Good, bad and why not to get it – Long-term review of Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro

Editor’s Note: This review was too long in drafts and never finished, which is a sad reflection on a device that made me question for the first time in my life: was it a mistake to buy it when a newer version of a similar device was about to be just a few days later?

So, after a year of usage on my left hand, it must be said: thank you for all your sports monitoring, sleep, and heart rate tracking, but you are now going to join the other battery-powered devices in storage.

Yes, it’s time (no pun intended) to share my experiences and review the Redmi Smart Band Pro, one of Xiaomi’s smart band models released in late 2021 in India and globally in early 2022. As someone who, at that time, already owned an older model of the Mi Band 5, while the version 6 was on its way and even version 7 was “coming soon™,” I felt it was time to upgrade to a bigger screen.

Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro with Always-on-Display turned on
Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro with Always-on-Display turned on

To briefly summarize the specifications of the Redmi Smart Band Pro: it features a 1.47-inch AMOLED screen with excellent SPo2 and blood pressure sensors, a solid 200mAh battery, and all the other shenanigans most devices of the same caliber already had. For more details, always refer to Xiaomi’s product website, but for now, let’s start with the review.

When I purchased this smart band, it was on sale for about 30 Euros (to note, back then Croatia still used our Kuna, so it was more like 240 Croatian Kuna). It was a no-brainer—upgrading from the old to the new. At that time, I switched from the old Zepp Lite to the Mi Fitness application in preparation for this new smart band, as even the old Mi Band 5 worked great with it.

Design-wise, it was perfect: the right size for my medium-sized wrist, not too heavy, and not too light—truly the best of both worlds. With the default strap size, it could be easily adjusted from smaller to larger sizes and even survived regular showers and a couple of swims in the sea.

The battery life, combining the AMOLED screen with the Always-On-Display option for the clock, continuous heart rate, and sleep monitoring, was decent. Most of the time, it lasted up to 8 days without charging, really. And the magnetic charging was fast enough that I could take a 10-minute shower, and the smart band would charge from less than 15% battery to at least 45%, giving me at least one or two more days of heavier usage with sports tracking and a bunch of WhatsApp notifications.

Now, after all the good has been said about this timepiece and sports tracker, it is time (again, no pun intended) to address the shortcomings.

Let me start with one major issue that became obvious later on: the lack of official and unofficial support for replacement bands and even watch faces. Yes, you heard me right. A not-so-great-selling device didn’t have good support even from its main brand, which is not shocking at all. One glaring example is having only 6 watch faces within the Mi Fitness application, and the only app that might have provided alternatives to the official application was a hoax and didn’t offer any alternative watch faces.

Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro favorite watch face on it while on hand
Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro favorite watch face on it while on hand

Another annoying aspect was the alternative watch bands and the methods of attaching them to the smart band, which were appalling. The plastic clips on my watch broke on one side of the band. I could overlook this for replacement bands, as within the first 4 months, I had to buy a new one when the short part of the strap broke. Thankfully, there was an official replacement strap available in just one webshop, which helped until even the replacement had the same issue. After that, I had to keep the smart band a bit looser on my hand just to avoid breaking this second alternative strap. Indeed, I had to replace two straps within 6 months. Eventually, the plastic clip on the band side broke, and there wasn’t a great connection, which was temporarily fixed with a bit of hot glue. This makeshift solution worked until it too broke one night.

Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro straps connection method which is bad
Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro straps connection method which is bad
Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro broken part of strap connection mechanism
Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro broken part of strap connection mechanism

After 10 months of using the Xiaomi Smart Band Pro on my hand, I reverted back to the Mi Band 5 until, a few months later, I upgraded to the Amazfit GTS 3.

In hindsight, this purchase was one of the poorer choices I’ve made with new devices. Thankfully, the Amazfit GTS 3 was a great buy, and I will review it after a year of usage.

All photos of the Smart Band Pro were taken with the Xiaomi Poco F5. The text was proofread with ChatGPT 4.0.

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Published on:
10. May 2024.
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