calorie burn estimates are hard to understand
  • The app isn’t the most insightful

Expect to pay

RRP: £54.99 We have seen the Band 7 available for under £40 during promotional periods.

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Review method

How we test

We used the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 for almost two weeks, wearing it continuously to track our general activity levels, sleep and other health metrics. Alongside this, we completed a variety of different workouts including cardio, strength training, walking and yoga, to test how it tracks exercise and heart rate. 

Notifications were turned on, so the band alerted us to calls, texts and weather forecasts, allowing us to assess how effectively the function worked. We also wore a Garmin Vivosmart 5 fitness tracker to compare heart rate, step counts, and other metrics to gauge accuracy and consistency. 

Finally, we made use of the Mi Fitness app to monitor the data collected by the Mi Band 7, and to see how well the information was synchronised, displayed and explained.  

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Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Setup

Simple

Screenshots of the setup process on the Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
Setup is straightforward

Setting up the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 was simple. There isn’t a lot in the box – the fitness tracker itself, a proprietary charging cable and an instruction manual.  

Start by charging the fitness tracker before switching on. Next, you can scan a QR code in the instruction manual to download the Mi Fitness app. Alternatively, you can access the app directly on Apple and Android devices (iOS|Android).

Once you’ve installed the app you need to create a Xiaomi account. If you’ve previously owned a Xiaomi product that has used the Zepp Life app (such as the Xiaomi Mi Body Composition Scale 2) you’ll still need a separate Xiaomi account. 

You’ll be asked to complete details such as your date of birth, height and weight. Then you’ll need to link your tracker by going to ‘add device’ and following the steps on the screen. Once we’d connected the Mi Band 7, we were asked to install a software update. This took around 20 minutes to download and install. 

Overall, it’s a straightforward process, but not quite as smooth as the premium experiences offered by the likes of Fitbit and Garmin.

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Design

Feels smaller than it is

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 next to the Amazfit Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 has a lovely screen

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 (not to be confused with the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro) is a slightly deceptive design that somehow manages to feel smaller than it actually is. The plastic body is extremely light, weighing 13.5g (0.47oz) while the strap is around another 13g (0.45oz).

It’s longer and narrower than the Amazfit Band 7 and has curved corners, as opposed to the square design of the Amazfit. It manages to feel surprisingly sleek as a result, despite being considerably larger than, say, the Fitbit inspire 3. 

The strap is identical to the Amazfit and, while it’s reasonably comfortable, we did have trouble finding the right fit – it was often too loose, or too tight, but rarely just right. The mechanism is also a little fiddly to put on single-handed. We wore a black strap, but you can swap it for a range of colours if you fancy something a little less sombre.  

Undoubtedly, the screen is the star of the show. A large 1.62in (4.11cm) AMOLED display is clear and colourful, and the brightness can be turned up to cope with bright sunlight. There is no ambient light sensor though, so you’ll need to turn the brightness up before going out on a sunny day. We had a couple of occasions where we forgot and consequently couldn’t see the screen at all when we went outside. There are also over 100 different watch faces to choose from, catering to a wide variety of design preferences.  

The screen is made from tempered glass, and the unit is labelled as water-resistant to 50 metres (164ft). Note that water-resistant isn’t the same as waterproof – Xiaomi states that it can be worn in the swimming pool or during “shallow-water activities”. But they don’t recommend wearing it in hot showers, saunas, diving, or water sports.  

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Features

Everything you’d expect

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 showing general activity trackingCredit: Saga Exceptional
There are no glaring omissions from the feature-set

Despite being relatively affordable, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 doesn’t cut many corners when it comes to features. It has most, if not all, the health and fitness metrics you’d expect from a good fitness tracker and throws in a few smartwatch features to boot. 

The essentials are all covered and step counting, heart-rate, blood oxygen and sleep monitoring, calorie burn estimates, and stress tracking are all available. You can decide which of these you want to monitor – for example, switching on stress and blood oxygen monitoring – but this will reduce battery life. You can also choose to receive a prompt to perform a breathing exercise if your stress levels get too high.  

Sport tracking is also impressive, with more than 110 different sports modes available to track. These range from those you’d expect – such as running, walking, weight training, and cycling, for example – to board games such as chess and even table football.  

Smartwatch features include notifications for calls, texts, and apps, weather reports, music controls, and event reminders. There’s even a torch setting, a timer and a stopwatch. Clearly, Xiaomi did not design this device to sit passively on your wrist – it’s very much intended to be as active as possible. 

While this is a pretty comprehensive list, the Mi Band 7 does lack a few features that would have undoubtedly enhanced the package. This fitness tracker (like many others) relies on connected GPS, rather than having its own built-in GPS (as in the Fitbit Charge 5 – admittedly a far more expensive device). This means you’ll need to take your phone with you if you want to track your walks, runs and bike rides. And, also in common with many other fitness trackers, there’s no altimeter, so it won’t register how many stairs you’ve climbed. 

There are a couple of extra features for those particularly focused on measuring their fitness: VO2 Max (which estimates your cardiovascular fitness) a PAI score (personal activity intelligence) and a training load score.  

PAI

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The PAI metric on the Mi fitness app, data from the Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
PAI is based on your activity levels

The personal activity score is a metric we’ve also seen on the Amazfit Band 7 (there is a lot of overlap between these two devices) and is based on your activity levels over the past seven days. 

Doing any activity that gets your heart pumping earns you points. The higher your heart rate, and the longer it’s elevated for, the more points you’ll earn. 

The goal is to get to 100 points and then keep your score above this, in order to improve your fitness. As you get fitter, it becomes harder to earn points. 

Training load

Screenshots of the training load metric on the Mi Fitness app, data from the Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
Training load can tell you whether to take it easy or not

The training load score is based on something called EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption). This is, in simple terms, an increase in your metabolism after you’ve exercised, and is based on measurements taken by the Mi Band 7 over the past seven days. 

Your score can range from low to optimal, high, or very high. If your score is too high, the device may suggest you are at risk of overtraining, which can lead to fatigue and injury. If it’s too low, then you may not be doing enough to maintain or improve your fitness levels.

It performs a similar function to Fitbit’s Daily Readiness score, or Garmin’s Body Battery, in that it helps you decide whether to push yourself or take it a little easier on any given day. 

For general everyday tracking, the Xiaomi Band 7 has everything you’re likely to need. It would benefit from built-in GPS, but it’s no surprise to see this omission, given the cost of the device. It’s a solid set of features that will serve anyone who wants some general insight into their everyday activity levels and fitness.

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Performance

Respectable, but not the best

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 displaying heart rate dataCredit: Saga Exceptional
Average heart rate tracking is respectable

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 doesn’t offer the depth of insights that you might get from a premium Coros or Garmin device, for example. It’s much more about motivating you to be active in your day-to-day life.  

As such, we found the Mi Band 7 to be reasonably accurate. It won’t knock the most accurate devices – such as the Fitbit Charge 5 and Garmin Vivosmart 5 off their respective perches, but it performed satisfactorily. 

In everyday tracking, step counts were fairly close to the Vivosmart 5 that we were using for comparison. The smallest difference on a single day was as little as 22 steps, while the biggest difference on a single day was about 1,300, on a day when we covered around 20,000 steps. As an average, the difference per day worked out at around 163 steps, which is actually very close. 

Given the similarities with the Amazfit Band 7, it’s not a complete surprise to find similar issues with calorie tracking. Like that fitness tracker, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 tells you how many calories you’ve burned as a result of physical activity – but we couldn’t see our overall calorie burn displayed anywhere.

We didn’t feel this was particularly helpful, as it gives you little indication of what your overall calorie burn might be unless you already know what your basal metabolic rate is, thereby limiting the usefulness of this information.   

It means, for example, that if you’re trying to improve your body composition, you might not have enough information to know how many calories you should be eating.

Exercise tracking

Screenshots of exercise tracking taken from the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 displayed on the Mi fitness appCredit: Saga Exceptional
Exercise tracking was fairly consistent

Tracking during specific workouts tended to perform well, albeit with some differences (which are to be expected, given that different companies will use slightly different algorithms). Average heart-rate tracking was particularly impressive, with measurements never more than three beats per minute different from the Garmin Vivosmart 5.

This was for strength training, high-intensity interval training and some yoga. It does suggest a high degree of accuracy in this respect. Maximum heart rates during these workouts were significantly more variable, however, with differences of up to 30 beats per minute.  

Calorie-burn estimates from workouts were consistently higher than on the Garmin, but the size of the difference varied. On one workout, the calorie estimates were as little as one kcal apart, while on other occasions, there were differences that were equivalent to up to 50% more calories burned.

We weren’t overly confident in the accuracy of these figures, especially as we couldn’t then see how the Xiaomi Band 7 compared in terms of overall daily calorie consumption estimates. 

Finally, the connected GPS used by the Mi Band 7 was OK, but not as accurate as we’d have liked. It was much more accurate on the Amazfit Band 7, and we didn’t experience the loss of connectivity that we did with the Amazfit. But it still consistently underestimated the distance that we’d travelled by a few hundred metres or so.

Over our usual 5.6km (3.48 miles) route, we repeatedly saw measurements of around 5.4km (3.35 miles). Again, not terrible, but not as accurate as it could have been. 

Sleep

Sleep tracking data from the Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
Sleep tracking offers fewer insights than other devices we’e tested

We’re always slightly wary of describing any fitness tracker as accurate (or not) when it comes to sleep tracking, as there are plenty of doubts about the general precision of this function. While many fitness trackers will give you readings for light sleep, deep sleep and REM sleep, the Mi Band 7 only shows you light sleep and deep sleep.

It will also identify the number of times you woke up, but not necessarily how long you stayed awake for. It also didn’t provide a sleep score as most fitness trackers do; instead, it will give you descriptions of your sleep such as ‘not bad’, ‘moderate’ or ‘good’. 

In terms of the numbers, this fitness tracker tended to suggest that we’d slept for longer than the Vivosmart 5 recorded, with greater amounts of deep sleep. There were times when the Garmin device felt we had had an excellent sleep, while the Xiaomi described it as moderate. 

And finally, there was one occasion where the Mi Band 7 thought we were having a nap, at a time when we were definitely working (just in case our boss is reading this!). We can’t be overly confident of the accuracy of the sleep data this device provides – but in some ways, the fact that it doesn’t offer more detailed analysis may suggest that Xiaomi recognises the limitations of the technology and doesn’t try to make claims it can’t back up. 

App

Screenshots from the Mi Fitness app - Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
The app is relatively simple to navigate

The Mi Fitness app is where you’ll go to get all your data and any accompanying insights, as well as to monitor your progress over time. It isn’t the most polished app, and the additional information it provides is relatively meagre compared to the best in class.  

It is, though, fairly simple to understand and navigate. The landing page gives you an overview of your daily activity levels, with three semi-circles to track active calorie burn, daily step count, and the number of hours you’ve spent standing up. Below this, you can see any workouts you’ve done, sleep, heart rate, steps, calories and other metrics that are monitored by the Mi Band 7. Tap on any of these to get more detailed information. You can also find explanations of what these metrics are and how they are measured, so at least you understand what you’re looking at. 

The app synced with the device quickly, and we didn’t experience any problems connecting to it. As we mentioned earlier, it isn’t the best app out there, but it gives you all the basic information you need in order to track your data.  

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Battery life

Over a week of life between charges

The proprietary charger for the Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
We got around ten days of use between charges

Xiaomi claims that the Mi Band 7 will give you up to 14 days battery with ‘typical’ usage and nine days of ‘heavy’ usage. These numbers don’t compete with the best-performing devices, but they are better than the likes of the Fitbit Charge 5 and the Garmin Vivosmart 5.  

The more metrics you have active, the closer to that nine-day battery life you are going to be. We found battery life to decline by around 10% a day, with everything switched on, which is broadly in-line with Xiaomi’s claims. We found that a one-hour walk with connected GPS active reduced battery life by around 1%, and a 30-minute workout reduced the battery by 2%.  

When we charged this device, it went from 34% to 49% in about 20 minutes. This would probably be enough for an extra couple of days of battery even with heavy usage, so a quick charge when you’re showering would likely see you through the day at the very least. We went from 62% to 100% in 50 minutes, and on that basis, the tracker would be fully charged from zero in around two hours.

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Value

Decent value in a competitive market

With that RRP of £54.99, the features of the Xiaomi Band 7 mean that it fares well in terms of price against devices from Garmin, Polar and Fitbit, which can cost twice as much. And when it’s on offer for under £30, it starts to look even more competitive. 

It isn’t on its own in this category, though. The likes of the Amazfit Band 7, Honor Band 7 and Huawei Band 7 are also all available for under £50, and offer equally strong feature sets. It holds its own in performance terms, but we don’t feel it’s as accurate as some of the more expensive fitness trackers we’ve tested. But for anyone who wants a basic fitness tracker, this certainly represents a compelling option, especially if you buy when it’s on offer.  

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Competition

You might also like…

If you aren’t persuaded by the Xiaomi Smart Band 7, here are some alternatives to consider:  

Huawei Band 7

Huawei Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
The Huawei Band 7

The Huawei Band 7 is another excellent fitness tracker that’s available for under £50. It offers many of the same features as the Xiaomi Band 7, has an excellent screen and a slightly squarer shape, if you prefer that to the more rounded finish of the Xiaomi device. 

It has similar issues with accuracy and setup can be fiddly, especially for Android users, plus iPhone users won’t benefit from all the smartphone notifications that are available. But it’s still an excellent value fitness tracker that offers a viable alternative to the Xiaomi without punishing your purse.   

Read our Huawei Band 7 review

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 ProCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro

If you’re looking for a slightly more advanced device and are willing to spend a little more, then the Xiaomi Band 7 Pro may be worth considering. It has a similarly large display and measures many of the same metrics as its cheaper cousin. Perhaps crucially, it also offers built-in GPS, meaning that you can track your outdoor sports and activities without needing to connect it to your phone. 

With an RRP of £84.99, it is a slightly more expensive device. We have, though, seen it on offer for less than £60. And for anyone who wants accurate outdoor activity tracking, this could be a very wise investment. 

Fitbit Inspire 3

Fitbit Inspire 3 hanging from a branch. The time and date are on displayCredit: Saga Exceptional
The Fitbit Inspire 3

The Fitbit Inspire 3 is another more expensive option, with an RRP of £84.99. But in return, you get a lovely little device that is far more delicate than the Mi Band 7. It also offers many of the same health and fitness monitoring metrics and has the added benefit of the excellent Fitbit app, which is a lot more polished than the Mi Fitness equivalent. 

Unfortunately, some content is only available if you’re willing to pay for Fitbit Premium. At £7.99 a month, this can mount up, but you do get plenty of additional content such as recipes and workouts. 

Read our Fitbit Inspire 3 review

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Final verdict

One of the best fitness trackers for under £50

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7Credit: Saga Exceptional
Everything you need, backed up by solid performance

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a respectable fitness tracker that offers everything we’d expect at a very reasonable price. Battery life is decent, the display is excellent, and fitness tracking is more accurate than some similarly priced devices that we’ve tested, such as the Amazfit Band 7. 

We’ve noted the similarities with the Amazfit Band 7, and shares some of the flaws of that tracker. The peculiar way of displaying calorie counts, in particular. But there was also some variance in heart-rate tracking, for example, which means we don’t regard this as being as accurate as the best fitness tracker sin this regard – namely, the Fitbit Charge 5 and the Garmin Vivosmart 5.  

Ultimately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the price of this device means that some compromises need to be made. If data accuracy is the most essential element of your fitness tracker then this probably isn’t the device for you.

But if price is a major consideration, and you’re happy with a fitness tracker that will give you data that’s in the right ballpark (even if the numbers aren’t completely correct) then this is definitely worth considering. It’s one of the best fitness trackers we’ve tested that’s available for under £50. 

Buy this if:

  • You want a large screen 
  • You’re on a budget – this is one of the cheaper devices that we’ve tested 
  • You aren’t looking for lots of extra support from the app 

Don’t buy this if:

  • You need accurate GPS tracking 
  • You want the most insights and support from the app 
  • Accurate calorie burn estimates are important to you 
Recommended

Xiaomi Smart Band 7

Budget

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a feature-filled fitness tracker that offers plenty of health and fitness tracking, all for a very affordable price. It isn’t flawless, but, at this price point, is undoubtedly one of the best fitness trackers we’ve tested.

Design

Lightweight, comfortable, and with a large, vibrant display, the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 is a well-designed device

Features

Lots of health and fitness tracking metrics, plus some smartwatch features

Performance

Fairly accurate step counts and average heart-rate tracking, although connected GPS and calorie estimates aren’t great

Value

Packed with features that mean this device compares well to devices that are considerably more expensive


Who’s this for?

Anyone interested in tracking their health and fitness who wants reasonable accuracy, good battery life and doesn’t want to spend a lot.

Our likes and dislikes

  • High-quality AMOLED display is bright and easy to read
  • Plenty of health and fitness tracking features
  • Competitive price
  • Connected GPS lacks accuracy
  • Calorie burn estimates are hard to understand
  • The app isn’t the most insightful

Expect to pay

RRP: £54.99 We have seen the Band 7 available for under £40 during promotional periods.

Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Specs

Weight 13.5g
Dimensions 46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25 mm
Screen size 1.62in
Screen resolution 192 x 490 px
Removable strap? Yes
Operating system Proprietary
Compatibility Compatible with Android and iOS devices
Workouts tracked Over 110 sports modes
GPS Connected GPS only
Wi-Fi No
Bluetooth Yes
Cellular No
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Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him

Updated:

Steven is a Staff Writer for Fitness at Saga Exceptional, primarily focusing on fitness tech, and how we can use technology to help us achieve our fitness goals. Prior to joining the team at Saga, Steven was a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar.

His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.

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