A report from Canalys earlier this year speculated that the Mi Band, the company’s debut wearable, made Xiaomi the world’s second largest seller of wearables behind only Fitbit. That was before the Apple Watch went on sale, of course, but this follow-up builds on that potential.
Beyond tracking your steps and sleep, alarms and some notifications, the Mi Band Pulse includes a heart rate tracker, as previously speculated. That addition — the device uses PPG to measure your heart rate — has made it slightly larger than its predecessor. The original Mi Band took a little time to add iPhone support, but Xiaomi’s website confirms that the wearable will work with both Android (4.4 or later) and iOS (iPhone 4S / iOS 7.0 upwards) from the get-go.
Most importantly, the device has retained a low price tag. That’s 99 CNY, or around $15, this time around. The original Mi Band will still be available for those seeking something more basic, with a slightly lower price of 69 CNY, or around $11.
Fans of Xiaomi and its low-priced tech gadgets may be disappointed to hear that the wearable will go on sale in China only initially, as part of the country’s massive 11/11 Singles Day online shopping festival.
Xiaomi told us that it doesn’t yet have anything to say about international sales. However, we expect the Mi Band Pulse to be available outside of China soon, since the Mi Band itself retails in India, Europe and the U.S. too via Xiaomi’s global Mi.com store.
I bought a Mi Band recently as an inexpensive way to test whether fitness tracking is something that I want to take seriously. With the addition of a heart rate tracker, Xiaomi just made dabbling in this area more compelling — although we haven’t tested the Mi Band Pulse out yet.