The Mi Band 7 should be a top consideration for anyone considering a smart watch or a fitness tracker. The only potential ‘problem’ is the software can be fiddly to setup but works incredibly well despite setup hassles.

For full details and thoughts, continue reading.

The Hardware

The device itself is setup to look more like a bracelet than watch when worn. It has a similar look to the bracelet styled fitness trackers. The screen takes up the whole device face and is very ‘smart watch’ in style for the UI. It’s also got a few built in apps and tiles that make using the device feel more like a basic smart watch than simple fitness or health tracker. It’s a wonderful midpoint between a simple bracelet fitness tracker and full smart watch.

The built in apps are useful, thoughtfully designed and work as I expected without getting in my way or causing frustration. Whoever was responsible for the UI and apps should get a raise. I genuinely have no real complaints about the UI or apps. I also like how they implemented gestures to be swipes up, down, left and right. I can intuit navigation and it’s consistently implemented throughout the UI. As a human with memory hassles, I really appreciate this fact. I’m not constantly fighting the UI or ’edge cases’ that plague other devices I’ve used in the past.

The included apps cover the usual fundamentals like heart rate, pulse ox, workouts and notification forwarding. They also included a timer, stop watch, femme health tracker, pomodoro timer and a couple others. The product page has the full list.

You can also setup custom watch faces or create your own face for the device. I was able to find a watch face I really like. It’s nice and minimal, like I prefer.

One additional feature that’s pretty nice is you can tune the order of items in the app menu / launcher as well as the order of the tiles. You can even disable apps and tiles independent of each other. This allows great flexibility for decluttering and tuning how you interact with the device making it ‘yours’ which was a big win for me.

It’s not a wholly tunable device like WearOS or Apple offerings but it’s a good balance. It should facilitate most needs with minimal fucking around and very little setup.


There are many band options available as well as protectors, clips and similar. It took me a bit to find a band I prefer but it wasn’t too terrible.

My big complaint here is the devices does not have standard watch band lugs so it can be frustrating to find a band if you want a material like canvas. They do sell some adapters for standard watch band lugs but I found them large, clunky and not really what I’d want to wear regularly, if at all.

I strongly recommend looking at band options on both Amazon and Etsy before buying. Especially if you have specific preferences and/or needs with regard to band material.

I personally cannot wear silicone or TPU bands for any length of time and ended up with a woven nylon band as my primary. I’d prefer a canvas band but have not found this as an option (yet).

In the links section below I’ve included some interesting band options that I found. They didn’t work for me but I think they can work for others looking for uncommon options.


The software for sync and tuning is the real pain point for the Mi Band devices. I may adore the hardware and UI with a mild complaint about lack of watch band lugs but that isn’t helpful if the phone software is problematic.

The software options from Xaiomi are not terrible yet not great. I’ve experienced first hand stability issues with the standard software on one phone and not had any issues with a different phone. I’ve experienced this with other devices and it always boils down to quirks with Bluetooth.

There is a 3rd party app available called ‘Notify’ that works with the Mi Band 7 too. It’s a mildly spoony bit of software to setup but I’ve found it to be more featureful (by a large margin) and stable than the standard apps. Unfortunately the setup is a barrier to use so I cannot outright recommend it over the default apps. That said: if you’re willing to spend the time poking at the Notify app setup (their site has great documentation FWIW), I strongly recommend it over the standard apps from Xaiomi. The Xaiomi apps are (usually) perfectly functional and have a good feature set but they are not as robust as the Notify app in my experience.

It should be stated: both the standard Xaiomi apps and the Notify app are wholly valid. Unfortunately both options have concerns to mind which makes the Mi Band 7 a ‘great buy’ only if you’re willing to work through possible software concerns. I’ve said this about all non iPhone + Apple Watch setups as your mileage may vary greatly.

These software quirks may be endemic with Android and are the only ‘real problem’ I’ve encountered with the Mi Band 7 to date. Please don’t dismiss them but also keep in mind this is not a unique set of concerns specific to the Mi Band. Alternatives may have the same, if not worse, issues on Android.

Battery Life

Battery life has been far better than I expected and is far better than any ‘smart watch’ I’ve used to date. Even with full time pulse ox and heart rate tracking the battery life holds up well. I’ve taken to charging the device for about an hour a day when plunking away at my keyboard during my $dayJob hours.

It uses USB charging and I’ve not run into any real hassles with battery life or charging.

Sleep Tracking

I’ve been tracking my sleep for years now and the Mi Band 7 has been quite helpful for improving my health monitoring when sleeping. I’ve found it to be more reliable than WearOS devices too which w a mild surprise.

The standard apps include sleep tracking functions but I’ve not used them and won’t speak to how well they work.

I use Sleep as Android. Unfortunately it requires the Notify app to leverage the Mi Band 7 as a sleep tracker so there is some extra setup involved. However, the two work together quite well and my sleep tracking data has never been this robust.

I highly recommend considering Notify with Sleep as Android for sleep tracking needs/desires.

My Setup

For me, I’m running the Notify app with sync to Google Fit turned on everywhere and highly tuned notification forwarding. I have heart rate, pulse ox and step monitoring turned on so I get good health data and related insights.

On the device itself I use the timer and stop watch apps mainly. I also tuned the app menu and tiles for my preferences with a custom watch face I prefer.

I do monitor my ‘workouts’ when they happen and start the workout tracking via the Notify app as it is the more reliable method for workout tracking.

Nothing too fancy for me.

Parting Thoughts

The Mi Band 7 is the best smart watch and fitness tracker I’ve used to date and I’ve owned meany over the years. It’s not perfect but I find it to be the best balance of needs and concerns compared to the alternatives. It’s also far more affordable than other devices.

My only real complaint and potential show stopper is the phone software. The apps from Xaiomi can be a little funky for Bluetooth and the 3rd party alternative requires a bit more fucking around than some would appreciate (for setup). These are manageable concerns but require a bit of extra time/effort to sort fully.

If you are willing to put the time into sorting the software, I’d recommend the Mi Band 7 with Notify app over any alternative. If you are OK with the features of the Xaiomi apps but don’t want to screw around with setting up Notify, I’d recommend seriously considering the Mi Band 7 with Xaiomi apps.

If the software section above gives you pause, please seriously consider the Mi Band 7 and compare it to the other offerings before making a final decision. The software section above and ‘quirks’ are not uncommon with this type of device and alternatives will have similar problems (it’s a common problem).

For Apple users: just buy the Apple Watch if you can. It’ll be far less painful than any other option available to you.

watch face -> 12mm std band adapter
etsy 12mm canvas band
etsy 12mm sailcloth band
shapeways band adapter
leather cuff band

See also