Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2 is the company’s first tracker with a screen
Chinese company Xiaomi continuously pumps out low-cost electronics, and now it has released an upgraded fitness tracker. The Mi Band 2 is the first activity tracker the company has made with an OLED display, allowing the device to show step count, time, and heart rate. According to Forbes, the Mi Band 2 will cost 149 RMB ($23) in China once it's available.
This is Xiaomi's third fitness tracker: the company's ultra-cheap $13 Mi Band 1 debuted two years ago, and following that was a pulse-monitoring device called the Mi Pulse. The Mi Band 2 keeps the simplistic design of the previous two devices, featuring a thin silicone band and a oval-shaped module, but it adds the .42-inch OLED display, an "upgraded pedometer algorithm," and a 20-day battery life. It also has a single button at the bottom of the screen that will let you scroll through different displays.
In addition to tracking steps, the Mi Band 2 will monitor sleep, and it will vibrate to let you know if you've been sedentary for too long. Still, the display and optical heart rate monitor are key to this device. The display makes it easier to glance down at the device to either check the time or view your step progress, which is something many fitness trackers can do now (though some, like Misfit's products, still go the way of design simplicity). The heart-rate monitor is important not because it's unique technology but because at $23, the Mi Band 2 will be the cheapest device to include one. Most trackers with built-in heart rate monitors, including those from Fitbit and Garmin, are priced at $100 or more.