Xiaomi expects to extend its dominance of the wearables market with another iteration of its ultra-cheap Mi Band. The Mi Band 2 officially announced earlier today, will go for just $23, making it one of the cheapest on the marlet even though a little more expensive than its $15 predecessor.
The Mi Band 2 will do everything the first generation Mi Band did but there’s one big difference: users won’t need to sync the device with a smartphone app in order to view their heart rate, step counts and the like: the Mi Band 2 comes with a 0.4-inch OLED display. The addition of the display is expected to come with additional sacrifies on top of the $7 price hike. Xiaomi estimates that the Mi Band 2 will be able to last for at most 20 days on a single charge. The first generation Mi Band, in contrast, was meant to last for at most a month (30 days) on a single charge.
Specifications of the Mi Band 2 are as follows:
- Fitness, heart rate and sleep tracker
- 0.42-inch OLED display for viewing time, step count, heart rate
- 20-day battery
- IP67 i.e. water resistant
- ADI accelerometer and optical heart rate sensor
- Anodized 0.05mm ultra-thin button
- Upgraded pedometer algorithm
- Hypoallergenic silicone band
- Second-generation Bluetooth 4.0 for faster, stable connections
In Q1 2016, Xiaomi, thanks to the Mi Band, managed to ship 3.7 million of the 19.7 million wearables shipped in the entire quarter according to the IDC, to bag nearly 20% market share of the wearables market. It was second only to another popular fitness tracker maker, Fitbit, whose brand presence is unmatched the world over.
The Mi Band 2 will go on sale on June 7th in China in black, blue, green and orange. There’s no word on when it hits the international market.
Even though Xiaomi has an official presence in Kenya and other African countries like Nigeria (though things are a bit thick there) and South Africa, we don’t expect to see the Mi Band 2 here any time soon, at least on an official capacity. Xiaomi representatives disclosed to us two months ago that the company was focusing solely on smartphones in the region as it did not think devices like fitness trackers were in such demand. Well, they had a point but they may have to rethink that stance.
A wearable that goes for at least Kshs 2,500 in the case of the Mi Band 2 (the Mi Band goes for a little under Kshs 2,000) could be a very attractive proposition for the fat middle class Kenyans coming from Nairobi Burger Festival/Week (or whatever it is called). For now, though, ChinaBuy Kenya, Amazon and such e-commerce sites are your only chance of snagging one when it becomes available globally.