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 sixth generation to drop in about five months time. But what about the specs?
A couple of months back, we put together an article on what to expect from the next Mi Band. Since then there’ve been a few leaks. We are updating the original piece to include this.
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.
A Logger user that goes under the name Magical Unicorn has discovered several details in the Firmware and Resources files of the Zepp app that hint at a larger display. While it might seem strange to find details on Mi Band 6 in the Zepp app, remember that Huami is the manufacturer of the Xiaomi product. The Zepp app is its creation.
The device in question goes under the codename “Pangu” and “XMSH16HM” as the model name. It’s also referred to as Mi Smart Band 6 deep in the code.
This reveals some watch faces for Mi Band 6. Interestingly they have a higher resolution than the current version. The width on the watch faces is 152px as compared to 110px on Mi Band 5. Which points to the possibility of a larger display next time around.
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.
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.
Interestingly, shortly after Mi Band 5 came out, Huami released Amazfit Band 5 which these very same “missing” features. The two wearables look exactly alike, the main difference is the additional functionality that can be found on the Amazfit.
The good news is that it is pretty much a certainty we will get these features on Mi Band 6. This has also been confirmed by the above leak.
So what else could we reasonably see?
The leak says built-in GPS could be on the cards. 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. Our guess is that if we do see built-in GPS, it might be reserved for a more expensive iteration of Mi Band 6.
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 in terms of fitness goodies. 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.
As before expect NFC for contactless payments. But this will probably be reserved only for the Chinese edition. There’s also talk Mi Band 6 will allow users to reply to SMS messages (with pre-set snippets of text), and that it will have greater integration with messenger services such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
More sports modes
The leaker has also uncovered there will be more sports modes next time around. The current edition has 19 but Mi Band 6 will have a total of 30.
The new ones include: Indoor fitness, Indoor ice skating, HIIT, Core training, Stretching, Stepper, Gymnastics, Pilates, Street dance, Dance, Zumba, Cricket, Bowling, Basketball, Volleyball, Table tennis, Badminton, Boxing and Kickboxing.
Price and release date
The latest bit of info comes in the form of Indonesia Telecom and India’s BIS regulatory certifications. A Xiaomi device under the moniker XMSH15HM has appeared and the former listing reveals the product’s actual name is Smart Band 6. That makes it pretty clear it is the new version. When Mi Band 5 launched in China, it was introduced in India and international markets as Mi Smart Band 5.
We are still not expecting to see sixth generation internationally before the summer, so probably around a June. This latest listing hints there might be a launch in India and Indonesia a month or two earlier.
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. This is a budget wearable and Xiaomi will want to keep that price for Mi Band 6. Particularly now as there are more entrants in this space such as OnePlus and Redmi. Having said that, there could be a more expensive version with built-in GPS.
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