In this article we look to the future of the most popular budget fitness band in the world. Here’s our take on what to expect from Xiaomi Mi Band 7, including possible technical specs and release date.
And yes, we know Xiaomi Mi Band 6 was released only a few months ago. But it seems as good time as any to look towards to the next generation. It is still too early for leaks so this article is our best guess as to the possible features. We will, of course, update things as and when new information becomes available.
The wearable is a popular choice for those looking for a budget fitness band. In just two weeks following its release, some 1 million Mi Band 6s were snapped up! And that’s before it was even made available for purchase internationally.
Xiaomi Mi Band 7: Design
The biggest upgrade of Xiaomi Mi Band 6 over its predecessor comes in the form of a larger display. You could say that this has become somewhat of a tradition. The size of the screen has been bumped up for several years in a row now.
In 2021 we got a 1.56 inch AMOLED that contours to the shape of the band, up from 1.1 inches before. That’s quite a sizeable increase. The company says this type of display gives users 50% more screen space than on the predecessor device.
Most impressively, Xiaomi has managed to achieve this without increasing the size of the device. There is a difference but it’s marginal. The current version measures 47.4 x 18.6 x 12.7mm which is only slightly larger and thicker than generation 5.
Which means the increase in size has been achieved by shrinking the bezel around the edges. In fact you could say there’s almost no bezel now. Well, there is but it’s small.
2022 might a year where the display finally stays the same size. We actually think this is quite likely. Of course, Xiaomi could go down the route of Huawei and Honor. Their latest fitness bands come with an even larger screen than the one that can be found on Mi Band 6. This has been achieved by making the fitness band wider.
Might Xiaomi opt for this route? We doubt it. This form factor blurs the line between fitness bands and smartwatches a bit too much. Xiaomi has a loyal following and its customers may not be happy with a radical change in design.
Essential reading: Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 vs Mi Smart Band 5 – what’s the difference?
The quality of the AMOLED on Mi Band 6 is pretty high (326 ppi, 152 x 486 pixels) so this might also stay the same on Mi Band 7. But an area of improvement could be screen protection. All the Xiaomi Mi Bands so far are succeptible to scratching. That could easily be changed with a Gorilla Glass display or similar.
A capacitive button?
The all-screen front on generation 6 means Xiaomi has had to do away with the physical button below the display. So you now need to use the touchscreen to navigate the screen. This includes swipping, tapping and tap holding. That’s all well and good but a physical button can be useful in wet conditions, while you are wearing gloves, etc.
Might we see a return of some sort of physical button on gen 7? We wouldn’t rule it out. A good route might be something akin to the capacitive button which can be found on some Fitbit fitness bands and smartwatches.
Any other changes?
Battery life on the current version is an excellent two weeks on a single charge. This has remained relatively unchanged in the last few generations although the battery life does take a hit with adavanced features. Awesome battery life is one of the main attractions of the Mi Band and we expect this to remain to be the case in the future.
The water resistance is also quite good at 5 ATM on the current version. That means you can safely swim with it. Expect more of this on the next generation.
All thing considered, we don’t really expect drastic changes in the way Mi Band 7 looks. There’s only so much you can do with a traditional fitness band. Considering that’s it is a leader in the budget wearable space we don’t really see Xiaomi diverging too much from the tried and tested formula.
Xiaomi Mi Band 7: Features
Apart from design tweaks, Mi Band 6 comes with several other upgrades over its predecessor. The most important one is something that was expected to land last year – an SpO2 sensor. This allows you to take blood oxygen measurements on demand.
The current generation also brings more sports modes over its predecessor. Now there are 30, and 6 of these are with auto-recognition.
Other than there was nothing really new this year. Many had expected Alexa functionality but this was nowhere to be seen.
The Mi Band ticks most boxes for those after a basic fitness tracker that won’t break the bank. You won’t find the bells and whistles of a Garmin or Fitbit but you do get a lot.
This includes the steps, distance, calories, stress, heart rate, blood oxygen, sleep, female health tracking, activity and more. Expect generation 7 to come with all this and more. Of course, the quality of statistics should be improved as next device will come with the latest tech on offer and improved algorithms.
Xiaomi has been improving the accuracy and breadth of its stats. For example Gen 6 brings sleep breathing quality through the SpO2 sensor. Heart rate monitoring has benefited from improvements in recent years but this still has room for improvement, particularly during high intensity exercise. Improvements in the accuracy of sleep tracking would also be welcome.
An altimer remains the one obvious omission. This is used to calculate floors climbed. We hope to finally see this on the 2022 iteration.
Another possibility could be built-in GPS. The current generation relies on your smartphone’s GPS signal for this. So if you are doing a run outside and want detailed maps of your exercise and accurate stats, you need to have your smartphone with you – which is not ideal.
One route Xiaomi could go down is to introduce a version with GPS and a version without. Not everyone needs built-in GPS and there’s no reason for them to be paying for tech they won’t use.
More improvements could come in the form of smart functions. Alexa compatibility was widely expected this year but it didn’t arrive. Huami, which is the manufacturer of Xiaomi Mi Bands, has had this on its fitness bands for over a year now. There’s no reason for Xiaomi not to introduce this. There is a voice assistant but that is only for the China region.
Another feature that is reserved for the local market are payments-on-the go. NFC internationally on Mi Bands exists, but only on the Chinese iteration. Perhaps its high time Xiaomi brings this across the border?
Finally, Mi Band 6 allows you to control music from a connected smartphone. Built in storage for music would be nice, albeit unlikely.
Xiaomi Mi Band 7: Release date, price
Xiaomi has been fairly regular at releasing subsequent generations of the Mi Band each year. Since 2016 these were unveiled in May or June.
- Xiaomi Mi Band – July 2014
- Xiaomi Mi Band 1S – November 2015
- Xiaomi Mi Band 2 – June 2016
- Xiaomi Mi Band 3 – May 2018
- Xiaomi Mi Band 4 – June 2019
- Xiaomi Mi Band 5 – June 2020
- Xiamo Mi Band 6 – March 2021
The tech giant surprised us this year with an earlier release – March to be exact. So it seems the gap between subsequent generations is narrowing. This means Mi Band 7 should see an official reveal next spring, possibly earlier.
We actually think CES 2022 might be a great launch platform for Mi Band 7. The greatest tech show on earth is due to make a return next January to Las Vegas and we expect Xiaomi to be there with all its latest goodies.
As far as price, this has been creeping up. The current generation will set you back around $60 (check price on Amazon). This price point is probably the top end of what you would want to pay for a budget fitness tracker. This is why we don’t really see Xiaomi bumping up the price any further.
Except, of course, if there’s an iteration with built-in GPS. If that one pans out expect it to retal around $30 more than the regular variant.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!