Racing for the first time with the Xiaomi Smart Band 8

Running is one of the most popular and accessible forms of exercise, but it can also be challenging and monotonous at times. So when Xiaomi invited me to the Xiaomi Pop Run 2023, a fun run event where Xiaomi fans are gathered, I immediately signed up.

I decided to join the 3K race, which was suitable for my level of activity and along the way, I also got to try out the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 - their newest wearable device that tracks various health and fitness metrics.

So let me share with you my experience of participating in the Xiaomi Pop Run 2023 and using the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 in this hands-on review.

Race preparations

We received our units of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 the day before the run, so I had the opportunity to configure the device prior to the event. Dreading not to miss our 4 AM call time, I set the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 as my alarm clock, and wore it during my sleep.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Strap removed

Conveniently, the design of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 will barely feel like you're wearing something. It’s extremely lightweight weighing only 22 grams. With a pebble shaped metallic body and silicone straps, it also looks relatively classy. I do think that the white color I was wearing would look better on a female wrist but this also comes in black.

One thing that I truly appreciate about its design is that the lock mechanism isn’t intrusive, so that it won’t get caught in the sheets when you’re sleeping. This goes well with the sleep tracking feature of the Smart Band 8, which I also got to use before the event. It displayed the quality of my sleep and the number of times I woke up, so I was sure that I had enough rest for the run.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Strap

Getting in the groove for the run

Arriving at the venue, we were greeted by the sunrise at the Bridgetowne Destination Estate in Pasig City. Luckily, despite experiencing rain days prior, the weather during the race went in our favor. The Xiaomi Smart Band 8's weather widget also showed we would experience clear skies.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Weather Widget

To eliminate the risk of injuries, Xiaomi also organized some zumba routines to get us in the groove for our warm up.

Dancing really isn’t my thing, but since more than a thousand participants were also moving to the beat, I figured, I might as well join in. I surprisingly enjoyed it, too! And you can see it indicated in the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 where it showed my heart rate rising as I was exerting effort.

Xiaomi Pop Run Zumba

For our final preparations at the starting line, I simply picked the workout mode for the event, which in this case was Outdoor Run. Tapped Start when we start running and we’re off.

The course took place when the sun was already up and thankfully, the 1.62-inch AMOLED display didn’t cause problems seeing my metrics. It was bright enough to be visible even when the sun was already out.

Xiaomi Smart Band 8 in action

During the course, since we were all running in different paces, I was left alone from my other media friends. But being that we are a big crowd running, it didn’t come to the point where it felt boring. Though if I were casually jogging, I can see the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 being useful for running alone as it also has capability to control music playback from your phone.

Enduring the distance

As someone who doesn’t really do long distance running, I had no idea how to keep my pace at running. Doing what most newbies do, I sprinted with all my effort from the starting line and my endurance didn’t last long. At this point, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8’s meter showed the intensity of my workout and how many calories I was burning. It seems to be quite accurate as it did keep up with how intense I was going and went down when I slowed down.

A 3 km run is nothing to an avid runner but to someone who hasn’t been in shape for a while, it was still quite a struggle. However, as the race reached its end, I noticed that the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 only showed the distance we ran was only around 2.5 km.

Double-checking with my media running mates who also wore the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 and their results were similar to mine. I couldn’t really verify if the distance we ran was actually shorter but I guess we’re certain that the bands get consistent results.

Also, since we’re on the topic of endurance, while the battery wasn’t something I tested during the Xiaomi Pop Run, I have used the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 since then and it lasted a good two weeks before finally needing a charge.


With the variety of smart bands and watches I have experienced in mind, the feature set of the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 is quite impressive for its price. In fact, I do believe that it can offer most of the features of a full fledged smartwatch near its price.

If you already have a more feature packed smartwatch, I think the Smart Band 8 may still find its way into your gadget bag. Being extremely comfortable to be worn during your workout, sleep or any other activity is its biggest advantage.

Retailing for only PhP 1,999, the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 is a great way to start your fitness journey and may even be a wake up call for a lot of us to get into shape.

Andre Ibarle

Andre is the go-to tech guy for most companions. He loves to geek out on tech old and new and has a knack for storytelling through words, capturing moments with a camera, and bringing ideas to life on screen. With years of experience in writing, photography, videography and playing Super Mario World.

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