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Xiaomi's next low-cost wearable will monitor your heart rate

Matt Brian , @m4tt

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has made a name for itself by delivering premium devices at budget prices. As well as phones and tablets, Xiaomi also sells accessories, including the Mi Band fitness tracker. After almost a year on sale, China's biggest mobile manufacturer feels the time is right to update its popular wearable, and thanks to Taiwan's National Communications Commission, we now know that it will come with its very own heart-rate monitor. The Mi Band 1S retains the same design as its predecessor, complete with aluminum cap, but features a new sensor on the back that's designed to stay in constant contact with a user's skin.

Xiaomi's low-margin business model is paying off: it sold a record 34.7 million smartphones in the first half of 2015 alone (although it could fall short of its 100 million target for the year). The tracker has also fared well: it accounted for a quarter of all wearables sold in the first quarter of this year. At just $13, it can log your steps, track sleep and even unlock your (Android) phone.

Given Xiaomi's commitment to affordability, it's very likely that the Mi Band 1S will cost a lot less than other pulse-tracking wearables. And as it's already passed the necessary certifications in Taiwan, we probably won't have too long to wait for an official launch. You never know, Xiaomi might even sell it via its new US and European stores.

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