Xiaomi's next Mi Band could come with NFC support in the states
Xiaomi has a good thing going with its Mi Band fitness tracker. IDC said that last year, the manufacturer shipped 23.3 million units of the Mi Band 3, up 44% over 2017's deliveries. The device accounted for 13.5% of the wearables market in 2018 behind only the 26.8% share belonging to the Apple Watch. And when the Mi Band 4 was released this past June, 1 million units were sold in the first eight days. At one point, Xiaomi was ringing up over 5,000 units an hour.
Ever since the first Xiaomi Mi Band was launched in June 2014, demand for the product has been strong. That's because it offers a number of useable features at a very reasonable price. And it is one of the few Xiaomi products that can be purchased in the states. For example, the Mi Band 4 is available from Walmart for less than $33. And for that price, you're getting a band that will not only monitor your heart rate, but will also track your sleep, activities, and alert you to phone calls, app notifications, and texts.
according to a report from TizenHelp. The report cites a source who states that the Mi Band 5 will offer NFC service to those both inside and outside of China. Besides allowing users to make mobile payments, NFC support would allow the fitness tracker to be used as an ID card at work or as a bus or train card for the daily commutes to and from work.The Mi Band 4 also can act as a stopwatch, an alarm clock, and a timer. And while the device uses Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a variant is available in China with support for NFC. That allows users in the country to make mobile payments through Alipay. The version of the Mi Band 4 offered in the U.S. is the one without NFC. But next June, that is going to change
Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is runored to have a more durable, rugged design
The Mi Band 4 is equipped with a with a .95-inch color AMOLED display carrying a 120 x 240 resolution. The fitness tracker is equipped with 512KB of memory along with 16MB of storage and is water-resistant to a depth of 5ATM (169 feet). The battery runs as long as 20 days between charges and the device is compatible with phones running Android 4.4 or higher and iOS 9.0 and higher.
The new report adds that the Mi Band 5 will have a more rugged, durable design and will be released during the second quarter of 2020. One feature that was rumored for the Mi Band 4 but failed to make the cut just might be found in the next iteration of the fitness band; that would be an electrocardiogram (ECG). The big breakout feature on the Apple Watch Series 4, an ECG monitors the user's heart looking for an abnormal rhythm that could be a sign of atrial fibrillation (AFib). The latter can lead to blood clots, strokes, heart failure, and death. Just recently we told you the story of yet another person whose life was saved by the Apple Watch, with the ECG monitor providing the heroics this time. The company that builds the Mi Band for Xiaomi, Huami, has already built a smartwatch with an ECG. While the Amazfit Verge2 does track heart rhythms, its sensor has not been approved by the FDA.
Besides working on the Mi Band 5, Huami could be developing a new smartwatch for Xiaomi that will run on Google's Wear OS. The name of the new timepiece is rumored to be the Xiaomi Mi Watch and the device might also be offered in the United States. Hidden code found in the latest version of the Wear OS app revealed the possible existence of this device.