Xiaomi has a new line of smart fitness trackers set to compete with the Fitbit and Apple watch. The tech news coming from China is the Mi Smart Band 4 has many of the high-end features without the high-end prices.
The tracker is priced at roughly $24.50.
The Mi Smart Band 4 has a bigger AMOLED display from its previous iteration and support for the XiaoAI, Xiaomi’s Alexa like voice assistant feature.
The display supports 16 million colors and 77 customized themes and offers notifications at a quick glance. The fitness tracker also supports offline payments via Alipay.
Alipay is Alibaba’s payment affiliate. The payment portal is used all over in China and can also be used by foreigners. Like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay or Google Pay, all you have to do is add your bank account to the AliPay app and you’re off.
After connecting the Mi Band to the AliPay account, Smart Band 4 owners can make mobile payments without a password.
One catch, the watch authenticates through the wear’s Bluetooth enabled phone. Xiaomi says the watch will use industry standard encryption to secure mobile payments.
In addition, because the watch needs to be paired to the user’s phone to make payments, if the watch is lost or stolen it cannot be used to make unauthorized payments.
Mi Smart Door Lock
The tech company has designs for the still growing smart home market as well.
The Mi Smart Door Lock, when paired with the smart band, can unlock doors using near field communication also known as NFC.
NFC is the wireless communication used by tech companies like Samsung and Apple to do everything from pair phones to smart speakers and receivers to making mobile payments.
The Mi Smart Door lock has up to six different unlocking modes and allows the owner to track the status and activity of the lock in real time.
But that’s not all
What smart home would not be complete without a smart washing machine, induction cooker, estate hover, digital translator and pens.
The washing machine, the Mi Smart Combo Wash Dryer, has an OLED screen and voice control. Once connected to your home wireless system, the 10kg washer/dryer combo can get firmware updates over the air as needed.
The voice control uses XiaoAI assistant and notifies when laundry is done.
The Mi AI Translator is an Oxford dictionary of steroids. For nonnative English speakers, it will help translate English words and pronounce those words.
It supports real-time translation for up to 34 languages and is small enough to fit in your pocket.
Two iterations of the Mi AI Translator include 4G version and the standard version (which will only work with wifi).
Non tech products
Outside the tech space is the Mi Rollerball Pen which has a see-through design so users can see how much ink is remaining in the pen
Then there is the Mi Ninebot Dynamic which is hover shoes. This is not to be confused with Xiaomi’s Ninebot Mini a Segway-like cross between a scooter and a skateboard. That was released during the last quarter of 2018.
Finally, there is the Mi Luggage. The company has again partnered with Line Friends to create a brown edition of its 20 inch luggage.
Xiaomi has credibility in the ecommerce world.
Having produced successful lines in the past, the Chinese tech company has become the second biggest wearable maker and the fifth biggest seller of smartphones in the world.
Last year they shipped 7.5 million wearable units in the last quarter of 2018, second only to Apple which shipped more than double that amount.
Xiaomi Goes public
This all comes as the company made an “underwhelming” IPO last year in Hong Kong.
This is not entirely the company’s fault since the United States under Donald Trump has decided to hit China with never-ending tariffs.
Tech news reports the company was hoping for 100 billion valuations but had to settle for just over half that amount.
The CEO of the eight year old company, Lei Jun credited the failed valuation as a result of “…constant flux” in the global market.
Jen, a top tech entrepreneur, says he believes “…a great company can still rise to challenge and distinguish itself.”
Analysts question the strategy
Investors are said to be worried about Xiaomi’s long-term future.
The company brands itself as offering everything from internet services to video streaming but has yet to form a viable strategy for how it will make money in these competitive fields.
In an attempt to complete with the bigger tech companies, Xiaomi has pledged to keep its products high end, yet affordable for its customers.
In order to make money, the company has plans for a services division. In addition, the company, as noted, branches out of tech on a few things like bags and pens under it Mi brand.
But its only hope for success is international expansion as China still accounts for most of its revenue, but that number is slipping. One country it has made inroads in India where it is ranked as the top smartphone seller.
But in other markets, the company has struggled. Analysts are unsure about its chances in Europe or the United States going forward.