Before we begin, I should say that I have the Chinese version of Xiaomi Smart Band 8, even though the global version has already been released. However, I decided to take the Chinese version because the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is not available in a global version yet. So, both smart bracelets are Chinese, but I don’t think they will be much different from the global ones.
However, the main question for me is whether the built-in GPS in the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is really useful? We will run Walking Mode on Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Smart Band 8 Pro and find out which fitness bracelet tracks distance more accurately.
So, the boxes of the Xiaomi fitness bracelets are identical in size and design. Only the pictures on the front, and the specs on the back are different.
By the way, I noticed that the charging cables are very similar. Let’s try to charge the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 with the charging cable of the Smart Band 8 Pro. Yes, you can do that. The charging cables are identical.
As you can see, I have both bracelets in black. They come with black silicone straps, but we will talk about them a little later.
Now I want to draw your attention to the fact that the midframes of both fitness bracelets look like metal because they are glossy and shiny. However, the midframes feel like plastic.
There is a microphone hole on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro. It is used for the voice assistant.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 doesn’t have a microphone as well as a voice assistant.
On the back side, we can see that the charging contacts of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro are located on the bottom, while the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 has charging contacts on the top.
Size and Weight
When it comes to size and weight, Xiaomi Smart Band 8 has dimensions of 47 x 22 x 11 mm. Its weight is 25 grams.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Smart Band 8 Pro have silicone straps. They are the same length of 260 mm, but different widths – 15 mm of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8, and 20 mm of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro.
Now let’s move on to the screens.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 has 1.62-inch diagonal and 192 x 490 pixels resolution.
The maximum brightness of the display of both fitness bracelets is 600 nits. By the way, when the flashlight is on, we can see that the bezels around the screens are almost identical.
In addition, the new fitness bracelets from Xiaomi have built-in ambient light sensors, so you can enable auto brightness in the settings, and it will automatically adjust according to the environment.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro have AMOLED panels with Always-On modes.
So, so far, the bracelets are very similar, and they don’t have many differences except for the screen size. Let’s take a look at the functions.
First, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro have seven watch faces out of the box. However, they are completely different. In addition, more than a hundred other dials are available in the app.
Swipe to the right opens the quick settings menu. However, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro has a lot more options here, because of the bigger screen. There is only Do not disturb mode, Find phone and Settings on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8, while the Pro model has Do not disturb mode, Alarm, Raise to wake, Flashlight, Find phone, Settings, Battery saver mode, and Wake for 5 minutes.
The new Xiaomi smart bands also have widgets. It looks like they are the same on the bracelets, but Xiaomi Smart Band 8 fits two widgets on one screen, while the Pro model comes a bigger display, so it has three widgets.
If we look at the menu with all functions, we can see that Xiaomi Smart Band 8 has larger icons, and the titles are located below the icons. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro has icons and titles in one line.
However, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro has a few functions that are not available on Xiaomi Smart Band 8.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro also has Xiao AI voice assistant. It is a useless feature for now because it only supports Chinese, but the global version may support English.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 doesn’t have a microphone and voice assistant.
That’s all the differences. The other functions are the same, such as music control, camera control, breathing exercises, focus, stress, etc.
OK, now let’s compare the settings of the Xiaomi fitness bracelets.
First, we can see that Xiaomi Smart Band 8 has a running mode. The Pro model doesn’t have it. That’s because you can use the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 in pebble mode and necklace mode, but you need special accessories for that.
The Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro has a layout, so you can change the appearance of the menu with all functions. You cannot do that on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8.
Then, we have Battery, System and About.
I also want to compare display settings.
The fitness bracelets have auto and custom brightness, auto screen lock, raise to wake, screen on for, cover to sleep, and Always-On Display.
You know, I think the fitness bracelets run on the same operating system because all the menus, icons, titles and other stuff look the same.
However, because of the larger screen, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro holds more information, for example, three widgets instead of two.
In addition, the Pro model has three functions that are not available on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8, such as Mi Home, voice assistant and NFC cards.
OK, before we get to the app, let’s talk about the battery.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 is equipped with 180mAh battery. The Pro model of the Xiaomi fitness bracelet has 289mAh battery. The difference is significant, isn’t it?
Mi Fitness App
Talking about the app, both fitness bracelets use Mi Fitness. As you can see, I have Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro connected.
The first difference is the running mode on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8. You can use this fitness bracelet in band mode, pebble mode and necklace mode. However, special accessories are required for the last two modes.
In addition, the Pro model of the fitness bracelet has Mi Ai. It is a voice assistant, but, as I said before, it only supports Chinese.
You know, the more I compare the new Xiaomi fitness bracelets, the more similar they are.
Heart Rate Monitor
Finally, we can move on to comparing sports functions.
First, I want to measure my heart rate in a relaxed state.
So, my heart rate in a calm state is about 82 bpm on both bracelets.
Now I’m going to do a little exercise.
Now let’s measure the heart rate. As you can see, it is about 94 bpm on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro, and 93 bpm on the Xiaomi Smart Band 8.
I conclude that the fitness bracelets have the same heart rate measurement accuracy.
One of the main differences between Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is the built-in GPS in the Pro model.
I want to find out if it’s really an advantage.
I will also run Strava on my iPhone. I think it should track route and distance more accurately than fitness bracelets.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 shows that I have walked 1.62km.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro with built-in GPS tells me that I have walked 1.82km.
Finally, we can see 1.88 km in Strava on the iPhone.
However, the distance error between Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro is 200 meters. That’s really a lot.
We conclude that it is better to use the Pro model of the Xiaomi Smart Band for running, walking and cycling. Unfortunately, Xiaomi Smart Band 8 doesn’t have built-in GPS, so its distance tracking is inaccurate.
After comparing Xiaomi smart bracelets, I came to the conclusion that they are very similar.
Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro have the same display but different sizes, almost identical functions except for voice assistant and NFC transport cards, almost the same battery life, and even the same accuracy in measuring heart rate before and after workout.
I think the built-in GPS is a killer feature, and if you plan to use the fitness bracelet for sports, you should definitely go for the Pro model.