Our review

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 offers a lot by way of features and ease of use - and all for an exceptionally low asking price. We loved the bright AMOLED display, the smooth UI and the well-designed app. Best of all though is the blood oxygen sensor: a rare thing among budget wearables.


  • Swappable strap
  • SpO2 sensor rare at this price point
  • Xiaomi Wear app is user-friendly


  • No built-in GPS
  • Strap fit a little fiddly

Avoiding a brand simply because its name is difficult to pronounce (by Western tongues, we’re keen to add) is, of course, a very silly reason to do so. But we do genuinely wonder whether consumers in the US and European markets might have taken to the brand Xiaomi if it was easier to mention in conversation. That being said, much like Huawei before it, the Chinese company is well on its way to becoming a major global tech player – its smartphones, in particular, are growing increasingly popular outside of Asia.


But what about the Mi Band 6, Xiaomi’s latest budget-friendly fitness tracker? This is becoming an increasingly crowded end of the wearable market, after all, and it's hard to criticise those who gravitate towards better-established names like Samsung, who offer a fantastic alternative to the Band 6 in the form of the Galaxy Fit 2. Can Xiaomi hope to make a genuine impact?

Read on for our in-depth, expert verdict of the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. (And for the record: Xiaomi is pronounced ‘zhow-mee’. A bit like ‘zhuzh.’ Or Zsa Zsa Gabor. We hope this has cleared things up.)

To see how this fitness tracker compares to other affordable options from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Garmin, check out our best budget smartwatch list.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review: summary

Small-but-mighty is our descriptor of choice for the Xiaomi Mi Band 6. Yes, it’s a budget-end fitness tracker, and it very much looks and feels like one. But features like SpO2 (blood oxygen) tracking are seriously impressive at this price point, and the impressively accurate workout modes should win over those who are dithering over spending more on wearables like the Honor Band 6 or Huawei Watch Fit.

The lack of built-in GPS means you’ll always need your phone close to hand while you’re exercising, but regardless the Mi Band 6 is a genuine rival to the similarly-priced, bigger-name rival, the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2.

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is available at Amazon, Maplin and the Xiaomi UK store.

What is the Xiaomi Mi Band 6?

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 review summary

The Mi Band 6 is Xiaomi’s latest instalment in the Band line. Looks-wise, it’s pretty similar to the Mi Band 5 - there’s a couple of millimetres’ difference in the design, but besides that, it’s no great evolutionary leap. But the screen is larger (1.56-inch, versus the 1.1-inch Band 5 display) and has a higher resolution of 152 x 486 pixels in comparison to the Band 5's 126 x 294.

What does the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 do?

The latest fitness tracker in the Mi Band line offers the following features:

  • Text, email, calendar and social media notifications can be relayed from your phone.
  • 24-hour heart rate tracking.
  • Blood oxygen (SpO2) tracking, which measures the quality of your breathing and, by extension, your sleep.
  • 30 different fitness modes, including outdoor running, treadmill, cycling and walking (all of which will be automatically detected once you start doing them). New additions for the Band 6 include basketball, boxing, HIIT and Zumba.
  • Female users can track their menstrual cycles and ovulation periods.
  • A 5ATM waterproof rating, which means the Band 6 can safely stay on your wrist in the pool.
  • Music playback: a Spotify panel, for example, will automatically appear on the watch from your smartphone.

How much is the Xiaomi Mi Band 6?

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 has an RRP of £39.99.

Is the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 good value for money?

Without a doubt - and not only because you’re going to struggle to find the latest-gen fitness tracker from any major brand for less. Between the blood oxygen tracking, the crystal-clear AMOLED display and the strap customizability, the Mi Band 6 is a highly competitive offering from Xiaomi and one that should make rival brands sit up and take notice.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 design

When we say the Mi Band 6 looks like a budget wearable, we don’t say this with any criticism. Like most affordable fitness trackers, it’s super-slim and super-light with it, weighing just 12.8g. But with that slender build comes a display that’s markedly bigger than its predecessor. (On its site, Xiaomi states that the Band 6’s screen is 50% larger than the Band 5, before going on to offer a disclaimer that figure is approximate. Make what you will of that.)

What a display, though! Budget-end wearables are usually as cheap as they are due to the limited size of the screen. As a result, the best UIs on cheap wearables need to function like the visual equivalent of a haiku: short on space but elegant and concise with it. We were pleased to discover the Mi Band 6 completely fulfilled those criteria.

The home screen displays four quadrants - steps taken, calories burned, battery level and PAI (an ideal level of exercise that’s unique to your height and weight - with perfect clarity. The touchscreen is easy to swipe up and down through. Lots of low-cost wearables have you squinting a little, but no so here.

An additional highlight of the Band 6 is the fact that the watch face can be popped easily from its rubber strap. So while it’s only available in black, you can buy one of the other five colour options (blue, orange, yellow, olive and ivory). We found the moulded press-stud design of the strap a little tricky to fasten, but once in place, it stayed snug and secure without being uncomfortable.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 features

The Mi Band 6 certainly punches above its weight when it comes to features. Perhaps the most notable example is the pulse oximeter, which measures your blood oxygen levels and gauges the quality of your sleep. That’s not a metric you’ll find in Samsung’s Galaxy Fit 2, which currently has an RRP of just 99p less.

We were by and large impressed by the heart rate tracking and workout modes offered by the Mi Band 6, which proved accurate, frustration-free and with just a tiny lag. When we took the Mi Band 6 out on a run, it automatically entered ‘outdoor running’ mode and paused when we stopped (a feature that’s meant to allow for obstacles like traffic lights, but in our case mostly involved stopped to wheeze, wishing we’d laid off the biscuits throughout lockdown).

It’s worth bearing in mind that there's no built-in GPS - so you’ll need to keep your phone with you if you do go out running. As a whole, we think it’s highly unlikely you’ll regret buying budget with the Mi Band 6.

A lot of these wins come from Xiaomi Wear, a fun, accessible and nicely designed app - and one without the paywall elitism of Apple or the compatibility snarl-ups of Huawei. The heart rate, SpO2 and stress metrics are displayed clearly, and views can be toggled between day, week, month and year.

What is the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 battery like?

Set to power-saving mode, Xiaomi promises a 19-day lifespan from the Mi Band 6. When in normal mode, that drops to 14 days, and with its features in regular use, that drops again to 5 days.

This is a pretty major drop-off, but given the range of features that are offered in this humble-looking device, we were impressed with the week’s worth of power this wearable delivered.

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 set-up: how easy is it to use?

Xiaomi Mi Band 6 setup

Perhaps the biggest disappointment we had with the Mi Band 6 was the fact it arrived completely devoid of battery. Within 15 minutes, however, we had it up to 10%. After that, we started the setup process, which ultimately took 20 minutes.

Downloading the Xiaomi Wear app to our iPhone was nice and easy. As with most health apps, you need to set up an account (one that gets activated via an email to your inbox), and following that, you’ll need to enter all the usual details: sex, age, height and weight. This went hitch-free, and it was via the app itself that we synced the Band 6 faultlessly with our smartphone.

There’s a pretty comprehensive set of foldout instructions that come with the Mi Band 6. Curiously, one of the first instructions is to pop the watch face into the strap, which isn’t something you actually need to do. But it’s good to know that you can actually do this, at least: we honestly wouldn’t have realised the two components were separable otherwise.

Our verdict: should you buy the Xiaomi Mi Band 6?

If you’re looking for a fitness wearable, but one that involves minimal financial commitment, the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is among the very best out there. Athletes and dedicated fitness fans might get frustrated by the absence of built-in GPS and the relatively basic workout modes - but we’re doubtful they’ll be browsing at this end of the market in the first place.

If you really wanted to minimise your spending, you might opt for the Mi Band 5 (which is now just £25) is now a better proposition - but the boosted display area makes this the far superior wearable of the two.

The only other fitness tracker we’d recommend at this price is the Samsung Galaxy Fit 2, but as we said, that doesn’t come with a SpO2 sensor.

Review scores:

Design: 4/5
Features (average) : 3.5/5
Functions: 4/5
Battery: 3.5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Ease of set-up: 4/5
Overall star rating: 4/5

Where to buy the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 watch

The Xiaomi Mi Band 6 is available from a limited number of retailers, including Amazon, Maplin and the Xiaomi UK store. You'll find the best offers out there listed directly below.


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