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2022 is an excellent year for buying a Fitness tracker. With all the major brand releasing their new devices, choices are abundant. Between the Garmin Vivosmart 5, Fitbit Charge 5, Xiaomi Mi Band 7, and Huawei Band 7, all the devices are priced under $150 and come with plenty of features to stay or become fit, check your vitals, or receive notifications.
This article will focus on the Fitbit Charge 5 and the newly released Mi Band 7. Is the price difference -the Charge 5 is nearly two times more expensive- justified? Are the extra health features and built-in GPS of the Charge 5 worth the extra expense?
Ready to know which is best for you, depending on your needs and budget? I tested both devices extensively and will share all of the good and bad.
One Minute Summary
The Fitbit Charge 5 and the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 are the two best fitness trackers currently available. Both come with a crisp AMOLED display and are packed with health and fitness features. The Fitbit Charge 5 may be two times more expensive than the Band 7, but it includes more health sensors, a built-in GPS, and NFC capabilities. On the other hand, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 is more on the fitness side and offers an extensive library of 120 activities to choose from and up to two weeks of battery life. The choice between the two should be motivated by your budget and what you value most in a fitness tracker. If your answer is healthcare, then the Charge 5 is your best bet. On the other hand, if you do not want to spend more than $70 and do not worry about not having the GPS and NFC belt and whistles, then the Mi Band 7 is probably the one you should consider. Remember that you can not go wrong with any of these two excellent little devices.
- Fitbit Charge 5 Health and Fitness Smartwatch (Black/Graphite Stainless Steel) - Infinity Band...
- Stress Management Score
- Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) Monitoring
- Skin Temperature Tracking
- Health & Wellness Reminders
Last update on 2023-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- Xiaomi is One Step Ahead: #1 Wearable brand in the world. New Mi Band 7 is another big step forward.
- 1.62" AMOLED Display, High Res 192x490 and up to 500 nits brightness. Big improvements upon Mi Band...
- 120 fitness modes vs 30 fitness modes on Mi Band 6! Battery capacity incresed from 125mAh on Mi Band...
- New Blood Oxygen Sensor + 24Hr Heart Rate Monitoring. Track 120 Different Activities.
- Improved sensor technology and Bluetooth 5.2.
Last update on 2023-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
I have nothing to complain about the designs of both devices. Both trackers come with a bright AMOLED touchscreen that is easy to read even in daylight. In addition, the resolution of 326 ppi offers a high level of detail, making the icons and texts crisp.
The only difference is due mainly to the oval shape of the Mi Band 7, making the screen real estate of the Mi tracker 43% bigger than the Fitbit. This may sound like a huge difference, but the Charge 5 is rectangular, which leads to the additional screen surface not looking so strikingly different.
In my opinion, both screens are excellent. So even if the Mi Band 7 comes with a bigger one, I do not consider this point a key factor in choosing one over the other.
Both devices also come with numerous clock faces and an Always-on Display (AOD) mode that allows displaying the time continuously. The AOD mode is helpful to glance at the screen for a quick time check but keep in mind that the battery will, of course, have to pay a toll.
One small detail missing from the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 clock faces is the possibility of displaying multiple vital metrics by taping on the screen. The clock faces may be lovely, but they are not interactive.
As for the bands, the Charge 5 offers much more options and the possibility to select a style that will suit you. Leather bands are even available to give a classier look to the Fitbit device.
Related reading: How to choose the Best Fitbit Charge 5 Bands
The Xiaomi tracker must be clipped inside the band, limiting the bands’ design possibilities.
FITBIT CHARGE 5
XIAOMI MI BAND 7
1.45 x 0.90 x 0.44 inches
1.83 x 0.81 x 0.48 inches
0.86 ounces (S/M), 0.93 ounces (L)
1.04" AMOLED color touchscreen (326ppi)
1.62 Inches (326ppi)
Up to 7 days, 5 hours continuous GPS use
Up to 14 days
Optical heart rate monitor
Multipurpose electrical sensors for EDA and ECG
Optical heart rate monitor
Red and infrared sensors for SpO2
50 meters (5 ATM)
50 meters (5 ATM)
Apple iOS 13.4 or higher.
Apple iOS 13.4 or higher.
The Fitbit Charge 5 battery is given for lasting up to 7 days and 30 hours while using the GPS. These figures are excellent but pale compared to the 14 days of potential battery life of the Mi Band 7.
Manufacturers, except for Apple, made tremendous progress in recent years in improving the battery capacity while increasing the number of sensors and functionalities. Anyhow, as much as the theoretical battery life is impressive, it should be tempered by your current settings -continuous heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, and Always On Display clock face- which will dramatically impact how long the bands will last.
In my case, I feel glad when I do not have to charge my devices every couple of days.
Companion App and UX
Both apps are complete, packed with options, and act as a control tower for the fitness trackers.
The Fitbit App is more extensive and makes the most of the Fitbit Premium options. Having to pay to get more data and analyses and benefit from training videos and more individualized programs is a trend among smartwatch makers. Apple Fitness Plus was launched in December and includes more than 2,000 fitness and relaxation videos.
I’m not too fond of the idea of having to pay a monthly subscription. They all look very affordable but, when summed up altogether, can dramatically impact your budget. I recently realized that I paid more than $500 monthly on services and subscriptions that I barely used.
The choice is yours, and Fitbit has such video training programs available. However, I don’t particularly appreciate paying to get trends and personal range data on the Fitbit.
As for the user interfaces, both devices are responsive and come with easy-to-use and very complete UX. However, if I had to be picky, I would say that the UX of the Xiaomi is probably better than the one of the Fitbit Charge 5 as it provides even more controls over the options of the Band 7 directly from the tracker.
FITBIT CHARGE 5
XIAOMI MI BAND 7
Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications
Abnormal Heart Rate Alert (Low/High)
Electrodermal Activity (EDA)
Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)
spot-check, while sleeping or all day
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
No data available
Relaxation Breathing Reminder
Only recorded while sleeping
Sleep Score & Sleep Tracking
Only recorded while sleeping
Menstrual Cycle Tracking
Regarding health features, the Fitbit Charge 5 is still the king of fitness trackers. It includes all of the innovations of the more pricey Fitness Sense smartwatch: Electrocardiogram (EKG), Stress dedicated Electro Dermal Activity Sensor, Photopletysmographic heart rate including the measure of the Heart Rate Variability while sleeping, breath monitoring, blood oxygen sensor, and temperature sensor.
Besides blood pressure monitoring and snoring detection, the Fitbit Charge 5 has it all. Fitbit even recently introduced a software update to detect an abnormal heart rhythm. So if you are looking for the best health tracker in a compact format, look no further than the Fitbit Charge 5.
From the Mi Band 6, the Mi Band 7 introduced the possibility of monitoring blood oxygen on the spot or all day long. On the other hand, the Charge 5 only detect blood oxygen while sleeping and does not come with a spot analysis.
I found the results of the Mi Band 7 to be more in line with reality. My blood oxygen saturation certainly does not fall under 90%, as predicted by the Charge 5.
Fitbit has also been famous for providing accurate sleep results, but the Mi Band 7 goes the extra mile and will not display naps, which I found helpful as I tend to favor napping to sleeping.
The Mi Band 7 has nothing to be ashamed of regarding health tracking. The PPG heart sensor is the same as the one found in the more pricey Amazfit GTR 3 Pro -Xiaomi and Amazfit are both using Huami technologies-.
I was genuinely impressed by the level of accuracy of the Mi Band 7. Apart from detecting REM sleep, which was often wrong, the tiny fitness tracker can easily rival much more prestigious brands regarding health features.
This is where we see the difference between Xiaomi and Fitbit. The Charge 5 is a self-contained device that keeps track of your path using its built-in GPS. On the other hand, the Fitbit can either use the smartphone GPS or act in a hybrid way and connect to the smartphone GPS when the signal of the built-in GPS is not strong enough.
Do not look for a built-in GPS in the Mi Band 7; there is none! Instead, the tracker will connect to your smartphone to collect the navigation data. So, on the one hand, it saves the battery life, but on the other, you will also need to carry your smartphone with you when running.
Is the lack of a built-in GPS a real issue for the Mi Band 7? I do not think so. I very rarely use the GPS of the Fitbit Charge 5. It takes ages to detect satellites, and I would not imagine getting out without my phone. But, on the other hand, the Mi Band 7 was very quick at pairing with my phone’s GPS. A built-in GPS in the future iterations of the Mi Band 7 will be a welcome addition, but I do not see its current lack as a very negative point.
When buying a fitness tracker, the least you can expect is to track your fitness.
The Fitbit Charge 5 will allow selecting between 21 activities from golf to hiking, spinning, or even swimming.
At the end of the session, the report will include the time spent, calories burned, heart rate, and more. The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 will display the same type of information but will track up to…120 activities. Yes, this is not a typo: 120 activities divided into categories such as:
- Running & Walking (5 workouts)
- Cycling (3 workouts)
- Swimming (3 workouts)
- Outdoor workouts (5 workouts)
- Indoor workouts (24 workouts)
- Dance (14 workouts)
- Combat workouts (12 workouts)
- Ball (25 workouts)
- Water (3 workouts)
- Winter (3 workouts)
- Leisure (12 workouts)
- Boards & Cards (5 workouts)
- Others (3 workouts)
If you did not know that playing chess was considered a workout by the Mi Band 7, now you do! Of course, I did not test all the activities tracked, but I found the possibility to select from this vast list quite refreshing and amusing. With this massive list of activities, Xiaomi make the Mi 7 enter the workout gamification world, which I like.
The lines are getting blurry between the features of the smartwatches and those of fitness trackers.
The Mi Band 7 and the Charge 5 will let you receive notifications, check the weather, program an alarm, timer, and more.
The real difference is that the Fitbit Charge 5 is compatible with Fitbit Pay and is NFC-ready. On the other hand, the Mi Band 7 does not come with NFC capabilities, even though some rumors suggest that Xiaomi may release a Mi Band 7 Pro that will include NFC.
What do I like and dislike about the Fitbit Charge 5?
The Fitbit Charge 5 has been on my wrist for numerous months now. I wear it on my right wrist for fitness and healthcare tracking. There is nothing I do not like about this device. Oh yes, I would probably like to see continuous oxygen and on-spot oxygen monitoring features as well as a faster GPS. Still, the Charge 5 is a fitness tracker that delivers on its promises. Packed with healthcare features, I appreciate the new abnormal heart rhythm detection feature that does not focus only on the number of beats but also on how they are organized. Such analysis is excellent for detecting potential atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia.
What do I like and dislike about the Xiaomi Mi Band 7?
Xiaomi’s newest fitness tracker is not a simple step forward but is more in the leap category. The screen is big and bright -at least for a fitness tracker-the sensors are accurate, and even though the Band 7 does not go as far in the healthcare category, it brings a massive library of activities to select from. The UX of the Mi Band 7 has been rethought from the Mi Band 6 and makes the most of the new Dialog 14706 CPU for smooth navigation.
Of course, some will say that the Band 7 does not include a built-in GPS and NFC capabilities but let’s remember that this device is half the price of the Charge 5.
Which one is for you?
Hard to tell as it will depend on your budget and what you expect from a fitness tracker. There is no wrong choice, and both devices are great.
If I had to give you some advice, I would suggest that you should consider the Fitbit Charge 5 if you:
- want to be smartphone free and somehow track your path using the built-in GPS,
- are looking for a device packed with the latest healthcare sensors and features,
- value the benefits of paying wireless with NFC.
consider the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 if you:
- are looking for the best quality-price,
- do not mind bringing your phone with you while exercising, and do not use contactless payment,
- want very long battery life,
- do not mind being a Chinese device.