Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro is a big refresh on what is arguably the best-selling wearable fitness tracker series in the world. Xiaomi’s smart bands are synonymous with fitness trackers for quite some time now. And for good reason, they have the right features, bright colorful displays, and are priced extremely well. Oh and Xiaomi’s Mi Fitness app is as good as things can get in the Android world. Let’s dive into the review to see if the new features on the Smart Band 7 Pro are worthy of your hard-earned cash.
Hardware is a serious upgrade from the previous versions
As soon as you get the Smart Band 7 Pro out of the box you realize that this one is very different from the previous Band series. I mean just look at the size of this thing. Compared to previous devices this is huge. It now looks similar to a regular smartwatch even though it is still very much a fitness tracker.
The device design is clean and simple to keep overall costs down. Thankfully, Xiaomi didn’t skimp on the screen and that is good news for consumers. The frame is plastic, the band is black silicone and there’s a USB-A to dual pogo pin charger. Overall build quality is excellent and the Smart Band 7 Pro has up to 5ATM water resistance.
A thick user manual in multiple languages is the heaviest item in the retail box. The Smart Band 7 Pro weighs 30 grams which is quite light and is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
In terms of hardware, you have a buzzy haptic motor, a microphone, SpO2, and heart rate sensors. And for the first time, a built-in GPS sensor will give you more accurate readouts in terms of distance traveled while outdoors. Since there is no speaker, the band can’t alert you or play music, or incoming calls. It only communicates via a series of vibrations.
I wish Xiaomi had gone a bit further and included a speaker. Alternately since the Smart Band 7 Pro buzzes a lot, a sturdier vibration motor would have been better than the one in there currently. The onboard haptic motor feels like an old mechanical alarm clock buzzing instead of the crisp clicks you get on modern smartphones.
Best part about this Smart Band 7 Pro is the large AMOLED display
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro has a large 1.64-inch AMOLED display. The display is colorful and bright and text/graphics are crisp and easy to read thanks to a 326 ppi resolution. Auto brightness setting works quite well for the most part including in bright sunny conditions outdoors.
Always on Display is also available and works great. It shows a black and white clock display at all times. You need to tap the screen to see more details. If you do not use AOD then raise to wake also works quite well. In fact, I would say it works better on this Smart Band 7 Pro than other devices I have reviewed in the past.
Using the Smart Band 7 Pro after setup is easy
Pairing the Band 7 Pro out of the box is a bit of an ordeal. For some weird reason, I could not scan the QR code with my Xiaomi smartphone even after multiple tries. On the other hand, downloading the Mi Fitness app and tapping ‘Add Device’ was very easy, and the Smart Band 7 Pro paired with the phone right away.
Using the Smart Band 7 Pro is quite easy. You can raise your hand to wake up the display or if you have AOD then you can see the clock all the time. To access the features you then have to tap it once. You can change the display face with a long press on the main information screen. There are 5 choices available from the Band but you can choose over 150 different ones via the Mi Fitness app.
Swiping down from the home screen shows you the notifications. Conversely, a swipe up from the home screen shows you the pre-installed apps. There aren’t many apps available but what is installed is functional and useful so there’s that. A left swipe from the home screen brings up Alexa, Weather, and music controls. Whilst swiping right from the home screen brings up the quick settings menu.
The UI interface looks clean and derives a lot of heavy inspiration from the Apple Watch. If you can’t beat them, imitate them. I do wish Xiaomi does put their own design language in the layout and icons at some point.
Pairing with your phone is via Bluetooth. And there is no NFC on the Smart Band 7 Pro to enable touchless payments or quick pairing with another smart gadget. But that is expected for a device that is priced under $100.
Not many apps are available but what is pre-loaded works just fine
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro runs custom software so you do not have access to Wear OS apps. Apps are basic and mostly related to fitness tracking, heart rate / SpO2 monitoring, and a couple for sleep and stress tracking.
The apps work fine for what they are supposed to do. Although there is a slight lag sometimes between the input and the response from the Smart Band 7 Pro. Depending on the geographical location you can use Alexa via the Band, for some reason that functionality was not available for me in the USA. The Weather app relays information from your phone to the screen on the Band, it is not functional by itself. The same goes for music controls, those will work only if you have the phone on you.
In addition, you can use the camera app essentially as a trigger to capture pictures or videos. For some reason, this app kept wanting to connect to the phone even though I had paired the Smart Band 7 Pro to my Xiaomi 12T Pro.
The last two apps are Find My Phone and Backup so that you can connect the device to a different phone. Both I believe should be useful depending on the situation.
How good is the fitness tracking on the Smart Band 7 Pro?
I would say, distance, heart rate, and calories are pretty much spot on to my Apple Watch. I think there’s about less than 5% difference between the readings from both devices in a side-by-side comparison.
There are a lot of modes in the running app, akin to what you get on a treadmill for training which I think a lot of people will find useful. Not sure if some of these features are even available on higher-end devices.
And before I forget, Smart Band 7 Pro has 5 ATM waterproof resistance along with the ability to track pool workouts. So this is definitely a great fitness tracking device on land and in the swimming pool.
Is the new GPS sensor any good?
The short answer is yes. I did a workout with the phone and no GPS tracker and another one without the phone. For the workout without the phone, I turned on the activity and within 5 seconds the Smart Band 7 Pro latched onto a strong GPS signal (indicated by the number of green bars). Once I completed the 2+ mile outdoor walk, I got home and synced the Smart Band 7 Pro with the Mi Fitness app on the phone. Then in the workout detail, I could see it captured the route accurately along with the distance traveled.
The only downside I can think of is that there is no workout auto-detection mode available. I discovered this by accident. One day I went out to walk for about a mile but did not turn the tracking on the Smart Band 7 Pro. So, in the end it only showed calories burned and steps traveled. While my Apple Watch gave me a prompt to say, I was walking outdoors and if it should record it as a workout.
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro battery life is great
Battery life is quite good on the Smart Band 7 Pro. Expect to get about 8-10 days with one workout of about half an hour. I don’t think the advertised time of 12 days includes active tracking.
If you turn on the GPS expect to see somewhere around 10-12% battery loss per hour. So if you decide to go on a day hike for about 8 hours and choose to track it via GPS on the Band, expect it to run out by the time you get down from the mountain.
Recharging the Band 7 takes a while, so I just left it overnight on the pogo pin charger one night a week.
Mi Fitness App is a great companion to the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro
Mi Fitness App on the paired smartphone is full-featured, easy to use, and displays information in an easy-to-read format. I am a big fan of the Xiaomi design for this app.
It looks very unique and to some extent better than what you get from Google Fit or Samsung’s Fitness app. In fact, the overall design and color scheme is even better than what Apple has on its Fitness app.
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro Verdict
For the retail MSRP of €99, it is a bit tough to recommend the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro. Because the Smart Band 6 has all the features that this newer version has minus GPS tracking. And it launched for only $40. So at 2.5X the price you are getting a bigger brighter screen and GPS tracking. It seems a bit pricey for just those two features. In fact, I would argue that if you carry your phone with you outdoors then there is no need to get GPS tracking and the smaller screen device will have better battery life.
On the other hand, the large screen is quite nice and the AMOLED screen is bright and colorful. Oh and auto brightness works like a charm. In addition, raise to wake has basically zero errors on the Smart Band 7 Pro in contrast with the Band 6.
Then again there is no speaker, a buzzy haptic motor, and no NFC on the international version making it a bit hard to recommend this for €99. However, a quick glance at Ali Express shows that you can get the nicer white version for about $65. At that price, I think this Smart Band 7 Pro is something easy to recommend.