The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 release date is a no-brainer. The company is pretty regular at issuing new iterations in June. So expect the new version to drop in about six months time. But what about the specs? Here’s what to expect.
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 – what to expect
Mi Band 5 is a decent upgrade on the fourth generation. The best selling budget fitness tracker in the world has a larger display this time around. In fact, the size of the screen has grown for the second year running. It went up to 0.78 inches two years ago to 0.95 inches this year.
A bigger display is always good, as long as it doesn’t increase the size of the wearable too much. Xiaomi has achieved this in 2020 by shrinking the bezel. The screen is still AMOLED but it has a higher resolution and brightness.
Are we likely to see a bigger screen with Mi Band 6? It’s possible. But there are limits to how much you can shrink the bezels. And to how much you can increase the size of the display. At some point it starts looking more like a smartwatch than a fitness tracker!
A good example is the Honor Band 6. Released last month, it’s dubbed as a fitness tracker but looks more like a smartwatch. The wearable comes with a whopping 1.47 inch AMOLED, up from 0.95-inches on the previous edition.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Might Xiaomi take the same route? Perhaps. But an important consideration will be keeping the price down, and keeping battery life up – as a bigger screen is power hungry. Both of these are huge selling points of the wearable.
Battery life on the current edition is up to 20 days (14 days for NFC version). Expect something similar on Mi Band 6. The 5 ATM water-resistance should also stay the same, along with the polycarbonate build.
Some were left disappointed by Mi Band 5 specs. They were expecting more. Lots of rumours were flying around we would see an SpO2 sensor and Alexa support. Unfortunately this did not happen.
Interestingly, shortly after Mi Band 5 came out, Huami released Amazfit Band 5 which these very same “missing” features. To remind, this is the outfit that manufacturers the Xiaomi product. The two wearables look exactly alike, the main difference is the additional functionality that can be found on the Amazfit. That would lead us to believe that it’s pretty much a certainty we will get these features on Mi Band 6.
The current Mi Band does bring some upgrades over its predecessor. But they pretty much end at more sports modes, improved accuracy of heart rate monitoring and steps tracking, better sleep monitoring and some software upgrades.
It’s anyone’s guess at this stage what additional functionality we’ll see on Mi Band 6 outside of the SpO2 sensor and Alexa support. Particularly as we have not seen any credible leaks up to this point.
So what could we reasonably see?
For starters, forget about built-in GPS. It would be nice but that might be a couple of years away. The functionality can be found on a few fitness trackers such as the Fitbit Charge 4 and Garmin Vivosport, but it adds about $30-$40 to the selling price. Which means it would pretty much double the selling price of Mi Band. So you will need to make do with Connected GPS, instead.
The current list of sensors includes a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and optical heart rate sensor. These will stay on version 6. Some of these will, of course, be upgraded with new technology.
In addition to SpO2, another possibility includes an altimeter for counting floors. This is an obvious omission from the current edition.
Other than that, we don’t really see much else. There could be a chance of a temperature sensor, as we are seeing more and more wearables adding this. It could come either in the form of an ambient temperature sensor, or one that measures your skin temperature.
Price and release date
If you don’t want to wait for the new version, you can check out Mi Band 5 on Amazon. It retails for a reasonable $35.
As mentioned, we are not likely to see Mi Band 6 before the summer. Expect a June Asia launch, followed by international availability a month or two after. As far as price, somewhere around the $40 sounds about right. This is a budget wearable and Xiaomi will want to keep it that way.
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