Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks

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If you've picked up a Xiaomi Mi Band 2 fitness tracker for a budget price, now's the time to make sure you squeeze all the value out of it.

That's where this guide comes in. We've compiled a list of the top Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks.

Wareable verdict: Xiaomi Mi Band 3 review

Apart from the unreliable smartphone app notifications, and some app crashes, we've had fewer teething problems with this, more expensive Xiaomi device than the first two though that clearly hasn't been the case for everyone. In short, you get what you pay for. Still, third party apps have sprung up on the Google Play Store to fill in some of the gaps.

We tested the device with an Android phone so a couple of details may vary for iPhone users. Add questions and your own tips in the comments below.

Take a look at the English manual

If your Mi Band arrives with Chinese instructions and you're all in a tizz, head over to this handy PDF manual (in English) to help you set it up, download the Mi Fit app (as it is called in the Play Store, not Mi Sport) and generally get started.

There's also some details on warranties, faults and returns and so on, but be careful as we imagine most of this only applies in China - best to check with the retailer you bought the tracker from.

Pairing problems? Try these tips

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks

Many Xiaomi Mi Band users have trouble pairing and unpairing their bands. There's a couple of things you can try (some from our very helpful commenters). When pairing, first try activating location services. Then check if it's paired to a previous phone and if so, plug it into your PC via USB cable until it starts blinking then immediately try to pair it.

When unpairing (to pair again), also try checking Status in the app menu. If nothing works, you can try a third party app like Fix-it for Mi Band 2.

Download a third party app

Some of the Mi Band's common problems can be solved by downloading an extra companion app from the Play Store or App Store. Tools & Mi Band is popular but you have to pay for it - it lets you customise call, app and alarm notifications.

Otherwise, there's the free Notify & Fitness for Mi Band (for custom button actions and workout sessions as well as alerts from apps like Facebook/WhatsApp) and Mi Band Control (for custom vibrations), also free.

Don't be idle

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks

You can set the Mi Band 2 up to vibrate when you've been sedentary for an hour by selecting Idle Alert in the Play section of the Mi Fit app. Set a start and end time, as well as Do Not Disturbs if you have a meeting.

There isn't the choice to get alerts more frequently, say every 30 or 40 minutes, though as with other (much more expensive) trackers from Fitbit, Garmin etc.

Get motivation from the Share screen

Even if you're not going to share your activity on Facebook, Twitter or Line, it's worth checking the second profile style page within the Mi Fit app.

On the default Status screen, click the share icon in the top right (which also appears for heart rate etc) and you get an overview of the day plus a comparison to other Mi Band wearers e.g. "XX steps, ahead of 60% people". A small nudge/boost when you need it.

Put the HR monitor to good sleep use

As with previous Mi Bands, there's a fairly hidden feature named 'sleep assistance' which you'll find when you select the Mi Band 2 in 'My devices' under Profile.

When turned on, it is designed to make Xiaomi's sleep tracking more accurate by taking your pulse every 10 minutes. Shame, then, that you can't access this data - we have to take their word for it.

Change the Mi Band display

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks

As we said in our Mi Band 2 review, the tracker should last you between a week and half to two weeks between charges. If you prefer to keep an eye on the battery via the wearable, head to Profile in the companion app then under My devices, select the Mi Band 2.

Then you can add remaining battery to what is displayed on the tracker's small OLED screen. Our band was set to time, steps, calories, heart rate but you can also add distance. So, for instance, if you don't want to see the time you can remove this here too.

If you're happy to open the app to check battery, this is where you can find your remaining percentage as well as how many days ago you last charged it.

Tweak message, goals and DND

These are all hidden under 'More' in the Play screen of Mi Fit - here you can set up alerts for SMS messages (separate to apps which includes WhatsApp), a notification for when you hit a goal and Do Not Disturb times for all alerts.

The only activity goal you can set is for steps but you can also set a weight goal and track that in app too. Both can be changed in your Mi Fit Profile plus weight gets its own graph alongside sleep, activity and your streak.

Swap in some colour

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks

We reviewed the Mi Band 2 with the boring, default black band and after just two weeks, it's already looking a little worse for wear. GearBest should generally be your first stop for Xiaomi accessories as it has everything - and cheap.

There's a few straps and bands plus a proprietary Xiaomi charger if you've lost yours and clip cases. Also try eBay for a range of cheap bands and accessories.

Let us know how you're getting on with the Mi Band 2 in the comments.

How we test


Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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