An Apple Watch is tight if you want to go full-blown smartwatch, but it doesn't cost $30 or come with a selection of sweet animated watch faces from the likes of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Hatsune Miku, or SpongeBob like Xiaomi's new Mi Band 5.
For $30, the Mi Band 5 has a solid list of features like a 1.1-inch color display (up from the 0.95-inch screen on the Mi Band 4), upgraded sensors, new fitness tracking modes, improved sleep tracking, NFC for mobile payments, magnetic charging, and menstrual cycle tracking.
But those watch faces. Xiaomi's got 100 of them, and my goodness, just look at them:
Dirt cheap — The best thing about the Mi Band 5 is how affordable it is. At $30, you could buy 13 Mi Band 5's instead of an Apple Watch Series 5 or three Band 5's instead of a Fitbit Charge 3. Literally one for you and all your friends or everyone in your family.
Sold only in China — I hate to break the bad news to you, but the Mi Band 5 is only available in China. Xiaomi has had a U.S. online store for years, but it has never sold its fitness trackers in it. You can always import it, but then you have to pay for shipping. But that may end up costing more than the Mi Band 5 itself.
There's also no promise the Mi Band 5's services will work outside of China. For example, the NFC mobile payment has only been announced for UnionPay QuickPass. No word on whether it works with Google Pay or any other mobile payments. Import at your own risk.