- Good, clear screen
- Superb battery life
- Excellent GPS and run tracking
- Sleep tracking is poor
- More expensive than key rivals
Xiaomi has been one of the big beasts of the fitness tracker world and has dominated with its budget-friendly Mi Band range for much of the last decade.
With the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro, the company has evolved its fitness tracker to follow the trend of bigger displays and more advanced features.
But does the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro stack up against the competition? We strapped it on to find out.
Price and competition
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro costs around double the standard Mi Band 7 – you can see the latest prices and deals below.
The form factor of the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro inhabits the grey area between fitness band and smartwatch. The tall, thin screen inhabits less space than a smartwatch and is slightly better suited to thinner wrists.
The display is a punchy 1.64-inch AMOLED, so it's no more discreet than a smartwatch, but it could be more comfortable to wear.
The 456 x 280 resolution makes reading data clear – even during runs. And while the 70% screen-to-body ratio leaves plenty of bezel, it's not too noticeable.
The body is a fairly plasticky affair, and you get a silicone strap that fastens with a buckle. We wore it for two weeks and have no complaints about comfort.
However, we did get the black version, unfortunately, which is beyond boring. Luckily, Xiaomi also offers it in white, which is a little nicer in our opinion.
You pre-set bedtime hours, too, we should mention, so the screen turned off between 9pm and 8am, so there were no nocturnal blindings from the display.
We also quickly set the Mi Band 7 to do not disturb, as the mechanical vibration felt cheap and annoying.
Health and fitness tracking
Xiaomi has been releasing fitness tracking for nearly a decade, so its ecosystem should be well suited to keeping tabs on your body.
It tracks the core metrics of heart rate (resting, 24/7, and exercise), steps, calories and minutes spent moving.
All of these basics were handled well. Step data was a little short of our Apple Watch Ultra, but nothing suspiciously low, and our resting heart rate was in-line with all other devices and our established baselines.
Then there are more advanced metrics.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 will track sleep, but this was one of the most disappointing aspects. Advanced sleep tracking was turned off by default, so you need to toggle this to on in the settings menu.
We’re used to using top sleep trackers such as Fitbit and Whoop, which are geared around assessing sleep quality. Your actual sleep will often be significantly less than the time spent in bed.
The Smart Band 7 Pro simply tracked the time we lay down to the time we got up, with only major wakeups registered in the app. That meant that sleep duration was regularly 1+ hours longer than our Whoop 4.0.
It does show sleep cycle data, but it’s not really that geared toward improvement or analysis. Overall, it’s disappointing for an established fitness-tracking brand.
Blood oxygen was tracked via the built-in SpO2, and you can opt to have this done continuously. The data was in line with our normal baselines.
There’s also stress tracking included, which, like most implementations we have tested, simply scores your daily stress.
It seemed to tally with real life, and, on a particularly stressful day, we got our highest score during testing of 39/100, which Xiaomi deemed as 'mild'.
Xiaomi doesn’t send alerts or prompts to start its built-in guided breathing sessions, either, so it doesn't feel that useful.
Like stress, SpO2, or other metrics, you can look back over time within the app. However, there aren't any tools to track trends over time, which limits how useful the data is in our eyes.
In terms of fitness and wellness tracking, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro does a decent job at the basics.
If you’re looking for a good level of analysis to make changes to your lifestyle, however, we’d really push you towards a Fitbit alternative, as the Mi Fitness app isn’t brilliant.
Sports tracking and running
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro boasts the usual 120+ workout modes touted by most budget wearables, but most of these are little more than just timers with heart rate readings.
We fired up the yoga profile for a class, and it tracked the time, heart rate and calories of the session, and then it was tagged as yoga within the Mi Fitness app. The stats were very similar to the Apple Watch Ultra we tested against, with similar calorie burn for the session, which is reassuring.
But one of the main draws to the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro, over the likes of the Huawei Band 7, is the built-in GPS.
We had an excellent experience using it for running workouts and found excellent accuracy when pitched against the Apple Watch Ultra, with its multiband GPS.
All runs were tracked correctly – and our only gripe is the slightly confusing way the UX shows that a satellite lock-on has been achieved.
There are some advanced running workouts if you want to throw your workout routine into the arms of Xiaomi. There are guided introductions to running, as well as interval sessions at high or medium intensity.
The timers are useful, although the session structures (5 min sprint/2 min run for example) are quite basic overall.
The Mi Band 7 Pro also stacked up fairly well against a chest strap in terms of heart rate accuracy, but we wouldn’t base our training on its data.
Over a number of runs, average heart rate data was in line with a chest strap, or around 5bpm short. During a test run, peak HR was 5bpm under a chest strap, while another was spot on.
In terms of anecdotal comparisons when using a Mi Band 7 Pro side by side with an Apple Watch Ultra in steady runs, they were largely comparable.
However, there were some glitches, and the sensor wasn’t as reliable, especially during more erratic and high-intensity workouts with rest.
In essence, the heart rate sensor is useful for guidance over your workout sessions and intensity – but not one to use for heart rate training.
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro works with iOS and Android smartphones. We tried it with iOS and notifications worked well – although once or twice some were delivered a while after they’d appeared on our iPhone.
On the whole, messages are easy to read. There’s a fair bit of customization of apps, so you can be very specific about the social media apps allowed to buzz your wrists, which is good.
As we mentioned, we didn’t like the feel of the vibration, or the persistent buzzing for every WhatsApp message, and we soon turned this to notify us of phone calls only. But that’s a personal preference.
Xiaomi provides a large selection of watch faces – not all to our taste, but there’s plenty buried in the app. If you swap from the on-watch selection to online, there are far more options to choose from.
Xiaomi quotes 12 days of battery life from its Mi Band Pro 7, which is an excellent promise.
The reality isn’t too far away, but there are a lot of caveats.
By default, there are some serious options turned off. So, to get anywhere near the 12 days, you will forgo SpO2, stress tracking, and advanced sleep tracking. You will also have to keep the always-on display firmly off, as well.
If you do that, then 10-12 days is possible, depending on personal use and workout tracking.
We turned all of that on, except the always-on display, and got around a week. Overnight, we found a drop-off of around 10% with advanced sleep tracking and SpO2 turned on, with a further 5% during the day.
With the always-on display turned on, that would reduce things further.
Should you buy the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro?
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro performed well overall and is recommended for those looking for a hybrid band/smartwatch device, with built-in GPS.
But we feel there are better alternatives for some buyers.
For runners, we’d look to the Huawei Watch Fit 2, and, likewise, if GPS is of no interest, the Huawei Band 7. While broadly similar, we rate the sleep tracking and app slightly higher for Huawei.
If you’re looking for value for money, the Amazfit Bip 3 Pro offers the same features for less, although the screen is inferior.
How we test