Xiaomi's Mi Bands are extremely popular around the world. For good reason: they're extremely inexpensive fitness trackers that do a decent job of fitness tracking, offer decent sleep tracking and are actually comfortable. However, the Mi Band 2 is definitely due an upgrade.
In the interim, Xiaomi launched a couple of Mi Band 2 variants, like the even cheaper HRX Edition last year and the "Nirvana in Fire" edition this year (based on the popular Chinese TV series of the same name).
Read this: Xiaomi Mi Band 2 tips and tricks
Well Mi Band fans if the rumours, speculation and teasing are to be believed, the third iteration of the budget fitness tracker is on the way. During the Lantern Festival in China, CEO Lei Jun told Chinese media that a new fitness tracker will arrive before the end of the year.
That news followed details that Xiaomi received Bluetooth certification for the Mi Band 3. The certification was declared on 22 February, though it didn't reveal much about the device other than it supports Bluetooth 4.2 LE and is a fitness tracker.
Right now we don't know about what new features we can expect, the form factor or even a launch date. What we do have an idea about is what we'd like to see from the Mi Band 3. We've got our collective heads together to come up with a list of what we'd like to see when the third generation wearable lands.
Keep that big battery life
The Mi Band 2 could go around 20 days on a single charge, but come on Xiaomi, we know you can do better. Much better, in fact. Xiaomi should be leveraging the powers of its partner brand Huami, which rung out a mighty 30 days in the Amazfit Bip - 45 with some concessions. Considering that's also powering a (albeit low-res) smartwatch display, we see no reason why the Mi Band 3 can't match it on staying power.
Bring us built-in GPS
Ok, this might be a bit ambitious, but we've seen it done. Garmin packed GPS into the Vivosport, and if Xiaomi wants to take the fight to its rivals, cramming in GPS could be the way to go. And again we point to the Amazfit Bip, which pulled it off without jeopardizing battery life. It'd certainly give Xiaomi an upper hand on Fitbit's fitness trackers, none of which offer GPS built in (only the Ionic smartwatch has it) - and give the Mi Band 3 some serious appeal to runners and cyclists.
Work on that software experience
Since the first Mi Band, things have got better when it comes to viewing your data on Xiaomi's companion smartphone app. Yes, the interface is still a bit on the basic side, but that's fine with us. What we will take issue is with app stability. Okay, it's not the most exciting thing on our wish list, but if Xiaomi could make it so that the app crashed less and syncing data worked more seamlessly, then we would be very happy indeed. Also, lets make it easier to share stats as well. No more QR code scanning please.
Put that heart rate monitor to better use
The addition of the optical heart rate monitor on the Mi Band 2 was a headline feature offering resting heart rate readings, taking on the spot readings and tapping into HR data while you're in bed to improve sleep tracking data. There wasn't however the option to make use of that heart rate sensor when you're working out, where it would have the greatest benefit. Granted, great wrist-based heart rate monitors are few and far between, but we think this would be a great addition to the Mi Band and should hopefully require a bit of software and algorithm tinkering to make it happen.
Make it waterproof and swim-friendly too
Okay, this is technically two requests in one. Firstly, we'd like to be able to take the Xiaomi fitness tracker in the swimming pool or in the shower. Now we know that making a wearable waterproof isn't easy. Both Apple and Fitbit have made it publicly known the challenges they faced making its wearables fit for the water. Maybe though it's time for Xiaomi to join the pool party. We are not asking to go scuba diving with it, but if we can take a dip with it, that would be great. Oh, and if you manage to throw in some basic swim tracking like the Flex 2 or Misfit's trackers, that would be great too. But if you get to the waterproof design first then we'll be happy.
Keep that price low as well
Since the first Mi Band, the price has started to creep up, but at around $25, it's still a fitness tracker that offers great value for money and is one of the best budget trackers available. The addition of some of the features we mentioned above would no doubt push that cost up. But if Xiaomi sub-brand Huami is once again responsible for making the next Mi Band, we'd like to think it can mirror what's it doing with its Amazfit range. Keeping that price tag low but delivering us solid, feature-packed wearables.
Shop for recommended Android Wear watches on Amazon
Wareable may get a commission