Similar to the Mi Smart Band in many ways, the Redmi Smart Band Pro focuses on a larger screen and an expanded number of training modes.
With the Redmi Smart Band Pro, Xiaomi has chosen a large 1.47-inch Amoled screen, allowing for "more efficient activity" thanks to a greater number of elements displayed simultaneously and a high maximum brightness. An attribute that does not make the bill soar, however, since the Smart Band Pro is marketed at a price of 50$ at its launch, which makes it one of the cheapest activity sensors on the market, competing even with the Xiaomi Mi Smart Band 6, which has similar technologies.
Its small label does not prevent it from integrating a heart rate monitor and SpO2 sensor, displaying 5 ATM waterproofing and offering more than 110 sports modes, all with a battery life of up to 14 days, according to Xiaomi. This solid proposal was just waiting to be put to the test on our wrist.
Ergonomics and design
The Redmi Smart Band Pro uses the same aesthetic code and materials as its cousin, the Mi Smart Band 6, although its rectangular shape is more classic than the oblong shape of the latter. Less long, but wider, the Smart Band Pro spreads less over the width of the wrist. It is therefore easier to wear, especially since it is also less thick and almost as light (14.8 g without bracelet, 26.1 g with).
Made of black matte polymer, the body of the sensor is covered over its entire surface by a tempered glass with curved edges (2.5D). Also black, the two parts of the bracelet in TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) clip on the case - Xiaomi offers other colors as an option. The fixing is not necessarily obvious during the first manipulations, but its principle remains simple and the maintenance rather good as long as the end of the bracelet is not caught on the edge of a piece of furniture, for example. We also appreciate the 13 positions available to adjust the bracelet to the wrist.
Despite its rather basic materials, the Smart Band Pro is well finished and discreet. While it clearly cannot be used as a fashion accessory, this discretion makes it easy to wear.
Although the screen does not reach the curved edges of the dial, leaving a margin of about 2 mm all around, it gives the impression of it. The perfect blacks offered by its Amoled technology are also a big part of it, as the edges of the screen are only discernible in full light. With a diagonal of 1.47 inches and a definition of 194 x 368 px (i.e. a resolution of 282 dpi), this rather large screen for a connected bracelet provides good readability. The texts are clear and each line displays 15 characters with the default font size.
We also appreciate the good maximum brightness, announced at 450 nits, which allows good readability outdoors despite somewhat disturbing reflections. On the other hand, we can only complain about the too high minimum brightness. The display becomes too aggressive in dark places. It's a guaranteed wake-up call if you're a bit sensitive to light and the sensor turns on in the middle of the night. This is annoying, especially since the Redmi Smart Band Pro is touch-sensitive and has no buttons. A touch is enough to wake it up, even when you set it to night mode. This is a big weakness for an activity sensor designed to track sleep and, therefore, intended to be worn permanently.
Advantage, we can keep it under the shower, the sensor being certified waterproof 5 ATM (up to 50 m), sufficient also to indulge in swimming in basin (no diving or water sports).
The Redmi Smart Band Pro's interface is fully touch-sensitive and works in a fairly traditional way, with vertical and horizontal swipes. A finger slide on the screen to the left displays successively the measurement of heart rate, the pulsed oxygen saturation of blood (SpO2), the weather, the last training done, the number of steps taken, the calories burned and the number of times you got up during the day. Finally, the settings menu also appears.
The screen of the sensor turns off automatically to save the battery. If you have not started a function, you will find the main display when you touch the screen or turn your wrist to look at it. By default, this display shows the time with large numbers, the date above and the heart rate below. In the corners of the screen are four gauges showing the number of steps taken, the length of sleep the previous night, calories burned and the number of times you stood up during the day - to encourage us to move regularly, reminders can be activated for this purpose. Other presentations can be downloaded from the application. We especially regret not being able to access the details of the measurements displayed on this main screen by simply tapping on the gauges, unlike the Mi Smart Band 6, for example. You have to go to the main menu of the watch for that.
This is a tiered menu that you bring up by sliding your finger from the bottom to the top of the screen. Several icons corresponding to the functions are then displayed: sports training, recently completed activities, statistics, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, sleep and stress monitoring, breathing exercises, menstrual cycle management, weather, audio player, general statistics, remote smartphone camera trigger, alarms, stopwatch, timer, notifications, phone search, flashlight and settings. Whew!
The Redmi Smart Band Pro can also display smartphone notifications, viewable in the top pane accessible with a finger swipe down.
The Xiaomi Redmi Smart Band Pro sensor is connected to the smartphone via the Xiaomi Wear Lite (iOS) and Xiaomi Wear (Android) apps. A data transfer from the Xiaomi Mi Fit app is possible, but the latter does not work directly with the Smart Band Pro. The pairing is done simply through Bluetooth and synchronizations are automatic.
On the home page, you will find general information such as the number of steps taken and calories burned during the day, the last activity with a link to the training history, then health information such as sleep monitoring, heart rate, stress, blood oxygen, etc.. The display is quite clear and can be rearranged according to your preferences.
A second tab allows you to start activities directly from the smartphone if you do not want to proceed from the sensor. It lacks a bit of interest due to the lack of available settings and parameterization options.
The third and last tab gives access to the settings. You can choose other home screens for the sensor, set the health monitoring functions, choose the notifications to be displayed or reorganize the widgets accessible from the sensor (horizontal scan of the screen).
We are still not satisfied with the analysis of sports activities. The essentials are certainly present, but we do not reach the level of detail of purely sports apps. However, we must not forget that this is an activity sensor and not a sports watch. This may therefore be sufficient for occasional users who only want to check their daily performance without necessarily aiming for a training program and precise comparisons between sports sessions. In addition, we have identified a few translation errors, especially in the graphics.
Uses and accuracy
The Redmi Smart Band Pro is very comprehensive with no less than 110 sports activities supported! However, we quickly notice that most of the parameters recorded are limited to time and heart rate. No account is taken of the number of swimming laps, the number of running laps, etc. This large number of sports is therefore more useful for the proper distribution of our activities than for the analysis of each of them.
The information displayed in the application once the activity has been completed nevertheless allows us to learn a little more. Cycling or walking races, for example, are broken down into segments in order to better visualize the average speed on each of them, but this remains rather succinct. The more athletic will prefer to turn to a more specialized sports watch.
The latter will also often bring a GPS chip that the Smart Band Pro does not have - nothing unusual for a sensor at such a low price. It relies on the GPS of the smartphone, which must be taken with you.
Regarding the measurement of heart rate, we note a good accuracy during endurance activities, the margin of error during our tests does not exceed 0.6% compared to the chest belt Polar H10 that we use as a reference. The margin doubles during a split run (1.2%), indicating a lower accuracy of measurement when heart rate variations are numerous and sudden. Without equaling the precision obtained with our chest belt, the curve obtained is nevertheless quite good, detecting changes in rhythm well. Regular sportsmen will not necessarily be satisfied with it, but it remains a good surprise.
The SpO2 sensor is only used to monitor sleep and control the quality of breathing. A feature that should allow the detection of respiratory failures, including sleep apnea. Like the cardiac readings, let's remember that these measurements have no medical value and do not replace an examination by a practitioner. Nevertheless, they have an interesting indicative value which can alert of a potential health problem.
During our 15 days of testing, the sleep curves obtained seemed relevant to us, the phases of waking up being well detected and the nights more agitated than the others being translated by a reduced duration of deep sleep.
With its 200 mAh LiPo battery, the Redmi Smart Band Pro is supposed to run for up to 14 days in standard use and up to 20 days in power saving mode, according to the manufacturer. We were able to reach the week's worth of use with a workout every other day and with all health tracking functions enabled, including stress and pulse oxygen saturation measurements. The latter two data are reported to be power-hungry and should be deactivated to reach the promised 14 days.
When it comes time to recharge, simply plug the small USB cable (supplied) into a smartphone charger to fill up in just 1 hr 6 min. The magnetic connector to be affixed to the back of the sensor could however have been better profiled to ensure a better hold in position.
Despite a very classic design, the Redmi Smart Band Pro is pleasant to use because of its large Amoled screen. The measurements it provides are globally consistent and may appeal to users who want to monitor their health and be encouraged to exercise. However, regular athletes will be disappointed by the limited number of readings and analyses in most of the (numerous) activities offered.