Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro review
The line between smartwatchеs and smartbands is as thin as ever in 2022. It usually boils down to the ability to run third-party apps, make and take calls and have mobile data. Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro is a smartband that’s disguised as a smartwatch and it aims to further blur the gap between the band and watch form factors.
It retails for €100/£120 which is more than double the current price of the regular Xiaomi Band 7. You get a wider screen, built-in dual-band GPS, a battery rated at 12 days of mixed usage and a few other extras. Is the price justifiable and are the extra features worth the premium or should you just go ahead and get a non-Pro Smart Band 7? Let’s examine.
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro specifications
- Display: 1.64″ color AMOLED, 280 x 456 pixel color screen, 326ppi pixel density, 500 nits peak brightness, 2.5D curved glass
- Straps: Detachable silicon straps, 22mm width, 130-205mm adjustable length
- Features: 5ATM rating, Real-time heart rate monitor, 24/7 Blood Oxygen level monitor, Sleep tracking, Stress monitoring, Sports tracking, VO2 Max, Step Counter, Meditation, Smart Notifications, Idle Alert, Drink Reminder, Phone Finder, Weather Forecast, Music and Camera Control, Amazon Alexa voice assitant
- Sports Modes: Outdoor Run, Indoor Run, Outdoor Walk, Indoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Indoor Cycle, Strength Training, Football, Yoga and Cricket (100+ more in Mi Fitness app)
- Sensors: PPG optical heart rate sensor, SpO2 sensor, 3-axis accelerometer, Rotor Vibration Motor
- Connectivity: Bluetooth LE 5.2, dual-band GNSS, Compatible with Android 6+ and iOS 12+
- Battery: 235 mAh
- Colors: Black, Ivory
- Dimensions: 44.7 x 28.8 x 11 mm
- Weight: 20.5 grams
Our review unit comes in the Ivory color which brings an off-white shade. It looks nice when brand new but picks up plenty of grime after a few days of use, especially on the underside of the casing. The casing is made entirely from plastic, while the top half boasts a shiny metal lip around the display which adds style. One welcome addition on the Pro model is the wider watchband which also features a buckle mechanism for a more secure fit whereas the regular Band 7 has a hook clasp which is harder to secure and gets loose over time.
Band 7 Pro weighs 20.5 grams, that’s exactly 7 grams more than the Smart Band 7 but it’s still super lightweight and we found it comfortable for all-day wear. You forget it’s on your wrist after a few minutes though the larger body tends to stick out more when wearing long sleeve shirts compared to the Smart Band 7. While the casing on the band 7 Pro is larger Xiaomi decided not to add any physical buttons which we feel is a missed opportunity.
There’s a larger 1.64-inch AMOLED display on Band 7 Pro with a 280 x 456-pixel resolution, 500 nits peak brightness and 2.5D curved glass. The 326ppi display is plenty sharp and has 40% more horizontal screen real estate compared to Band 7. The wider screen is especially useful on watch faces as you can have complications for just about every notable device and health metric and you also get easier-to-read notifications.
Band 7 Pro also brings auto-brightness control which is something you don’t find on Band 7. The Always On Display (AOD) mode shows the time and date even when the screen is turned off at the expense of battery endurance.
Band 7 Pro is 5ATM waterproof meaning pool swim sessions are a go. The watch strap is made from silicone and features a proprietary buckle mechanism. Xiaomi is also offering more premium vegan leather options too. There’s no official IP rating for water or dust. The retail box holds the Band 7 Pro and a proprietary two-pin magnetic charger that ends in a USB-A cable.
Xiaomi packed all the health and fitness tracking features from the Band 7 onto the Band 7 Pro including 24/7 heart rate monitoring as well as continuous SpO2 tracking, sleep and stress monitoring. The new bit on Band 7 Pro is the added dual-band GNSS sensor with support for GPS, QZSS, BeiDou, Galileo and GLONASS positioning which lets you track runs without needing your paired phone.
You get access to sports tracking for over 110 activities including on-device guided running courses that combine walking and jogging in intervals with instructions on the band. Sadly, there are no recovery time recommendations or guided workouts for non-running sports. The Mi Fitness app can store up to a month’s worth of health nd workout data which you can export to share with friends or keep track of your progress.
Xiaomi’s Mi Fitness is your go-to stop for pairing and managing settings, watch faces and everything else on your paired Android or iOS smartphone. The app has a neat layout spread across four dashboards – health, workout, device and profile which lets you toggle settings and other features on the band.
There’s no NFC on our international unit while Chinese units support the contactless system for payments and transit cards. You can’t take calls here either which is another notable omission and something that competitors offer at this price point. There is a built-in microphone that you can only use to talk to Amazon Alexa though you have to set up the app on your phone and link with Band 7 Pro prior. Once you’re all set up you can ask Alexa to set your alarms, control home appliances and show you the weather forecast.
Xiaomi has an extensive list of watch faces on its Mi Fitness app and you can store up to 7 watch faces at a time on the Band 7 Pro but the 5 pre-installed ones are not replaceable so you really only have two additional watch faces at a time which is rather limiting.
The vibration motor here is strong in its default state and can be programmed for an even stronger buzz setting from the menus. The miscellaneous features include an alarm, timer, weather widget, music controls and Amazon Alexa as well as a camera shutter for your paired phone.
Navigating the interface on Band 7 Pro is done solely via taps and swipes though I initially found myself looking for a physical button since most smartwatches that I’ve tested in the past with this form factor usually have at least one button for controls. There’s a quick settings toggle left of the lockscreen, notifications above it and up to eleven widgets to the right side. Swiping up reveals the full app list which can be organized in icon mode with two rows of app icons next to each other or list mode which has larger icons.
Swiping through notifications does lag at times, especially if you have more messages. Band 7 Pro stores up to ten notifications before you need to clear the queue. Notification management on the band was inconsistent for the most part. If my phone was unlocked and close to the band I would immediately get alerted but when my phone was locked it would take a few minutes to get the notification on the band.
I would need to open the Mi Fitness app on my phone and manually re-sync the band on several occasions. You can’t reply to notifications from the band directly and you also don’t get emoji previews which are both functions offered on other similarly priced bands and watches.
GPS connection on Band 7 Pro is solid and like other smartbands and watches it takes a quick 5-10 second period for the receiver to find your location outdoors. Once your location is locked, you get reliable coverage which works well even in parks with plenty of trees around. It’s neat to have built-in GPS on your wrist though the tracks recorded by the Band 7 Pro are still not as precise as that on any recent smartphone or more upscale smartwatches. Band 7 Pro routinely showed my location on the opposite side of the street from where I was walking/running.
Running, cycling and swim tracking get bonus metrics like active calories burned, cadence, stride length and average heart rate. Swim tracking gets average SWOLF and average strokes for a pool lap.
Heart rate and SpO2 measurements are on par with other fitness trackers from the last year meaning they show an accurate representation for health tracking but are by no means medical grade. The band takes just a few seconds to gather these types of data which is better than some competitors who require you to wait up to a minute or would require multiple readings.
Sleep tracking showed accurate go-to-sleep and wake-up times and also presents average beats per minute (BPM), average SpO2 readings and rapid eye movement (REM) for each sleep session. You can read your metrics directly on the watch which is a nice bonus.
One weird thing to note is the slow firmware update process. As soon as I set up my Band 7 Pro with the Mi Health app I got an update. Xiaomi did say the update might take a while but in my case, it took over an hour to download and install the firmware which is something I’ve never had on any other wearable to date.
Xiaomi claims the 235 mAh battery on Band 7 Pro can last for up to 12 days of typical usage on a single charge. I managed 7 days of usage during my testing period of two weeks which included all features except always-on display enabled with at least three one-hour workouts per week. GPS and health tracking alone burn between 10-12% per hour of usage.
Lighter use should reach the claimed 12-day values though you would be sacrificing most of the features offered by the Band 7 Pro. Still, the regular Band 7 and its predecessors routinely offer over a week of usage between charges so if you want to charge less then you should stick to one of those models. A full charge on the Band 7 Pro with the included proprietary 2-pin charger takes just under 60 minutes.
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro is a great fitness tracker with a large display and all the features you’d find on the smaller Smart Band 7 alongside some noted improvements like a built-in GNSS receiver. You get 24/7 heart rate monitoring, continuous SpO2 tracking, stress and sleep monitoring as well as sports tracking for over 110 activities. Heath tracking is fast and offers reliable data as long as you don’t use it for medical analysis while fitness tracking is on par with other wearables we’ve seen over the past year.
The wider and slightly sharper AMOLED display here is excellent and is easier on the eyes when reading notifications and navigating around the OS compared to previous entries in Xiaomi’s smart band lineup.
Band 7 Pro looks and feels good on your wrist. You could easily mistake it for a more premium smartwatch and the lightweight build materials and nice watch strap make it easy to wear for days. A physical button or crown element would have been a great addition for navigating the UI when you don’t feel like tapping the screen. The onboard dual-band GNSS tracking is a nice feature to have built-in and it gets the job done albeit less accurately than the receiver on most smartphones.
However, we feel that Band 7 Pro is priced too high in its current state and most users will be better off with the regular Xiaomi Band 7 or a smartwatch in the €100 range. We can safely expect pricing to go down in the coming months which would make the Band 7 Pro an easy recommendation.
- Great AMOLED screen with AOD and auto brightness
- Dual-band GNSS
- Lightweight design
- Decenet battery endurance
- No Bluetooth calling
- Sync issues
- Slight UI stutters in some areas like the notifications
- Few reasons to get over Xiaomi Smart Band 7