Smartphone maker Xiaomi launched the Mi Band 2 on Thursday, announcing that it will go on sale next Tuesday at Mi.com for RMB 149 (USD 23).

The device holds a heart rate sensor that allows users to instantly read their heart rate. The new LED display shows the time, number of steps, distance, calories, and remaining battery charge. The screen is activated by a single raise of the hand.

An added LED display might be expected to be too much of a battery drain; Xiaomi addressed this problem by adding an enlarged battery capacity. Fully charged, the Mi band 2 can run for 20 days.

The device will send you reminders if you sit in one place for too long, and it serves as a call reminder when connected to a smartphone. Other functions of Mi Band 2 include sleep monitoring and an alarm clock.

The physical button on the screen – one of the more noticeable physical differences between the old the new models of Mi Band – is used to switch between different modes.

Mi Band 2 (photo from Sina Tech)
Mi Band 2 (photo from Sina Tech)

Xiaomi now ranks third in the global wearable fitness monitor market, tailing FitBit and Apple, according to research firm IDC.

The first generation of Mi Band was priced at RMB 79; over 10 million units were sold in 2015. Mi Band 2, with its compatibility with both Android and iOS systems, can be expected to continue Xiaomi’s globally strong position in the area of wearable fitness monitors.

Aside from the Mi Band 2, Xiaomi has recently made a series moves, launching other products and ventures.

Another new Xiaomi product is the Mi smart LED desk lamp, which was introduced together with the company’s first drone last Wednesday. The lamp has four modes of lighting, and as one of Xiaomi’s smart home products, users are able to control its temperature and brightness with the Mi smart home app. It went on sale at Mi.com, JD.com and Tmall on Wednesday for RMB 169.

The Mi smart LED desk lamp (photo from Gizmochina.com)
The Mi smart LED desk lamp (photo from Gizmochina.com)

In addition, Xiaomi and Microsoft on Tuesday announced their new partnership: Xiaomi has purchased 1,500 patents from Microsoft, and Xiaomi’s smartphones and tablets will be preinstalled with Microsoft Office and Skype from September onwards.

(Top photo from Huxiu.com)

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Ke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master's Degree in English and has worked on projects with Ipsos MORI and SDI Media. She's particularly intrigued by China's thriving technology scene and is eager to write about this flourishing industry.