Bigger display, higher price, still incredible value

aa2020 editors choice

Xiaomi has delivered another excellent budget fitness tracker with the Xiaomi Mi Band 7. With a beautiful, always-on display and the same tried and true fit, the latest model will track all your fitness and health basics. It doesn’t make any game-changing advancements over the previous generation and still lacks hot ticket items like onboard GPS and NFC support, but if an affordable tracker is on your shopping list, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is still an easy choice.

For fitness buffs on a budget, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 brings more to your wrist than ever. In addition to new features and sensors, the band delivers ample display space to get your stats on the go. However, it still doesn’t pack some of the most requested features from long-time Mi Band users. Find out more in our Xiaomi Mi Band 7 review.

About this Xiaomi Mi Band 7 review: I tested the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 over a period of 14 days. It was connected to an iPhone 11 Pro Max throughout the testing period. The unit was purchased by Android Authority for this review.

What you need to know about the Xiaomi Mi Band 7

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 in black rests on a mint yoga mat.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

  • Xiaomi Mi Band 7 (China, no NFC): 249 yuan (~$37)
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 7 (China, NFC): 299 yuan (~$44)
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 7 (Global): ~$60 / €59
  • Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro (China): 379 yuan (~$56)

Featuring a 1.62-inch AMOLED display with a 490 x 192 resolution, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 offers significantly more screen real estate than the previous generation. This size increase translates to a smoother user experience, especially when paired with the band’s new, always-on display. Additionally, the Mi Band 7 offers extended battery life, new features like continuous SpO2 monitoring with low-level alerts, and a redesigned UI. Users can further customize the device with over 100 animated watch faces.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 — dubbed the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 7 in some regions — also packs the tools and sensors needed to track your fitness basics as well as monitor your sleep, heart rate, and stress. For athletes, the band adds tons of sport tracking modes and brand-new workout analysis. However, the band does not offer built-in GPS and the global model lacks NFC support for digital payments.

The Mi Band 7 builds on the Mi Band 6 with a larger display, more comprehensive activity tracking, and more.

If these aren’t deal breakers, you can purchase the latest Mi Band for around $60 on Amazon (or less if you can grab it on sale) through import sellers. The Mi Band 7 is also available in a variety of bold colors: ivory, orange, green, blue, black, pink, neon green, neon orange, Khaki Green, and Khaki Blue.

Xiaomi also recently announced the Mi Band 7 Pro, which is essentially an upgraded Mi Band 7 with even more features and a smartwatch vibe to its design. Xiaomi has yet to announce the Mi Band 7 Pro’s availability plans outside of China, but based on the local pricing it could still be a top contender as a cheap fitness tracker when it goes global.

Design: Bigger and (mostly) better

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 and Xiaomi Mi Band 6 rest on an oak table.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 leans into the old adage that bigger is always better. At a passing glimpse, it appears very similar to its predecessor, but a second look shows a much larger, more vibrant touchscreen. The 1.62-inch AMOLED display, (up from the Mi Band 6’s 1.56-inch display), increases the viewing area by about 25%. It’s also noticeably brighter with 500 nits maximum brightness, compared to the Mi Band 6’s 450 nits. Finally, the Mi Band 7 also offers an always-on display feature for constant access to the current time and progress bars showing your health and fitness data at a glance.

There’s still no ambient light sensor on the Mi Band 7, which isn’t uncommon for cheap trackers, but will annoy anyone used to more expensive wearables. Of course, you can manually adjust the screen’s brightness in the Settings menu with a few quick swipes and taps.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 proves that a bigger screen can make a big impact, inching the device closer to smartwatch looks.

Xiaomi even redesigned the fitness tracker’s UI to correspond with the size increase, adding new visuals and organization. The icons are crisp and, most importantly, self-explanatory. Navigating the UI is very straightforward: a swipe down on the watch face brings you to your notifications, dragging up from the bottom brings up all your apps, and a scroll left or right takes you to your widgets, which you can customize in the companion app. The touchscreen is also speedy and responsive; I didn’t experience any lag while testing the Mi Band 7.

On the other hand, the editing menu on the Mi Band 7’s watch face is extremely sensitive. In theory, users can change or customize the display with a long press on the watch face. However, without exaggeration, I unintentionally accessed this menu multiple times daily. I would much prefer having to make these changes through the companion app if the alternative is such a finicky experience.

If you actually do mean to edit your display, there are plenty of watch faces available for switching things up. These range from pretty simple to some that are packed with an incredible amount of data and cover a wide gamut of designs and colors. Most feature bold colors that capitalize on the new display, with some getting extremely cutesy. Overall, there aren’t a ton I would describe as particularly subtle and, unfortunately, there isn’t much customization available. That being said, I’m always partial to a photo background and there are multiple layout options for using a personal image from your phone’s gallery.

Other than the bump in display size, the body we’ve become used to in the Xiaomi Mi Band lineup remains largely unchanged. So much so, that while comparing to the previous generation device for this review, I repeatedly grabbed the wrong tracker, which, though no one’s fault but my own, got frustrating. We still get a pill-shaped tracker wedged into a flexible, silicone strap. The fit is adjustable and the band is comfortable.

Unfortunately for anyone with an aversion to the Mi Band 6’s pin-in-hole buckle, the clasp design also remains untouched. If that’s your preference, great! New to the band are a variety of fun colors. As mentioned above, these include everything from basic black to neons and neutrals. Overall, the Mi Band 7’s impact is sleek. It’s a well-sized fitness tracker for most wrists and doesn’t try to make a statement or overpower your look. In short, it’s the same old Xiaomi Mi Band, and that works fine.

As was the case with the Mi Band 6, the Mi Band 7 device uses a magnetic proprietary charger. Unlike some older Mi Band models, you can pop the capsule out of your band to charge with or without the strap attached as it connects on the back. When you do plug in, it takes about two hours to charge from 0-100%.

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 capsule rests alongside its strap.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

While on the subject of power, the Mi Band 7 packs a 180mAh capacity battery (a boost from the Mi Band 6’s 125mAh cell) but that doesn’t quite translate to more days of usage on balance. Xiaomi claims up to 14 days of battery life with typical usage and nine days with heavy usage. With advanced tracking turned on for this review, I was able to clear closer to one week before running empty. I have no doubt you could stretch it by disabling some of the band’s more power-hungry features, but that would also mean disabling a number of its most useful tools.

For example, when you enable the band’s always-on display you are immediately prompted with a warning that doing so will decrease your battery life by more than half. Enabling this and all other advanced features will land you closer to four days of use before needing to charge up. Luckily, Xiaomi offers multiple solutions if you really need your tracker to last. Not only can you disable the always-on setting if things get desperate, but you can also preemptively set a daily schedule.


Health and fitness tracking: More is, well, more

A user scrolls the workout options on their Xiaomi Mi Band 7.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Xiaomi has made a considerable effort to improve its fitness and health tracking offerings with the Mi Band 7. For starters, the new band now offers continuous blood oxygen monitoring and low SpO2 alerts, in addition to the all-day heart rate, sleep, and stress monitoring that are carried over from the Mi Band 6. These are by no means revolutionary features, but they are definitely welcome tools at this price point.

The Mi Band 7 also now offers a whopping 120 sports tracking modes — up from 30 in the previous generation. That being said, some of these extra sport modes are questionable. I was not able to test the more than 100 activities in one review period (I’m not superhuman), but I did thoroughly study the list and some of the “sports” surprised me. For example, I’m curious how the wearable could possibly differentiate between chess and checkers. Even so, diversity isn’t bad, and excessive options are great for multisport enthusiasts on a budget.

For the more traditional activity modes (e.g. running and cycling), Xiaomi has added new training metrics. The Mi Band 7 can monitor training load, training effect, and recovery time. You won’t find much data compared to similar tools from the likes of Garmin, but that isn’t really comparing apples to apples anyway when you factor in the price delta. Even still, the additions are a good sign that Xiaomi is heading in the right direction. VO2 max monitoring is another new feature to help users analyze their training. Again, this is an advanced fitness metric that shows Xiaomi is out to offer more than the basics while keeping the price low.

GPS, meanwhile, remains a bummer. Contrary to our hopes, the Mi Band 7 still doesn’t have built-in GPS. This means lugging your phone on runs and rides, just like with previous Mi Bands. Sure, this is a budget fitness tracker with a lot to offer for $60 or less, but if you’ve tried any wearable with the real thing, it’s hard to go back to connected GPS only.

Advanced training metrics suggest Xiaomi is trending in the right direction, but connected GPS will give serious athletes pause.

Compared to my Polar H10 strap, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 did a good job tracking my resting heart rate. It also performed well during an indoor cycle session. I only saw a slight delay in a few instances when my heart rate increased rapidly. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 struggled considerably to track a weight lifting workout and wasn’t particularly good on an outdoor run either. The Mi Band 6 got better over time with improved algorithms, so my hope is that the Mi Band 7 will see similar improvements through updates.

As mentioned, the band offers continuous SpO2 monitoring and will alert you if your levels fall below 90%. Thankfully, I never received such an alert. However, I did record my oxygen saturation on the Mi Band 7 regularly throughout the review period, comparing the results to a fingertip pulse oximeter and the values were never more than a couple of percentage points apart. The shift from manual spot checks to continuous SpO2 monitoring does mean the Mi Band 7 could catch signs of sleep apnea, though as with any consumer device like this, you shouldn’t rely on it in lieu of a genuine medical assessment.

A user reviews their sleep data and analysis in the Zepp Life app.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Speaking of nighttime, sleep tracking on the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is a bit of a mixed bag. I wore the device to sleep most nights of this Xiaomi Mi Band 7 review period, adding a Fitbit Sense to the opposite wrist for comparison. Most nights, the Mi Band 7 accurately recorded my sleep’s beginning and end times. However, on one occasion, I woke up at 3:30 AM on the couch and moved to my bed, but the band did not resume recording for the rest of the evening. Similarly, on a morning when I woke to use the bathroom, the Mi Band 7 completed my sleep tracking for the night, rather than recording the remaining hour or so.

As far as stages, the band’s results were close to those of the Fitbit in deep and light sleep stages, but it recorded mini sessions of awake time that were more likely just extended light sleep. I say this because I don’t remember waking and the Fitbit shows light sleep at those intervals. Additionally, the band did not pick up as much REM sleep as the Fitbit.

You can find sleep stage data in the Zepp Life app, plus further analysis, including comparisons to similar users. Most of the information is surface level, but the weekly, monthly, and yearly views are helpful for quick-look insights. The Mi Band 7 can also record naps of 20 minutes or more, though I didn’t fit any in during this review.

Smartwatch features: Not especially bright

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 displays a user's text notification on screen.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Before getting ahead of ourselves, it’s worth remembering that the word “band” in this product’s name hints at a basic fitness tracker — this is not a smartwatch. While the Mi Band 7 packs an impressive display, it’s still an activity tracker first, and smartphone companion second. As such, compared to some of the most popular wearables available, it’s definitely lacking in smart features. Case in point: the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 you can buy outside of China doesn’t offer contactless payment support. It also doesn’t feature a voice assistant. There are also no third-party apps to explore or third-party watch faces to download.

Without a voice assistant, NFC support, or music storage, the Mi Band 7 remains simplistic in terms of smart features.

Still, the Mi Band 7 pairs well with both Android phones and iPhones and does a reasonable job of pushing out notifications. I found the information easy to read and useful to have on hand. Checking the weather is effortless and reliable, as is reviewing calendar events. While the font is small, it’s also very crisp and legible. Xiaomi manages to fit a lot of text onto what is still a fairly small screen, and I didn’t run into any trouble reading messages, for example.

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 user controls their music from their wrist during a yoga workout.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The smart feature I found the most useful during my testing was the band’s music controls. For indoor workouts, I appreciated being able to manage music right from my wrist rather than bending down to fiddle with my phone. This isn’t a novel feature though, so I’m not sure how much credit the band should get for doing the expected. If your music controls aren’t working, make sure to enable alerts in the band’s companion app.


The app(s): Still somewhat confusing

Images from the Mi Fitness and Zepp Life app display two options for managing user data collected on a Xiaomi Mi Band 7.

The Mi Band app situation remains something of a mess. In a similar fashion to the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, there are two phone apps that technically work with the Mi Band 7 — Mi Fitness (formerly Xiaomi Wear) and Zepp Life (formerly Mi Fit and not to be mistaken for the Zepp app). Confused yet?

Things don’t get any simpler with the compatibility with third-party fitness platforms. Put simply, if you want to connect your data with Google Fit, you’ll need to use Zepp Life. If you want Strava, you have to use Mi Fitness. Just don’t try to use both apps at the same time as while you can transfer data from Zepp Life to Mi Fitness, it’s a one-way deal based on historical data. My advice would be to try out both for a day (including a workout) before committing to either one so you don’t lose precious data.

Both apps are relatively simplistic compared to those of companies like Garmin or Fitbit, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A straightforward app is a good fit for a casual fitness tracker like this and it keeps the basics front and center. Both also allow you to customize your main tab so you can keep an eye on the data that’s most important.

The Mi Fitness app features what will be a familiar aesthetic to anyone who has spent any time with an Apple Watch, though it replaces the Cupertino company’s famous activity rings with a tri-color rainbow. The heart of the app is the Health tab which displays all your basic stats in categorized widgets. You can tap each of these for more info, though you won’t find a ton of insights. Most follow-up screens offer a basic graph of your data over time. Some, like Sleep and VO2 Max, do offer a Learn More button with more general information.

The Mi Fitness and Zepp Life apps offer similar experiences; a simple, user-friendly interface for checking in on your basic stats.

Beyond this tab, you’ll find a Workout tab for starting activities and a Device tab for syncing bands and watches. You’ll also see a Profile tab where you can set notification and app permissions and submit feedback. There is also a social component to the app that lets you link up and compete with friends. Finally, you can enable a profile character for a cartoon depiction of yourself on the Health tab.

Personally, I preferred using the Zepp Life app. It offers a similar user experience but with clearer data analysis. You can also now choose your units of measurement, which is better than Mi Fitness which only supports the metric system. The aesthetic is also less playful which appeals to my pragmatic approach to both health and fitness. In reality, I just found the watch face options more appealing. There isn’t however, an obvious icon for at-a-glance goal tracking. There also isn’t an animated profile character if that’s what you’re after from your companion app.

Like the Mi Fitness app, Zepp Life offers a Health, Workout, and Profile tab. The option to add a new device is housed Profile menu rather than in its own tab. Instead, the fourth tab is a dedicated spot to sync with friends via QR code. Linked profiles can then share activity data as well as sleep info. I did not have any band-using friends to sync up with but I imagine they would all be very impressed with my sleep stages.


Xiaomi Mi Band 7 specs

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Display

1.62-inch AMOLED
Always-on display mode
2.5D tempered glass
192 x 490 resolution
Up to 500 nits
100+ band displays

Sensors

PPG heart rate sensor
3-axis accelerometer sensor
3-axis gyroscope sensor
SpO2 sensor
Connected GPS

Battery

180mAh
15-day typical battery life
9 days with heavy use

Connectivity

Bluetooth 5.2

Tracking and other features

120 fitness modes
Continuous SpO2 tracking with low blood oxygen alerts
Sleep tracking
Breathing exercises
Stress monitoring
Female health tracking
PAI (Personal Activity Intelligence)
VO2 Max calculations
Aerobic/anaerobic training alerts
Recovery time
Training load
Idle alerts
Camera remote shutter
NFC (limited to NFC model)

Water resistance

5ATM

App compatibility

Mi Fitness app
Zepp Life app

Charging method

Magnetic charging

Supported devices

Android 6.0 and above
iOS 10 and above

Dimensions

46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm

Colors

Black, Blue, Orange, Pink, White, Dark Green, Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent Green, Camouflage Blue, Camouflage Green.

Value and competition

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Bigger, brighter display • Accurate resting heart rate • Continuous SpO2 monitoring

The Mi Band 7 takes Xiaomi’s fitness tracker to the next level with a larger, always-on display, a larger battery, and more health and activity tracking smarts than ever.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 has a lot to offer. In addition to a bigger and brighter AMOLED display, Xiaomi’s band can track all the major data points from workouts. It also adds more activities than ever (too many), and offers continuous SpO2 monitoring. Within the world of wearables, it’s a powerful fitness tracker for a relatively low price even after a minor increase compared to the previous generation. However, while the Mi Band 7 is still a steal, Xiaomi’s complete stronghold on the budget market isn’t quite what it used to be.

Huawei continues to nip at Xiaomi’s heels with solid budget options. These include the Huawei Band 6 ($59) or, if you can get your hands on one, the Huawei Band 7 (£49). Additionally, with its price bump compared to the Mi Band 6, the latest generation hovers a tiny bit closer to the likes of pricier competition such as the Fitbit Inspire 2 ($99). While not our favorite Fitbit, the Inspire 2 gets users into the Fitbit ecosystem, a value not to be ignored. Or, if you can find the Charge 5 ($149) on sale, you can tap into Fitbit’s excellent app and utilize built-in GPS.

Finally, Xiaomi continues to compete with itself. The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 ($49) is still a great budget option, especially if you can live without the Mi Band 7’s larger, always-on display and some advanced tracking metrics. There’s also the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro to factor in. It sports a rectangular 1.64-inch AMOLED screen with always-on support and has an ambient light sensor. It also includes connected GPS and NFC as standard. In short, the Mi Band Pro corrects all the faults of the band, resulting in a much better pick for runners and cyclists. If we ever see it launch globally, the Mi Band 7 Pro might well be worth the extra cash.


Xiaomi Mi Band 7: The verdict

A Xiaomi Mi Band 7 displays an alternative watch face from he Zepp Life app.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Even with a small price hike, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 continues to be a great entry-level fitness tracker. It packs a bright, colorful display and offers plenty of basic features in spite of how cheap it is. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, (or the band, I guess), but it stays steady in the tools it does offer. It also adds some great perks like an optional always-on display and more advanced health tracking.

With the Mi Band 7, Xiaomi remains a force to be reckoned with in the cheap fitness tracker space.

Considering the equivalent rising cost of competitors’ products, the small price bump isn’t very surprising. The lack of built-in GPS remains the Mi Band 7’s weakest point, but it isn’t terribly realistic for a budget device like this. Instead, the Mi Band remains a reliable and affordable option for those casually interested in fitness who want to track their stats. While not a huge generational leap over the Mi Band 6, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 does the essentials just as well and with some added polish to keep pace with the competition.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7 top questions and answers

Yes. Despite the 7’s increased display size, bands from the Mi Band 6 do fit on the Mi Band 7.

While not officially available, the Mi Band 7 is currently available on Amazon via import.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is 5ATM water resistant to depths of 50 meters.

No. You need a compatible smartphone to set up your Mi Band 7 as well as to utilize connected GPS.

The NFC variant of the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is exclusive to China.

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