1. Verdict
  2. Price and competition
  3. Design and display
  4. Smart features and OS
  5. Fitness tracking
  6. Health tracking
  7. Sleep tracking
  8. Battery life

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review

A bigger tracker boasting exceptional value
Wareable Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review
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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro
By Xiaomi
The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is ideal for anybody on a budget, providing a solid range of insights inside a neat, unisex design. Xiaomi still omits too many key details within Mi Fitness - and gets majorly found out when metrics become more advanced or require more context - but it's also hard to grumble too much when the price tag is this low. We like the minor changes made for this latest generation, and the lower asking price ensures the Band 8 Pro becomes a great tracker to consider in 2024.

  • Superb display and look
  • Excellent battery life
  • Good GPS accuracy
  • Mixed HR accuracy
  • No side button gets old fast
  • Mi Fitness is miles behind rivals

After debuting the Pro edition of its popular fitness tracker series last year, Xiaomi has returned with this year's iteration - the Smart Band 8 Pro. 

More expensive than its Smart Band 8 sibling and featuring a very different design, battery life, and set of features, the 8 Pro is another compelling budget fitness band for those in the market to consider. 

Rather than revolutionizing what we saw with last year's 7 Pro, though, Xiaomi has only made slight adjustments to its premium activity tracker here. The display has been tweaked, the battery has improved and the UI has been made a little friendlier to navigate. It's also much cheaper this time around.

Is it a package that delivers? We've been testing the Band 8 Pro to find out.

Price and competition

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review watch face

While we were big fans of last year's Xiaomi Band 7 Pro, the relatively lofty price was one of the few sore spots. Price at this level is all relative, we should say - the tracker was still very cheap in the grand scheme of wearables, but it was also a step on from the likes of the Huawei Band 7.

This time, it's a different story. Xiaomi's RRP of £59.99 is exceptional - especially with discounts being offered at launch for the device - and puts it on par with the market's cheapest options.

It's a good chunk cheaper than the Fitbit Inspire 3, not that much more expensive than the Xiaomi Smart Band 8, and available before the latest generation of Huawei trackers and Samsung's Galaxy Fit 3.

Design and display

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review on wrist

We always refer to Xiaomi's Pro line of bands as fitness trackers, but, in reality, they're much more akin to modern smartwatches in design and function. 

The Band 8 Pro follows the same form as other fitness tracker-smartwatch hybrids we've seen over the last few years. Generally, it's a shape we like on the wrist; it's more unisex than the classic, thin-style activity band but still isn't round enough to really be considered as a watch.

Xiaomi has also improved it for the Band 8 Pro, we'd say. It's slightly bigger - up to 1.74 inches from 1.63 inches - on account of the case itself growing to 46 x 33.35 x 9.99mm, and a real upgrade has been made to the refresh rate. 

The Band 8 Pro runs at 60Hz, up from 30Hz in last year's model, and it gives the tracker much smoother transitions between menus and widgets. It doesn't sound like much of an upgrade, but it really contributes to an elevated feel here.

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review widgets

The display sits a little flatter than what we saw with the Band 7 Pro, which is neither here nor there, but the rest feels very much the same. It's light, meaning it's comfortable to wear around the clock, and the plasticky case's shiny edge means it looks slightly fancier than it really is. 

Our only real gripe with the design is the lack of a button. It ensures navigation relies too heavily on swipes - a nuisance when you're deep in menus - and a touchscreen-only approach means things like ending workouts are also a bit of a hassle. Since you can't avoid it, the screen is constantly covered with fingerprints, too.

Then there are the more minor foibles, like the lack of detail in the always-on display (AOD) or the middling reliability of the raise-to-wake function. Nothing major, as we say, but definitely not issues you'll encounter on more expensive watches.

Smart features and OS

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review smart features

The display's refresh rate does plenty to bolster the Band 8 Pro's overall feel, but Xiaomi also heavily touted a revamped OS for this year's model when first unveiling the device.

There's now a string of handy widgets for quickly glancing and jumping into your key stats, settings, music control, and more, and this does help offset some of the issues that naturally pop up with having a no-button design.

As we mentioned above, we would still prefer to have a button included, but Xiaomi has done well to improve on last year's functionality in this area. The overall look is virtually identical other than this inclusion, though - as are the range of smart features. 

Features like payment support, mapping, cellular support, and third-party apps for more advanced music control are once again non-existent here.

This isn't necessarily unexpected, given the price and the fact this is simply a repatched global-ready version of Xiaomi's Chinese tracker, but anybody seeking a smart experience on the wrist should very much look elsewhere.

Fitness tracking

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review heart rate

We generally have a pretty mixed time with Xiaomi's fitness tracking, and that was again the case with the Band 8 Pro. The positives and negatives we found from our testing are slightly different from that offered in the standard Smart Band 8, though. 

While that tracker struggled with the basics, we've found the Band 8 Pro much more reliable. Steps were always around 1,000 less than what we tracked on the Garmin Epix Pro (Gen 2), but this isn't too bad, and calorie burn estimates were much closer (often within 100-200kcal) than what we typically experience.

Daytime and resting heart rate tracking also seemed pretty reliable, with no major spikes or irregular dips outside our typical baselines from the Oura Ring (Gen 3) and Whoop 4.0.

The more advanced metrics that Xiaomi continues to clone from the likes of Apple and Garmin - the likes of training effect, VO2 max, and recovery hours - continue to make zero sense, however. 

Base running workouts lasting over an hour with a relatively low average heart rate will see Mi Fitness suggest around 80-100 hours of recovery - yes, three actual days off - while the VO2 max figure is well below what we've established by other wearables.

We can forgive the latter, as this does generally become more reliable over time, but it still speaks to a lack of refinement from Xiaomi in these areas. At least the cadence and stride length data seem pretty bang-on from our test runs.

Heart rate monitoring accuracy

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review photo 14

We found the heart rate monitoring performance during workout tracking to be a little imperfect with the Band 7 Pro, and, unfortunately, it doesn't appear much has changed for this generation.

Across our test workouts with the Band 8 Pro, the average BPM figure was generally around 5 BPM below what the Garmin HRM-Pro Plus logged, and this also matches what we viewed on the wrist during workouts. We only had one that didn't underreport, and it instead overreported by 5 BPM.

There's significant lag compared to the chest strap, which is to be expected, but sometimes it simply wouldn't register a change in HR following slight inclines or other changes in terrain. We suspect this lack of sensitivity is why its estimations lag below a chest strap.

The way Xiaomi categorizes its HR zones continues to baffle, too, with relatively low figures classed as in the 'anaerobic' (zone 4), and 'aerobic' seemingly graded as more strenuous than 'intensive'.

This perhaps goes some way to explaining the wacky recovery hours suggestions, but, in whatever case, we wouldn't put too much faith in this heart rate sensor. It's perfectly fine for a rough idea of your effort, but nothing more.

GPS tracking accuracy

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review photo 15

While the heart rate monitoring proved to be pretty unreliable, the GPS tracking was instead a pleasant surprise. And given built-in GNSS support isn't available in the standard Band 8, this is one of the key reasons to upgrade.

In our test runs, the lock-on was fairly instant from the Band 8 Pro and always finished with a distance estimation similar to our Garmin, which boasts dual-frequency GNSS.

It's not perfect, and will still underreport as a general rule, but the disparity is generally negligible. Most runs were within 150m, and there were no total disasters (as we've seen frequently with Xiaomi's smartwatches over the past 18 months).

Our main issue with distance tracking on the Band 8 Pro is that Mi Fitness doesn't feature an option to change from the metric system to imperial, which means you're stuck with kilometers. Not the biggest deal, granted, but it is another example of the lack of polish here.

Health tracking

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review photo 10

The Band 8 Pro isn't one we would grade as a health-tracking powerhouse, but Xiaomi does include the odd insight here.

The company still insists on leaving most of these, like SpO2 monitoring or high/low heart rate notifications, off by default to save on battery life, but they are thankfully relatively accurate when you do turn them on. As we'll explore in more detail below, they also don't have a huge impact on battery hours.

Blood oxygen readings were always in the 95%> range we see from the likes of Whoop, Oura, and Garmin, and, as we covered above, the all-day HR monitoring tracks without any issues.

This is about the extent of the health-tracking experience, though - largely because Xiaomi doesn't make much of an effort to interpret what it tracks.

In Mi Fitness, you can look through past data as you would in an app like Apple Health, but none of this is actionable - and there are no trends pulled out by Xiaomi here. Temperature tracking is present, for example, but there are no prompts or women-focused features that harness it. It's just there.

If you're after a more comprehensive health tracker in a fitness tracker form, Fitbit provides a step up from what's offered here with the Band 8 Pro. This isn't necessarily because of a huge difference in sensors, but more because the Fitbit app is superb for viewing valuable insights. 

Sleep tracking

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review sleep tracking

As with plenty of the Band 8 Pro's features, advanced sleep monitoring is turned off by default here - and means that you won't receive the likes of sleep stage info or sleep scores until you enable it.

We had it turned on for our entire testing period, and the results - similar to the Band 8 - were largely positive.

The Band 8 Pro was consistently able to log when we fell asleep and got out of bed within a 10-minute window of Garmin and Oura, which is good going, though we're less convinced about the sleep stage insights.

We never really mark a device down for discrepancies here, given that this data can only really be verified in a sleep lab setting, but the fact Xiaomi doesn't record 'awake' time is an immediate red flag when it comes to accuracy. 

It does at least have the option to provide a breathing score, though, and also average out your sleeping HR. 

Like with other data in Mi Fitness, none of this is really backed up by any hard-hitting trends or actionable insights, which means it's difficult to get too excited about. It's certainly good enough for those who want an idea of how much sleep they get, though.

Battery life

WareableXiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review photo 13

The Band 8 Pro boasts a bigger battery unit than we saw from its predecessor, likely due to the slightly bigger overall case. It ups the Band 7 pro's 235mAh unit to 285mAh, with Xiaomi also suggesting you should see up to 14 days in 'normal' use (up from 12 days). 

As we found in last year's model, this is definitely achievable if you keep all of the default settings in place and don't enable anything like SpO2 monitoring or the AOD.

Plenty of wearables promise this kind of caveated battery performance, so we don't necessarily give Xiaomi huge praise here, but we will for the fact that battery life remains good even with some of these turned on.

For our testing period, we've largely had AOD turned on alongside advanced sleep monitoring, heart rate notifications, nighttime respiratory tracking, and blood oxygen monitoring during the night.

Even in this setup, the battery drain is still only around 20% per day - and this included some sizeable GPS tracking throughout the battery cycle, too.

Charging speeds also aren't too shabby; we would chuck the Band 8 Pro on the charger when it reached around 10%, and it typically took around 70 minutes to reach full charge.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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