We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 – but you can crank our excitement level up to 11 if the latest rumours are true.
An SpO2 sensor is something we predicted would make it to the Mi Band 5, and it looks like we won’t be disappointed. Xiaomi has always followed the market, bringing top line sensors to its devices for less cash than its rivals – and SpO2 is now pretty standard across the wearables space.
An SpO2 sensor enables the device to track the oxygen in the blood – and if you apply this to sleep tracking, it can be used to determine conditions such as sleep apnea.
We’d say there’s zero chance of the FDA or other bodies approving the use of a Xiaomi SpO2 sensor in this way, but it can be included in the device as long as it’s not used to diagnose conditions. The Huawei Watch GT 2e has SpO2 as part of its feature set, although it just offers a spot check and not automated during sleep, which is the best implementation. We’d wager on the same thing happening here.
The second feature from the code base is Amazon Alexa support – something we hadn’t expected. Amazon Alexa is coming to the Amazfit X, so this isn’t out of the realms of possibility.
Again, we’ve seen this introduced on the Fitbit Versa 2 and the Wyze Band budget fitness tracker, so it’s not hugely surprising to see Xiaomi follow suit. This could mean control of smart home devices from the wrist – although like those rival devices – we think it’s unlikely a speaker would be integrated.
That means feedback would need to be visual – which could mean a big jump in screen size is on the way. Watch this space.
The final new feature is female cycle and fertility logging – though there’s no details on whether this will be via the device itself or logged in the app. We assume the latter.
Tizenhelp believes we'll see the Mi Band 5 in late June or early July, slightly delayed from its original planned release date thanks to the pandemic. That tallies with our estimates – so watch this space.