Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review

In our review, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro scored points with a very good AMOLED display, many tracking functions and a long battery life.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro

A few years ago there was a clear distinction between smartbands and smartwatches. The bracelet was a compact, wrist-worn device that could measure some basic vital signs such as heart rate and steps. A weather app and a timer were usually also on board. Even without a Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review, it quickly becomes clear that these days are over. The form factor has changed, but this does not apply to the functions.

Xiaomi’s latest smart band features the same basic design as its predecessor, save for minor details. A slightly larger display and a larger battery are the highlights. But is that enough compared to the normal Smart Band 8 and the competition from Amazfit and Huawei?

Design

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro features the same basic design as the Smart Band 7 Pro with a rectangular casing. The AMOLED display has grown to 1.74 inches and offers a resolution of 336 x 480 pixels and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The peak brightness is up to 600 nits compared to 500 nits on the predecessor, and Gorilla Glass 3 also protects the panel . The display is easy to read even in direct sunlight and there is an automatic brightness option.

The case is again made of plastic and Xiaomi has added a metal lip on the side for a more premium appearance. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is available in black and light gray. Xiaomi has chosen a new TPU strap design that attaches to the case via a proprietary quick-release mechanism. It looks more robust than the mechanism on last year’s Band 7 Pro, whose attachment points had some durability issues. The band lacks a traditional belt buckle, which initially makes attaching the Band 8 Pro to your wrist much more awkward.

The Smart Band 8 Pro is quite light at just 38 grams (22.5 grams without the bracelet) and is comfortable to wear. There are no physical buttons, which has become the norm since the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6. However, we still think a power/back button would be a useful addition. The Band 8 Pro is waterproof up to 50 meters. The sales packaging contains a USB charging cable, a quick start guide and the warranty card.

Display

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro has the same health and activity tracking features as the Band 8 and Band 7 Pro including 24/7 heart rate monitoring, SpO2 tracking, sleep and stress monitoring. You can track more than 150 sports modes and the integrated dual-band GNSS satellite receiver (L1 and L5) makes it independent of a smartphone.

Like all of Xiaomi’s smart wearables, the Band 8 Pro comes with a variety of watch faces in the Mi Fitness app, with enough choices to suit every style. The Band 8 Pro allows you to store up to 14 watch faces at once, which is twice as much as the Band 7 Pro. Some watch faces have multiple areas that are customizable and can also serve as app shortcuts. You can also adjust the colors by pressing and holding the watch face on the home screen.

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro supports Always on Display (AOD) mode. In doing so, some first- and third-party watch faces are reproduced on the AOD screen, while others receive one of the four standard AOD themes. Operation is entirely via swiping. You get customizable card-based widgets that you can group into groups of up to four widgets. You can choose between a grid or list app layout.

There are 23 built-in apps but no third-party apps. Our international version does not have an NFC receiver, but devices sold in China do. Two other notable omissions are the lack of a microphone and speaker, meaning no voice calls are possible. Notification support is pretty basic – there are only a few lines of text with no support for images, emojis or videos. The Mi Fitness app stores a month’s worth of health and exercise data, and you can sync your data with Apple Health or Google Fit, as well as Strava and Suunto.

Software

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro features a familiar swipe-based interface that looks exactly like other non-Wear OS wearables from Xiaomi. The obvious advantage over the regular Band 8 is the larger display. It shows more content in widgets, notifications, and health and activity measurements at a glance.

The 60 Hz AMOLED display is smooth and the colors are saturated. The interface, while basic in terms of features, feels fast and runs without any noticeable lag. You get a good bit of customizability with the option to add up to four pages of widgets, with each page containing up to three complications at a time. Editing the widgets is done via the Mi Fitness companion app.

Notifications arrived immediately in our review. However, there is no way to interact with them or send pre-determined replies. Connectivity was also good and there were no interruptions whatsoever when pairing it with a Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Health monitoring

Heart rate measurement on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro can be configured in 1, 10 or 30 minute intervals. You can also set notifications for high and low heart rate values. We found that the new 4-channel PPG optical sensor’s resting heart rate and blood oxygen saturation readings are consistent with readings from competing smartbands and smartwatches.

The Band 8 Pro features a 4-channel PPG optical sensor for heart rate and SpO2 readings. During exercise, there were a few instances where the Band 8 Pro reported heart rate readings up to 10 beats per minute more than the Xiaomi Watch S3 with its 12-channel PPG optical sensor.

Sleep tracking delivered mostly correct and accurate sleep and wake times in our Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro review. There is a detailed breakdown with percentages for deep and light REM sleep. You also get average heart rate and blood oxygen readings, as well as a respiratory beta feature that can alert you to early signs of sleep apnea.

Activity tracking

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro supports over 150 sports modes, most of which display the same important metrics such as elapsed time, calories burned and heart rate. The stretching courses have been newly added. These are guided animations for warming up before training and cooling down after training.

Outdoor running mode supports more specific metrics such as pace, cadence and stride distance. It can also capture running data via the integrated dual-band GNSS receiver. However, the GPS accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro regularly struggled to show the correct side of the sidewalk during my runs and walks.

The fitness tracker also supports automatic training recognition, training load and VO2 max values with suggestions for recovery times. Step counting is accurate and on par with other wearables. We also got similar values in our Xiaomi Smart Band 8 review and our Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro review.

Battery

The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro has a 289 mAh battery. According to Xiaomi, it should last up to two weeks with typical use and up to six days in AOD mode. In our review, we typically managed 8 days of use. The screen brightness was at 50%, all health monitoring functions and notifications were activated and there was a training session every two days. A full charge with the magnetic charger takes 80 minutes.

Verdict

8.4Expert Score
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 review

In our review, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 scored points with a very good display, many tracking functions and a long lasting battery.

Design
8.5
Display
8
Software
8
Battery
9
Pro
  • very good display
  • long battery life
  • various sports and tracking functions
  • attractively priced
Kontra
  • no NFC

The Xiaomi Band 8 Pro is a larger version of the Smart Band 8 with an additional dual-band GPS receiver. It may not offer the functionality of a true smartwatch as it lacks third-party apps, voice calls, and detailed notifications. But it offers a long battery life that lasts more than a week between charges with all the health and activity tracking.

You can get the whole thing for a fraction of the price of a smartwatch, as our Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro price comparison shows. But with the same excellent workmanship quality. The companion app and the ever-growing selection of watch faces are also impressive. We would be happy if Xiaomi gave its fitness trackers a speaker and a microphone as well as NFC. Wireless charging is another omission that will hopefully make its way to the Xiaomi Band series soon.

Compared to the Smart Band 7 Pro, you get a larger and brighter display, better battery life and a similar premium design. Even though it looks like a smartwatch, the Band 8 Pro doesn’t have the corresponding features. Still, at its current price of around €70/$64/£62, it’s hard to go wrong considering the premium design, built-in GPS and solid battery life.

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