On April the 18th 2023, Xiaomi released the new Mi Band 8. At present the Mi Band 8 is only available to the Chinese market, but we expect the global version to be announced sometime mid-June 2023. How does the Mi Band 8 compare to Mi Band 5 released 3 years ago?
And which one should you choose? Does it make sense to upgrade?
In this blog post, we will answer all of these questions, review the main aspects of these two trackers, such as design, display, battery life, and functionality and give our thoughts on the right band for you.
Let’s get started!
Here is a brief overview of their main similarities and differences.
|Mi Band 5||Mi Band 8|
|Display – Size||1.1 Inch AMOLED display||1.62 Inch AMOLED display|
|Resolution||126 x 294 pixels, 291 PPI, 30Hz Refresh Rate||192 x 490 pixels, 326 PPI, 60Hz Refresh Rate|
|Brightness||≥ 450 nits, adjustable||≥ 600 nits, auto adjustable|
|Body Dimensions||46.9(H) × 18.2(W) × 12.4(D) mm||48(H) × 22.5(W) × 11(D) mm|
|Body Net Weight||11.9 g||14.2g|
|Battery Capacity||125 mAh||190mAh|
|Wireless connection||Bluetooth 5.0 BLE||Bluetooth 5.1 BLE|
|Supported systems||Android 5.0+, iOS 10.0+||Android 6.0+, iOS 12.0+|
|Features||Alarms, notifications, watch faces, widgets, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, step counting, exercise tracking||Alarms, notifications, watch faces, widgets, heart rate monitoring, SpO2, sleep tracking, step counting, exercise tracking, menstrual cycle tracking, vitality, and more customization options|
|Pricing||Check Pricing on Amazon|
Check Pricing on AliExpress
|Check Pricing on AliExpress|
Display and Watch Faces
The display size is the main feature that sets apart the Mi Band 5 and the Mi Smart Band 8. The Mi Band 5 has a 1.1 inch AMOLED screen, while the Mi Band 8 has a 1.62 inch edge-to-edge AMOLED screen. This means that the Mi Band 8 has a 47% larger screen size, but an even more impressive 87% more display area than the Mi Band 5.
The Mi Band 8 also packs a higher resolution display, a faster refresh rate screen (60Hz vs 30Hz), and a 600nits auto-adjustable brightness display.
The new light sensor and the enhanced screen brightness make the Mi Band 8 display easy to read in any environment. I enjoy using it.
The Mi Band 8 comes with new watch faces. The design of the default watch faces is really good: modern and minimalist. They’ve done away with the functional, data-rich, and cluttered watch faces on the Mi Band 5.
The Mi Band 8 watch faces have a trade-off: they look great, but they lose some features from the Mi Band 5. For example, they are not clickable or customizable, so I can’t access weather, steps, or workout menus easily.
I’m still adjusting to this change.
I love the watch faces on the Mi Band 8, but I also miss the convenience and flexibility of the Mi Band 5. Overall, the display on the Mi Band 8 is an improvement over the Mi Band 5, but it comes with a sacrifice in functionality.
Design and Strap
The Mi Band 8 and the Mi Band 5 share a similar pill-shaped design, but the strap on the Mi Band 8 is different. It has a two-piece mechanism that snaps on both sides of the module, giving it a sleek and stylish appearance.
The Mi Band 5 has a one-piece strap that wraps around the module, which is more difficult to change. The strap on the Mi Band 8 is also not compatible with other Mi Band models, so you can’t use your old Mi Band 5 strap if you upgrade.
The Mi Band 8 is slightly bigger but thinner than the Mi Band 5. The measurements are 48 x 22.5 x 10.99mm for the Mi Band 8 and 46.5 x 20.7 x 12.25mm for the Mi Band 7.
Both trackers are light and cozy to wear, but I find the Mi Band 8 more comfortable because it does not press into the skin as much. The bottom is smoother on the Mi Band 8.
The Mi Band 8 has a unique feature that lets you wear it in different ways, not just on your wrist. You can clip it to a necklace or a shoe and still monitor your activity. This gives you more options and flexibility in how you use your device.
Both the Mi Band 5 and the Mi Band 8 have charging ports at the back. The Mi Band 8 has a new charging cable that does not work with the Mi Band 5.
The back of both bands also has a 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope and a PPG heart rate sensor.
In my opinion, the design of the Mi Bands is one of the better fitness tracker designs. And they did fulfill one of my wishes and made the Mi Band 8 thinner.
Battery Life and Charging
The Mi Band 5 comes with a 125mAh battery while the Mi Band 8 comes with a 190mAh battery. So the battery on the Mi Band 8 had 52% more capacity than the Mi Band 5. You would expect that the Mi Band 8 would have a longer battery life.
The Mi Band 5 has a longer battery life than the Mi Band 8, probably because it has a smaller display and a more power-efficient processor (Dialog 14697).
Based on my experience, the Mi Band 5 has a battery life that is about 25% longer than the Mi Band 8. The battery life of Mi Bands can vary depending on the features that are turned on. For example, if you have the Always On feature turned on for your Mi Band 8, you will need to charge it more often.
|USAGE||Mi Band 5||Mi Band 8|
|Heavy Use (AOD)||7 Days||6 Days|
|Typical Use||14 Days||12 Days|
|Power Saving||20 Days||16 Days|
|Charging Time||2 Hours||1 Hour|
Here is a table that summarizes the battery life of Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 8
Ultimately, there is little difference in the battery life of Mi Band 5 compared to Mi Band 8. And how long it lasts depends on how often you use the features and settings of your device, such as always on display (AOD), SP02 and heart rate monitoring, notifications, etc.
The real difference between the Mi Band 8 and Mi Band 5 is how quickly you can charge them. Xiaomi have halved the charging time to 1 hour on the Mi Band 8 from 2 hours on the Mi Band 7!
Functionality, Features, and Interface
The biggest differences between Mi Band 5 and Mi Band 8 are in functionality, Features, and the interface.
I’ll not be able to cover all of them in this post, but I’ll highlight the major ones.
Mi Bands need to be paired first with an app, Mi Fitness or Zepp Life, to work. And the companion apps are the main way to control and customize your Mi Band.
With Mi Band 8, you can only use the Mi Fitness app to pair the fitness band to your phone.
And while you can use Zepp Life or Mi Fitness to pair your band with your phone, I have experienced lots of issues getting my Mi Band 5 to pair with my phone using Zepp Life and Mi Fitness.
The companion apps are the main way to manage and personalize your Mi Band. But the Mi Band 8 only works with Mi Fitness, and the Mi Band 5 has pairing problems, which makes the user experience poor on both bands.
So, if you plan to get the Mi Band 5 or the Mi Band 8 – keep these limitations in mid.
Mi Band 8 uses a new Xiaomi proprietary OS, while Mi Band 5 uses Zepp OS. The two OS are similar – thought the icons on the Mi Band 8 have a more modern aesthetic. Both bands have many common features, such as step tracker, heart rate monitor, alarm, timer, stopwatch, and more – they are all user-friendly.
However, the Mi Band 5 does not come with Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) measurement. The Mi Band 8 does.
The Mi Band 8 has an ambient light sensor, which the Mi Band 5 does not have. I didn’t think this was a big deal when I got the Mi Band 8. But after using the auto brightness feature for a month, I love it. It works really well, and I didn’t realize how often I have to adjust the brightness on the Mi Band 5 when I go outside.
On the subject of accuracy, I have noticed that Mi Band 8 has the same approximation of number of steps as the Mi Band 5. The sleep tracking is better on the Mi Band 8 than the Mi Band 5; it accurately record when you fall asleep and wake up and deep sleep duration – even without advanced tracking enabled.
Where the Mi Band 8 is off the mark is heart rate monitoring. There is a huge variance in the heart beat per minute (BPM) values it approximates. I have noticed values of 70BPM to 180BPM on a normal day. That’s a huge variance. Hopefully, they’ll fix it with an updated firmware.
So, on the Mi Band 8, you get SpO2 and a light sensor, which are lacking on the Mi Band 5. And you get a crappy user experience with Mi Fitness on Mi Band 8, though, to be honest Mi Band 5 is not much better in this regards.
Xiaomi release the Mi Band 5 in 2020 – 3 years ago. And the Mi Band 8 was release in 2023. So keep that in mind when shopping for either model. The prices may differ depending on where you buy them and availability. For the latest prices, I suggest checking your preferred online stores, such as Amazon, Aliexpress, and others.
However let me give you an idea of what I’d consider to be decent bargain price for the Mi Band 5 and the Mi Band 8 at your online/local store. $20-$25 is a good price for the Mi Band 5. If you are a budget shopper, the Mi Band 5 is a good choice at these prices. But definitely don’t pay more than $30 for the Mi Band 5, Mi Band 6 or 7 are better options at that price.
I’d consider buying the Mi Band 8 at the $50 price, depending on whether it’s the Chinese – usually $5 – $15 cheaper than the global version. The only big difference between the Chinese and Global version is the number of languages supported. The global version supports more languages than the 3 languages (simplified, traditional and English) the Chinese version supports.
Depending on your location and online store, you can get a good deal on the Mi Band 8 CN version – I did find it on Aliexpress for $36. So, shop around. You may find either of these bands at a great price.
Would I recommend the Mi Band 5 over Mi Band 8?
The Mi Band 5 is old, and I don’t know how long Xiaomi are going to keep supporting it with firmware updates. They did update the firmware in 2022, but the last Mi Band 4 firmware update was in 2020!
However, if you can find the Mi Band 5 for a low price – less than $20, I’d get it. There is still a lot of value to be had from the Mi Band 5 for the budget shopper.
Else pay $20 more and get the Mi Band 8.
For Mi Band 5 owners, should you upgrade to Mi Band 8?
The Mi Band 8 is a radical change for Xiaomi. And it has a few limitation. Hopefully these will be fixed in with new firmware and updates to Mi Fitness. But this is not guaranteed. But, if you are willing to take the risk, then yes. Get the Mi Band 8.
And even then, think about replacing it with a Mi Band 7. Especially if you are not adventurous and the price of a new Mi Band 7 is close to $30 – which it likely will be once the global version of Mi Band 8 hits the market in late June.
That’s it for this post and thank you for reading my blog post! If you have found it useful, let me know in the comments section below. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!