So, I have always been skeptical about power banks and the external chargers, for a few reasons. I have tried the chinese chargers without any branding, the original Nokia power bank and some from well known Indian companies. Xiaomi’s Mi Power Bank is my latest smartphone accessory, and the same question was still in mind. Is the Xiaomi Mi Power Bank going to give some good charge, especially for the reason that it is priced exceptional well against the competitors? the answer was as I expected. It did give a good total charge of upto 7600 mAh by average, and below are the exact results.
Build quality of Xiaomi Power Bank
The power bank compared to some other similar powered power banks, is quite small although it won’t fit anyone’s pocket. The metal casing is what gives it a premium look and good feel while holding, and even on continuous use when we were charging the phones, there was barely any heat noticed and the reason behind that could be this metal body that dissipates the heat.
The MicroUSB pin for the charging of power bank is a little of an issue, and this is not just for the unit we have, but several people complaint of the same. You just need to a press a little harder for the pin to sit into the port for charging. Also, the power button was quite useless for me, because whenever I plugged in the USB pin and connected the wire to a smartphone, the charging would start automatically. The only use with the power button was to show how much battery is left in the power bank, based on the number of lights beside the button.
The smooth aluminum exterior does retain stains or dust and that is visible, but that material is the reason why it won’t get scratched easily.
If you have bought one, here’s how to find out if it is the Indian one or Chinese unit that you have – Xiaomi 10400 mAh power bank Indian vs Chinese.
Note: Before you check the two results below, one thing to note – A smartphone when charging from 0-75% and charging from 75-80% has different speed of charging. The reason could really not be known, but it was something related to the charging technology, as claimed by one of the officials of a Chinese accessory manufacturer, and thus I tested the power bank with random charges and then from 0-100 too.
Before putting each of the following devices into charging with the power bank, they were put into airplane mode and no apps were running.
- Xiaomi Redmi 1s: 80% to 100% – 400 mAh
- Gionee Elife E7: 30% to 100% – 1750 mAh
- Samsung Galaxy K Zoom: 45% to 100% – 1330 mAh
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 65% to 100% – 1100 mAh
- Samsung Tab S 8.4: 0-61% when the power bank finally totally discharged – 2990 mAh
This was the exact sequence and the percentage of battery in each device that I charged. It was a total of 7480 mAh of charge provided by the Xiaomi 10400 mAh power bank. Just to confirm, there was another test done with actual zero to 100 percent charging for few devices.
This time, three devices were selected and charging was done from zero to hundred.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 3200 mAh
- Gionee Elife E6: 2000 mAh
- Samsung Tab S: at 54%, the power bank got totally discharged, thus for Tab S: 2650 mAh
So this time, it was around 7850 mAh, which is no much different from the first test but here, we chose to go from zero to maximum and see if the results really differ or not. The condition here too was the same – airplane mode and phone not in use.
Here’s the explanation why it is between 7500 mAh to 8000 mAh although the charger has a 10400 mAh capacity: Understanding Power Banks.
The 10400 mAh one works with iPad because the 2.1A output is what is needed by the iPad, while the smaller 5200 mAh variant cannot charge the Apple iPad, because it gives 1.5A output. We have not dug deep into this, and have kept it quite simple with day to day use and smartphone charging, rather than checking out the input and output current, which is important if we are talking technicality of this power bank.
Time taken for charging the Mi Power Bank: It took about 9.5 hours for a complete charge for the power bank, and this is similar to any of the heavy duty power banks that we put on overnight charging. Xiaomi hasn’t mentioned anywhere whether the charging ends by itself once the battery is full, but we did notice the charging stopping by itself on full battery, which is essential for saving power as well as in avoiding any damage due to over-charging of the power bank.
The speed of charging increased when I used a 2A input wire rather than 1A one, but still it doesn’t take any lesser than 6 hours to completely get charged from a discharged state.
So overall, the Xiaomi’s Mi 10400 mAh power bank does the job as expected, and you cannot except a 100% charge from any power bank. There are a few advantages apart from the low pricing compared to the competition – metal body keeping the device cool, not very huge for the capacity of it, and it gives a sturdy feel to hold. Also, Xiaomi says that there is a 9-layer protection for the charger circuit. One of the big disadvantages could be the single output USB, and thus only one device can be charged at one time.