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Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs 6 (2021): Comparing Best-Selling Budget Fitness Trackers

Xiaomi’s Mi Band series is one of the best-selling fitness trackers in history, no small thanks to its plethora of features and budget price point. With the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, the lineup saw upgrades to the hardware and software of the wearable. Now that the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is out, it’s only fair to ask if you’re getting noticeable improvements in this latest iteration. To find out, we compared the Mi Band 5 and 6 to see which budget wearable is better.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs 6 Fitness Tracker Comparison Chart

ModelXiaomi Mi Band 5Xiaomi Mi Band 6
 Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Smart Wristband 1.1 inch Color Screen Miband with Magnetic Charging 11 Sports Modes...Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6 - 1.56'' AMOLED Touch Screen, SPO2, Sleep Breathing Tracking, 5ATM Water...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Battery Life14 days14 days
Display1.1 in. AMOLED1.56 in. AMOLED
Display Resolution126 x 29152 x 486
Sensors3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, heart rate sensor, digital MEMS microphone3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, heart rate sensor
Sports Modes11 sports/fitness modes30 sports/fitness modes
Heart Rate TrackingYesYes
Women’s Health TrackingYesYes
Sleep MonitoringYesYes
Stress MonitoringYesYes
CompatibilityAndroid 5.0 and above
iOS 10.0 and above
Android 5.0 and above
iOS 10.0 and above
Water Rating5 ATM5 ATM
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0 BLEBluetooth 5.0
Dimensions46.95 × 18.15 × 12.45 mm47.4 × 18.6 × 12.7 mm
Weight11.9 g12.8 g

Design and Hardware

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 has a larger display compared to the Mi Band 5, and comes with an SpO2 sensor.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs 6 Design
Compared to the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 (left), the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 (right) has a larger display.

With the success of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5, it’s tempting not to tamper with its design. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; and to a certain extent, it’s true. The new Mi Band 6 sports the same classic oval shape as the Mi Band 5. These wearables also boast similar 5ATM water ratings, buoyed by a TPU strap and a plastic case. But in a bid to keep other budget rivals at bay, the latest Mi Band introduces refinements — but not revolutions — to the tracker’s form.

Display

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6, for instance, comes with a larger 1.58-inch AMOLED display compared to the Mi Band 5’s 1.10-inch screen. From afar, the size of the watch actually seems unchanged. Instead, Xiaomi has minimized the bezels around the screen, so you get more pixels and better resolution without drastically altering the fitness tracker’s form. The upgrade also means you get a 50% larger display on the Mi Band 6 that doesn’t feel oversized.

An obvious benefit of this improved screen is that you see more information at a glance. It also translates to a richer and brighter display that’s still sunlight-readable. Unfortunately, Xiaomi doesn’t equip the Mi Band 6 with an ambient light sensor. This means you will have to manually adjust brightness while you move across different light environments.

Colors and Sensors

Now, if you’re particular about color, the Mi Band 5 and 6 don’t disappoint. Xiaomi’s best-selling wearables are available in six different color bands. The Mi Band 5 comes in yellow, teal, mint green, navy blue, orange, and black. The Mi Band 6, on the other hand, is available in black, blue, orange, yellow, olive, and ivory.

These bands are packed with sensors, too. To track motion, both Xiaomi fitness trackers are equipped with a gyroscope and accelerometer. Users get the usual wrist-based heart rate monitor as well.

A key addition to the Xiaomi Mi Band 6, however, is SpO2 monitoring. It’s a feature that is becoming a staple component in any fitness wearable. So if blood oxygen saturation is an important metric for your health, then you might be inclined to get the Mi Band 6.

Click here to read more wearable comparisons.

Sports and Fitness Features

Xiaomi’s Mi Band 6 has more sports modes compared to the Mi Band 5.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs 6 Sports Mode and Fitness Features
The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is capable of auto-detecting six fitness modes.

One of the biggest upgrades you get from the latest Mi Band is in fitness tracking. While the Mi Band 5 tracked only 11 modes, the Mi Band 6 ups the ante with 30 sports modes. Some of the additions include pilates, core training, and street dance — popular activities that have recently been added to full-featured wearables like the Apple Watch Series 6. You can even analyze your Zumba nights, ice skating routines, and boxing reps.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 also makes it easier to track your activities. Whereas its predecessor supported auto-detection of running or walking, the Mi Band 6 now automatically recognizes six fitness modes. Of course, you still get your standard metrics on both devices. The Mi Band 5 and 6 monitor heart rate, pace, calories burned, and distance. All of this information is visible at a glance, too, so you get real-time insights. Mi Fit also remains the main mobile app platform for both trackers.

Health Monitoring

The main difference between the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 6 is that the latter now features an SpO2 sensor.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs 6 Health Monitoring Features Review
Track heart rates and menstrual cycles with your Xiaomi Mi Band.

The big news when it comes to the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is the SpO2 sensor for monitoring blood oxygen saturation levels. According to Xiaomi, the sensor also analyzes your sleep breathing quality. This allows for more comprehensive sleep monitoring. Users should keep in mind, though, that the SpO2 sensor doesn’t come with regulatory approval and shouldn’t be treated as a medical device.

Apart from this new feature, most of the health monitoring tools remain unchanged. Both the Mi Band 5 and 6 are equipped with whole-day heart rate monitoring. Sleep tracking on these wearables analyzes sleep stages, too. For female users, you can record menstrual cycles and ovulation phases as well. Health management features are supported by both bands, too. These include stress management, personal activity intelligence (PAI), and idle alerts.

Battery Life and Other Features

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and 6 fitness trackers have the same smart features and comparable battery life and charging time.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 vs 6 Smart Features Review
For their price points, Xiaomi’s Mi Band 5 and 6 are ultra-functional.

The Mi Band 5 and 6 both support watch face customizations, although the Mi Band 6 has a more extensive collection. The larger display on the Mi Band 6 also means more information can be displayed at a glance — including weather updates and music controls. Keep in mind, however, that the Mi Bands per se do not have a native music app.

When connected to your phone, the Mi Band 5 and 6 can control basic functions. The trackers can be used for remote photo-taking, phone muting, and even unlocking. You get plenty of notifications integrated into the bands as well — from calendar reminders to call and text notifications.

Now Xiaomi’s Mi Band 6 has the same 125 mAh battery capacity as the Mi Band 5. On paper, this means you should get the same 14-day battery life. In reality, however, expect the Mi Band 6 to have a shorter battery life, especially when you have the SpO2 sensor turned on. Charge time is the same for both devices, though. A little over two hours of magnetic charging will be enough to have your Mi Band 5 and 6 fully charged.

Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 comes with enough hardware and software improvements to make it a worthy upgrade from the Xiaomi Mi Band 5.

Xiaomi’s Mi Band 6 isn’t as much of an overhaul as the Mi Band 5 was with the Mi Band 4. However, the latest iteration of this best-selling fitness tracker is still a compelling purchase — or upgrade if you’re coming from the Mi Band 5. While the SpO2 sensors and additional sports modes are obvious attractions, it’s the larger display that really makes the Mi Band 6 a better device. With more screen estate, the features of the wearable truly stand out. It definitely makes wearing the tracker a more immersive experience.

This isn’t to say the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 has no more place on your wrist. If you already have one, you’ll find the fitness trackers remains a reliable device. You get most of the same health and smart features anyway. Of course, you do miss out on several new fitness modes to track. The price difference between the Mi Band 5 and 6 is also minimal. So if you’re getting one of Xiaomi’s fitness trackers for the first time, it makes more sense to get the Mi Band 6.

FAQs

📌 What is the difference between the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 6?

The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 6 are quite comparable to each other. However, the Mi Band 6 now comes with a SpO2 sensor, something missing in its predecessors. It also sports a larger AMOLED display. The latest iteration of the budget fitness track boasts an additional 19 fitness modes, too. Plus, you get more watch faces on the Mi Band 6 compared to the Mi Band 5.

📌 Does the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 come with blood oxygen saturation monitoring?

Yes, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 now comes with a SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen saturation levels.

📌 Are the Xiaomi Mi Bands equipped with GPS?

No, the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 and 6 do not have built-in GPS. If you need it, you need to connect the bands to your phone’s GPS.

📌 What is the material used on the Xiaomi Mi Band 6’s display?

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is crafted from tempered glass with anti-fingerprint coating.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.