Xiaomi is primarily known for its phones, but the vendor also makes a slew of accessories, including power banks. The latest product in this category is the 20000mAh Mi Power Bank, which offers the largest battery capacity yet.
The Chinese vendor approaches its accessories the same way it handles phones, which means that you can expect a well-designed power bank offering great value for money. And that's true for the brand new 20000mAh power bank as well, which is available for just ₹1,699, or the equivalent of $25.
Design and charging
The 20000mAh power bank comes in an environmentally friendly ABS plastic housing with a textured pattern aimed at improving grip. The design is a switch from the anodized aluminum casing seen on the 5000mAh, 10400mAh, and 16000mAh power banks. The plastic makes for a far better finish, as it doesn't make the surface of the power bank nearly as slippery as the aluminum design. The casing is also scratch-resistant, and can withstand heat up to 90 degrees Celsius (not that it gets that hot itself). With an overall weight of 338g, the power bank is lighter than the 350g 16000mAh version, which is impressive.
The 20000mAh Mi Power Bank features six high-density batteries from Panasonic and LG, and has two USB ports that allow you to charge two devices simultaneously. The dual USB ports offer a combined output of 5.1 volts at 3.6 amps, which translates to 18.36 watts. Each port is capable of outputting up to 2.1 amps, and you can also use the power bank to charge USB Type-C devices. However, the output from a single port falls short of the recommended Quick Charge 2.0 spec, which means that you're looking at solid but generally longer charge times. You'll have to go elsewhere if you want a battery that can quickly juice up a dead Quick Charge phone.
There's a four-LED capacity indicator at the top of that shows the charge remaining, with each LED corresponding to a 25% charge. The power bank automatically switches on and off as soon as you connect a device, but there's a dedicated power button on the right as well. Xiaomi bundles a one-foot long flat micro-USB cable out of the box, but I prefer these Monoprice cables.
The power bank has a micro-USB input for recharging, but there isn't a wall charger included in the box. I used a Tronsmart Titan — which delivers the suggested 12V/1.5A charge — and it took over eight hours for the power bank to fully charge.
Capacity and authenticity
20000mAh is a lot of capacity, and to ensure that the power bank delivers all that power safely, Xiaomi uses what it calls "nine layers of circuit chip protection," which provides protection from circuits shorting out, input and output overvoltage, overcharge and overdischarge, output overcurrent, and more. The USB power control and charging chips are made by Texas Instruments, which are far more reliable than what's commonly used in products in this price range. As noted above, Xiaomi aims to use high-quality battery cells from reputable manufacturers as well, which not only keeps capacity figures consistent but also improves safety.
Given Xiaomi's brand cachet and the nature of the hardware on offer, the vendor is susceptible to counterfeits from third-party sellers, who use low-quality batteries packaged in a similar casing. To combat the issue, Xiaomi issues a 20-digit security code on the packaging of the Mi Power Bank, which can be verified on its official website. If you're buying a Xiaomi power bank from anywhere other than its own portal, a safe practice is to verify before using the power bank to ensure its legitimacy.
Should you buy it?
For its asking price, the 20000mAh Mi Power Bank offers a lot — it has a huge capacity, output for two devices, good components and a rugged exterior. If you don't need Quick Charge speeds, it offers everything you'd need in a big portable battery.
As for availability, you can get your hands on the power bank directly from Xiaomi's official website in China and India. Stock is released in limited quantities, so you have to wait until the next flash sale comes along to get your hands on one. As Xiaomi's website is inundated by hundreds of thousands of visitors during a flash sale, it is recommended to install the Mi Store app and buy the power bank through that instead. Both times we were able to procure the power bank were through the Mi Store app.
Those in the U.S. and other Western markets can buy the 5000mAh, 10400mAh, and the 16000mAh variants of the power bank from Xiaomi's global site, but as of now the 20000mAh offering isn't available yet and the 16000mAh model is out of stock. The 5000mAh power bank retails for just $9.99, while the 10400mAh variant is available for $13.99. While the 20000mAh power bank offers a higher capacity, the internal circuitry and safety features are standard across Xiaomi's range.
If you're looking for a battery with Quick Charge speeds, there's the $20 Aukey 10400mAh Power Bank, which is Quick Charge 2.0 certified. There's also the $59 RAVPower 20100mAh Portable Charger, which offers Quick Charge 3.0 as well as USB-C input.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.