Few people would argue with Fitbit’s
place at the forefront of wearable tech. Without a doubt, the company has helped to define the market since its launch in 2007. Almost a decade and a half on, the San Francisco-based brand is now essentially synonymous with the technology.
Likewise, most wouldn’t object to many of its best-selling products’ prices, either. Generally reasonable for the most part, significantly cheaper alternatives also rarely live entirely up to expectations. With that, Fitbit continues to dominate the activity tracker sector central to its business.
Stiff Competition for Fitbit
More recently, however, the tech company has met with increasingly stiff competition. Among those vying for Fitbit’s crown is Chinese brand Xiaomi
. The name behind the Mi Smart Band, it would be easy to dismiss the multinational East Asian electronics manufacturer at first glance.
Yet, the Mi Smart Band 5
, in particular, has come out fighting. Reviews suggest that the cut-price Xiaomi underdog may indeed be a genuine Fitbit contender. Pitted against the Fitbit Charge 4
, the consensus so far appears to be that it performs way beyond most people’s expectations.
Xiaomi Undercuts Fitbit by 70 Percent
It’s a realization that’s all the more surprising when you take a closer look at the two activity trackers’ prices. That’s because Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5 costs two-thirds less than Fitbit’s fourth-generation Charge. While the Fitbit Charge 4 retails at $150, the comparable Xiaomi activity tracker enjoys a sticker price of just $50.
Better still, it’s widely available online for just $35. Even with Fitbit’s Charge 4 discounted to $130 at selected retailers, the Mi Smart Band 5 still represents a 70% average saving. But does it truly live up to the hype? To find out, it’s necessary to take a closer look at a few key areas.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 vs. Fitbit Charge 4
So, does Xiaomi truly have a shot at taking Fitbit’s crown? To work that out, what’s called for is closer consideration surrounding price, features, and build quality. Ultimately, the standout here is that the Mi Smart Band 5 is between $80 and $115 cheaper than Fitbit’s Charge 4. It makes sense, then, to start by looking more closely at price.
The $150 Fitbit Charge 4 is widely available from the likes of Best Buy, Costco, and Target. By shopping around, though, it’s possible to pick up a Charge 4 for $20-or-so less. Numerous sellers, including Amazon, are currently offering the popular activity and fitness tracker at around $130. That’s equivalent to a discount of roughly 13%.
Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5, too, is equally easy to track down, both at its $50 RRP and further discounted to around $35. Head to Amazon, for example, to snag precisely 35% off.
Price aside, whether an individual is spending $35 or $150, there’s something else to bear in mind. By their very nature, activity trackers such as the Charge 4 and Mi Smart Band 5 are prone to accidental damage. The rigors of daily life can quickly take their toll, which is why an extended warranty is often a good idea
, two-year warranty prices start from under $10. Comprehensive warranty protection helps to safeguard against all manner of eventualities, including accidental damage. Customers can also secure coverage on other devices, including their Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch
. A worthwhile consideration, even if only for peace of mind.
Of course, a bargain price is irrelevant if a product doesn’t cut the mustard. Thankfully, Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5 appears to be every inch the device it claims to be.
Features include 24/7 activity and sleep tracking, additional GPS functionality when synced to a suitable secondary device, and continuous heart rate monitoring. A total of 11 different modes allow users to track walking, running, cycling, swimming, yoga, and a wealth of other activities. Bluetooth connectivity also enables Mi Smart Band 5 owners to view notifications from their phones directly on the device.
Best of all, the Xiaomi packs a full-color touchscreen display – something lacking on the Fitbit Charge 4. The Charge 4’s black and white screen also lacks the brightness and resolution of the Mi Smart Band 5’s display. A surprise, for sure, given its considerably higher price.
However, the Fitbit Charge 4 does enjoy all of the other features of the cheaper device, as you might expect. There’s another potentially significant benefit, too: the Fitbit’s built-in GPS functionality. That said, many would likely prefer to have the Mi Smart Band 5’s superior screen over in-built GPS. After all, this is something that a synced phone can always handle in the background.
And it’s not just the Mi Smart Band 5’s screen that outperforms that of its more expensive rival. In terms of battery life, the Fitbit Charge 4 struggles here as well. The Charge 4 promises just seven days of battery life, while the Mi Smart Band 5 from Xiaomi claims to be capable of lasting up to 14 days between charges.
Last but by no means least, build quality is another important consideration not to be overlooked. Activity trackers are designed to be worn on a daily basis
. Accordingly, customers are rightly entitled to demand a product that both looks and feels like a premium device.
The Fitbit Charge 4 immediately feels like a quality piece of kit. Sleek and understated in its design, it lacks the bulkiness of many cheaper activity trackers.
Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Band 5, meanwhile, is similarly impressive. At no point does the device feel cheap – an impressive feat given its low price. Some may argue that it lacks the extra polish of Fitbit’s more expensive alternative. Others, though, may prefer the Mi Smart Band 5’s more outwardly sporty appearance.
All told, there’s very little difference in terms of overall quality. In fact, when you consider that the Xiaomi is up to $115 cheaper than the Fitbit, it feels almost surprisingly well constructed.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 5 vs. Fitbit Charge 4 Warranty
Whichever activity tracker an individual chooses, it’s important that they keep in mind the benefits of securing an extended warranty.
Upsie’s fitness tracker and smartwatch warranties
include protection against battery, power, and touchscreen failures, among a wealth of other benefits. Customers are also covered in cases of accidental damage. As such, Upsie’s plans represent an excellent safeguard against cracked screens, liquid damage, and more.
Customers can lock in protection with Upsie for up to 60 days after purchasing a fitness tracker or smartwatch. What’s more, savings of as much as 70% are available compared to similar coverage from AppleCare+
, SquareTrade, Best Buy, and others.
Learn More About Smartwatch Protection:
* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.