How to unlock your smartphone using the Mi Band

To quickly unlock your Androdi smartphone, you can also use another wearable device via the Smart Lock function

The biometric unlocking mechanisms that are now available on almost all smartphones have made a big contribution to the security of our devices: unlocking with fingerprint or face, in fact, are much more difficult to force if someone comes into possession of our phone for a few minutes or if it is stolen from us.

But in recent months, due to health measures related to the coronavirus emergency, an unexpected problem has emerged: how to unlock the phone with the fingerprint, if we have latex gloves? Or how to unlock it with the face, if we have the face covered by a mask? Problems certainly not foreseen when these technologies were invented, but that today create several annoyances given the frequency with which we unlock our smartphone every day. There is, however, an alternative that passes through a wearable device, such as the Mi Band by Xiaomi, and a feature of Android called Smart Lock.

Smart Lock, what is it

Smart Lock is a method of unlocking the smartphone using a smart device. Basically, when Smart Lock is active, all other unlocking methods, including biometric unlocking, are bypassed and the phone is always unlocked as long as there is a second device connected via Bluetooth within a short distance. The device of choice, in this case, is a smart band that, being always on our wrist, is close to the hand with which we use the smartphone. If the smartphone is lost or stolen, however, it will not unlock because the smart band is not at close range.

How to unlock the smartphone with the Mi Band

The Xiaomi Mi Band 4 is excellent as a device for Smart Lock: it costs little, less than 30 euros, is convenient and has Bluetooth connection.  To configure the unlocking of the phone via Mi Band, therefore, we will first have to activate on both devices the Bluetooth connection and proceed to pair them with the standard procedure. Then we'll have to take the smartphone and go to Settings > Security > Smart Lock. We'll be asked to enter the PIN of the device and then we'll be able to choose between three options: "Device with you", "Trusted locations" and "Trusted devices". With the first option the smartphone remains unlocked as long as it detects our movement, with the second as long as it is within 80 meters of a location we choose (typically our home address), with the third option as long as it detects another Bluetooth device of our choice. To set the Smart Lock via Mi Band, therefore, we'll have to choose this option and this device from those listed. Of course, the Mi Band will only be in the list if we have already paired it with the smartphone.