Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Mi Power Bank, LED Light And USB Cable Review

Xiaomi Mi LED LightXiaomi makes a bunch of really great value accessories. Their 10,400 mAh power bank, which I previously reviewed, was really good. They have since launched both larger and smaller versions. Then there are other stuffs, like LED lights and soft toys. In this review, I’ll quickly cover the LED light, 16,000 mAh power bank and USB cable.

The S$6.99 Mi LED Light is a relatively new addition to Xiaomi’s product offerings. It’s a smallish gadget, comprising a flexible arm with the LED light at one end and a USB connector at the other. To use it, you simply plug it into a USB port. The flexible arm lets you position the light as you need, and keeps it in that position. The Mi LED’s body is made of soft-touch plastic, and the entire construction feels very sturdy and robust.

According to specifications, the Mi LED Light draws 1.2 W. The light is pretty bright if you use in an otherwise dark room. I actually do find it too bright to light up a keyboard to use with your notebook, if that’s your use case. The colour from the LED is warm, i.e., has a yellowish tint.

The Mi LED Light can be sort of used like a torch light when you attach it to, what else, the Mi Power Bank. See below.

DSC00732-1

Xiaomi currently sells three models of power banks. The main difference is in their capacities: 5000 mAh, 10,400 mH and 16,000 mAh. The 16,000 mAh one reviewed here also stands out as having dual USB charging ports. The two USB ports support a combined output of 3.6 A at 5.1 V, which is pretty good. You can quite comfortably charge two devices at one go.

Like the first Mi Power Bank I reviewed, the body is made of CNC milled sandblasted anodised aluminium. The entire body feels very premium, more so than other power banks above its price point.

Mi Power Bank

As you can see, the Xiaomi power banks all share a similar design and build. The power button is slightly indented. There are four LED indicators, and a Micro-USB port for charging the power bank itself. Here’s quick re-cap of all the technological features built into the power bank:

  1. Temperature resistance ensures the Li-ion batteries operate within a safe range.
  2. Input over-voltage protection prevents voltage surges from damaging the device.
  3. Output over-voltage and over-current protection prevents damage to the device.
  4. Short-circuit protection prevents short-circuits in the motherboard and battery.
  5. Automatic charger protection stops charging if the charger is inserted incorrectly — I don’t quite understand how this can happen.
  6. Protection from overcharge and over-discharge prevents damage to the Li-ion battery.
  7. Reset mechanism resets the power bank if it stops responding.
  8. PTC Protective Circuits incorporate protection at the battery cell level.

Xiaomi rates this power bank good for at least 10,000 mAh of actual output, sufficient to charge the iPhone 6 five times and the iPad mini two-and-a-half times.

The power banks have steadily increased in price. When I first bought the 10,400 mAh power bank, it as only S$13.99, This 16,000 mAh one is S$29.99. It’s only about 50% larger in capacity, but over 100% more in price. However, Xiaomi currently sells the 10,400 mAh model at S$18.99, so the 16,000 mAh model’s price isn’t too expensive comparatively.

At any rate, Xiaomi’s power banks are definitely far better value for money than any other power bank you can find in the market.

Mi USB Cable

The last item for this post is the USB cable. USB cables seem like very ordinary cables, but I’ve learnt that they are far from being roughly equal. Apart from the distinction between cables that support both data and charging versus others that are charge-only, there’s also the matter of how fast the charging is supported by the cable.

The Xiaomi USB cable is a flat tangle-free design, with a flat USB-A head at one end of the approximately 20 cm long cable, and a Micro-USB connector at the other end. The cable includes a clip to allow the two cable ends to clip together for easy storage. The connectors are gold-plated and rust-resistant.

I’ve verified, this USB cable supports pretty fast charging, better than the typical cheap cables.

This USB cable costs S$5.99.

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