If you’re considering a new fitness tracker to log sleep, track daily activity, or monitor your health, two of the top options to consider are the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro and Fitbit Charge 6.

Both are more affordable than most smartwatches, yet don’t skimp on features or battery life. And while either is a superb activity band for those getting started with fitness tracking, they are also very different.

Below, then, we’ve compared the two tra=ckers in all the key areas; discover below how the Smart Band 8 Pro (global edition) and Charge 6 differ in price, design, features, battery, and more.

Price, availability, and competition

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While both of these devices are flagship trackers from each company, they are offered at quite different price points. The Charge 6 is by far the most expensive option on the market, coming in at $160/£140. 

It has big-name competition in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Fit 3 and Garmin Vivosmart 5, but nothing gets close to it in terms of price. As we’ll detail more below, this is somewhat – but not entirely – justified.

Crucially, it’s also available in most regions – whereas Xiaomi’s Smart Band 8 Pro, while offered at £59 (around $75), isn’t officially marketed in the US. 

It can still be picked up from third-party retailers, but it’s not as ‘official’ as something like the Charge 6. 

You can’t argue with the price or value, though – and it arguably offers the best value of any wearable in 2024. And if you do want a cheaper option, there’s also the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 to consider.

We should also make note of versions here. Unlike many watches, neither of these devices is offered in a different case size or with an LTE/cellular version. 

Aside from colors, you’re picking from one edition in either case.

Design and display

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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro:

The Band 8 Pro’s design is a bit of a hybrid between a traditional fitness tracker and a smartwatch. It means the screen is much bigger than you’ll find on many rival options, with the 1.74-inch AMOLED display boasting superb clarity even in strong sunlight. 

This larger screen is great for viewing stats and notifications, but it’s certainly not cumbersome. Its full dimensions of 46mm (H) x 33.35mm (W) x 9.99mm (D) ensure that it’s fairly unisex and works on any kind of wrist, we think. The 22.5.g weight (without strap – with it, it clocked our scales at 37g) also means it’s very comfortable even during sleep tracking, and it’s definitely not cumbersome during workouts.

The only real negative is that it isn’t the most premium look on the wrist out of the box. However, it does boast much more potential to upskill than the Charge 6, with Xiaomi offering tons of additional bands (most of which are metal or leather and designed to upgrade the look for formal settings).

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Fitbit Charge 6:

Despite being essentially double the price, you don’t get a huge upgrade in build quality or design with the Charge 6. And it’s certainly nowhere near as customizable.

We suspect some will prefer the 1.04-inch AMOLED display to Xiaomi’s larger screen, but it isn’t recommended for viewing stats on the wrist – and it also isn’t conducive to reading notifications. 

This smaller footprint naturally extends to the overall dimensions (36mm x 23mm x 11mm), and it means we don’t really grade the Charge 6 as a great unisex option. It’s perfect for those with smaller wrists – or those who don’t like wearing a watch – but it’s not as versatile as the Band 8 Pro. 

We do like the button, though. It ensures the Charge 6 is easier to navigate than Xiaomi’s Smart Band 8 Pro, and it does follow the traditional shape of a fitness tracker many will know and love.

Fitness tracking and health features

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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro:

While the Band 8 Pro features a superb design, it does lag behind the Charge when it comes to the wider health ecosystem and tracking features. 

It does have everything you want on paper – GPS tracking, support for over 150 tracking modes, advanced training analysis (with estimates of things like VO2 Max), all-day stress monitoring, sleep insights, women’s health features, and blood oxygen saturation readings – but the problem is that not many of these are accurate enough to prove useful.

It does let down the Band 8 Pro experience that many of the selling points aren’t super reliable when compared to gold-standard options from the likes of Apple, Garmin, and, in some cases, Fitbit. However, if you’re just looking for a casual insight, it’s a great place to get started due to the sheer amount on offer for the price.

Fitbit Charge 6:

While it doesn’t quite boast the same value as Xiaomi’s tracker, it does offer pretty much all the same features – and a few key insights that Fitbit Premium members can take advantage of. 

The sleep tracking remains outstanding and is still only really rivaled by Oura in terms of the overall package of accuracy and insights. The problem with the Charge 6 in this area is that it has a fatal flaw in its design. 

Just like its predecessor, the GPS/HR conundrum is present again here. While not officially acknowledged by Google – though it is still looking into Charge 5 bricking issues – we and other reviewers/users have observed in our testing a curious issue relating to the design. 

Essentially, if you strap it on normally, the GPS lock-on fails to connect. However, if you strap it on loose enough for the GPS to work, the optical HR is effectively redundant.

It’s a real shame, as the tracking for things like stress tracking (via EDA sensor), HR, steps, GPS, VO2 Max, and ECG, is generally better than what Xiaomi can offer here – and the experience within the Fitbit app is second to none. 

Smart features

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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro:

While the Chinese model of the Band 8 Pro is packed with support for contactless payments, the same isn’t true for the global edition. And this does slightly hurt its smart credentials. 

It’s able to support the very basics, such as notifications – and, as we mentioned above, it does do this pretty well – but you’re not able to access any manner of third-party apps or services.

Naturally, that means that music support (other than controlling what’s playing on your phone) is scarce, and you can’t untether from your phone and still stay connected. 

Fitbit Charge 6:

With the might of Google behind it, the Charge 6 does offer a better smart experience.

It’s still not anything on par with a modern smartwatch, but it does give you some of the basic apps – Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, Google Wallet for contactless payments, and YouTube Music for some streaming.

Again, like with Xiaomi, there’s no edition to help you untether from your phone, but it does have the ability to mirror notifications from Android/iOS to your wrist. 

With no safety features or ability to make calls over Bluetooth, though, the smart support is certainly nothing to shout too hard about here. 

The UI, as we touched on above, is at least a bit less buggy than Xiaomi’s tracker. 

Battery life

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Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro:

Xiaomi estimates that the device should manage up to 14 days in ‘normal use’, which is up from 12 days with the Band 7 Pro. If you prefer to use the always-on display, this estimation drops to around six days.

The company’s projections are generally accurate – and were when we tested the Band 7 Pro – though reaching these does also involve turning off plenty of features. In reality, we think most people will be able to make the tracker last around 4-7 days.

In most cases, then, users can expect true multi-day battery life – and that’s pretty impressive with this many features running on a relatively large display.

Fitbit Charge 6: 

Fitbit hasn’t made major strides in battery life with the Charge 6, and you’re able to squeeze out around a week with the always-on display disabled. If you want it on, you’ll instead only get around 3-4 days. 

Fitbit doesn’t include a quick charge feature like it does on its smartwatches, either, meaning it can take around two hours to go from flat to 100%. 

It’s certainly not the worst-performing fitness tracker in terms of battery life, but it’s also not quite as solid as Xiaomi’s device in this area.

Verdict: Which is best?

We’ve spent time with both of these trackers, and, given both have quite distinct strengths and weaknesses, recommend the following if you’re choosing between the two:

Choose the Xiaomi Smart Band 8 Pro if:

  • You want a great value fitness tracker
  • You don’t mind sub-optimal accuracy
  • You’ll appreciate the unisex, versatile design

Choose the Fitbit Charge 6 if:

  • You want the available support for Google apps
  • You want a top sleep tracker
  • You don’t require reliable GPS or HR

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