In time for Christmas and the Big January Fitness Health Kick, Xiaomi launched three new smartwatches and fitness bands that rival similar offerings from Fitbit for a fraction of the cost. We want to say we're surprised but let's face it, Xiaomi is well within its comfort zone here: the brand is famous for producing nifty wearables and selling them for a reasonable price.
The new range includes Mi Smart Band 6 NFC, an updated version of the Mi Smart Band 6 that now offers contactless payment options, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite entry-level smartwatch and the Redmi Smart Band Pro, probably the most exciting product of the lot and a direct competitor of the Fitbit Charge 5.
The main difference between the two is that the Redmi Smart Band Pro is a quarter of the price of the Fitbit while still sporting a 1.47-inch AMOLED screen, SpO2 monitoring, sleep tracking and more. We might have to update our best fitness tracker and best smartwatch guides very soon...
Mi Band 6 NFC, Redmi Watch 2 Lite and Redmi Band Pro: Price and availability
All three wearable devices will go on sale in the UK from 16 December 2021 and are available to purchase directly from Xiaomi. The Mi Band 6 NFC and Redmi Watch 2 Lite will also be available through Amazon.
Mi Band 6 NFC - RRP £49.99
Redmi Watch 2 Lite - RRP £59.99
Redmi Band Pro - RRP £44.99
Mi Smart Band 6 NFC
The Mi Smart Band 6 NFC version is the contactless payment and smart assistant-enabled lovechild of Xiaomi and all-in-one money app Curve. The updated fitness tracker now also offers a built-in Amazon Alexa smart assistant functionality; just ask Alexa to get the weather information, set the alarm, control your smart home devices and more.
This is on top of other smart features that include 30 sports modes, SpO2 and sleep tracking and more. The new and improved 1.56" AMOLED screen is said to have 50% more display area and has a 326ppi resolution. It can display "full-screen" watch faces of which there are more than 60 available in the Xiaomi app.
Battery life is up to 12 days; the Mi Smart Band 6 NFC can be charged via a magnetic charger without having to remove the strap.
Redmi Watch 2 Lite
Moving on, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite is an entry-level smartwatch with 100 watch faces and over 100 sports modes to choose from. Much like the Mi Smart Band 6 NFC, it’s also certified water resistance up to 50 metres making it fine to wear for a swim and sports a battery life of up to 10 days.
The Redmi Watch 2 Lite looks like a boxy version of the Fitbit Versa 3 and has a 1.55-inch touch display. As expected from any self-respecting smartwatch nowadays, the Redmi Watch 2 Lite provides comprehensive health-tracking features, spanning from SpO2 detection, heart rate tracking, sleep and stress level monitoring, breathing training and menstruation recording.
Better still, the watch has a built-in GNSS chipset that is said to come with improved performance for more precise position tracking. Four major global positioning systems, including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BDS, are supported. Heart rate tracking and GPS accuracy are probably nowhere near what a decent running watch provides but for such a low price, no one in their right mind could compare a Garmin Forerunner 245 to the Redmi Watch 2 Lite.
Redmi Smart Band Pro
The Redmi Smart Band Pro sits in between the Mi Smart Band 6 NFC and the Redmi Watch 2 Lite in terms of design and functionality. This capable wearable combines health and fitness features in a lightweight design with a large 1.47” AMOLED display.
It can track more than 110 fitness activities and monitor key metrics such as heart rate, calories burned and exercise duration. Redmi Smart Band Pro is also waterproof up to 50 metres so you can use it whilst you swim, surf or for any other water sport.
Redmi Smart Band Pro also has advanced health monitoring features such as real-time heart rate tracking, blood oxygen measurement and sleep monitoring. All this with decent 14-day battery life to keep you going for longer.