Review Of Fitbit Charge 4 and Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5

Review Of 'Fitbit Charge

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Review Of ‘Fitbit Charge 4‘ and ‘Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5‘. There is so much data that is generated when you work out. For example, the number of steps you take, your heart rate, the distance traveled, and so much more. This is why more and more people are turning to wearable fitness trackers to properly track their fitness journey. Review Of Fitbit Charge

The purpose of a wearable fitness tracker is so that you can review your fitness data after you work out. It then allows you to adjust your future workouts to be better in line with your fitness goals.

For example, you might want to start running regularly. Initially, you might only be able to just run for 1 mile before being out of breath. With the help of a fitness tracker, you can see your data such as your average pace, peak pace, heart rate, and more. This information can then help you plan your next run so that it improves on your first. Review Of Fitbit Charge

There has been an explosion of fitness trackers on the market. Today we are looking at 2 popular ones, the ‘Fitbit Charge 4’, released in March 2020 and currently retailing at $99.95 on Amazon, and the ‘Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5’, released in August 2020 and currently retailing at $37.44 on Amazon. Review Of Fitbit Charge

Both of these fitness brands are massively popular. Fitbit represents the high-end range of the market, while Xiaomi the lower end. Let’s look at how they are similar, as well as what sets them apart. Review Of Fitbit Charge

What Are The Features? Review Of Fitbit Charge

Fitbit Charge 4Review Of Fitbit Charge

Review Of 'Fitbit Charge

Photo Credit by Fitbit

Tracking Your Activities 

The fundamental function of a fitness tracker is to be able to track your workout. In this regard, the Fitbit Charge 4 does not disappoint. An Amazon reviewer has called it ‘a nice upgrade form Charge 2’

With the Fitbit Charge 4, you can first choose your favorite workouts. After that, you can set a goal and see the real-time progress of your workout. It also has an Automatic Exercise Recognition feature, which allows it to automatically detect common exercises. Examples include running, swimming, elliptical, and sports. When the Fitbit detects that you are working out, it automatically records your activity. You can then access your workout statistics through its SmartTrack feature. 

The Fitbit isn’t just useful for when you are doing active exercise; it also tracks your activities all day. This means that you can review every step you’ve taken and every floor you’ve climbed. You can also review the total calories you’ve burned in a day. Your Fitbit also has a reminder feature that can remind you to move throughout the day. 

The Fitbit Charge 4 can be worn during swimming activities and is water-resistant up to a depth of 50m. This means that you can have it on whether you’re in the swimming pool or in the shower. Review Of Fitbit Charge

Built-in GPS 

Having a built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) is an important new feature in the new Fitbit. In past editions of Fitbits, you needed to have your phone nearby if you wanted to connect to GPS. With the Fitbit Charge 4, the GPS is in-built. GPS can be used to map out your workouts, track your pace, and record the distance covered. This is especially useful if you are going for a run. 

When you connect to GPS using your Fitbit, it has 5-hour battery life. (Without the GPS turned on, the battery life of your Fitbit Charge 4 increases to a cool 7 days.) This amount of battery life is perfect if you’re going running for a few miles. 

Switching on the GPS feature on your Fitbit is also really easy. Simply swipe to the right and choose the exercise that you are going to do. If you’re going for a run, for example, the GPS is turned on by default. It only takes the Fitbit a few seconds to connect to GPS. To turn off  GPS, simply swipe up and select the ‘off’ option. 

Active Zone Minutes

This is an interesting feature of the Fitbit that allows you to track the level of intensity of your workouts. The American Health Association and the World Health Organization recommend that you have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week (or a combination of both). To encourage this, Fitbit has 150 “Active Zone Minutes” that you can earn per week. 

“Active Zone Minutes” are minutes that you spend in the fat burn, cardio, or peak heart-rate zones. For every minute in the fat burn zone, you earn 1 Active Zone Minute; for every minute in the cardio or peak zone, you earn 2 Active Zone Minutes. 

In other words, Active Zone Minutes are rewarded based on how intense you work out, not how long. In other words, if you spend 10 minutes on low-intensity exercise, you’ll probably be rewarded with less than 10 Active Zone Minutes; however, if you spend 10 minutes on high-intensity exercise, you might be rewarded with 20 or more Active Zone Minutes.

To increase the sense of achievement, you will feel a buzz on your Fitbit when you reach your target heart rate zones during your workouts. You can also earn extra minutes outside of exercise. All this gives you an incentive to always engage in high-intensity activities in your workouts, thus improving performance. 

Sleep Tracker

The Fitbit Charge 4 has a sleep tracker, which can track the stages of your sleep and give you a Sleep Score that tells you how well you have slept. When you sleep, your body goes through sleep cycles that usually last around 90 minutes. Each cycle alternates between light and deep sleep as well as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is a stage associated with vivid dreams. 

The Fitbit tracks your movement and your heart rate during your sleep to determine how well you’ve slept. The Sleep Score is between 0 and 100; the higher your score, the better you have slept, and vice versa. 

You can view your Sleep Score on the Summary View of your Fitbit or on your Fitbit app on your smartphone. It also gives you other useful statistics such as the amount of time you were asleep as well as the length of each cycle of your sleep.

Review Of Fitbit Charge

Photo Credit by Fitbit

Other Features 

The Fitbit Charge 4 allows you to link to your Spotify account and select the music that you want to listen to. It is important to note that the Fitbit Charge 4 does not actually contain any music in itself – this feature only works if you have an existing Spotify account.

The Fitbit Charge 4 also has a Fitbit Pay feature that allows you to make contactless payments directly from your Fitbit. To use this feature, you first need to check whether your bank is supported on the device. If it is, you can upload your debit or credit card onto the device. To make a payment, simply enter your pin number, select a nearby merchant on the screen, and tap to pay. 

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 

Review Of Fitbit ChargePhoto Credit by MI

Fitness Tracking 

A reviewer called the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 as ‘still the budget fitness tracker champ to beat.’ The Smart Band 5 supports 11 professional sports modes, up from 4 in the previous model. These include running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, skipping rope, yoga, rowing, and free training. Before you work out, simply choose one of these professional sports modes and get started. 

At the end of your workout, all your data can be accessed through your Mi Fit app. You can access stats such as distance covered, heart rate, running pace, and more. This allows you to track your progress over time as well. 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band also comes with an ‘Idle’ notification. This notifies you when you have been sitting for too long. 

For swimming, it has an IP68/5ATM waterproof rating and can also work up to 50 meters underwater. This means the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 will work well in any swimming pool. You don’t need to worry about it getting wet when you’re washing your hands, surfing, or running in the rain either. The swimming mode allows you to select your pool length (25m / 50m) so you can track the number of laps completed. 

Battery Life 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 has a 125 milliamp Hour (MAH) battery, translating to roughly 14 days of battery life. You can increase the battery life to about 20 days if you use it in its battery saving mode. It can be charged to full capacity in around 2 hours. 

You can use the new magnetic charger to charge your Smart Band 5; you can plug the magnetic charger in at the back of the Smart Band 5 without removing it from its straps. This is different from past editions in which you need to remove the Fitbit from its straps before charging. This new charger makes the process of charging your Smart Band 5 more convenient and hassle-free. 

Pairing with Mi Fit App 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 has in-built Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity – the latest version of Bluetooth. You can use Bluetooth to connect to your Mi Fit app that you can download on your mobile phone. The Mi Fit app is a companion app for the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band. 

When your Mi Fit app is connected to your Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5, you can synchronize all your sports activity data onto the app for easy viewing. This includes your heart rate data, sleep data, workout data, and so on. This allows you to see graphs and charts of your progress over time. 

You can also use your Mi Fit app on your mobile phone to change some of the settings on the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5. You can decide which apps you want to send notifications to your Smart Band 5. For example, you might want the heart rate app to be activated on your Smart Band 5, which you can do through your Mi Fit app. You can also easily set calls or calendar reminders straight to your Smart Band. 

Heart Rate and Sleep Monitoring

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 improves on his predecessor the Smart Band 4 by allowing for continuous, 24 hours a day monitoring of your heart rate. You can then access the data of your heart rate from the Mi Fit app. Your daily heart rate charts should give you some idea about your current level of fitness. 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 also monitors your sleep. It’s no surprise that Xiaomi has incorporated sleep monitoring into the device as good sleep is vital for good health. The Smart Band 5 analyzes sleep data such as sleep time, sleep depth, and awake time, which you can access through your Mi Fit app. 

 

Review Of Fitbit Charge

Photo Credit by MI

Other Features 

There are some cool new features in the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 that sets it apart from its predecessors. For example, you can wake the screen up simply by lifting your wrist. On the screen, you can swipe either left or right to access your apps. 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 has a new stress level monitor that can help you monitor your stress. It does so by putting together your heart rate variability data with stress models. Having excessive stress can harm your physical and mental health, so this new feature might prove to be useful. If you find that you have high stress levels, you can use your Smart Band to do deep breathing exercises to relax. The instructions for this will be on the screen and you just have to follow along. 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 also has a menstruation cycle tracking app for female users. 

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 also allows you to use a shutter control for taking photographs on your phone. This means that you can use your camera app on your phone and click on the Smart Band 5 to take the photo. This can be pretty handy when it comes to taking group selfies!

What Are The Downsides?

Fitbit Charge 4

Low GPS Battery Life 

As mentioned earlier, the Fitbit Charge 4 has a GPS battery life of only an estimated 5 hours. This means that the GPS feature would only be useful for physical activities that are under 5 hours in length; it is less useful for longer physical activities such as hiking. 

With the 5-hour GPS battery life, you might accidentally turn on the GPS and find that your battery has died without being completely sure what had happened. 

Spotify Exclusive 

To use the music control feature on the Fitbit Charge 4, you must have an active Spotify subscription. This Fitbit does not work for any other music subscription services. This can be annoying if you don’t already have an active Spotify subscription. 

Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5

Similar to Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 

If you already have a Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 4 and are hoping that the Smart Band 5 offers a huge upgrade, you might find yourself disappointed. Most of the core features of the Smart Band 5 are the same as the Smart Band 4. The few upgrades that the Smart Band 5 has, such as the stress level monitor, the breathing exercise tutorials, and the menstruation cycle tracker, are software updates that could have been updated to the previous edition if the makers wanted. 

Having said that, the upgrades on the Smart Band 5 do synergize to make for a better overall user experience. 

No Built-in GPS

The Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 does not have a built-in GPS. However, you can still connect to GPS by having a mobile device near you.  A built-in GPS will make it easier to track your workout, especially if you can’t carry your mobile device with you. By not having a built-in GPS, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 has one less feature compared to its competitors. 

How Does The ‘Fitbit Charge 4’ Compare To The ‘Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5’? 

Photo Credit by mentatdgt

Having looked at the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 individually, let’s now compare the two products together. 

Activity Data

Both products have workout trackers that can properly track your workouts. They both allow you to select your workout (such as running or swimming) and track vital data, such as the distance traveled, your heart rate, and your pace. 

However, the Fitbit Charge 4 is able to track your workout in greater detail compared to the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5. For example, the Fitbit Charge 4 allows you to track the number of calories burned and has a route tracker, which allows you to add a route onto a map to vary where you run. Both of these features are unavailable on the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5. 

The Fitbit Charge 4 also has an in-built GPS, while the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 does not. It can monitor your blood oxygenation levels (to determine the amount of oxygen in your blood), while this function is unavailable in the latter. The latest Fitbit also has ‘Active Zone Minutes’ that you can earn to increase your motivation to engage in high-intensity workouts. 

However, the two devices are more similar than they are distinct. Let us quickly list down the workout functions that both fitness trackers share. They both: have a barometer (to detect changes in air pressure), have an accelerometer (to measure the acceleration of a device), have weight tracking, can track elevation, and can detect activities automatically. Both devices can also track your sleep. Review Of Fitbit Charge

Swimming 

Both fitness trackers can be worn when swimming and have a waterproof depth of up to 50m. Both fitness trackers have stroke recognition technology, which means that they can automatically track the type of swimming strokes performed during the workout. If you are a serious swimmer, this saves you time from having to manually key in that information later. 

Both fitness trackers also have a stroke counter for swimming, meaning that they can count the number of strokes performed during the workout based on the movement of your arms. 

When it comes to swimming, clearly both fitness trackers offer identical features. The one difference between the two brands is that the Fitbit Charge 4 is also tailored for diving; the Fitbit Charge 4 has trimix and nitrox tracing (both are breathing gases) and also a built-in diving planner. 

Battery Life 

The Fitbit Charge 4 has a battery life of 7 days, but that gets reduced to 5 hours if the GPS is switched on. In contrast, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 does not have in-built GPS but has a battery life of up to 14 days. This means that if you do not mind not having the GPS feature, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 is a better choice because of its longer battery life. 

Both fitness trackers have battery level indicators and rechargeable batteries. Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 has wireless charging, which means you have the option of charging the device simply by putting it down on its charging base. This option, however, is unavailable in the Fitbit Charge 4. 

What Is The Final Verdict?

As we have seen in this article, both the Fitbit Charge 4 and the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 have a lot of new features that make tracking your activities that much simpler. 

The main difference between these two products is the price point. The Fitbit Charge 4 currently retails at $129.95 on Amazon and the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 retailing at $45.85 on Amazon. This makes the Fitbit Charge 4 more than twice as expensive as the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5. 

The Fitbit Charge 4 does, however, have some advanced features not available on the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5. These differences have been detailed in the section just before. However, in terms of its essential function of tracking activity and fitness, both fitness trackers are about the same. Review Of Fitbit Charge

If you want a fitness tracker that has all the latest features that technology can offer, and if you don’t mind paying a premium price, then the Fitbit Charge 4 is for you. 

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that does all the essential functions of tracking fitness, activity, and sleep, and you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, then the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 is for you. 

Both fitness trackers would make for a good purchase. At the end of the day, the most important question to ask yourself is how far you’re willing to push yourself to achieve your fitness goals. These fitness trackers simply ‘track’ what you’ve done – they aren’t able to do the hard work for you. Don’t wait too long – pick one today, try it on, and get moving!

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References 

  1. Fitbit (2020) What should I know about Fitbit sleep stages? Retrieved from: https://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/Help_article/2163.htm#:~:text=Fitbit%20estimates%20your%20sleep%20stages,as%20rolling%20over%2C%20etc.)
  2. Fitbit (2020) Fitbit Charge 4 Retrieved from: https://www.fitbit.com/eu/charge4
  3. Mi Band Series (2020) Stress Management With Mi Smart Band 5 Retrieved from: https://c.mi.com/thread-3196524-1-0.html
  4. Amazon (2020) Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Fitness Tracker Retrieved from: https://www.amazon.com/Bracelet-Magnetic-Pedometer-Activities-Waterproof/dp/B08G5B7L8V/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=xiaomi+mi+band+5&qid=1599814604&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFCSVBJMUJXNkhPSEgmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA5Mzc1ODIxSUxURUgxSFk3TzZCJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAyMTQ2ODVRVk01WVdWQlMxN1Imd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
  5. Amazon (2019) Fitbit Charge 4 Retrieved from: https://www.amazon.com/Fitbit-Fitness-Activity-Tracking-Included/dp/B084CQ41M2/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1JDR44KY04R06&dchild=1&keywords=fitbit+charge+4&qid=1599748158&sprefix=fitbit+charge+4%2Caps%2C380&sr=8-1
  6. Versus (2020) Fitbit Charge 4 vs Xiaomi Mi Band 5 Retrieved from: https://versus.com/en/fitbit-charge-4-vs-xiaomi-mi-band-5
  7. Xiaomify (2020) Mi Band 5 – Full Review – vs. Mi band 4 Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkETT4hJCtM
  8. DC Rainmaker (2020) Fitbit Charge 4 Review: 9 New Things To Know Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vBbS1A6Ndo
  9. AdventureinUtah (2020) Nice upgrades Retrieved from: https://www.amazon.com/Fitbit-Fitness-Activity-Tracking-Included/dp/B084CQ41M2/ref=sr_1_1?crid=31AFQL1XXDRE0&dchild=1&keywords=fitbit%2Bcharge%2B4&qid=1599894687&sprefix=fitbit%2Bcharge%2Caps%2C422&sr=8-1&th=1\
  10. Michael Sawh (2020) Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 review Retrieved from: https://www.techradar.com/sg/reviews/xiaomi-mi-smart-band-5

 

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