Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 vs 7: should you upgrade?

If you’re a fan of Xiaomi’s Mi Band series, you’ll be pleased to know that the latest version, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8, has just been released. Like previous models, the Mi Band 8 is designed to help you keep track of your fitness goals and stay on top of your daily activity.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

In this article, we’ll be comparing the new Mi Band 8 (check it out on Amazon) to its predecessor, the Mi Band 7, which was released last year. The Mi Band 7 was a huge success and remains one of the best-selling budget fitness bands globally.

The Xiaomi crowd will be happy to know the Mi Band 8 comes with some notable upgrades and improvements over its predecessor. We’ll be diving into the details of these upgrades and comparing the two devices to help you decide which one is right for you.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 vs 7: General and hardware


When it comes to design, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 looks very similar to Mi Band 7. Both fitness bands have a rubberized, practical look that’s unmistakably geared towards fitness tracking.

The Mi Band 7 packs a 1.62-inch display with a resolution of 192 x 490 pixels, 326 ppi, and up to 450 nits of peak brightness. The screen is covered with tempered glass, giving it a sleek and impressive look. The edge-to-edge display design means there’s no room for a physical button, so users need to rely on touch-display and gestures to navigate the menus.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Xiaomi Mi Band 7 | Image source: Xiaomi

Xiaomi has opted to retain the same size display for Mi Band 8. No change there and you still have the always-on option for some of the watch faces. It would have been pointless to increase the screen size as it is very large as it is. However, an aspect that has improved is the maximum brightness that the bracelet can reach, which for the first time exceeds 600 nits of brightness to approach the level of smartwatches. The refresh rate has also been improved to 60Hz.

A notable change is that the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 offers a two-piece detachable band and a new strap connection. Its predecessor has a single-piece strap that allows users to pop the main unit out of the band. This new design feature allows for more versatile and nifty strap combinations. Users can even wear the band as a necklace or strapped to their shoes.

Xiaomi has engineered a simple-to-detach strap mechanism allowing you to switch up your straps daily to match your mood or the occasion. The diverse selection of straps available features genie leather, woven bands, double leather, and hollow bracelet choices. There’s also a pendant-style option.

Check out the picture gallery below (click on any image to enlarge).

Accompanying the various straps, hundreds of watch face designs are available, including some inspired by gaming. Sudoku, 2048, math games, puzzles, are available and you are actually able to play them on the device!

Xiaomi Mi Band 8

Overall, while the design changes in the Mi Band 8 may seem minimal, the two-piece detachable band is a notable improvement. The design remains functional and budget-friendly, while the new strap mechanism allows for greater customization and wearability options.

Under the hood

The excellent 5 ATM rating and swim-proof design stays the same. As do the sensors.

Mi Band 8 and 7 share a 6-axis sensor (low power-consumption 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope), and a PPG heart rate sensor. Also on-board is an all-day SpO2 sensor which was introduced last year. The company has not mentioned any improvements in the underlying technology, but it is quite possible there have been some slight upgrades.

Battery life

Next up is the all-important battery life. This has always been an important selling point of the Mi Bands.

We’re happy to report that the 8th iteration does not disappoint on this count. The predecessor works for 15 days on a single charge thanks to its 125 mAh lithium ion battery. This has increased by a day now. With an always-on display, Mi Band 8 can keep going for 6 days. An hour is all that is needed to recharge from zero to full. That’s an improvement as well.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 vs 7: Technical specs

Here’s a table illustrating all differences in design and hardware between the last three Mi Smart Band generations.

Mi Band 8
Mi Band 7
48mm × 22.5mm × 10.99mm
46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm
27 grams
25 grams
Display size
1.62 inch
1.62 inch
Display resolution
192 x 490 pixels
192 x 490 pixels
Display type
Maximum screen brightness
600 nits
450 nits
6-axis sensor: Low power-consumption 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope, PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2.
6-axis sensor: Low power-consumption 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope, PPG heart rate sensor, SpO2.
NFC (in-China only)
Bus access card/Alipay/Union Pay/NFC
Bus access card/Alipay/Union Pay/NFC
Battery capacity
190 mAh
180 mAh
Battery life
up to 16 days
up to 15 days

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 vs 7: Functionality

The Mi Band has been a popular wearable for quite some time now. Its affordability makes it accessible for anyone looking to monitor their health and fitness.

In terms of tracking, the device covers the basics quite well. It can monitor your activity and sleep around the clock, providing information on your steps, distance travelled, active minutes, calories burned, sleep, stress levels, and inactivity reminders. Xiaomi has mastered this aspect of the wearable.

What’s new?

Unfortunately, the Mi Band 8 still lacks an altimeter for counting floors climbed. Here’s hoping this feature will finally arrive in 2024.

However, Xiaomi continues to improve the accuracy of its stats each year, especially with heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Last year the additions were sleep breathing quality through the blood oxygen sensor, which has the potential to detect sleep apnea. The band also tracks irregular and sporadic sleep patterns, as well as REM sleep, by utilising heart rate variability.

Xiaomi Mi Band 8

There aren’t many new features this year, but the number of sports modes has increased by 30, bringing the total to 150. These include popular modes such as indoor fitness, indoor ice skating, HIIT, core training, stretching, stepper, gymnastics, Pilates, street dance, dance, Zumba, cricket, bowling, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, and more.

Xiaomi continues to enhance its running performance metrics. Last year, they introduced VO2 Max, ATPPC, Aerobic, and Recovery Time, which have been well-received. When the Mi Band 8 is attached to a shoe with a special clip, it can track parameters like stride length and impact force during races.

Unfortunately, there is still no built-in GPS. As with previous models, users must rely on their smartphone’s satellite signal for detailed outdoor exercise tracking. This decision likely helps keep costs down. The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro offers built-in GPS, but there was no mention of a Mi Band 8 Pro at today’s event. Perhaps more information will be available later in the year.

A new mode for monitoring boxing training has been added, utilizing the smart band’s integrated sensors. This feature enables an interactive boxing experience. Once the smart band is connected to a tablet or phone, users can perform boxing movements, with their actions mirrored by an on-screen character in real-time.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 vs 7: Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and Mi Band 7 both offer an impressive set of features for budget fitness trackers. While the upgrades in the Mi Band 8 may not be groundbreaking, they do provide some improvements over its predecessor.

The most notable change is the introduction of a two-piece detachable band, allowing for greater customization and wearability options. The Mi Band 8 also boasts an increased maximum screen brightness and refresh rate, along with an extra day of battery life.

In terms of functionality, the Mi Band 8 now supports 150 sports modes, 30 more than the Mi Band 7. Xiaomi has also added a new boxing training mode and additional running statistics. Despite these enhancements, the lack of built-in GPS and an altimeter might be a disappointment for some users.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6

Xiaomi Mi Band 8
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Amazfit T-Rex Pro

Overall, if you already own a Mi Band 7, the changes in the Mi Band 8 might not be significant enough to warrant an upgrade. However, if you’re new to the Xiaomi Mi Band series or are using an older model, the Mi Band 8 offers a solid range of features for a budget fitness tracker, making it an excellent choice for those looking to monitor their health and fitness goals.

The global edition of Mi Band 8 has recently been made available on Amazon. Mi Band 7 has been available for quite a while now (check price on Amazon).

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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