Xiaomi Mi Band 3 may have been inadvertently revealed by the company’s founder.
As shown in the picture above and below, Lei Jen was spotted at an event in China with the new Xiaomi Black Shark smartphone. But the picture also reveals a mystery, not-yet-seen fitness tracker on his wrist. Speculation is rife that this is our first glimpse of Mi Band 3.
A number of independent sources have already confirmed one of the most highly anticipated wearables of this year will arrive soon. The latest hint was dropped a few weeks ago by Huami CEO, Huang Wang.
“Xiaomi is Huami’s second-largest shareholder and Huami will make good use of Xiaomi’s platform and resources,” he said talking about Huami’s partnership with Xiaomi at a press conference in China (loosely translated from Chinese).
“This year, there will surely be a Mi Band 3 [and this] follow-up will [be developed] more in-depth cooperation with Xiaomi.”
And Xiaomi CEO himself has teased what might be the Mi Band 3. “We look forward to the new version of the Xiaomi band.” Lei Jun said during last month’s Lantern Festival in China.
Essential reading: Wearables that won’t break the bank
Many of us are waiting for a sequel to the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. Launched nearly two years ago, this is one of the most popular wearables at the lower end of the budget fitness category. The activity band is proof that activity tracking does not need to be expensive.
While not as comprehensive as some of the other options out there, Mi Band gets the basics right and with its lightweight, slick design, looks good enough to wear during the day, in the office or for an evening function. The addition of an OLED display last time around makes a big difference and means you are not tied to your phone to check on progress. But an update is long overdue.
About a month ago, known tipster Roland Quandt spotted Mi Band 3 going through Bluetooth certification. The actual details do not reveal very much but they do confirm that the wearable is in the works. The model number is XMSH05HM and the fitness band comes with Bluetooth 4.2 certification. It will be manufactured under the Huami brand.
The previous generation device tracks steps, distance, calories and sleep, and has a battery that lasts 20 days between charges. With an IP67 water-resistance rating, it is splash-proof. The tracker uses a light-based PPG (photoplethysmography) sensor to measure your body’s blood flow. The heart rate sensor can be used on demand, such as while running or monitoring your sleep patterns.
The latest pictures show a slightly different design. The glass surface has been extended indicating a larger OLED display and the glass now bends over at its sides. Our best guess is that Mi Band 3 will receive a bumped up water-resistance rating and perhaps have the ability to track swim sessions. Also, the heart-rate measurements will likely be upgraded. Something that takes measurements every few seconds rather than on-demand would be much more useful. Finally, expect to be impressed by battery life again, and of course the low price!
The statements and Bluetooth certification can pretty much be taken as a confirmation the company will release its new activity tracker soon. We were hoping for an update last year but better late then never. Look for it to land before the end of this year.
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