The line between smartwatches and smartwatches is as thin as ever in 2022. It usually allows us to run third-party apps, make and receive calls, and use mobile data. The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro is a smart band disguised as a smartwatch and aims to further blur the gap between band and watch form factors.
It will retail for €100/£120, more than double the current price of the standard Xiaomi Band 7. You get a larger screen, built-in dual-band GPS, battery rated for 12 days of mixed use, and a few more. Supplements. Is the price right and are the extra features worth the premium, or should you go ahead and get the non-Pro Smart Band 7? Let’s investigate.
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro specifications
- Show: 1.64 inch color AMOLED, 280 x 456 pixels color screen, 326ppi pixel density, 500 nits maximum brightness, 2.5D curved glass
- Straps Detachable silicone straps, 22mm wide, 130-205mm adjustable length
- Main features: 5ATM rating, real-time heart rate monitor, 24/7 blood oxygen level monitor, sleep monitor, stress monitor, sports monitor, VO2 max, step counter, meditation, smart notifications, idle alarm, drink reminder, phone finder, weather forecast , music and camera control, Amazon Alexa voice assistant
- Sport Modes: Outdoor Running, Indoor Running, Outdoor Walking, Indoor Walking, Outdoor Cycle, Indoor Cycle, Strength Training, Football, Yoga and Cricket (100+ more in Mi Fitness App)
- Sensors: PPG Optical Heart Rate Sensor, SpO2 Sensor, 3-Axis Accelerometer, Rotor Vibration Motor
- Communication: Bluetooth LE 5.2, dual-band GNSS, compatible with Android 6+ and iOS 12+
- Battery: 235 m.a.s
- Colors: Black, ivory
- Dimensions: 44.7 x 28.8 x 11 mm
- Weight: 20.5 grams
Our review unit comes in Ivory color which is an off white shade. It looks good when it’s new but after a few days of use, it picks up a lot of scratches, especially under the packaging. The casing is made entirely of plastic, while the top half boasts a shiny metal lip around the display, adding to the style. One welcome addition on the Pro model is a wider watchband that features a wraparound mechanism for a more secure fit, while the standard Band 7 has a clasp that is difficult to secure and loosens over time.
The Band 7 Pro weighs 20.5 grams, which is exactly 7 grams more than the Smart Band 7 but is still extremely light and we found it comfortable to wear all day. Despite the larger body compared to the Smart Band 7 when wearing long-sleeved shirts, you’ll forget it’s on your wrist after a few minutes. While the case on the Band 7 Pro is large, Xiaomi decided not to add any physical buttons, which we feel is a missed opportunity.
A large 1.64-inch AMOLED display on the Band 7 Pro with a resolution of 280 x 456 pixels, 500 nits of peak brightness, and 2.5D curved glass. The 326 ppi display is much sharper and has 40% more horizontal screen real estate compared to the Band 7. The wide screen is especially useful on watch faces because you can have a complex for every popular device and health measure and you can easily find it – read the notifications.
The Band 7 Pro also brings auto-brightness control, something you won’t find on the Band 7. An always-on display (AOD) mode shows the time and date even when the screen is off, at the expense of battery life.
The Band 7 Pro is 5ATM waterproof, meaning pool sessions are a go. The watch strap is made of silicone and features a proprietary clasp mechanism. Xiaomi is also offering more premium vegan skin options. There is no official IP rating for water and dust. The retail box contains the Band 7 Pro and a two-pin magnetic charger that ends in a USB-A cable.
Xiaomi has added all the health and fitness tracking features from the Band 7 to the Band 7 Pro, including 24/7 heart rate monitoring as well as continuous SPO2 monitoring, sleep and stress monitoring. The new bit on the Band 7 Pro is the added dual-band GNSS sensor with support for GPS, QZSS, BeiDou, Galileo and GLONASS positioning, allowing you to track runs without needing your paired phone.
Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro key features
You can access sports tracking for more than 110 activities, including device-guided running courses, which combine interval walking and running with on-band instructions. Unfortunately, there are no recovery time recommendations or guided workouts for non-running sports. The Mi Fitness app can store a month’s worth of health and fitness data that you can export to share with friends or track your progress.
It’s up to you to pair and manage Xiaomi’s Mi Fitness settings, watch faces, and more on your paired Android or iOS smartphone. The app has a clean layout spread across four dashboards – Health, Fitness, Device and Profile which lets you change settings and other features on the band.
There is no NFC on our international unit, while the Chinese units support contactless system for payment and transit cards. You can’t make calls here either, which is another notable omission and something competitors offer at this price point. Although you have to set up the app on your phone and pair it with the Band 7 Pro, there’s a built-in microphone that you can use just to talk to Amazon Alexa. Once you’re set up, you can ask Alexa to set your alarms, control your home appliances, and show you the weather forecast.
Xiaomi has an extensive list of watch faces on the Mi Fitness app, and you can store up to 7 watch faces on the Band 7 Pro at once, but the 5 pre-installed can’t be replaced, so you only have two more watch faces. Very restrictive time.
The vibration engine here is strong by default and can be programmed for a stronger buzz setting from the menus. Various features include an alarm clock, timer, weather widget, music controls and Amazon Alexa, as well as a camera shutter for your paired phone.
Navigating the Band 7 Pro interface is done by tapping and swiping, though most smartwatches I’ve tested in the past because of this form usually have at least one button for control, so I’m looking for a physical button first. There are quick settings on the left of the screen, notifications above it, and up to eleven widgets on the right. Swiping up reveals the full list of apps that can be organized in icon mode.
Swiping through notifications sometimes lags, especially if you have more messages. The Band 7 Pro stores up to ten notifications before you need to clear the queue. On-band notification management is largely inconsistent. If my phone was unlocked and close to the band I would get a notification right away but when my phone was locked it would take a few minutes to get the notification on the band.
I have to open the Mi Fitness app on my phone and re-sync the band several times. You won’t be able to respond directly to notifications from the band, and you won’t get the emoji previews offered on both similarly priced bands and watches.
GPS connectivity on the Band 7 Pro is solid and, like other smart bands and watches, it takes a quick 5-10 seconds for the receiver to find your location outdoors. Once your area is locked down, you get reliable coverage that works well even in parks with lots of trees. While the tracks recorded by the Band 7 Pro aren’t as accurate as any recent smartphone or even more advanced smartwatches, it’s nice to have built-in GPS on the wrist. The Band 7 Pro routinely showed my location on the road as opposed to where I was walking/running.
Running, cycling, and swimming trackers get bonus metrics like active calories burned, efficiency, stride length, and average heart rate. Swim tracking finds the average SWOLF and average stroke per lap of a pool.
Heart rate and SPO2 measurements are on par with other fitness trackers from last year, meaning they’re an accurate representation of health monitoring, but by no means medical grade. The band only takes a few seconds to collect these types of data, which is better than some competitors that require up to a minute or multiple readings.
Sleep tracking shows accurate sleep and wake times, as well as average beats per minute (BPM), average SPO2 readings, and rapid eye movement (REM) for each sleep session. You can read your measurements directly on the watch which is a nice bonus.
One interesting thing to note is the slow firmware update process. As soon as I set up my Band 7 Pro with the Mi Health app, I got a new update. Xiaomi claims that the update may take some time but in my case it took over an hour to download and install the firmware which is something I have never experienced on any other wearable till date.
Xiaomi claims that the 235 mAh battery on the Band 7 Pro can last up to 12 days with normal usage. During my two-week test period, I managed 7 days of use, which included at least three one-hour workouts per week, excluding the always-on display. GPS and health tracking alone burn 10-12% per hour of usage.
Even though you’re sacrificing most of the features offered by the Band 7 Pro, light use should achieve the claimed 12-day values. Still, the standard Band 7 and its predecessors offer about a week of service between charges so if you want to pay less, you should stick with one of those models. A full charge on the Band 7 Pro takes less than 60 minutes with the included proprietary 2-pin charger.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro is a great fitness tracker with a larger display and all the features you’ll find on the smaller Smart Band 7 with some improvements like a built-in GNSS receiver. You get 24/7 heart rate monitoring, continuous SPO2 monitoring, stress and sleep monitoring, and sports tracking for over 110 activities. While fitness tracking is on par with other wearables we’ve seen in the past year, the Heath tracker provides fast and reliable data as long as you don’t use it for medical analysis.
The wide and slightly sharp AMOLED display here is great and easier on the eyes when reading notifications and navigating around the OS compared to previous entries in Xiaomi’s smart band lineup.
The Band 7 Pro looks and feels great in your hand. You could easily mistake it for a more premium smartwatch, and the lightweight build material and nice watchband make it easy to wear for days on end. A physical button or crown element can be a great addition for navigating the UI when you don’t want to tap the screen. The onboard dual-band GNSS tracker is a nice feature built in and does the job with less than the receiver on most smartphones.
However, we feel that the Band 7 Pro is too expensive in its current state and most users will be better off with the regular Xiaomi Band 7 or a smartwatch in the €100 range. We can expect the price to drop in the coming months, making the Band 7 Pro an easy recommendation.
- Excellent AMOLED screen with AOD and auto-brightness
- Dual band GNSS
- Lightweight design
- Decenet battery endurance
- No bluetooth calling.
- Synchronization issues
- Some areas like notifications have a little UI clutter
- Few reasons to win Xiaomi Smart Band 7