Got your hands on the Chinese version of the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 and now wondering if the grass is greener on the global side? This article walks you through the steps to convert your Chinese edition into a global one. We also discuss the risks and rewards involved.
So you jumped the gun and snagged a Xiaomi Mi Band 8 from the Middle Kingdom, but now you’re eyeing its global twin with a tinge of envy? Mi Band 8 has been a hot commodity in China since its release in April 2023. However, the global edition took its sweet time, making its debut only a few weeks ago (check it out on Amazon). This delay has led many international buyers to settle for the Chinese version, only to find themselves pondering the merits of the newly released global edition.
The Global Edition: What’s the big deal?
If you’re residing outside of China, the global edition of the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 offers several advantages that make it worth considering. First off, language support. The global edition comes with firmware that supports multiple languages, making the user interface more intuitive for non-Mandarin speakers.
Secondly, app compatibility and services are tailored for an international audience. Whether it’s fitness apps or social media integration, the global edition is designed to play well with the software ecosystem prevalent in your region.
Essential reading: Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 8 vs 7: should you upgrade?
Lastly, customer support and warranty services are more accessible and aligned with local regulations. This means if you run into any issues, you’re not left navigating customer service that might not be geared to handle international queries effectively.
Proceed with caution: The road less traveled
The obvious thing to do is to sell your Chinese band and purchase an international one. But is it possible simply to install the global software on your existing Chinese Mi Band 8? It turns out that it is. But it’s not as simple as it sounds.
Before you decide to tinker with your device, it’s essential to understand that this is not a manufacturer-endorsed process. Xiaomi has explicitly stated that they do not support converting the Chinese edition to a global one. The risks involved range from voiding your warranty to potentially rendering your device unusable. In other words, you’re venturing into uncharted territory, and you should be prepared for all possible outcomes.
Despite the risks, the tech-savvy community has found a way. A detailed guide has emerged on Reddit, offering a step-by-step process for those willing to take the plunge. This guide and the software is hosted on a Telegram channel called mi_watch_news. It has recently become a hub for Xiaomi Mi Band 8 enthusiasts seeking to customize their devices.
The step-by-step guide on how to make the switch
- Initial setup: Download the MiFitness mod v1.30u from the Telegram channel. After installing, log in, select China as your region, and connect your Mi Band 8.
- Battery check: Ensure your device is charged up to at least 50% or keep it connected to a charger during the process.
- Update time: Open the update menu on the app and initiate the update. This process will take approximately 35 minutes for the firmware to be pushed into the watch and an additional 5 minutes for the installation.
- The final touch: After the update is complete, reset your device. Change the app region to global and reconnect your watch.
Check out the Reddit thread for yourself. Folks who’ve tried the conversion are giving it a thumbs-up. They’re sharing their stories on how it went down on both iPhones and Androids. One Redditor gave a heads-up that you’ll need an Android phone to kick things off. However, you can hop back to your iPhone later. Another mentioned a bit of a wait to connect the band, but it all worked out in the end. Overall, the crowd’s appreciating the guide.
Now, if you’re thinking of giving your Xiaomi Mi Band 8 a little makeover to better vibe with your local scene, just know this: while the Reddit community is all for it, we can’t officially recommend you go this route. The hack is not backed by us or by Xiaomi, so you’re stepping into DIY territory. Make sure you’re cool with the risks before diving in.
We will leave you with Xiaomi’s response to one user’s question on whether it is possible to convert the Chinese edition of the Mi Band 8 to a global one.
“We would like to inform you that Xiaomi products have strong regional characteristics. If purchased from another location, it may cause issues such as inability to connect and use. The firmware version is factory-set and cannot be changed at will. If you want to flash the firmware, please note that this may cause the device’s functionality to become unusable and may result in loss of warranty.”
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