Image source: OnePlus

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: the battle of the budget activity bands

A number of new brands have entered the fitness tracker space over the past year or two. Most of these are making their debut with inexpensive devices. The recently launched OnePlus Band is no different.

The Chinese-based company has a range of low-cost smart products. It is proving that something doesn’t need to be costly to be quality made.

The OnePlus Band is going against the king of the budget fitness bands – the Mi Band 5. Many have come to equate Xiaomi’s product with this product category.

Which of these two devices comes out on top? Read on to find out.


Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: Hardware

Xiaomi has been in the fitness market for a while now and it has not really deferred very much from the design of the original Mi Band. Yes, the screen has received a couple of upgrades but the overall look has remained quite similar.

Put the Mi Band next to onePlus Band and you’ll notice how similar they are. Both adopt the standard fitness tracker look with a polycarbonate build and silicone strap. You are not going to find many premium materials here – the goal after all is to keep the price down.

The look is modern, the style is curved. Of the two, the Xiaomi is the one with more rounded edges. It is also a bit larger coming in at 47.2 x 18.5 x 12.4 mm versus the 40.4 x 17.6 x 11.95mm of the OnePlus Band. A lot of this, however, goes into the bezel as the display size is identical between the two.

xiaomi mi band 4 vs realme band the battle of the budget fitness bands - Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: the battle of the budget activity bands
Image source: Xiaomi

Both feature a full color AMOLED with a 120 x 240 pixel resolution. But Xiaomi’s display is a fraction better as it adjusts to 450 nits brightness. All of this is stamped with a 5 ATM water-resistance rating.

It is worth making a special mention of the strap. Xiaomi has a one-colored thin silicone band. The OnePlus has a thicker strap that comes with a duel-tone finish. The first can be had in a choice between Black, Navy Blue, Teal, Purple, Orange colors, the second between Black, Navy and Tangerine Gray.

oneplus officially confirms band possible launch on january 11th 1 - Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: the battle of the budget activity bands
Image source: OnePlus

Under the hood, the devices share a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope and optical heart rate sensor. OnePlus Band also packs a SpO2 tech for measuring blood oxygen levels. No built-in GPS here, you’ll need to do with Connected GPS.

As far as battery life, the two are quite similar once again. With normal use you can expect to get a couple of weeks between charges. Mi Band comes with a slightly higher capacity battery, and also has a Power Saving Mode that can keep it going a week further.

Xiaomi has also made refueling easier having moved from the cradle charger to a magnetic charging dock. Which means there’s no more need to pop the unit out of the band. The OnePlus product is charged via a cradle.

Here are the two side-by-side as far as design and hardware.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5
OnePlus Band
Case material
polycarbonate, silicone wristband
polycarbonate, silicone wristband
Display size
1.1 inch
1.1 inch
Display resolution
126 x 294 pixels
126 x 294 pixels
Display type
AMOLED (450 nits brightness)
AMOLED
Device dimensions
47.2 x 18.5 x 12.4 mm
40.4 x 17.6 x 11.95mm
Water-resistance
5ATM
5ATM
Weight
Standard: 11.9 grams
NFC 12.1 grams
10.3 grams
Sensors
3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate sensor, barometer
3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate sensor, barometer, SpO2
Built-in GPS
No (Connected GPS)
No (Connected GPS)
Sports modes
11 in total (Outdoor Running, Indoor Running, Walking, Indoor Cycling, Outdoor Cycling, Pool Swimming, Freestyle, Elliptical, Rope Skipping, Yoga, Rowing Machine)
13 in total (Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Fat Burn Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycling, Indoor Cycling, Elliptical Trainer, Rowing Machine, Cricket, Badminton, Pool Swimming, Yoga, Free Training)
NFC
Optional
No
Battery type
125mAh
100mAh
Battery life
Normal Mode: Up to 14 Days
Power Saving Mode: Up to 21 Days
Normal Mode: Up to 14 Days
Charging
Snap-on magnetic charging
Via cradle charger
RRP
$35
$35

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: Activity tracking and smart functionality

The activity tracking essentials can be found on both of these bands. They include steps, 24-hour heart rate, sleep, breathing exercises and daily goals.

All of these stats can be viewed on the tracker and in more detail in the accompanying smartphone app, OnePlus Health and Mi Fit. As this is a new product, we should mention that at the time of writing the OnePlus Health app only works on Android phones. iOS support will come at a later stage. Mi Fit, on the other hand, has this side of things nailed down.

The Xiaomi also has some other extras. They are all software based and include Menstrual Cycle Monitoring, stress monitoring and PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence).

The last on this list is a popular metric which tallies your daily activity based on how hard you’ve worked your hart. The idea is that this is a more representative measure of your effort than simply counting steps.

What also works in favor for the Xiaomi product is that it has gone through multiple generations. The company has had time to nail things down and ensure the quality of its data. The OnePlus Band is a first generation product.

The one activity tracking extra that you do get on the OnePlus Band is blood oxygen tracking. We were expecting Xiaomi Mi Band to come with an SpO2 sensor but were left disappointed. It is pretty much a certainty generation 6 will come with the feature.

xiaomi mi band 5 vs oneplus band the battle of the budget activity bands 2 - Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: the battle of the budget activity bands
Image source: OnePlus

The Xiaomi and OnePlus also track a multitude of sports. This includes running (indoor and outdoor), along with walking, cycling, pool swimming, yoga, indoor rowing, skipping, elliptical, rowing machine and open workout. There are a couple more that are accessible on the OnePlus Band. They include Cricket and Badminton.

As mentioned, neither of these have built-in GPS. But they can piggyback on your smartphone’s connection for more precise tracking of outdoor exercise.

Smart functionality

Even though these are fitness bands, they do come with some smart functionality. It is 2021 so this is to be expected. You can view smartphone notifications, there are call alerts, app notifications, weather information, alarm, camera shutter controls, Find My Phone, music playback controls and more.

Once again there are some additional features on Mi Band such as Unlimited Band Faces, Unlock Phone (only MIUI) and Mute Phone (only Android). The OnePlus Band may not have these three but it has a Zen Mode Synchronization for select OnePlus phones.

An option you don’t get with OnePlus is NFC for contactless payments. Xiaomi Mi Band does come with an iteration sporting this chip.


Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs OnePlus band: Verdict

Both of these fitness bands come in at the same price point so this will not be a deciding factor in your purchase. They also look quite similar with almost an identical display.

Nevertheless, in our view you will probably be better off with the Mi Band. It has gone through multiple generations so is a tried and tested product. You can have confidence in the fitness stats and the band has a decent smartphone app that works with both iOS and Android. It also has some extras such as Menstrual Cycle Monitoring, stress monitoring and PAI.

The OnePlus Band is a decent first effort and comes with an SpO2 sensor that you will not find on the Xiaomi. If you already own OnePlus product it might pique your interest.

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