The Xiaomi dilemma: Smart Band 8 vs 8 Active

After much anticipation, Xiaomi has recently made its Smart Band 8 globally available. But wait, there’s more. The company has also unveiled a budget-friendly sibling, the Mi Band 8 Active, which is a stripped-back version of its big brother.

Also known as Mi Bands, these wearables are not just about tracking your steps or sleep. They’re about offering a comprehensive lifestyle package right on your wrist. So, whether you’re a fitness junkie or a casual user, one of these bands could be your next gadget. Best of all, neither of these options will break the bank. Smart Band 8 sells for around $65, 8 Active for just $25!

With both bands offering a plethora of features, the real question is: which one is the right fit for you? Stay tuned as we delve into the specs, features, and unique quirks of each band to help you make that decision.

View Smart Band 8 on Amazon.

Jump to

Technical specs
The bottom line

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 vs 8 Active: Hardware

Look & feel: A study in contrasts & similarities

When it comes to design, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and the Smart Band 8 Active share a family resemblance but diverge in subtle ways that could influence your choice. The Smart Band 8 sports a more rounded design, giving it a softer aesthetic. On the other hand, the Smart Band 8 Active opts for a more squarish form. This form-factor might appeal to those who prefer a more traditional fitness tracker look.

One of the standout features of the Smart Band 8 is its versatility in how it can be worn. It can be worn on the wrist, as a bracelet, or even attached to your shoe, offering a range of different accessories to suit your style or activity. The Smart Band 8 Active, in contrast, is more traditional in this aspect. It’s designed to be worn on the wrist and comes with standard strap options wrapped on the outside of the watch body. This makes it more akin to the earlier Smart Band generations.

Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Xiaomi Mi Band 8

When it comes to size and depth, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Smart Band 8 Active offer distinct options that could sway your decision. The Smart Band 8 measures 48 x 22.5 x 10.99mm and weighs in at 27 grams, making it a slightly bulkier option. The Smart Band 8 Active, however, is more compact with dimensions of 42.81 x 25.42 x 9.99mm and a lighter weight of just 15 grams.

Display: more than meets the eye

As far as display technology, the Smart Band 8 boasts a 1.62-inch AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 192 x 490 pixels and up to 600 nits of brightness. This makes for a vibrant and crisp display that’s easy to read even in bright sunlight. The Smart Band 8 Active, on the other hand, packs a 1.47-inch LCD with a resolution of 172 x 320 pixels and up to 450 nits brightness.

What is worth noting, while this display may not be as vibrant as that of its sibling, the Smart Band 8 Active actually offers a larger viewable area. This makes it easier to see your stats at a glance. Xiaomi says its viewable area is 10.5% bigger than what can be found on its more expensive sibling.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Active
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Active

Both the Smart Band 8 and the Smart Band 8 Active come with a water-resistance rating of 5 ATM. This means they’re suitable for activities like swimming, showering, and even snorkeling to shallow depths. It’s a feature that adds an extra layer of durability and functionality to both devices, making them suitable for a wide range of activities and environments.

The design, display, and additional features of these bands are not just about aesthetics. They’re about how you interact with the device on a daily basis. Whether it’s the rounded design of the Smart Band 8 or the squarish look of the Smart Band 8 Active, each has its own appeal and functional advantages. Having said that, in our mind the Smart Band 8 does come with a more modern look.

Under the hood

When you peel back the layers, the real engine driving any wearable is its internal hardware. The Smart Band 8 is equipped with a high-precision 6-axis sensor, a PPG heart rate sensor, and an ambient light sensor. Which covers the basics – no altimeter for counting floors climbed or built-in GPS. The Smart Band 8 Active comes with a PPG heart rate sensor and an accelerometer. This means it has largely the same sensors as its sibling. Not much difference there.

Which also applies to battery life. The Smart Band 8 houses a 190mAh battery that promises up to 16 days of typical use and 6 days with Always-On Display (AOD) mode. The Smart Band 8 Active, despite its more compact size, features a slightly larger 210mAh battery. However, it offers a slightly shorter battery life, lasting up to 14 days on typical use and 6 days under heavy usage conditions.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 vs 8 Active: Technical specs

This side-by-side comparison will give you a quick overview of the key differences and similarities between the two devices.

Xiaomi Mi Band 8
Xiaomi Mi Band 8 Active
48 x 22.5 x 10.99mm
42.81 x 25.42 x 9.99mm
27 grams
15 grams
How to wear
Wrist, bracelet, shoe
Display size
1.62 inch AMOLED touch display
1.47 inches
Display resolution
192 x 490 pixels, up to 600 nits brightness
172 x 320 pixels, up to 450 nits brightness
Display type
AMOLED touch display, 2.5D reinforced glass case
LCD, tempered glass with anti-fingerprint coating, 2.5D micro-curved glass
High precision 6-axis sensor, PPG heart rate sensor, Ambient light sensor
PPG heart rate sensor, accelerometer
Activity, sleep, all day heart rate, all day SpO2, stress, female health tracking
Activity, sleep, all day heart rate, all day SpO2, stress, female health tracking
Sports modes
Smart features
Alarm, weather updates, focus, event reminders
Battery type
190mAh, magnetic charging
210mAh, magnetic charging
Battery life
Typical use 16 day battery life, 6 days with AOD mode
Typical use 14 day battery life, 6 days heavy usage

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 vs 8 Active: Features

Both the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Smart Band 8 Active cover the health and fitness basics well for budget wearables. They provide activity tracking, sleep analysis, all-day heart rate monitoring, all-day SpO2 tracking, stress measurement, and female health tracking. This makes them versatile tools for anyone looking to gain insights into their overall well-being.

When it comes to sports modes, the Smart Band 8 clearly takes the lead with support for up to 150 different activities. This makes it an ideal choice for those who engage in a wide range of physical activities and are looking for a device that can keep up. The Smart Band 8 Active, however, offers 50 sports modes, which should suffice for most users but may not cater to those looking for more specialised tracking. Swimming is on this list due to the excellent water-resistance.

The Smart Band 8 supplements the health and fitness functions with additional smart features. This includes alarms, weather updates, focus modes, and event reminders. These add an extra layer of convenience, making the device more than just a fitness tracker. The Smart Band 8 Active doesn’t offer these additional smart features, focusing instead on the core health and activity tracking functionalities.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 vs 8 Active: The bottom line

Xiaomi has recently rolled out its latest wearables, the Mi Smart Band 8 and its more budget-friendly counterpart, the Smart Band 8 Active. The first is available to a global audience, the second can only be purchased in certain countries. These devices, also known as Mi Bands, cover the basics well and offer a similar set of sensors. With price points of $65 for the Smart Band 8 and a mere $25 for the 8 Active, both bands offer substantial value for the cost.

So, what’s the final verdict? If you’re drawn to a feature-rich experience with multiple wearing options, better display and a rounded aesthetic, the Smart Band 8 stands out as a compelling choice. However, if you’re in the market for a no-nonsense, core functionality device with a squarish design, the Smart Band 8 Active offers a lot of bang for fewer bucks.

View Smart Band 8 on Amazon.

Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.