You’ve probably heard of XiaoMi, the up and coming smartphone maker from China that is creating a storm in the smartphone market. 2 weeks ago I decided to purchase their much sought after XiaoMi 10400 mAh Mi Power Bank charger (also known as Portable Power Pack), reason being that it is cheap or to better phrase it – affordable. I bought it for USD 11.38, yes, not a typo, it is USD 11.38 for 10400 mAh.
The packaging is really simple, kind of like an OEM product.
The aluminum casing is beautifully crafted, very Apple-like. Honestly, I prefer plastic over this smooth metal casing, reason being that a plastic casing doesn’t scratch easily and is not as slippery as metal. Then again, it could be me, I have sweaty palms.
Somewhat short charging cable, then again, this is meant to be a portable charger thus this is not a big issue.
Unlike other power banks, XiaoMi Mobile power bank comes with ‘Pass through Charging’ capability. This enables you to charge the powerbank and your smartphone all at the same time. Most power banks are not able to ‘dual charge’ both the powerbank and smartphone at the same time.
The user manual is a tiny 4 pages long, only in English. Nobody reads these manuals, thumbs up for saving paper!
Steve Jobs once said, “It used to be that when you got a computer or a gadget, you had to read a long manual or spend forever fiddling with it to learn how to use it. One person in the family might take the time to do so, and then spend the rest of the Christmas holiday teaching everyone else how to do the things they wanted to do. Apple changed all that. Take the iPad: an extremely expensive bit of high-tech kit, it comes with no instruction manual.”
Mi Powerbank LED Indicator [ Charging ]
LED indicator will display as follows when you charge your Mi’s power bank with an AC adapter. If all 4 of the LED blinks when you are charging, it means the unit is faulty. Contact XiaoMi for a replacement unit.
|Capacity||LED 1||LED 2||LED 3||LED 4|
|0 - 25%||Blinking||Off||Off||Off|
|25 - 50%||On||Blinking||Off||Off|
|50 - 75%||On||On||Blinking||Off|
|75 - 96%||On||On||On||Blinking|
Mi Powerbank LED Indicator [ Discharge ]
LED indicator will display as follows when you charge your device with Mi’s power bank.
|LED 1||LED 2||LED 3||LED 4|
|0 - 25%||Blinking||Off||Off||Off|
|25 - 50%||Blinking||Blinking||Off||Off|
|50 - 75%||Blinking||Blinking||Blinking||Off|
|75 - 100%||Blinking||Blinking||Blinking||Blinking|
It took approximately 5.5 hours to fully charge the portable power bank.
Why is XiaoMi’s Smartphone and Powerbank Priced So Cheap?
- Their business model revolves around the idea of directly selling the goods to the consumers via their website, no middleman or commission.
- They do not advertise on big media companies, they rely on word of mouth and social medias.
I like to think of them as the Dell of the 1990’s. Some labeled them as the Apple of China but I have to disagree, reason being that most of their products are not exactly revolutionary. The only thing attractive about them is the price to quality ratio – why pay more for the same technology by Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola and more?
Approximate Battery Capacity
As you can see from the data below, a 10400 power bank have enough capacity to charge your iPhone for approximately 6 times. A must have item on a camping trip, possibly a life saving item in time of urgency.
- Apple iPhone 4, 4S and 5S – 1440 to 1560 mAh
- Apple iPad 3rd and 4th Generation – 11560 mAh
- Apple iPad Air – 8820 mAh
- Samsung Galaxy S 4 and Note – 2500 mAh
Pro and Con of XiaoMi PowerBank
- [ Pro ] RM36 (USD11) for 10400 mAh battery cell supplied by LG and Samsung
- [ Pro ] Beautifully designed with aluminum casing
- [ Con ] Cable is somewhat short
- [ Con ] Casing is easily scratched
Why Is XiaoMi Power Bank So Cheap?
- XiaoMi sells directly, no middle man, no storage fee, no rental no electricity bills, and no workers.
- XiaoMi doesn’t spend money on advertisement, everything is done via word of mouth and social media.