Xiaomi’s Mi Band makes for a pretty good passive activity and sleep tracker. At Rs 999 (around $20 on Amazon), it’s pretty cheap, almost an impulse buy. Just wear in on your wrist the whole day and it will track your steps and calories burned (for walking and running) and at night, it will give you detailed report of your sleep (doesn’t work for mid-day naps).
Mi Band doesn’t have a display. It’s just a tracker. So you’ll need an Android smartphone or iPhone running the Mi Fit app (Android, iPhone) to view the statistics and to connect and manage the Mi Band.
Let’s see how you can quickly get started using Mi Band after you’ve opened the box.
How to Attach Tracker to Band
When you open the box, you’ll find that the tracker and band are separate. The band is made of rubber and is flexible. The tracker, on the other hand, is made out of aluminium alloys.
So take both out of the box and gently slide the tracker in the Mi Band. Try to bend and stretch the band if it’s hard to push in.
The box comes with a little USB cradle. Peel the tracker from the band, insert the end with the gold charging points to the cradle and attach the USB end of the cable to your PC or a normal charging adaptor. It will take a couple of hours to charge. Mine came dead out of the box and took the entire night to charge up. The great thing is that you’ll only need to do this once a month.
How to Set Up Mi Band Correctly
To set up Mi Band on your Android phone, you’ll need to download the Mi Fit app. And you’ll need to sign up for a Mi Account. The app will then ask you input your details like your gender, height, and weight.
Now, follow the procedure to connect to the Mi Band. It will tell you to make sure the Mi Band is charged and to hold it near your phone. Oh and you’ll need to enable Bluetooth for this to work.
I did all that and it still wouldn’t work for me.
So I went to Settings -> Bluetooth and tapped on Mi Band to manually connect to it.
Then I went back to the Mi Fit app and voila! It recognized the Mi Band instantly.
Use Mi Band to Disable Phone Lock in Android
If you’re using Lollipop, you can disable any kind of screen lock when you’re wearing your Mi Band or when the band within the Bluetooth’s reach.
To get started, tap the three-dotted-menu button in the Mi Fit app and select Settings. Here, tap Unlock device using band and click Start.
Once the app pairs again with the band, you’ll be taken to the Security settings screen from where you can enable pattern lock and Smart Lock. But for me, these settings were in Settings -> Lockscreen (this depends on the kind of Android phone you have).
Anyway, once you’ve enabled any kind of lockscreen security, click the Smart lock option, authenticate and then tap Trusted Devices.
Here, choose Add trusted device -> Bluetooth and then Mi. Confirm by clicking Yes, Add.
Now, whenever your Mi Band is connected, the lockscreen authentication will disappear. You can force enable it by clicking the Lock icon in the lockscreen.
There’s More Mi Band Can Do
The Mi Band has 3 little LED lights on it. But it’s amazing what you can do with it. We’ll take a detailed look at how to customize Mi Band in a later article.
Till then, let us know how Mi Band is performing. For me, I’ve found the step tracking to be pretty accurate. The most beneficial use case for it is the sleep tracking. Though I need to get used to sleeping with a band around my wrist.
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