The S$14, 10,400mAh Xiaomi Mi Power Bank is impossible
|Xiaomi clearly feels that the button and ports are self-explanatory (or that you would read the user sheet) that it didn’t even bother labeling them.|
In case you’re wondering, a power button isn’t really required, because the power bank will automatically turn on and charge the device when both are connected with a USB cable. The purpose of the capacity check button (when you press it) is to turn on the LEDs to tell you how much charge is left. In a nutshell, each lit LED represents a 25% charge. You get a full charge when all four LEDs are lit and not blinking.
And speaking of USB cable, a 16cm long (excluding the strain relief) white USB cable comes bundled with the Mi Power Bank. Considering your smart device shouldn’t be too far away when it’s being charged, this is one of the few instances where we think a short USB cable makes sense.
Now, before we move on, let’s get a few more stats out of the way. According to Xiaomi, the Mi Power Bank’s micro-USB port is tested to withstand 5,000 insertion/removal cycles, and the bigger USB port 1,500 cycles. Even ESD (electrostatic discharge) testing results are revealed: 8kV for contact and 12kV for air. Clearly, Xiaomi is trying its best to assure us that the Mi Power Bank is a quality product despite its low price. (In fact, that’s not all; there’s another list of environment testing results that we did not go into.)
Up to this point, the Mi Power Bank definitely looks the part.
|Obligatory shot of the unmarked flat and white USB cable that comes with the Mi Power Bank. (Note: ruler not included.)|
|The Mi Power Bank consistently charges our iPad Air and Galaxy Tab S between 1.7 to 1.9A. Of course, this rate will slowly dip when the device is approaching a full charge.|
|What sorcery is this? The Mi Power Bank is able to draw more than 2A from our Samsung charger to recharge itself!|
Tearing it down
|Say, what do we have here? That’s four LG (LGABB41865) battery cells, each 2,600mAh, for a total of 10,400mAh.|
|Xiaomi says that the Mi Power Bank uses control chips by Texas Instruments; and indeed, we found a TI BQ24195 switching charger.|
|Towards the left is an 8-bit microcontroller (ABOV MC97F1204SMBN) made by Korea-headquartered semiconductor company, ABOV Semiconductor.|
Conclusion? Go get one!