In this article we pit Xiaomi Mi Band 8 vs Fitbit Charge 6. This is our comprehensive comparison for the data-driven individual.
We live in a world where every step counts and every heartbeat is data. Just as the first leaves of autumn begin to fall, the Fitbit Charge 6 and the global edition of Xiaomi Mi Band 8 make their grand entrance. While the Charge 6 is just rolling out its welcome mat for the first time, the Mi Band 8 has been enjoying a fling in China since last spring.
These two devices are not just another piece of tech; they’re your new personal health consultants, each with its own set of skills and quirks. They promise to be the silent partners in your journey towards a healthier, more informed lifestyle.
But as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Both devices come packed with an array of features. They are designed to monitor, guide, and perhaps even nudge you toward your fitness goals. Yet, they are as different as night and day in their approach.
The Fitbit Charge 6 leans towards a comprehensive health monitoring system, almost akin to having a miniaturized lab on your wrist. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 offers a more budget-friendly but robust tracking system, focusing on versatility and customization. So, which one deserves a spot on your wrist? Read on to find out.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 vs Fitbit Charge 6: Hardware, aesthetics
The look and feel of a fitness band can be just as crucial as its functionality. After all, this is something you are meant to be wearing day in and day out. The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and Fitbit Charge 6 offer distinct approaches to design, each catering to different tastes and needs.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 sports a polycarbonate body with a silicone wristband, giving it a practical yet stylish appearance. Like the predecessor generation, its display is a generous 1.62 inches, with a resolution of 192 x 490 pixels. This AMOLED touchscreen is not just for show. It offers an always-on display feature and you can pretty it up with different watch faces.
The device itself is relatively lightweight, weighing in at 27 grams for the core unit. Its 5 ATM water-resistance makes it a reliable companion for your aquatic adventures.
One notable design feature is its two-piece detachable band, allowing for a variety of strap combinations. You can even wear the band as a necklace or attach it to your shoes, offering a level of versatility that’s hard to match.
Its also worth mentioning that you can opt for the Mi Band 8 Pro. That one has an even larger screen in addition to some other upgrades under the hood, most importantly built-in GPS.
Fitbit Charge 6
On the other side of the ring, we have the Fitbit Charge 6. Its case and design are crafted from 100% recycled aluminum, lending it an eco-friendly edge.
The Charge 6 features a smaller 1.04-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a pixel resolution of 240 x 120 pixels. While the screen size may be smaller, the quality is crisp.
The device is a bit heavier than the Mi Band 8, with a core unit weight of 38 grams. Like its competitor, it also boasts a 5 ATM water-resistance rating. One significant change from its predecessor is the reintroduction of a physical button, addressing user complaints about a touchscreen-only interface. The Charge 6 comes with built-in GPS, a feature absent in the Mi Band 8 unless you tether it to your phone.
Both devices offer a unique blend of aesthetics and practicality. The Xiaomi Smart Band leans towards versatility and customization, while the Fitbit Charge 6 aims for a more comprehensive and eco-conscious design. Your choice between the two will likely hinge on what you prioritize. Is screen real estate and customization important to you, or a compact design with advanced features.
Sensors and battery life
Both the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and the Fitbit Charge 6 come equipped with an array of sensors, but they diverge in terms of variety and focus.
The Mi Band 8 features a 6-axis sensor, which includes a low-power-consumption 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope. These work in tandem with a PPG heart rate sensor and an SpO2 sensor to monitor various aspects of your physical condition. While it doesn’t offer built-in GPS, it does provide NFC functionality, albeit only in China. What it lacks in advanced features, it makes up for in battery life. The Mi Band 8 boasts an impressive 16 days of typical usage. With the always-on display feature enabled, this falls to around 6 days. The device is powered by a 190 mAh battery, ensuring that you’re not constantly tethered to a charger.
In contrast, the Fitbit Charge 6 is a sensor powerhouse. It comes with a 3-axis accelerometer, an optical heart rate monitor, and a Pulse Ox sensor. Additionally, it features multipurpose electrical sensors compatible with ECG and EDA Scan apps, as well as a skin temperature sensor. The Charge 6 also has built-in GPS, supporting up to 5 different systems, and offers NFC functionality. However, this array of features comes at the cost of battery life. The Charge 6 can last up to 7 days under standard conditions or up to 5 hours with GPS enabled. This is a trade-off between functionality and longevity that potential users will need to consider.
In summary, the Mi Band 8 offers a more straightforward sensor package with an emphasis on battery longevity. The Fitbit Charge 6, on the other hand, provides a broader range of sensors but requires more frequent charging. Your choice will depend on whether you value a long-lasting battery and basic monitoring or a more comprehensive set of sensors with the understanding that you’ll need to charge the device more often.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 vs Fitbit Charge 6: Technical specs
Here’s an overview of the tech specs of Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and Fitbit Charge 6.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Fitbit Charge 6
48 x 22.5 x 10.99 mm
36.7 x 23.1 x 11.2 mm
Polycarbonate, silicone wristband
Case and design in 100% recycled aluminium.
192 x 490 pixels
240 x 120 pixels
up to 16 dаys typical, 6 days with always-on display
up to 7 days, or up to 5 hours with GPS
Weight (core unit)
6-axis sensor: low power consumption 3 axis accelerometer and 3 axis gyroscope, PPG heart rate, SpO2.
3-axis accelerometer, Optical heart rate monitor, Pulse Ox, Multipurpose electrical sensors compatible with ECG app & EDA Scan app, skin temperature.
Built-in GPS (support for 5 systems)
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 vs Fitbit Charge 6: Features
When it comes to features, both the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and the Fitbit Charge 6 offer a rich tapestry of options. However, they each have their own areas of strength and specialization. Let’s break it down into two main categories: health and fitness, and smart functionality.
Health tracking and fitness: more than just step counters
The Fitbit Charge 6 is akin to a Swiss Army knife of health monitoring. It boasts a comprehensive array of health sensors that go way beyond the basics. This includes things such as ECG, EDA stress sensor, blood oxygen saturation, continuous Afib detection, skin temperature monitoring and high/low heart rate monitoring. It even introduces new modes like HIIT, CrossFit, and skiing, catering to a diverse range of activities. As mentioned, the device also includes built-in GPS tracking, which enhances its utility for outdoor workouts.
In contrast, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 offers a more streamlined but effective suite of health and fitness features. It provides SpO2, sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring, along with all the other basics. While it may not match the Charge 6’s extensive offering, it does offer over 100 sports modes, with a particular emphasis on running. It can track running workouts from the foot and features a “Pebble Mode” to track movements when attached to clothing or shoes. The other addition is a PAI score that can be found on the Mi Band. Its aim is to encourage you to regularly raise your heart rate over your week.
When it comes to additional costs, the Fitbit Charge 6 offers an optional premium subscription service. This subscription enhances the device’s capabilities, providing more in-depth analytics and personalised insights. Without it you will only be able to review the last week’s worth of some of the stats, and the Daily Readiness Score will not be available to you. While some may find value in this added layer of data interpretation, others might see it as an unnecessary expense. On the other hand, Xiaomi keeps things straightforward with the Mi Band 8; what you see is what you get, with no additional subscription fees lurking in the fine print.
It’s also worth noting that neither the Fitbit Charge 6 nor the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 come equipped with an altimeter. This means that if you’re someone who likes to track the number of floors you’ve climbed throughout the day, you’ll find this specific feature missing in both devices. It’s a small but notable omission for those who consider vertical movement an essential part of their fitness tracking.
Smart functionality: How smart is your wrist?
The Fitbit Charge 6 takes the cake when it comes to smart features, mainly due to its integration with Google services. Users can get turn-by-turn directions via Google Maps and even use Google Wallet and Google Pay for contactless payments. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones and allows for YouTube Music control.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8, while also compatible with iOS and Android, has a more limited range of smart features. It will show notifications but doesn’t offer the same access to third-party services as the Charge 6. However, it does offer NFC functionality, although this is limited to the Chinese market.
In essence, the Fitbit Charge 6 aims to be a comprehensive health and smart device. the Xiaomi Mi Band 8, on the other hand, focuses on delivering robust health and fitness features with some smart functionalities.
Here are the differences illustrated.
Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Fitbit Charge 6
Electrodermal Activity (EDA)
Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications
Heart Rate Variability
Daily Readiness Score
Relaxation breathing reminder
Continuous and spot checking
During sleep only
Google Maps, Google Pay
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 vs Fitbit Charge 6: The bottom line
The Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and Fitbit Charge 6 stand as two strong contenders in the fitness tracker space, each with its own set of merits and drawbacks. The $65 Mi Band 8 (check price on Amazon) shines in its simplicity, offering a robust set of health and fitness features. Its long battery life and versatile design make it an excellent choice for those who want a straightforward, reliable device.
The $160 Fitbit Charge 6 (check price on Amazon), on the other hand, aims for a more comprehensive experience. Its array of sensors and smart features make it a versatile companion for those who want more than just basic tracking. It offers a broader range of health sensors, including ECG, EDA stress sensor, and continuous Afib detection. The device also boasts built-in GPS, a feature absent in the Mi Band 8 unless tethered to a phone. Furthermore, its integration with Google services adds a layer of smart functionality, allowing for turn-by-turn navigation and contactless payments.
However, these additional features come at the cost of a shorter battery life, a higher purchase cost and the potential for extra expenses through its optional premium subscription. It’s worth mentioning, the price includes six months of Fitbit Premium and one month of YouTube Music.
In essence, your choice will come down to what you prioritise. If you’re looking for a device that offers a wide range of features and don’t mind the extra cost and frequent charging, the Fitbit Charge 6 is your go-to option. If you prefer a no-nonsense, long-lasting device that focuses on essential health and fitness metrics, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 is the one for you.
And so, the stage is set for you to make an informed decision. May your choice lead you to a healthier, more active lifestyle.
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