We look at the putative Mi Band 6 and gather together all the news and rumours about Xiaomi’s next activity tracker.
When will the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 be released?
Xiaomi has traditionally released new Mi Band models in the summer, as you can see from the schedule below:
- Xiaomi Mi Band: July 2014
- Xiaomi Mi Band 1S: November 2015
- Xiaomi Mi Band 2: June 2016
- Xiaomi Mi Band 3: May 2018
- Xiaomi Mi Band 4: June 2019
- Xiaomi Mi Band 5: July 2020
Using this as our guide, it looks very likely that the new Xiaomi Mi Band 6 will arrive around June 2021.
How much will the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 cost?
One of the highlights of the Mi Band range is the incredible value it offers for consumers.
Where many long-established brands often charge prices prices that edge toward £100/$100 or more, Xiaomi fitness trackers have always come in well below that. Here’s how the recent models were priced:
- Xiaomi Mi Band 3: £19.99/$19.99
- Xiaomi Mi Band 4: £34.99/$34.99
- Xiaomi Mi Band 5: £39.99/$39.99
While it looks like the price is creeping up, around £40/$40 for a fully featured activity tracker is excellent value. At the time of writing, the Mi UK store actually had the Mi Band 5 available for £19.99 so it’s well worth checking for sales or promotions.
If the previous pattern holds true for the new model, we’d expect to see the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 cost £39.99/$39.99 when it releases in 2021.
What new features will Xiaomi add to the Mi Band 6?
There’s not too much known about the Mi Band 6 yet, as Xiaomi has yet to even confirm that it will become a reality.
But there are still a few rumours doing the rounds, so we’ve rounded them up along with some educated guesses from us of what you might see in the new device.
In terms of design, we’re not expecting too much of a departure from the Mi Band 5, as that already featured a larger display than its predecessor (admittedly only moving from 0.95in to 1.1in) plus it was brighter too.
There was a trade-off though, with our review of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5 pointing out that battery life had decreased due to the extra screen size and additional features. With battery life being such a key element with trackers these days, we think it would be a surprise if the Mi Band 6 enlarged the display real-estate once more.
Looking at the Amazfit Band 5, which is made by Huami which also manufactures Xiaomi’s Bands, one of the standout features was the inclusion of Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant.
It would be very simple for Xiaomi to build Alexa into the next version of its Band, and with Huami showing how’s it done, the processes are already in place for an easy upgrade to the Band 6.
We’ve seen a few cautious rumours about the inclusion of NFC on the next Band. This would make a lot of sense, especially in these days of masks and less people using cash, for Xiaomi to add wireless payments capabilities to its device.
Blood Oxygen monitoring
Again, taking the Amazfit Band 5 as the example, it looks very likely that Xiaomi will add the feature that made the headlines in 2020: blood oxygen monitoring. Not only will this keep the new model in line with its competitors, but as blood oxygen is linked to respiratory problems, which in turn is a key symptom of coronavirus, it would be something that could be a huge help for those monitoring their health.
Ok, this is probably wishful thinking, as GPS tends to be a feature that not only bumps up the price of trackers but also has an impact on battery life. Would we like to see this on the Xiaomi Mi Band 6?
Yes, definitely, as it would make the device independent from a smartphone in terms of tracking runs or cycling sessions. Will it appear? In all honesty, it’s probably unlikely, but we’d be happy to be wrong.
To see what the Xiaomi Mi Band 6 will be up against, read our roundup of the best fitness trackers.