Saturday, June 22, 2024

Fitbit Charge 6 vs. Xiaomi Mi Band 7: Premium or budget?

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  • Fitbit Charge 6

    Fit for royalty

    The Fitbit Charge 6 is a generational upgrade of 2021’s Charge 5. It brings updated sensors, new workout modes, and more support for Google features like Google Wallet, YouTube Music, and Google Maps.

    Pros

    • Google Maps on-device makes a world of difference
    • More accurate heart rate monitoring than Fitbit has ever offered
    • Vivid and bright display
    Cons

    • Battery life drops significantly when using certain features
    • Still not offering as many Google features as it could

  • Xiaomi Mi Band 7

    Xiaomi Mi Band 7

    The best budget tracker

    The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is still one of the most affordable yet feature-rich fitness trackers on the market right now. Support for over 100 different workout modes, as well as sleep monitoring make this budget-friendly tracker hard to beat.

    Pros

    • Feature-rich for such a low price point
    • AMOLED display is easy to see
    • Easily connect to Android and iPhone
    Cons

    • Missing Google features found on the Charge 6
    • Doesn’t feel as premium as some budget-friendly options


The new Fitbit Charge 6 does more to blend Fitbit’s fitness trackers with the usability of Google’s ecosystem, offering a solid fitness tracker with even more advanced features than the previous Charge 5.



But how does the Charge 6 stand up to the Xiaomi Mi Band 7, and will the newer Charge 6 unseat any of our favorite fitness trackers? Here’s what you need to know.


Price, availability, and specs

Both the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 and the Fitbit Charge 6 should be easy to get your hands on. You can get the Fitbit from Google, Fitbit, Amazon, and elsewhere; the Mi Band 7 (also called the Smart Bad 7 outside the US) is readily available on Amazon.

Price is also a huge difference between the two, with the older Mi Band 7 offering a more budget-friendly price tag of under $50, depending on what deals are going on. The Charge 6, on the other hand, is retailing for $160 at release, so you’ll be paying a good deal more for the newer Fitbit. There are, of course, some big differences in the offerings, so that’s something to keep in mind, too.

Here’s what they look like side by side.


  • Fitbit Charge 6 Xiaomi Mi Band 7
    Battery Life Up to 7 Days 180mAh, up to 14 days/up to 3-4 days with always-on display
    Display 1.04″ color AMOLED 1.62” AMOLED, 92 x 490 pixels, 326 PPI, up to 500 nits brightness
    Health sensors Heart rate, SPO2, GPS, Device temperature sensor 6-axis sensor, PPG heart rate sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope
    IP rating None 5ATM
    Dimensions 37.64g, 1.45 x 0.91 x 0.44″ (body only) 46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm, 13.5g
    Price $160 $50

Design

fitbit-charge-6-on-wrist-2

When it comes to design, both the Charge 6 and the Mi Band 7 are somewhat similar. They both sport smaller displays, with the Charge 6 offering a 1.04” OLED display and the Mi Band 7 sporting a 1.62” AMOLED screen. The similarities are also evident in the general make-up of the way these two devices provide information, though they sport two separate operating systems.


From there, though, the designs diverge. The Mi Band 7’s core is actually a small piece that fits inside of a silicone band. The Charge 6, on the other hand, connects to its band more like a watch, with two discrete band parts connecting to the top and bottom of the tracker’s case. The display difference is also evident in the way that the Mi Band 7 features a longer screen, whereas the Charge 6 is wider, providing different ways to view the information that it offers.

One big difference, too, is the return of the Navigation Button on the Charge 6, which helps you more easily move around the various menus on the fitness tracker. The Mi Band 7 relies entirely on touch, without any kind of physical buttons anywhere on the device.

Aside from that, both devices offer similar sensors and overall designs, with magnetic charging areas attached to the bottom of each one.

Software

xiaomi-smart-band-7-on-wrist


Software is another area that you’ll see some similarities, but overall there isn’t going to be much different here, aside from maybe the names of certain settings. While they don’t utilize the same operating system at all, both the Mi Band 7 and the Charge 6 offering similar fitness tracker experiences, including a main watch face that is supported by various other features.

The Mi Band 7 can take advantage of over 100 dynamic band faces, while the Charge 6’s options are a bit more limited. This is an area that Fitbit’s trackers have always fallen short in, so it isn’t much of a surprise to see the Mi Band 7 offering a good deal more in that particular category.

That said, the Charge 6 brings support for several Google features that the Mi Band 7 doesn’t sport, including Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions on your wrist, as well as support for Google Wallet, making it easy to pay for lunch, groceries, or whatever else you may need at places that support Google’s contactless payment service.


Overall, though, both of these devices are going to be more limited in functionality than a full-fledged smartwatch, which feature fitness tracking and additional features like custom watch faces, downloadable apps, offline music playback, and more.

Health & fitness

xiaomi-smart-band-7-back

Luckily for both the Mi Band 7 and the Charge 6, smartwatch features have never been a huge deal for fitness trackers — especially if you want to avoid many of the distractions that come from modern trackers. As such, these devices are packed with health and fitness features, including over 110 sports modes on the Mi Band 7, as well as all-day SpO2 monitoring, sleep monitoring, heart rate monitoring, and professional workout analysis.


The Charge 6, on the other hand, sports the most accurate heart rate monitoring that Fitbit has released yet and blends that together with up to 40 different exercise modes — up from the original 20 offered on the Charge 5.

The built-in SmartTrack function in the Charge 6 can automatically recognize and record workouts, and you can keep track of your VO2 max levels to see how your body uses oxygen when you’re working out. The Charge also supports sleep tracking, SpO2 tracking, and even skin temperature sensors, which help you keep a better eye on how your body is doing.

There really isn’t much of a difference between what these two devices are capable of tracking, and despite being older, the Mi Band 7 still offers a really solid fitness tracking experience, even compared to the newer Charge 6.

Battery life

fitbit-charge-6-charging


But how long can you wear each of these devices before you have to start charging them? Well, according to Xiaomi, the Mi Band 7 sports up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. Of course, that number can change drastically depending on how much you interact with the watch and what you’re doing, as well as if you’re using the always-on-display feature that comes with it, so that is something to keep in mind.

The Charge 6, on the other hand, only claims up to 7 days of battery life between charges, and with the use of always-on-display, that time probably ticks down even more. Still, though, both are going to offer solid battery life, especially compared to the more prominent smartwatch trackers that are on the market right now.

Which is right for you?

Ultimately, the Fitbit Charge 6 will offer the newest technology and sensors, providing a more premium experience overall, at least as far as fitness tracking goes. Fitbit’s continued lack of dynamic watch faces might be disappointing, though, so that’s something to remember if customization is essential to you. The Charge 6 also sports more smartwatch-like features, thanks to the integration of Google Maps, YouTube Music support, and Google Wallet.


Fitbit Charge 6 in black with display reading 12:58

Fitbit Charge 6

Editor’s Choice

The Fitbit Charge 6 offers a premium fitness tracking experience with tons of great workout features, monitoring, and access to Google Wallet, Google Maps, and YouTube Music.

However, if you’re just looking for a solid fitness tracker with a lot of customization and don’t need access to all the Google features that the Charge 6 is finally offering, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is still really, really good, especially at its lower price point. It’s not as premium as the Charge 6, sure, but for under $50 it is still really hard to beat, and one of the best cheap fitness trackers around.

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Xiaomi Mi Band 7

Good alternative

The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 remains one of the best feature-rich and budget-friendly fitness trackers on the market, offering over 100 sports modes and premium levels of fitness tracking.

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