November 23, 2014 by ...
Part one of the best MiBand review you will ever read.
In this installment, your humble and beneficent author undertakes to expose you to the wonderful world of the Xiaomi MiBand. Strap yourself in for one hell of a ride….
Here I go
Oh my oh gee I just got my brand new Mi, MiBand, that is. Being the nice guy that I am, I’m going to share this experience with you!
Lets take a look, shall we?
Place an order
As I live in China The buying process was simple. Xiaomi had bands in stock and I requisitioned one. Due to the marvels of the Chinese postal system, the band arrived within two days.
Opening my Mi. Your humble author feels he must do the whole, ‘Unboxing the new kit!’ Process, eventhough he thinks it a waste. This thing is a Xiaomi, after all. Not that I’m slighting them, or am I? Well, in any event I will do thw whole, ‘Unboxing my new product’ thing.
So here it is…
Yeah, the box definitely lacks state-of-the-art packaging. Instead of calling you to delve into its contents only after admiring its external beauty, it basically just sits there kinda’ apologizing for itself. In a word it has that ,’Aww isn’t that cute. He couldn’t afford the real thing and so he bought this…’ Kinda’ feel to it.
Now, before you stop reading and call me a hater, please hear me out. To me the box says anything but quality. Sporting a color scheme favored by infant waste, it does make a statement. It is not one, however, that resonates with yours truly.
Not bad looking
In all honesty, I was surprised, the online pics do not do the black model justice. It looks surprisingly good. Studying them on the Xiaomi site put me in mind of something with the charm and build quality of a twist tie. Those photos made it look like a rubber band thin ‘bracelet’ I would quickly assign to anyplace people could not see. They look horrendous.
The black model, however, rocks.
Continuing on with the whole, ‘Lets unbox this thing!’ Motif, we see that ‘spartan’ is probably an adjective I will be returning to quite often during this review.
Xiaomi boxes are notoriously strong, they have to be. Although ‘efficient’ is a term used for PRC postal services, ‘careful’ is not. Bearing that in mind, Lei Jun’s makes boxes that can withstand battlefield conditions. Of course the ‘command economy’ legacy lives on insofar as documentation seems to be a few words, scratched haphazardly into low quality paper and begrudgingly stuffed into a box. The whole experience reeks of, ‘what did you expect for $13? A fitness band and a bunch of other stuff too!’
On to the band
I said the band was attractive and meant it. In the box it looks good, even more so when one considers the price. More importantly, the band is quite sturdy. I literally envisioned getting hair-strand piece of low quality polymer which would render itself useless within hours, boy how wrong I was. The band is so substantial, I foresee no problems with it whatsoever.
All is not good in Wonderland, however, as the photo shows. While the band seems to be top notch, it lacks attention to detail. Take a look at the photo below. The metal nub which is ostensibly responsible for securing this to one’s wrist does not fully push through. In other words, the locking mechanism can not be fully seated. I can foresee big problems in bigger China.
Even more troubling is the security loop, or its size. Take a look at this…
That band is super thin. Bear in mind that after the almost insignificant nub, it is the only thing separating you from your losing a $13 investment. In order to drive home this point, consider that the packaging of Gillette razors is actually thicker than this safety catch…
Well put the thing on already!
Ok, now that I’ve walked you through the entire unboxing and ‘calling it like I see it’ rigamorole, I may as well try the thing on.
First up lets check the sizing. Hmm, looks like Xiaomi either did some serious cost-cutting by making the bands shorter, or they expect mass purchases by gerbils, this thing is small.
How small is it?
My hands are big but wrists are not and I have this on the biggest size possible. It fits like a charm but then again, bigger people can expect gangrene after a few weeks use.
Enough already smart-ass, what do you think?
To be honest, i have mixed feelings. I’d proudly sport this thing to track or bathe it in my calorie cutting sweat, but as for anything else, I really don’t know.
Organ donor or cheeseball sci-fi?
How do I put this delicately, the bracelet has a curious mix of ‘low grade sci-fi gear’ and ‘He has flatlined, there is nothing we can do. He has gone on to the netherworld. But hey, check that bizarre looking medical bracelet and see what organs he is donating.’
In sum, the band seems to be a good value for the money as far as aesthetics go. Aside from the nub and safety catch, I foresee no problems. Even if the band breaks, I can sure as hell use that box to hold up my refrigerator!
End of part one. Please stay tuned for part two whereby your humble author explains how simple or frustrating it is to set up his spanking new MiBand. And if you are lucky, he may pit the $13 wonder against its $80 Fitbit competitor. Lets get ready to rumble……