Xiaomi Mi Band 5 tips, tricks and features

How to get more from Xiaomi's budget fitness tracker
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The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is immensely popular thanks its sub price tag, and it's a surprisingly powerful device.

A far cry from the original from way back in 2014, The Xiaomi Mi Band 5 benefits from heaps of customisation, advanced features and hidden features to make your life easier.

We've spent a fair amount of time with the Mi Band 5 and picked out some useful things that can help you get more out of your tracking time.

Here's our top tips and features to explore when you get that new Mi Band set up.

How to turn off the Mi Band 5

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 tips, tricks and features

Can you turn off the Mi Band 5? The answer to that question is no. There's isn't a way to entirely turn off the tracker if you don't want that glowing screen to distract you. What you can do is perform a factory reset to get it back to that state if was in when you first took it out of the box. You can also give it a quick reboot if it's playing up. To do that, do the following:

  • On the Mi Band, swipe to the More screen
  • Scroll down until you see the reboot or reset option. When you've decided what you want to do, tap the option and the tracker will go through that resetting or rebooting process.

How to improve battery life

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 tips, tricks and features

The battery performance on the Mi Band 5 is generally pretty good. However with the promise of more features, that battery life is inevitably going to take a hit.

There are a few things that have a more noticeable impact on battery performance and thankfully you can turn them off.

Automatic heart rate monitoring, Xiaomi's sleep assistant and all-day stress monitoring all have notable drain on battery. If you don't care about these features and want to turn them off:

  • Go to the Mi Fit app on your phone
  • Go to Profile and then tap on Mi Smart Band 5
  • Scroll down to Heart rate monitoring and select Monitoring method
  • From here you will be able to turn on/off all of the features we've described above.

How to turn on automatic activity tracking

Like Fitbit, Samsung and Garmin, Xiaomi's Mi Band is able to recognise when you're walking, running and cycling to kick sports tracking into gear without you needing to do anything.

First of all, you need enable this feature on the Band. To do that, you need to:

  • On the Band 5, go to the More screen
  • Then swipe to locate Settings
  • Scroll down until you find the Detect Activity option where you can toggle it on and off.

Connect to Google Fit

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 tips, tricks and features

If you're planning to put sports modes like running and cycling to good use and you're a Google Fit user, you can send workouts over to the health and fitness platform.

Once you connect the two services together you'll be able to sync logged workouts to the third party app. Here's how you connect your Mi Band 5 to Google Fit:

  • Go to the Mi Fit phone app and go to the Profile tab
  • Go to Add accounts. You should see Google Fit as an option.
  • Follow the instructions from that point to log into Google Fit and authorise the connection
  • Now when you next track a workout and sync it to the Mi Fit app it'll be sent through to Google Fit too

Share heart rate data with other devices

This is a useful feature essentially if you like the idea of being able to use your Mi Band 5's heart rate monitor with other Bluetooth devices like compatible connected gym equipment and other fitness apps.

This heart rate sharing feature is not set to on as default, so to turn it on, do the following:

  • Go to the Mi Fit app and go to the Profile tab
  • Select Mi Smart Band 5 and look for Activity Heart rate sharing
  • You can toggle the support on. It's a feature that will drain battery, so make sure it's a feature you turn off when you're done using it.

Add an animated watch face

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 tips, tricks and features

One of the new features on the Mi Band 5 is support for watch faces that come to life. Some of the branded options Xiaomi promised, however don't make the cut on the global version of the Mi Band.

So, no Spongebob Squarepants band faces for you. You do still have some animated faces available and to locate them:

  • Go to the Mi Fit app and go to Profile. Select Mi Smart Band 5
  • Select Store and you'll be able to identify the animated options as they'll animate inside of the Store
  • Select the one you want and then tap Sync watch face to send it over to your Band.

Set up event reminders

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 tips, tricks and features

While it's nice to have those idle alerts to remind you to move each hour, we also found it useful to set up our little nudges for other things. Like remembering to drink water or go for a run when you planned to that day.

It's really easy to set up these events to get reminded about. You'll also be able to see those events on the Band to see the ones that have been created.

To create those events you need to:

  • Go to the Mi Fit app, go to Profile and select Mi Smart Band 5
  • Select Event Reminder and tap the + sign to add an event
  • You can choose to set up events daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and there's also a custom option
  • You'll then be able to to type in an event title, but you'll have to keep it short. There's space for roughly three words.
  • Hit Save. You can go to the Events screen on the Band and see the reminders that have been set up.

Turn on Night mode for less sleep distractions

While that screen is lovely and bright, you probably don't want to see if all the time. Especially when it comes to bed time. Xiaomi includes night mode where it will lower the screen brightness automatically based on set start times and end times that you control. To turn on Night mode:

  • In the Mi Fit app, go to Profile and select Mi Smart Band 5
  • Look for Night Mode (in between heart rate monitoring and find phone ringtones)
  • From here, you can select whether to turn on night mode after sunset or schedule a start time and end time
  • Once that's done, you're good to go.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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