Mi Band 3 Chinese Vs Global Variant: The Differences

There are two variants of the Mi Band 3 on offer: the Mi Band 3 standard variant and the Mi Band 3 with NFC. What you may not know is, the Mi Band 3 standard comes in either Chinese variant or in Global Variant. What’s the difference between the two and which one should you get? Let’s find out. 


I won’t make you read this entire article to just find the answer to the question you are looking for. What’s the difference between the Mi Band 3 Chinese variant and Mi Band 3 Global variant? There’s no difference.

There you go, I said it. It doesn’t matter whether you buy the Chinese variant or the Global variant of the Mi Band 3, you are getting an identical product. The only difference you will see is in the packaging. While you get a box with English text on the Global variant, the Chinese variant gets Chinese text on the back of the box. Does it make a difference in the user experience? Well, not really.


Does the Chinese variant come with English language settings?

This is the reason why people look for the Global variant of the Mi Band 3. When Xiaomi first launched the Mi Band 3, the Global variant adapted the language settings as per the language of the phone. With the Chinese variant, you were stuck with the Chinese language settings regardless of the phone you used.

However, Xiaomi has pushed a firmware update on all the Mi Band 3 which adapts to the language settings of the Mi Band 3 as per the phone you use.

Should you buy the Global variant or the Chinese variant of the Mi Band 3?

You should definitely get the Chinese variant of the Mi Band 3. You can get it for a few bucks cheaper and you aren’t going to miss out on any features. There’s really no reason for you not to get the Global variant of the fitness tracker. Both the bands get updates on a timely basis too.

I am personally rocking the Chinese variant and it recently got an Excercise feature via a firmware update using which you can activate a dedicated fitness tracking mode on your tracker.

Hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section down below.

Dipesh is a geek from the heart. He loves gadgets and is trying out new phones every week. For him, life is either technology or it's nothing!

  1. Thanks. Indeed very useful article. Please if you could also let us know whether NFC function works for payment outside Canada or not.

  2. vvery useful article

  3. Thank you. This is extremely useful.

  4. Thank you very much.. You did make me gain 3$.. Jeje Excellent explanation..

  5. Are you sure if we get a chinese version and change the language to English,it gets all the updates like the global version?

  6. Thanks for getting straight to the point, this was a very useful post. Much appreciated.

  7. How could the author make the comparison without real comparing those two models? Lame review!!!
    Two versions of the bands are not identical, but similar. Differences are :
    1. Display tint and brightness
    2. HR sensor

    • Interesting to read your comment. I have used both the variants.

      They have the exact same hardware. And there is NO Mi Band 3 variant without Heart Rate monitor.

      Where do you get such wrong information??

  8. HI Dipesh,
    thanks a lot for maintaining this informative site. But in this case the user “vintage” is right. The international version and Chinese version are different in hardware. However there are no differences in functionality, which is the question most readers are interested in. (There is another Chinese version now with NFC, but that’s a completely different product).
    You can find a teardown with details on the differences for example here https://geekdoing.com/threads/difference-teardown-disassembly-mi-band-3-global-vs-china.333/

    From my job I can also explain to you, why there are differences. The regulations in China are not strict, legally there is minimal testing and documentation required. So in China they will use the cheapest components which deliver the expected functionality.
    Especially in Europe, every product and component needs to be certified, which makes it more expensive. So for the global version, they will use the chepest CERTIFIED components, which in most cases are identical, but sometimes are different.
    In case of the Miband, the international version only has a different component to measure the heartrate, and a slightly dimmer, but warmer OLED.

    You can also have a look at the answer from Nathan Zhang (who worked for Xiaomi) on a somewhat related topic. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-the-Xiaomi-China-version-and-the-global-version He explains why for low cost products like the Miband, specs for Chinese version and global version are almost always slightly different. And for more expensive products, the differences are generally only at the software level.

    Lastly, as the Chinese bears no CE-mark it is technically illegal to use it in Europe. And even though extremely unlikely, from time to time China gadgets do get confiscated and people get fined in Europe. I expect similar regulation would apply in the US (FCC registration).

    Hope this is relevant for your readers. And thanks again for keeping up the good work on your site.

  9. Hi, I have bought the Mi Band 3 from China, and I reside in Singapore. I can receive notification alert on my band for WeChat and Taobao, but I can’t seem to receive notification alert for What’s App. Can anyone help?

    I am using iPhone XR with the latest iOS.

  10. Hi
    Can i flash the same custom firmware to both versions (china & global) ?
    which one has better software support (custom or stock firmware)?
    what is the difference with new package ?
    which one should i buy for RTL Unicode languages ?

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