Week in wearable: Xiaomi Mi Band 3 unveiled and Withings set for resurrection

We rewind and reflect on the week gone by
The week in wearable tech
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That's right, it's another week in the books. And after last week was filled with rumours and reports, the theme over the past seven days has instead been about some of the recent whispers coming to life.

Elsewhere, we've been out running with the Suunto Fitness 3 and Scosche Rhythm 24, while also exploring US soccer's dive into wearables and even taking a look at the open-source software smartwatch platform, AsteroidOS.

To ensure that you're all caught up on the latest news, we've picked out the three biggest headlines that you may have missed, plus given you some of the best reads on the site for you to jump over to.

Xiaomi unveils the Mi Band 3 fitness tracker

Week in wearable: Xiaomi Mi Band 3 unveiled and Withings set for resurrection

After being part of enough leaks to sink the Titanic, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 was finally, mercifully unveiled by the Chinese tech giant this week. Along with a range of connected devices, including the Xiaomi Standalone VR (essentially a rebranded Oculus Go), the fitness tracker crucially manages to retain its ultra-cheap price and adds a few neat upgrades on the spec sheet.

As expected, we don't yet have word yet regarding the launch of the band outside of China, though we do know everything we can expect from the device when it does make it to other territories. As we alluded to, that price is perhaps still the killer feature here, coming in at 169 yuan ($25) and rising another 10 yuan ($5) for the version with NFC, which allows for contactless payments.

We won't go into all the specs here, you can head over to our Xiaomi Mi Band 3 story for that, but we should say that this does mark an interesting point in the wider fitness tracker market. After achieving relative fitness tracker supremacy through its previous generation, Xiaomi managed to squeeze its rivals and force people into choosing between its own offering and something five times as expensive. And as a result, perhaps the most intriguing thing to watch following the Mi Band 3's announcement is whether the likes of Fitbit and Garmin react by eventually offering budget trackers of their own.

Nokia sells back to Withings co-founder

Week in wearable: Xiaomi Mi Band 3 unveiled and Withings set for resurrection

This is getting confusing, isn't it? Let's give you a quick refresher on the saga, in case you need it. After startup Withings sold up to Nokia at the back end of 2016, the latter spent the next year rolling out rebranded versions of the same lines - watches, sleep trackers and blood pressure monitors. But recently, we began hearing noise that Nokia was putting its digital health arm - which includes its wearables - up for sale. And who ended up buying it back this week? That's right, reader, Withings co-founder Eric Carreel.

Read in full: Withings lives on as co-founder completes buyback

Don't worry, though, he isn't just planning to relaunch the same products again under the Withings banner. Along with the buyback, Carreel confirmed that the brand will be reinstated before the end of the year and new innovations are being promised.

Nokia Health products will continue to be sold for the time being, but the future of the data they collect is less clear. We know that it will be kept in Nokia Health Mate app, but whether the potential changes on the horizon affect how users can access this remains to be seen.

Now, join us in hoping that Withings can stay as Withings for the foreseeable future.

Apple Watch could go edge-to-edge

Week in wearable: Xiaomi Mi Band 3 unveiled and Withings set for resurrection

Despite the Apple Watch Series 4 announcement still likely sitting around three months away, the chatter from industry insiders refuses to quieten down.

We already know that the company is reportedly planning a new look for the smartwatch in its fourth generation, and this week we received some backup on those initial claims, with a report outlining that Cupertino is planning a Watch with a larger, edge-to-edge display. There's allegedly also two models in the works, but we expect this to relate to the 38mm and 42mm options Apple has offered from the start.

Interestingly, even if the rumour does turn out to be true, it doesn't shed any detail on whether the actual shape of the device will change, too. We've heard whispers over a potential shift from a rectangular to a circular body, and it would be textbook Apple to bring a lighter and thinner device to market come September. For now, add it all to the growing list of rumours surrounding the smartwatch and continue counting down the days until it all becomes official.


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