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Xiaomi are no strangers to diversifying their range, so when they announced their first wearable device we weren’t all that surprised, well at least to start with!Xiaomi Mi Band Review
Compared to most companies wearables the Xiaomi MiBand is a very basic product in both design and features and in all honesty I thought it was too basic a product to even bother with, well until I actually got one that is.
The Mi Band isn’t the first wearable I have used in the past few months, the other is an LG G Watch with all the Android Wear bells and whistles you can shake a stick at, including amazing features such as a screen!! So how does the Mi Band hold up when it doesn’t even have the ability to show the time?Xiaomi Mi Band Review – Design and specs
The Xiaomi Mi Band is designed to cost only 79 Yuan ($13) so Xiaomi had to keep functions to a minimum while ensuring the product would be useful enough to buy and comfortable enough to wear.
Main construction is rubber with a simple band and pin method of fastening. The model I have received is made of a black rubber that is comfy and lightweight. The strap is just wide enough to hug your wrist but not wide enough for heat and sweat and sweat to build up.
The rubber band comes in a range of other colours, and is there to simply hold a small alloy capsule in place. The alloy body is where the electronics live and include 3 LED notification lights, Bluetooth and tiny 41mAh battery which provides 30 days of always on usage.
To charge the Mi Band the alloy body can be pushed out of the rubber band and quickly charged via USB with the specially designed included USB charger.
As this is a fitness tracker the Mi Bands electronics have been sealed away from the elements and features IP67 water resistance.
There is also a small built-in motor which an be used as a vibration alert when an alarm is set through the Xiaomi Mi Band App. The Mi Band App also allows you to set the color of the LED notification lights (Blue, Orange, Green, Red) and generally lets you set the device up as you like.Xiaomi Mi Band review – Mi Band App
On it’s own the Mi Band wouldn’t really be able to do anything and that’s why Xiaomi have developed an Android (and soon iOS) application for the wearable.Gizchina News of the week
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When you first turn on the App you will be walked through a process of setting the Mi Band up, syncing to your phone via Bluetooth and finally setting it up how you like.
The main selling point of the Mi Band is the ability to track how many steps you walk in a day and also how much sleep you have had. The App is able to break these details down and show your results as a simple graph and pie chart.
When setting your Mi Band up you will be asked to set your walking goal for the day (I have mine set to 10,000). Each time the app is opening your phone will sync with your Mi Band and update your progress, so you don’t actually need your phone with your to track how far you have gone during the day.
The App also tracks sleep telling you how much sleep you have had and even attempting to work out how much of that was a deep sleep.
You are also able to set up alarms from the Mi Band app which will have the band vibrate to wake you and even notify you of missed calls.
According to the specs the app requires Android 4.4 Kitkat to run but I have been using it without issue on the Vivo Xshot running Android 4.3. I also tested it with the Meizu MX4 on Kitkat and although it worked, there were some issues with the Bluetooth connection (which I belive was a phone an early Flyme bug).Xiaomi Mi Band Review – Too basic or not enough?
When I first received the Mi Band I had already become throughly fed up with the LG G Watch’s daily need for charging. But I also didn’t think that the 30 day battery life and basic feature of the Xiaomi wearable would be that useful and thought the novelty would quickly wear off.
After over a month of use though and only a single charge I can confirm that I was wrong! So very wrong!
While the functions might not offer much the simple design, ease of use, app and incredible battery life all add up to a wearable that you just wear on a daily basis without thought or concern.
The fact that their is no glass screen on the Mi Band means that I wear the little device when mountain biking, running, walking, climbing and even repairing my car without the worry I’d scratch the delicate screen.
Each day I truly do aim to beat my 10,000 step goal and I use it as proof of lack of sleep when my wife asks me to take out the trash and I complain I’m too tired. It really is a fun little device and well worth the minimal asking price.Xiaomi Mi Band Review – Any problems?
It’s a great device but it isn’t without it’s issues. For example the model which I have been wearing doesn’t like to show me the progress of my steps via the 3 LED lights. The idea is you should be able to hold the band up to your face (much like reading the time) and the LED lights will blink telling you what progress you have made. 1 light for 1/3, 3 lights when complete. This doesn’t work for mine, but it does on the band my wife uses. Also I found all but the Blue LED are quite difficult to see on a bright day.
Another issues is the alarm feature that only buzzes 3 times and might not be enough to wake you up, so ensure you have another alarm set as a back up.Xiaomi Mi Band Review – Conclusion
The Xiaomi Mi Band is a basic but well thought out product. It is perfect for those of you who like to keep fit as a general daily routine and also perfect for you if you just want to monitor your health.
30 day battery life and a comfortable strap really make the Mi Band a worthwhile product, and the app is nicely designed and easy to understand too.
Although this little device hasn’t got access to all the cool Android Wear features the Mi Band has earned itself a permanent place on my wrist where as the LG G Watch with all its features is currently collecting dust!
Thanks to chúng tôi for supplying us with our Mi Band for review and giveaway!
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The need for faster and faster bandwidth speeds has created something of an arms race with makers of WiFi devices, hiking speeds and cutting costs. The trickle-down effect is that you get more for less. As the cost comes down, what makes one brand different from another is not price but style and power.
In this article we look at the latest router from Xiaomi, the Mi Wifi Router 3, which has good looks and power in abundance.Style Over Substance?
Xiaomi have always had a highly evolved sense of style, and this stylish design sense permeates everything they make – leading edge technology which not only looks good but works well.
In the box you get the router itself, a power supply and a small tri-fold paper manual.
It’s a very attractive case, with its four upright aerials. It’s great to have functional equipment like this look appealing because it means you don’t have to hide it. It looks a bit like an Imperial Shuttle from Star Wars. The top is flat and featureless (apart from a discreet logo) and wedge-shaped. The bottom is curved and perforated for heat flow.
Everything about the build quality is solid, and the aerials snap up to attention with a satisfying and positive action. You can also lean them over or arrange them either for better signal or just for looks.Key Features
The unit has two Ethernet inputs and a port for the WAN, the connection to your modem. There is also a USB port for fitting a hard drive or USB stick.
One of the nice features of this router is it has a dedicated mobile app to administer its settings. This is handy as usually you have to use a browser on a computer to do router admin, but with this you can just do it on your phone.
As with remote admin, you also can manage router activity, block access for unknown users, etc. If an unknown user tries to join your network, the system will send a notification message to your phone. Access can be granted or closed, sending the user to the blacklist.
A slight downside is the app does suffer from a lack of back buttons, so when you fail to sign into the router, for some reason it’ll keep trying, and you can’t exit without quitting the app. Also, the documentation is thin, so if you want to do anything out of the ordinary, you’ll have to guess or look it up on the Internet, which although perfectly legitimate, is not ideal.
If you already have a WiFi aerial in the house but want to extend your coverage, then the unit can serve also as a repeater and a very high powered one at that.Why would I want it?
Despite the lack of docs, this is a very good router. It’s powerful, it has four high gain antennas which can reach to every corner of the house, and it uses 802.11ac WiFi technology to triple the usual speeds. You can also have up to 126 devices connected at once, and that would be a challenge to fill up for even the most avid Internet of Things fan.
We tested the router in a normal suburban house, and it performed very well for coverage, noticeably better than standard WiFi. We didn’t map it out really accurately, but a casual stroll with a WiFi meter and a phone showed that in a few known dead spots the coverage was much better. Having four brand new high gain antennas really helps both the coverage and the gain of the signal.
Often domestic units have a limit to how many devices they can support, which is never usually stated on the box. You just know it when you lose your IP address on the network. But with every person in a family bringing at least three to six WiFi capable devices each to the home, it soon mounts up, and having 126 potential connections, the Xiaomi goes a long way to making sure you never run out.
At around $30, it’s a bargain.Rating 4/5
Pros: Very stylish and solidly built. Looks like a tool and not a toy. Lots of device connections, high power coverage and beautifully fast. Very easy setup using the mobile app.
Cons: Drops a point for lack of supplied documentation. The mobile app gives you access to settings, and you can muddle through, but there’s no proper walkthrough.
Overall the Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 3 is a great router with a generous speed boost and fills a lot of the dead spots in your home.
Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.
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Xiaomi has launched the Mi Band 7 Pro with a square display.
Notable features include built-in GPS, NFC, 117 sports modes, an Always-on Display, and more.
Xiaomi’s Leica partnership finally came to fruition today in the form of the new Xiaomi 12S flagship phones. But that’s not all that the company announced at its China event. For the first time in its history, the Mi Band got a “Pro” variant unsurprisingly named the Mi Band 7 Pro.
At first look, the Mi Band 7 Pro resembles the Redmi Smart Band Pro that launched last year. It switches out the pill-shaped display of the Mi Band 7 in favor of a 1.64-inch square AMOLED screen with rounded corners. The band itself sports a traditional buckle mechanism, and Xiaomi offers several quick-switch color options apart from the plain black and white shades.
However, design is not the only upgrade you get. In fact, the Mi Band 7 Pro houses some crucial features that are missing from the standard model.
For one, the new tracker comes with a built-in GPS chip instead of a connected GPS. That means it can track your walks, runs, cycling routines, and more without you having to carry your phone in your pocket.
The Mi Band 7 Pro also features NFC from the get-go. Last year, Xiaomi released a revised version of the Mi Band 6 with NFC in some countries since the original global variant skipped the feature. It would make sense for the company to release the Mi Band 7 Pro globally instead of the Mi Band 7 NFC variant.
Speaking of more functions, the Mi Band 7 Pro gets an Always-on Display with plenty of watch face options, as is the case with the Mi Band 7. You also get an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment.
Xiaomi claims that the Mi Hand 7 Pro has a 12-day battery life, which can be used for six days in heavy mode. The band also has a 5ATM rating for water resistance.
Mi Band 7 health and fitness features
The Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro has 117 sports modes, covering a wide range of outdoor and indoor sports. There are 10 unique running modes, including one that supervises heart rate and speed requirements.
Basic health tracking features also apply, including 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, all-day blood oxygen monitoring, Sleep monitoring, and more.
Mi Band 7 Pro price and availability
As expected, the Mi Band 7 Pro costs a tad more than the regular Mi Band 7. At 379 Yuan (~$56), it’s still an inexpensive fitness tracker, though.
It’ll be available in Joy Live Pink, Vitality Orange, Stretch Blue, Meditation Green, Night Leap Black, and Resting White colorways. These bands can also be purchased separately for 39 yuan (~$5). Additionally, there are two special edition Van Gogh Green and Monet Gray bands that cost 59 yuan (~$8) each.
There’s no word on the global availability of the Mi Band 7 Pro, but it may not be far off since Xiaomi launched the Mi Band 7 internationally within a month of its China launch. We’ll update this article when we know more about the international availability of the tracker.
We pit the newly launched Zenfone 3 against the slightly older Xiaomi Mi 5 to find out which phone is better in the sub-20k price range.Asus Zenfone 3 vs Xiaomi Mi 5 Specifications Design & Build
The Asus Zenfone 3 comes with a full metal design with glass covering it on the front and the back. Asus is using Gorilla Glass 3, but it’s still a pretty strong glass so you may not have to worry about protection. While previous Zenfones weren’t as good to look at, the Zenfone 3 has seen a lot of refinement in the design. For a mid-range phone, it looks really good.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 also continues to follow the same trend of a metal frame with glass covering the front and the back. However, in this area, the Mi 5 is better than the Zenfone 3 since it uses Gorilla Glass 4. Additionally, it comes with a much more minimalist design. That gives it extra points in this category.Display
The Asus Zenfone 3 comes with a 5.2 inch / 5.5 inch Super IPS+ LCD display with full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution. It comes with a pixel density of ~424 PPI / ~401 PPI. In terms of protection, the device comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. In our time with the device today, we found the display to be very good in terms of colour reproduction and sunlight visibility.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with a 5.2 inch IPS LCD display with full HD (1920x1080p) resolution. It comes with a pixel density of ~424 PPI. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Given that this is a flagship smartphone from Xiaomi, the company has made sure the display is a proper, flagship-level quality one. The colour reproduction is just about right and the brightness is very good as well.
To sum it up, display quality is hardly a concern these days. Both the Zenfone 3 and the Mi 5 come with high quality 5.2/5.5 inch full HD displays with good brightness and colour reproduction.Hardware and Storage
The Xiaomi Mi 5 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with Adreno 530. The Xiaomi Mi 5 comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The Mi 5 does not support microSD expansion.
There’s a massive difference between the two phones when it comes to the processor. The Snapdragon 625 is a new 64-bit processor built on the 20nm process, but it’s a dedicatedly mid-range SoC. There is simply no comparison with the Mi 5 which comes with the current Qualcomm flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 820. In this area, the Mi 5 wins hands down.Camera
The Zenfone 3 comes with a 16 MP f/2.0 camera with Laser and Phase Detection Autofocus, with Optical Image Stabilization and dual LED flash for assistance in low light conditions. The phone supports video recording up to 1080p at 30 FPS.
The Mi 5 comes with a 16 MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus and dual LED flash. Just like the Zenfone 3, it comes with OIS support as well. On the front, you get a 4 MP camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and 2µm pixel size. Even though the resolution is lower than the Zenfone 3’s front camera, it should actually help you to capture better selfies because of the higher pixel size.Battery
The Zenfone 3 and the Mi 5 both come with a 3000 mAh battery and a USB Type C reversible connector. While the Zenfone 3 does support charging up to 2A, Asus has not listed Fast Charging in the specs of the phone. The Mi 5 supports Quick Charge 3.0.
However, given that both the phones come with significantly different processors, the actual battery life remains to be seen.Pricing & Availability
The Mi 5 is available for Rs. 24,999 and it is available in three colours – White, Black and Gold.Conclusion
Both the Zenfone 3 and Mi 5 offer good value for money. However, while the Zenfone 3 is a decidedly mid-range phone, the Mi 5 is more of a high-end phone at mid-range prices. Snapdragon 820 processor in the Mi 5 tilts the balance heavily in favour of the phone compared to the Zenfone 3. Other specs like the display, cameras and battery are almost the same, with the Zenfone 3 beating the Mi 5 in terms of RAM and storage.
In simpler words, the Mi 5 is a much better deal overall compared to the Zenfone 3.
The common perception is that paid security products from third parties must be more effective than any security built into an operating system like Windows. That may have been true in the past. But over the years, Microsoft has beefed up the security features that come with Windows. Beyond just basic antivirus protection, Windows 10 and 11 both include a healthy lineup of other tools designed to protect your PC, your files, and your online activity from malicious threats.
Note: Go to our roundup of the best antivirus for PC to learn about competing products, what to look for in an AV suite, and product recommendations.Windows Security: Features
Known collectively as Windows Security, the built-in defenses start with the Microsoft Defender antivirus tool. Defender automatically resides in memory to offer real-time protection against malware. But you can run a variety of on-demand scans, including a quick scan, a full scan, a custom scan of specific folders and locations, and even an offline scan to hunt for rootkits and other malware that’s otherwise difficult to remove.
Microsoft Defender provides four different types of scans, including one to ferret out rootkits and other challenging threats.
Lance Whitney / Foundry
By default, any malicious items are automatically quarantined. Microsoft Security keeps track of all threats via its Protection history. Here, you can view new, quarantined, and cleaned items and also see recommendations on settings you may want to enable or configure to enhance your security.
Microsoft Security offers a protection history in which you can see different threats that have been caught and act on them.
Lance Whitney / Foundry
The customizable settings for Microsoft Security are quite thorough with real-time protection and the latest cloud-delivered protection both enabled. If you run into a suspicious file, a link helps you submit the sample to Microsoft for analysis. A feature called Tamper Protection tries to prevent malicious apps from changing and thereby thwarting the security settings for Microsoft Security. Further, you’re able to exclude specific files, folders, and processes that you don’t want scanned.
Also part of Microsoft Security is ransomware protection. This protects certain files, folders, and areas of memory from unauthorized access and changes by malicious or suspicious apps. You can view the folders that are automatically protected this way and add additional folders you want secured. To help with data recovery in the event of a successful ransomware attack, Microsoft steers you to its own OneDrive backup and syncing service with a specific option for recovering any compromised files.
Beyond Microsoft Defender, Windows Security ties in with other aspects of the operating system. Under Account protection are links to view your Microsoft account, set up Windows Hello authentication for fingerprint or facial recognition, and enable Dynamic Lock to automatically lock your PC when you leave with your smartphone in hand.
The dashboard for Windows Security provides easy access to all of the built-in tools and features.
Lance Whitney / FoundryWindows Security: Performance
The usual test files from the EICAR testing site prompted security responses from Microsoft Defender, though the results differed slightly by browser.
In Chrome, I was stopped from trying to save each of the four files because a virus was detected. In Firefox, I was able to save each of the files. But when I tried to run or open them, Microsoft Defender prevented the action, telling me that it found a virus or potentially unwanted software.
An AV-Test review from November/December of 2023 gave Microsoft Defender grades of 6 out of 6 for protection and usability, and 5 out of 6 for performance. Testing from AV Comparatives in from September and October of 2023 awarded the program generally good grades but knocked it down a few points for too many false positives and a low offline detection rate. A December 2023 analysis from SE Labs gave Microsoft Defender top grades for protection and accuracy.Windows Security: Bottom line
Overall, Windows Security offer several benefits. Beyond the Windows Defender antivirus protection there are other solid security features. The settings are easily accessible and customizable. And since the protection is built into Windows, you don’t have to install anything. If you need more features, such as a VPN, encrypted cloud backup, or online privacy tools, a third-party program is still the way to go. But for basic protection and then some, Microsoft Security is quite capable.
Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.
Impressive sound quality
Premium bud design
Decent battery lifeCons
No virtual assistant support
Relatively expensiveOur Verdict
The Buds 4 Pro combines great audio with a very comfortable design and solid battery life. But plenty of cheaper buds deliver these too, and there are compromises in other areas.
These days, pretty much every leading smartphone company has started making wireless earbuds.
It makes a lot of sense: earbuds pair directly with a phone via Bluetooth, and are an easy way to begin building an ecosystem of related products that are designed to work together.
Xiaomi has been in the wireless earbud business since 2023, shortly after the company expanded its operations into Europe. But none of its releases have been quite as expensive as the £239.99/€249.99 Buds 4 Pro (not to be confused with the budget Redmi Buds 4 Pro), the company’s most premium audio product to date.
So, do they justify that high price? Despite a long list of positives, the short answer is no, although that’s primarily due to the strength of the competition. Read on to find out why.Design & build
Two-tone design on case and buds
Case feels flimsy, buds more premium
The Buds 4 Pro certainly look the part, although their design won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
It starts with the case, which features a two-tone blend of matte and reflective plastic. The latter means you’ll see yourself every time you go to open it, which is a little unsettling at first. Just don’t try to use it as a mirror – the image you see is very distorted.
Personally, I’d prefer it if the matte finish extended across the entire case. It doesn’t help that the reflective surface quickly accumulates fingerprint smudges and other dirt. That sleek appearance you see in the photos doesn’t last for long!
Xiaomi has kept things simple elsewhere on the case, with minimalist branding and a single indicator light for battery level of the case. As expected, there’s a USB-C port for charging, with the physical button alongside it only used while pairing.
But just 49.5g even with the buds inside, the case is very lightweight. Something slightly heavier would help it feel more premium, but being so portable is much appreciated.
If the case feels flimsy already, I’d be worried about its long-term durability
You also do have a choice of colours. If the understated ‘Space Black’ shown here isn’t for you, the much more eye-catching ‘Star Gold’ finish might be a better fit.
Those colours extend to the inside of the case and buds themselves, with the latter option for the same two-tone exterior. A short stem design has clearly been inspired by the AirPods Pro, although Xiaomi is far from the only company to follow Apple’s lead.
It also turns out to be a good choice, as the Buds 4 Pro are among the most comfortable wireless earbuds I’ve ever tested. I quickly forgot they were in my ears during a full 2.5-hour podcast, and could easily have worn them for much longer. If you need a companion for a flight or long train journey, these are a great option.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
However, you’ll want to take some time to ensure a snug fit. Medium-sized silicone eartips are pre-applied, but small and large alternatives are included in the box. Via the Xiaomi Earbuds companion app, you can get an ear tip fit test to see if any adjustments need to be made.
My only real frustration here is that the left and right text on the buds is difficult to read. It’s obvious once you put them in your ears, but hard to see at a glance.
Both the buds and case have an IP54 rating, meaning they’re protected against dust, but only splashes of water.Sound quality
Detailed, high-quality music
Clear and crisp vocals
Decent microphone quality
In general, audio from the Buds 4 Pro is very impressive. The dual 11mm drivers deliver sound that feels genuinely immersive, without sacrificing key details. Thumping bass is a real highlight, although treble can be lacking at times. Disappointingly, there’s no way to adjust either of these, via the app or elsewhere.
Even so, modern pop songs are a key strength of the buds. They can handle complex vocals and a wide range of background instruments with relative ease. Even at high volumes, any noticeable distortion is usually avoided, meaning the Buds 4 Pro are among the best sub-£250/€250 earbuds for music reproduction.
Up tempo songs are a key strength, with the likes of Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran excelling with both the heavy beat and crystal-clear vocals. It’s a similar story on Lizzo’s About Damn Time, despite its frequent variation in pitch and tone.
The Buds 4 Pro are among the best sub-£250/€250 earbuds for music
But even on a much slower and stripped-back track like Strange by Celeste, the Buds 4 Pro sound great. None of the song’s atmosphere is lost here, while most other pop, rap and dance tracks I tested were just as good.
It’s certainly better with modern music, though. Classic rock songs aren’t quite as impressive, with Africa by Toto and Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine sounding a bit washed out. I also wouldn’t recommend the Buds 4 Pro for classical music, with the intricacies of Vivaldi and Prokofiev orchestras lost at times. The Nothing Ear (2) and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are both superior in this area.
But even on those weaker tracks, the audio isn’t bad by any means. It’s just that you’ll find better options elsewhere.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
It’s also worth noting that all these tracks were tested using Amazon Music in Ultra HD, which is supposedly better than CD quality and 10 times higher than the regular version. The buds support the SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs, with the latter meaning you get the full benefit of Ultra HD quality with high-res audio.
You’ll be limited to regular quality on the likes of Spotify, but Amazon’s equivalent ‘standard’ model still sounds really good.
You’re probably not buying earbuds just for podcasts and audiobooks, but the Buds 4 Pro is great for voice-based content. Voices are clear and crisp, with a real warmth and depth to the sound that you don’t always get.
Each bud includes three different types of microphones, for a total of six. They combine with Xiaomi’s AI-based noise reduction to deliver clear calls with minimal background noise, but sound still sounds a bit muddy and washed out at times.Noise cancelling & smart features
Underwhelming active noise cancellation
Transparency mode is very good
Intuitive bud controls
As you might expect from earbuds at this price, the Buds 4 Pro feature active noise cancelling (ANC). The companion app lets you customise this, with six different levels and an adaptive option for automatic adjustment.
But in general, the ANC is relatively disappointing. The first few levels barely make a difference, unless you’re in an environment that’s already relatively quiet.
Stepping up to the maximum setting is much more effective. It significantly reduces the ambient noise without any noticeable effect on sound quality, but I’d still dispute Xiaomi’s claim that the Buds 4 Pro “isolate every listener from unwelcome interference”.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
If it can’t drown out the sound of slow-moving cars outside my (closed) window, I have no confidence in it effectively handling a busy street.
However, it’s still much better than not having the feature at at all. However, many rivals do a much better job with ANC than the Buds 4 Pro, including the AirPods Pro 2 and Bose QC Earbuds II.
Bluetooth 5.3 means the Buds 4 Pro can technically connect to two or more devices at the same time, but I couldn’t get this to work despite enabling the feature in the app. Every time I linked it to my Windows 11 laptop, the connection would drop on the phone.
Many rivals do a much better job with ANC than the Buds 4 Pro
In terms of which phone to use, any Android handset will have access to the full range of features. None are reserved for Xiaomi users, although the Xiaomi Earbuds app isn’t available on iOS. It’s simpler than many companion apps, but offers all the usual core features.
The most obvious ones are for the transparency and ANC modes, but gestures can be customised too. Double, triple and long presses of the left and right earbud can be set to control volume, noise cancellation and song skipping.
I much prefer this solution to most touch-based controls, which tend to push the bud further into your ear canal and soon become uncomfortable.
Xiaomi’s take on spatial audio is known as “immersive sound”, and it does a good job of making it seem like sound is coming from all directions. As expected, the feature performs much better on songs with multiple voices or instruments, but there is a slight drop in audio quality.
Voice detection (activating transparency mode when voices are detected) and in-ear detection (auto-pausing music when a bud is taken out) both work very well. But the lack of any virtual assistant support is a significant omission. Not being able to ask Google Assistant or Alexa is something we’ve come to expect from wireless earbuds.
Anyron Copeman / FoundryBattery life & charging
Around 5 hours with ANC on
Case adds around three full charges
Supports wired or Qi wireless charging
Xiaomi claims the Buds 4 Pro can last up to nine hours on a single charge, but my experience suggests you’re looking at around half of that.
With ANC turned on, the buds went from around 80% battery to 10% by the end of that 2.5-hour podcast I mentioned above. Getting the low battery warning was a real surprise, and it was pure luck that my listening session was coming to an end. You might not be so fortunate.
Of course, you can eke out a bit longer with ANC switched off, but why wouldn’t you want to use one of the buds’ main features? Battery life certainly isn’t terrible, but it’s not class-leading, either.
Battery life certainly isn’t terrible, but it’s not class-leading, either
Charging is via USB-C, with Xiaomi saying five minutes plugged in is enough for three hours of usage. Going from 5% to 22% in that time is impressive, but your mileage will vary here.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
While slower, it’s also great to see wireless charging support. The Buds 4 Pro case works with any Qi charger.Price & availability
When paying full price, the Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro cost £239.99/€249.99. For now, they’re only on sale via the Xiaomi website in the UK and Europe, with no US availability.
It makes them one of the most expensive pairs of true wireless earbuds from a phone-first company, with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, Google Pixel Buds Pro and Nothing Ear (2) all more affordable.
Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro are only slightly more expensive, and Xiaomi doesn’t quite provide the same premium experience here. When considering the alternatives, the Buds 4 Pro feel overpriced.Verdict
With the Buds 4 Pro, Xiaomi has proven that it can make a solid pair of premium earbuds. But that doesn’t mean you should buy them.
That’s despite the fundamentals of great wireless earbuds being achieved here, with great sound quality, excellent comfort and decent battery life. A classy bud design and several high-end features – including active noise cancellation – make things even better.
But sadly, the implementation of ANC here still needs work. Alongside a flimsy case and no virtual assistant support, that premium price tag becomes harder to ignore.
If you buy the Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro, you’ll probably still be satisfied. But the same could be said for many alternatives, including those which are significantly cheaper.Specs
Active Noise Cancelling
Wireless: Bluetooth 5.3, LDAC
Voice control: Yes
Touch controls: Yes
Battery life: 9 hours from buds, 38 hours total (without ANC, claimed)
Ear tips and wing tips: Three sizes
Colours: Space Black, Star Gold
Weight: 49.5g (including charging case)
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