Xiaomi Mi Band tips and tricks: Get more from your budget fitness tracker

Get more than your money's worth from the Mi Band and Mi Band Pulse
Xiaomi Mi Band tips and tricks

The Xiaomi Band 2 might be the Chinese company's latest fitness tracker, but if you want to go even more budget, don't forget about the first generation Xiaomi Mi Band and the Mi Band Pulse.

These two little trackers are light, durable and both seriously cheap. However, Xiaomi's budget wearable can also be very temperamental, so it's a hit and miss experience. Likewise, its second wearable, the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse is ludicrously affordable considering what that its offers basic activity and heart rate tracking but it's not perfect.

Essential reading: How to use your fitness tracker to actually get fit

Here's our top tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Mi Band.

1. Be realistic about steps and distance

The biggest tip we can give you for using either of the two older Mi Bands for long term fitness or weight loss goals is that, in our experience, it overestimates steps and distance. One way to counteract this is to take the band off when you'll be moving your arm a lot. Like when you're typing at work for instance.

Xiaomi Mi Band
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Amazon

This also means the handy estimates of calories burned are also probably too high. This doesn't make it useless - it's still possible to see progress in walking more steps one week than you did the week before.

Just be aware that Xiaomi is being kind.

2. Hook it up to Google Fit/Apple Health

Xiaomi Mi Band guide

Chances are if you own a Xiaomi Mi Band or Mi Band Pulse, it's your first tracker or even your first wearable. But if you use an Android phone, hooking it up to Google Fit (via Accounts in Settings) means you will have all your activity in one place - from your phone when you're not wearing a wearable and from third party apps and services like Strava and RunKeeper. iPhone users can sync Mi Fit data including step counts, sleep, calories and weight to Apple Health.

Wareable verdict: Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse review

This is particularly helpful for the heart rate data as Xiaomi's own Mi Fit app simply gives you a list of individual readings with 'slow', 'normal' or 'fast' labels and a hint or two on bpm training.

It's not particularly easy to export Mi Fit data into CSV files but if you want to, some enterprising internet types have done the leg work for you.

3. Don't worry about turning Bluetooth off

If you don't need call alerts - the Mi Band doesn't do messages or WhatsApps - and you're worried about your smartphone's battery, use the Xiaomi tracker as an anchor to keep you moving during the day and sync it at intervals.

Read this: The best budget fitness trackers you can buy

If the Mi Band had more alerts features and its three LEDs were more reliable, we'd say make full use of this addition but as they are still limited to three apps so this is a viable option.


4. Try the smart alarm

As the Mi Band is light and comfortable enough to wear in bed, its smart alarm feature actually makes sense. It will vibrate 30 minutes before the alarm time to give you a gentle nudge that it's time to wake up.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2
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Amazon

Sleep tracking is automatic on the Mi Band but we're not sure the system registers the alarm or not to help it get a better estimate of your night's kip.

5. Move your gadgets away when pairing

We had quite a bit of trouble pairing our Mi Band to our Android phone - Xiaomi's Mi Fit app kept either asking us to try again or picking up other devices. Eventually on something like the fifth time, it paired so be patient.

Read this: Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks

It's an annoying niggle that pairing seems to be much smoother on iPhone than some Android phones but the Mi Band was especially irritating to set up. If you are on Android, clear the area first.

6. Share your achievements

Xiaomi Mi Band

Xiaomi's Mi Fit app doesn't have the community or competitive elements that you'll find in other fitness services but it is heading that way. Right now you can share that you hit your step goal, for instance, with friends via Facebook, Twitter or Line.

This is a Chinese device which has already sold millions in China so it's no surprise that users of WeChat - which has 400 million users - can compare progress and compete on activity goals. It's a little lonelier in the US and Europe for now.

7. Set daily activity and sleep alerts

In the Mi Fit app, you can set up a daily progress alert for a certain time each day - in this case, locked to 9.30pm - and a similar alert that details how much light and deep sleep you got throughout the night, after you wake up.

If you're trying to tweak your lifestyle in a meaningful way, this is probably more useful than constantly checking - and possibly feeling guilty - throughout the day.

Another neat feature that we're missing in the US and Europe is the ability to link up Xiaomi's budget Mi smart scales to Mi Fit too - that's possible via the iPhone and Android apps in China and hopefully we'll see it around the world soon.

8. Swap out the band for some colour

Xiaomi has only made the Mi Band officially available in black in Europe and the US which is a bit of a shame. If you want to try out the more fun, colourful rubber bands, you can buy Mi Band er, bands in green, blue, yellow, pink and orange for as little as $2 (plus shipping) on eBay and just pop out the main Mi Band module from the boring, bundled black band.

More stylish leather-style straps are also available online if you hunt around - the default band gets scuffed up really easily.

9. Make your sleep data more accurate with HR tracking

If you're willing to go in for more regular charging of your Mi Band Pulse, then head to settings and turn on the sleep assistant feature. This measures your heart rate periodically (every 10 minutes) while you sleep to make the sleep tracking more accurate - and trust us, it's measuring, you might wake up and see the green light of the optical HR monitor lighting up the room.

10. Don't rush heart rate readings

The Mi Band Pulse takes its sweet time to get a reading so allow 20 to 30 seconds per measurement. Not so helpful when you're in the middle of a sweaty workout and want to make sure you're (probably) in the right zone.

11. Log in on your desktop

If you're having trouble setting up and logging in to your Mi Fit account (as we did), try signing in on your desktop, or mobile browser then go back to the iPhone or Android app. Hey, it worked for us.

12. On WinPho? Download Bind Mi Band

Xiaomi doesn't officially support Windows Phone but if the Band 2 is a little too expensive for you, download the Bind Mi Band app. It's free but it supports both Xiaomi bands, including the heart rate monitoring on the Pulse. Sleep tracking is unlocked when you upgrade to the Pro version of the app.


Shop for recommended fitness trackers on Amazon

Fitbit Charge 2
Fitbit Charge 2
$149.88
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
$149.99
Misfit Ray
Misfit Ray
$99.99
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
$44.59

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76 Comments

  • igg says:

    it can connect to my Samsung galaxy note 3 with smart unlock feature 

  • winters says:

    Device NO LONGER tracks Sleep ... 128 comments on the "app not installed" on their web site and NOT ONE  RESPONSE from cmpany ...

    need to send back.

    • Mex says:

      Mine tracks sleep fine, try un/re-pairing

  • EBA says:

    Please, I want to change my goal, I crease the number of steps. How can I do this?

    • Bocaalban says:

      Tap the top right on screen and go to Profile, In there it will say Step Goal. You can change it there.

  • janzal says:

    I am currently wearing MiBand and FitBit Charge HR together and MiBand is more accurate (FitBit overestimates steps count for almost 1000 steps per day). It also syncs better and with Android can be used as notification device. In terms of price/usability is MiBand definitely better than FitBit Charge HR (but I have to say, that HR monitoring is really cool)

    • Raskolnikov87 says:

      Seems that mi band 11s will be announced this saturday 07 of november and would be have hr sensor, seems also that it will be sell from monday 11, i hope very much it will arrive soon

      Good day

  • RustyW says:

    cannot pair the device to Iphone 4. Anyone with any ideas?

    • Marg says:

      I have the same problem and found that it's because the Mi band works on Bluetooth 4.0 and iPhone 4 does not have this level.  I installed the app on my iPad Mini2 and use that to sync.  It seems to be the iPhone app but it works ok.  Hope this helps.

  • BGW656 says:

    Hi there,

    Can I change the time I receive the daily activity alert? I can't seem to find a setting for this.

    On my old phone it didn't have a time. Now it seems to think I'm finished excercising by 9:30 PM. Last night it told me I hadn't archived my target (which in fact I'd exceeded by 400 steps before 9:30). Can I set to this say, 1 PM?

  • Andrey says:

    There is an amazing visualization of Mi Band steps data with RoundSteps app (AppStore). It shows every hour of 2 weeks with colors associated with measured activity. It even shows average image of activity for many days. Great for discovering own lifestyle and dynamics.
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roundsteps/id1060251466?l=en&ls=1&mt=8

    • miy says:

      what a crap

  • krap says:

    can't even get the app to set up my userid and password...  have entered the information at least 20 times, does not indicate any errors, BUT when I try to sign on it says I don't exist.  It gives an error code of 96013, but no way to look up what this error means...  feeling this little device is pretty darn worthless because the app does not work....

    • fedup says:

      Hi I totally agree I have tried numerous times and had the same response both on the iPad and when trying on a Motorola moto G phone(which the device is apparently compatible with). When I did eventually get in as far as setting up an account it stated I had exceeded th maximum number of attempts in 24 Hours even though I had only tried 1 attempt. Previous attempts using an email an address were not recognised as no verification codes were sent through via email in the short timespan given. I attempted to set up account after 28 hours and it is still stating I have exceeded the maximum number of attempts in 24 hours. 

      Overall I am totally fed up with wasting time on attempting to set up the mi fit, it may be cheaper but it's a load of rubbish if it is not user friendly, the App is useless and I am going to return mine to Amazon and give full feedback as to how rubbish a product this is. If I were you I would do the same.

      Fed up

      • London380sl says:

        I also had some intial difficulty setting up.  Make sure you set the country box  to your country.  The default code on my mi band was +86 (china).  Click on the box and a dropdown box will appear.  Find your country and click to change.    Once I did that the issue of exceeding the maximum number of attempts disappeared and setting up was pretty straightfoward.  You need to have your cell phone number entered in correctly to get a verification text to finish setup.

        It's a pretty neat little device for the price.

    • aakash28 says:

      Same happened with me.

      Just try to signup from a desktop. Once this is done, re-launch you app and it should log you in.

      Its also mentioned by the author in Step. 11.

      Hope this works for you and others facing similar issues.

    • miamomg says:

      I am trying to set up my mi band app account & can't get to the 'OK"  I hit "create mi account" on opening screen input country code #1 (for USA) then add phone # (with #1 prefix to area code & number) & then a 12 character PW (all letters) I hit "create account" but nothing happens. No "OK" button appears.  Help please.  I can't even find the site I ordered this crummy thing from now so I guess I'm out of luck.  HELP PLEASE>  How do I set up account? Thank you!

      • Nit says:

        It accepts passwords of 8 letters or 16 letter only 

        & including numbers in password is also compulsory. 

      • Nit says:

        Make password of 8 Or 16 letters including some number in it

        & it accepts password of 8 or 16 letters only not more or less than that (12 character no go)

  • K10 says:

    is it work in galaxy grand neo plus???

  • harshtony says:

    better gadget in such a less price..more accurate than other...features are much enough...everything works properly :)

  • tevreden1 says:

    I also can not get started. They say They Will send a verification to my phone but never do.

    So I can not use the band. What now?.

  • zabi says:

    hey, does it track the calories burnt like during workout or is it jus the calories burned from the number of steps 

  • Blabla says:

    i can make my phone ( moto g3) unluck by using the mi band. Can also get a short notification and vibration when i get a text message. Really happy about it.

  • BPorter51 says:

    After 3 weeks of trying to get anything to work with it, I'm throwing in the towel. Couldn't get heart rate, or get it to vibrate, so updated the app. Was able to get it to vibrate, but it still would not pair for heart rate, AND would no longer sync with Google Fit. Went back to an earlier app version, having given up on heart rate, and now, for the past 2 days, it won't pair with my bluetooth. Updated the app to the Jan 13 release - no go. It is fully charged, my device shows it's paired, but the app can't find it. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Too bad.

    • vinumon says:

      me also having same problem.

      heart rate NOT reading..

      what to do ?

  • fb_NNN says:

    Hi, 

    I often wake up in the night, then fall back to sleep.

    I only used it for two nights now and it records only the first sleep.

    So if you wake up in the night, that's it, if you go back to sleep, it doesn't register. 

    Any suggestions to overcome this? 

    Its useless to me if it can't record my total sleep, as the steps is very inaccurate. 

    Cheers, 

    FB_NNN

    • GNW says:

      I really need a fix for this too!!!!   Can we log this as a fault to get sorted?

    • vsharma1981 says:

      Hi, Did you get anywhere. have been using the Mi band 2 for last 1 week and sick of adjusting start time and end time of my total sleep and not have any data for the time added, it just gives me first batch of deep sleep and first batch of light sleep in the first cycle I have slept (or what mi has recognised) Once you get up to go to the toilet or check up on the kids, the band will not register it (unless you woke up before 12 and went back to sleep past 12 midnight). What is the point of the band if I can not see my full deep sleep in 7 or 8 hours of sleep I get? The band does not solve the purpose. my friend had firbit HR and jawbone both of which provide superb data.

  • Mez says:

    google fit sync with the miband is a joke. It's destructive. My mi band 1s was worn on my wrist during a workout, I manually added activities to Google fit when the mi fit app synced to Google fit it deleted all my activities and replaced it with rubbish. 

    Decided not to wear the band for my next work out and stored everything in Google fit. When the mi fit app synced later in the day it changed the Google fit data and step count to zero. 

  • Jean24 says:

    I'm trying to sync with my iPad mini. When setting up an account and it asks for a phone number  should I put in my land line or mobile. Thought if I put in my mobile and it's not sync'd to that it may not work.

  • Bavlecha says:

    hello dear all,

    Please help me..!

    When I'm moving my hands only mi band steps are increasing. I'm not getting accurate steps so please assist me any settings for this?

    For instance, today I gave MI band to my mom for study and then my mom start kitchen work with wear strap after a hour she's reached around 5000steps its shocking for me. Its showa the hand moments not a steps by foot so please give me some suggestion on this problem.

    Thanks and regards

    Neel.

    • fb_Ronnit says:

      Hi, I'm facing similar issue, Please let me know if you are able to find a solution.

      Thanks,

      Regards,

      Ronnit

    • VMI81 says:

      Since the band detects "steps" based on movement, any time you move your arm up and down it will register a "step". Since I wanted a more accurate reading I tucked my band into my sock at my ankle. I made sure that the sensor is facing to the side, just like on a wrist. I have ordered another band to extend the original so I can actually wrap it to the ankle when I'm not wearing socks. Since I have done this, my "step" count is now extremely accurate. This also works great when I'm riding my exercise bike or using the treadmill. What the company needs to do now is to develop an official "Ankle Strap". With folks wearing ankle bangles anyway, this shouldn't look too odd. Give it a try. I think you'll be surprised how accurate your step count will become.

  • HeatherMomo says:

    I love my MiFit but there is a serious design flaw - I've lost two of them because after a few months wear the band gets softer and the tracker pops out. I'm trackerless at the moment.

    • Izzy29 says:

      Try these replacement bands. They're not flimsy and feel sturdy. It covers more area of the tracker and the clasp is designed different. I purchased the pack of 7 to share with my wife. 

      WoCase Wristband for Xiaomi MiBand Activity and Sleep Tracker Band Bracelet (Black, One size, Fits Most Wrist) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0154AVT3M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_S3q1wbQJNDZ0K

  • Coplay says:

    7. Set daily activity and sleep alerts

    In the Mi Fit app, you can set up a daily progress alert for a certain time each day - in this case, locked to 9.30pm - and a similar alert that details how much light and deep sleep you got throughout the night, after you wake up.

    Is this available on IOS ? I have never seen it in the past 8 months. can someone help ?

  • Coplay says:

    7. Set daily activity and sleep alerts

    In the Mi Fit app, you can set up a daily progress alert for a certain time each day - in this case, locked to 9.30pm - and a similar alert that details how much light and deep sleep you got throughout the night, after you wake up.

    I have never seen this feature on the iOS app in the past 7 months. Maybe I overlooked it. Can someone point me in the right direction.

  • hudders68 says:

    still trying to pair device on my sons hudl. the mi fit software is not compatible and the google fit cant find the device!!

  • Anshul_gupta says:

    i want to know if i can reduce the strength of unlocking feature. As the range is too wide and their is a risk in that.

  • Ghjk says:

    hi im using sony xperiam.iam unable to pair the band in the app any suggestins

  • fb_Ronnit says:

    Hello All,

    Need Your Help...

    I'm using Mi Band 1S and getting incorrect steps data, so please let me assist with the app settings?

    For instance, today morning (08:29 - 09:00) I was driving my Car and my app shows 1,295 (49 Cal) steps which is weird.

    Kindly give me some suggestions to sort-out this issue.

    Thank You,

    Regards,

    Ronnit

  • Sharathalt1 says:

    Fix for sleep tracking at Day: http://en.miui.com/thread-246219-1-1.html

  • Harit99 says:

    is moto G2 compatible with the mi band?

  • Devanand says:

    Can I pair my another Mi device to my phone to track my family member's workout? 

  • pippa01 says:

    I am so disappointed, I have purchased a MI band and have spent 2 whole days trying to set it up with my android galaxy phone. The parcel arrived and the instructions were all in Chinese to start with.  I have tried everything and constantly when signing into the MI fit app, just get error 96013.  What a total waste of money, and I would not recommend this to anybody, I have wasted £30 as it won't work.

    • salocink says:

      I got the same error when I tried to create my xiaomi account. Create your account on the xiaomi website (https://account.xiaomi.com/pass/register) and use it on your smartphone, it did the trick for me.

  • Pouyata says:

    my mi band app dosent work! 

    what should I do?!? :(

  • fb_1015335923 says:

    I've not got out of bed yet and apparently I've already taken 182 steps! Also, according to Mi, I only woke up four minutes ago, so I guess I've been sitting in bed for the last two hours playing with my phone on my sleep!

    Given it's price, I never expected it to be that accurate. I bought it as a starter to see if l would actually use something like this and decided if i liked it then I'd upgrade... But I'm still quite surprised at the level of innacuracy. I don't see the point in making something like this if you're going to get it that wrong.

    It makes me wonder, how inaccurate are the more expensive ones? Because I don't want to waste my money off they're all this bad.

  • Walpolecherie says:

    We bought 3 Miband 1S ...one each for me and husband - they work great with our Adriod phones...and the 3rd for Son with his iphone 4S - The iphone app is rubbish and does not collect any data ....it can take pulse measurements on demard, vibrate and just track steps ( cant tell you when you did them and for how long !!!) & cant track sleep at all either !!!!

  • Rohitagarwal27 says:

    Mine doesnt track the day sleep..ny solution??

  • Lucnic says:

    hi. I ma desperatekt trying to find out how to switch to english. After last update it switched to chinese. Thanks for helping.

  • Sreelakshmi says:

    Is it compatible with Moto G3 phones?

  • Trapti says:

    Hi, 

    My MI band  was working just fine. It suddenly stopped syncing with my Android phone with which it was paired. Please help. I have already tried FIND band option 

  • Trapti says:

    Hi 

    My MI band was working just fine. It suddenly stopped syncing with my Android phone with which it was paired. Please help. I have already tried FIND band option and it is still working only not syncing 

    • alyj says:

      This happened to me. I was advised to reinstall the mi fit app. My light indicators on the mi had also stopped working even though it was fully charged  I left it 24 hours then again charged the mi and this time the lights turned on one by one (took a couple of hours at least for all three to be lit). I tried to sync the mi fit with the app once charged.  It didn't find the mi fit. So I turned blue tooth off, turned my phone off and then turned everything back on again.  This time the app recognised the mi fit so all good now.  Although I estimated my height and weight settings incorrectly and now need to amend these so it doesn't think I've suddenly put on weight!! Hope this helps! Don't give up! 

  • fb_Atul says:

    Does this band needs to stay connected with my phone all time ? or i can connect it after certain time to sync up the data .

    Please help.

  • kelliyoung says:

    My steps are inaccurate, probably due to my longer stride.  It measures 2.4 miles when I know I have gone 3.5 miles.  Does anyone know how to make an adjustment for the stride???

  • beratpreniqi says:

    Can i use it like a GPS locator for child?

    • Amirmohammad says:

      No!
      it doesn't have GPS.

  • Amirmohammad says:

    should you carry your smart phone with yourself while you are running or doing sports or anything else?

    • costi1960 says:

      No, is not necessary, just remember to sync when you arrive home :)

      The data will be accumulated in a buffer needs to be emptied periodically.

  • wenwen says:

    im using iphone6s , why cant my mi band notify me when my wechat receive msg? i tot wechat can be connected ?

  • DineshBhandari says:

    How we can set the measurement size for step?

  • BruceG says:

    Hi, My first mi band worked just fine until it fell out of the band and was lost. I just received a replacement and now for the life of me it will not pair with my phone. It appears the app is still paired to the original mi even though I told bluetooth to forget the device. I have deleted and re-installed the app and nothing will make it pair. Is there a way to properly un-pair the original mi???

    • avi_mar says:

      HI,

      Sorry for the 'stupid' question, but how (and where exactly) do you signup or login to your mi fit account form a desktop? As mentioned by the author in Step. 11.

      Many Thanks

  • alyj says:

    I have a mi fit .... need to change my initial height and weight settings on my profile. I just guessed these when I set the mi fit up. How do I do this? 

  • atif says:

    I have mi fit and I want to have running data as currently its only showing the steps.

  • Neva says:

    My mifit band cannot counts steps, HR, cals. Only the time is working. How can i fox this?

    • Paravet says:

      They are not the same becuase the 2 is bigger and therefor needs a bigger hole.

  • Rdp says:

    i have iphone 7 plus i want to know about mi band 2 phone unlock future is worked in my phone??

  • yuvraj says:

    i am wear the mi band 2 on my left hand but it is not able to measure heart bear why it is so.

  • MDS says:

    My Mi band has been working fine since i paired it, some 7 months ago. Then it suddenly stopped syncing. I have tried re-booting my phone, several times. Have tried to refresh it . It just keeps pulling up the steps from 5 days ago, when it quit syncing. I tried re-charging it.  It can 'find' the band. it will vibrate when i do that. but it wont sync.   =(

    What can i do? 

  • dipti says:

    i am currently using mi band 2. Have purchased it just 2 days prior. Otherwise it is perfect but only when i travel in car my steps keep increasing automatically. Please give me a solution to it otherwise have to return the product

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