Xiaomi’s Dirt Cheap $16 Fitness Tracker Gains Heart Rate Monitor

Xiaomi's original fitness band was easy on the wallet but short on features. Most noticeably, it lacked a hear rate sensor, an amenity that's become pretty standard in the wearables category. Xiaomi addressed that shortcoming with its newly announced Mi Band Pulse while adding other features and keeping the price tag low.

"We heard you!," Xiaomi said when announcing the Mi Band Pulse's ability to keep track of your heart rate. The oft-requested features comes courtesy of an optical sensor that sits smack dab at the bottom of the device where it meets your hand head-on. Xiaomi says the heart rate sensor is as accurate as the one in Apple's Apple Watch.

Mi Band Pulse

The Mi Band Pulse also does a "far better job than its predecessor when it comes to tracking your sleep," Xiaomi says. In addition, it uses a "better material" in the construction of the strap so that it doesn't easily break, which Xiaomi confessed was a problem with its previous fitness band.

A 45 mAh battery powers the Mi Band Pulse. Xiaomi said it's heard concerns that adding a heart rate monitor would negatively affect battery life, but says developer testing has show the device being able to last for 20 days or more before needing to be recharged.

Mi Band Pulse Colors

The Mi Band Pulse supports Android devices running version 4.4 and above, and Apple devices running iOS 7 or later. Best of all, it only costs $15, though it's only being launched in China at the moment. Xiaomi didn't say when or if the Mi Band Pulse will head to the U.S.