The Mi Band, Xiaomi’s first fitness tracking wristlet, was announced in a new product launch event on July 22nd, 2014. It comes with the industry’s most power-efficient Bluetooth chip and accelerometer, which enables it to be powered for thirty days on a single charge. It sells at RMB 79 (approx. $13). The Mi Band is also IP67 certified, which means that the device is water-resistant.

The Mi Band, however, is much more than just a cheap device as it is capable to do a range of useful things that are really impressive. Other than tracking versatile fitness metrics, including the number of steps you take, and your sleep cycle, it also acts as an alarm clock and for Xiaomi smartphone users, there is an additional feature for them as it is able to unlock their Xiaomi smartphones.

Mi Band Intro

The Mi Band is a lightweight, arched device that looks a trifle cheap given its neon colours — but that should attract folks who like the fun, informal vibe it gives out. For those who do not like this particular design, Xiaomi will also be releasing other variations including a leather band for something that looks more high-end. It is definitely most complete for those searching a budget wearable device to merely track their steps or activity, since it costs a plain $13 and accomplishes the exact aims it is assembled for. It tracks a diversity of metrics and syncs to the “Mi Band” Android app developed by Xiaomi — including the number of calories you have burned according to the activity you have done, how long you have slept for, and even a graph that dissects the different stages of your sleep. Once the Mi Band app is downloaded and installed, it will automatically switch to your phone’s set language, either Chinese or English. Pairing the Mi Band to your phone via Bluetooth is fast and easy, involving just a couple of quick taps to set up. Enter a few personal stats like age, height, and weight, and you are on your way. There is no requirement to bring your phone with you on a walk or run; the app will automatically sync as soon as you are back in Bluetooth range.

Mi Band Sensor

Although the Mi Band seems a tad oversimplified to contend on an equal ground with its competitors’ fitness bands that boast heart rate sensors and display screens among other features, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun laid out a plan for it to act more equivalent to a personal ID than anything else — that is, he hopes that it can eventually be a device to unlock your door when you come home, or turn on smart gizmos and gadgets, for instance. The day when that takes place is when the Mi Band will acquire a lot more usefulness than what it currently boasts — but truthfully for such a price, there really Is not a lot to complain about.

At present the Mi Band is only availabe for sale in China through Xiaomi’s internet site. No dates have been declared for other countries, but the English language app UI tells us it will not be checked for long.