Xiaomi Mi Band 5 investigation: Everything we know about the next gen fitness tracker

Latest details about the Mi Band 4's successor
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 investigation
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The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is a brilliant fitness tracker and has only been out for a few months. But its maker Huami has confirmed that the Mi Band 5 is already in the works.

It's not the biggest surprise to hear that the two companies will work on another iteration of the affordable fitness tracker. When the Mi Band 4 went on sale back in June, sales hit the 1 million mark in just 8 days.

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While maintaining a budget price tag it did still manage to introduce some big new features like that color touchscreen display, along with swim tracking and improved smartwatch features like music playback controls. We were big fans too, and scored it 4/5, the highest we've given a Mi Band. We even recommend it as one of the best budget fitness trackers to buy.

Xiaomi continues to surprise us with the amount of features it packs into a fitness tracker that still costs a fraction of the price of the cheapest Fitbit, Samsung or Garmin device.

So what could the Mi Band 5 have in store for us? We've compiled all the details we know so far about the next-gen Xiaomi tracker.

We know it's coming

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 investigation: Everything we know about the next gen fitness tracker

Confirmation of the Mi Band 5's existence was revealed during a Q&A session after Huami's Q2 2019 earnings call, in a response to a question about whether the company would continue to cooperate with Xiaomi in the future, and whether it would still produce the Mi Band 5.

"We are actually developing Mi-Band 5 with Xiaomi," said Wang Huang, founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Huami.

In a further question about Huami's future product lineup, Wang confirmed that the work on the next-generation Mi Band is already happening and talked about a possible Mi Band 5 launch window.

Design hints from other Xiaomi wearables

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 investigation: Everything we know about Huami's tracker

The unveiling of Xiaomi's Hey+ 1S fitness tracker may well have given us a glimpse at what the Mi Band 5 will look like when it is officially unveiled.

If we look back at Xiaomi's previous Hey tracker launches, many of its design cues have found their way into upcoming Mi Bands.

The Xiaomi Hey+ was released shortly after the Mi Band 3, and was extremely similar in terms of specs, but made a key change by adding a larger, color display. That design was then closely echoed by the Mi Band 4 upon its release this year. That's leading to strong rumors that the Hey+ 1S is playing a similar role.

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That new Hey+ 1S tracker doesn't appear to have made drastic changes when compared to the Mi Band 4's design or feature set. It has though tweaked the display to offer a more rectangular shape with rounded corners.

Maybe we'll see the Mi Band 5 follow suit with a blockier look.

Ramped up NFC skills, improved heart rate monitoring

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 investigation: Everything we know about the next gen fitness tracker

Huang stated that it will "continue to work closely with Xiaomi on new product releases," and said that its long-term plans with Xiaomi and the popular Mi Band product line remain unchanged.

He added that it was looking forward to "developing and producing future generations of the Mi-Band, including variants targeting different global market segments and customer profiles."

Unsurprisingly, there wasn't any talk in terms of what features we could see in the Mi Band 5. But perhaps features that were speculated to arrive for the Band 4 may be reserved for the next one. ECG support for instance was something heavily rumored to land on the current Mi Band.

The heart rate monitoring on the Mi Band 4 certainly has its good and bad points, but its optical tech fared better than most wrist-worn monitors when it came to the high intensity test. Adding more medical grade-like sensor tech could increase the health monitoring appeal of owning the budget tracker.

The other notable new feature on Xiaomi's new Hey+ 1S tracker that could make the cut is the improved NFC skills. Along with unlocking the ability to use the wearable for contactless payments and to replace your work pass, it also can be used as a replacement bus card.

Previous Mi Bands have offered similar functionality, though that support was only on offer for devices sold in China. So if we do see more uses of NFC added, we may well not see it available in other territories outside of China.

Xiaomi Mi Band 5 release date

So, when will the Mi Band 5 launch? Huami has stated that we may have to wait for a 2020 release date, which means it's still a little way off before we get one on our wrists.

"We do not have a fixed time when we're going to launch Mi Band 5", said Huang. "But I would say that we have already started working on Mi Band 5 with Xiaomi and it's not going to take that long."

"We just launched Mi-Band 4, but potentially toward the [Indecipherable] of next year, we may launch Mi-Band 5."

The Mi Band was announced and launched in June this year while the Mi Band 3 rolled out in May 2018. So it would be fair to assume that the new Band could launch around a similar time.

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