Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 Review

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3
Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3

Disclosure: As an Banggood affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. Banggood provided the product in this review.

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 – Capable of fast charging most any device you connect to it

Available from Banggood.com for $59.99

Model: PLM07ZM

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 ports

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 ports

Tech Specs:

  • Ports: USB-C, USB-A x2
  • USB-C Output:
    • 45W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2A)
    • Programmable Power Supply (5-11V/3A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • USB-A Output:
    • 12W USB (5V/2.4A)
    • Quick Charge 3.0
    • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
    • Huawei FCP
    • Apple 2.4A
  • Input: 45W USB-C PD (5V/3A, 9V/3A, 12V/3A, 15V/3A, 20V/2A)
  • Capacity: 20,000mAh | 74 Wh
  • Size: 6.1 x 2.9 x 1.1 inches | 154 x 74 x 28 mm
  • Weight: 15.5 oz | 440 grams

Learn more about USB Fast Charging Standards.

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 box and contents

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 box and contents

Included In Box:

  • Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3
  • USB-C to USB-A 2.0 cable, 1 foot (56k Ohm resistor)

Good For:

  • Commute
  • Travel
  • Fast charging:
    • iPhone 8/X
    • Samsung USB-C phones
    • USB-C PD Android phones
    • Quick Charge Android phones
    • iPad Pro
  • Nintendo Switch (handheld & docked)
  • 12-inch laptop
  • 13-inch/14-inch laptop
Top: RAVPower 45W Super-C 20100. Bottom: Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3.

Top: RAVPower 45W Super-C 20100. Bottom: Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3.

Pros:

  • PPS for supporting devices
  • Supports lots of fast charging standards
  • Supports pass through charging
  • Charge two devices at once, but at reduced speeds
  • Within FAA limits for lithium batteries and flights

Cons:

  • Fast charging standards over USB-C is against USB-IF specifications
  • Limited to 40W for larger laptops

Actual Capacity

All power banks list their capacity (mAh) based on the nominal voltage of the battery cells. It does not accurately represent how many recharges you’ll get with the power bank. Actual capacity shows how much power you’ll actually get from a power bank.

You can divide the actual capacity below by your device’s battery capacity. That will give you a realistic estimate on the number of charges it will provide.

  • Listed Capacity: 20,000mAh
  • Actual Capacity:
    • Phone Charging: 13,300mAh
    • Switch Charging: 12,900mAh
    • Laptop Charging: 9600-12,900mAh

Actual capacities are estimates are based on capacity testing and calculation.
45W+

First Impression

The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 is standard size, but an ounce heavier for a 20,000mAh/45W USB-C PD power bank. It curves at the edges, but keeps the traditional rectangular shape. The two ends as glossy, making the ports and 4 LED indicators stand out. But also making the labels on the ports and specs on the back are difficult to read. The rest of the enclosure is matte black and smooth, except for the raised logo. It shares the Mi branding with Xiaomi’s phones. It would keep a single phone up and running for days. But with its size and capabilities it is best used with several devices. The user manual is in Chinese. With only a few specs standing out using international (English) standards.

Power Meter Readings

iPhone 8
iPhone 8 power meter (USB-C)

iPhone 8 power meter (USB-C)

iPhone 8 power negotiation (USB-C)

iPhone 8 power negotiation (USB-C)

The iPhone 8 fast charges when using a USB-C to Lightning cable. We see the usual power negotiations. Connection starts at 5V, then moves up to 9V. Learn more about fast charging iPhones.

Both the USB-C and USB-A ports also supports Apple 2.4A. That is an older fast charging standard, but it still works with newer iPhones. And it’ll provide a fast charge for older iPhones that don’t support USB PD. It charges near the same rate as USB-C PD when the iPhone’s battery is 30% or more charged. It is slower at lower battery levels, but still faster than normal charging.

Moto G6
Moto G6 power meter (USB-A)

Moto G6 power meter (USB-A)

Moto G6 power negotiation (USB-A)

Moto G6 power negotiation (USB-A)

The Moto G6 fast charges using the Quick Charge ports (either USB-A). This will be the same for Samsung and Quick Charge enabled Android phones. The USB-C port also supports Quick Charge 3.0. But the Moto G6 only charged at a normal rate, half what it did using the USB-A ports. Motorola doesn’t use Quick Charge, its TurboPower tech mimics it. So 100% compatibility isn’t guaranteed. Samsung and proper Quick Charge enabled Android phones may see better results. But no better than when using the USB-A ports.

The Google Pixel and Android phones that support USB Power Delivery will fast charge on the USB-C port. Learn more about fast charging various Android phones.

Nintendo Switch
Switch gaming power meter

Switch gaming power meter

Switch sleeping power meter

Switch sleeping power meter

Switch power negotiation

Switch power negotiation

The Nintendo Switch charges at its max rate, charging while you play. Its charge rate while sleeping is also normal. This charger can also power the Switch’s dock. Learn more about charging the Switch.

The PD protocol negotiation with the Switch is typical. It connects at 5V and moved up to 15V after negotiations. Current steps up once the 15V connection is made.

You can read my review of this power bank specifically for the Nintendo Switch at Switch Chargers.

MacBook Pro, 13-inch
MacBook Pro 13-inch power meter

MacBook Pro 13-inch power meter

MacBook Pro 13-inch power negotiation

MacBook Pro 13-inch power negotiation

As a 45W charger it can support 12-inch laptops. As well as 13-inch models running office, Internet, and entertainment apps. If playing video games or using CPU intense apps it may only extend battery life. But either way you get a lot more uptime. It is worth noting that 45W is available at 15V, but only 40W is available at 20V. You can’t force your laptop to use 15V over 20V. Depending on your model you may see the slightly slower 40W charge. Learn more about charging USB-C laptops.

Compared To Similar Power Banks

ChargerXiaomi Mi Power Bank 3dodocool 20100 45W Type-C PD

Review
RAVPower 45W Super-C 20100ZMI QB820

Review
Price$59.99$99.99$59.99$68.99
Output45W USB-C PD
Quick Charge 3.0
45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD45W USB-C PD
Quick Charge 3.0
Capacity20,000mAh20,100mAh20,100mAh20,000mAh
PortsUSB-C
USB-A x2
USB-C
USB-A x2
USB-C
USB-A
micro-USB
USB-C
USB-A x2
FeaturesPass Through ChargingPass Through ChargingPass Through Charging
USB Hub
CableUSB-C to USB-A cableUSB-C to USB-C cableUSB-C to USB-C cableUSB-C to USB-C cable
Dimensions6.1 x 2.9 x 1.1 in
15.5 oz
7.4 x 2.6 x 0.9 in
17.1 oz
6.3 x 3.1 x 0.9 in
14.1 oz
6.3 × 3.2 × 0.8 in
14.3 oz

Prices are from Amazon Product Advertising API, last updated on 2019-10-14.

You can see more USB-C power banks here.

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 with Moto G6

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 with Moto G6

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 with Nintendo Switch

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 with Nintendo Switch

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 with MacBoom Pro, 13-inch

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 with MacBoom Pro, 13-inch

Programmable Power Supply

Programmable power supply (PPS) protocol was added in USB Power Delivery 3.0. But not all PD 3.0 devices and chargers support it. In fact it is uncommon now, but will grow in use. It allows for small, step-wise changes in voltage and current. This reduces conversion loss during charging. The power transfer is more efficient and lithium batteries endure less heat.

Under PPS charging occurs in two phases. In the first phase the current (amps) is constant, with a gradual increase in voltage. In the second phase the voltage (now at a higher state) is constant, with a gradual decrease in current.

Devices that support PPS include:

  • LG G7/G8 ThinQ
  • LG V40/V50 ThinQ
  • Razer Phone
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G/A70
  • Xiaomi Mi 8/9

Any device that supports Quick Charge 4+ will support PPS. If your phone was released in 2018 or later you can check its specs to see if PPS is supported.

If your devices don’t support PPS this tech will have no effect on the power bank’s performance. And with this model you’ll be future proofed for a future PPS device.

Fast Charging Standards Over USB-C & USB-IF Specifications

The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3’s USB-C port supports more than USB Power Delivery. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0, Samsung AFC, and Huawei FCP. Their presence on the USB-C connection is against USB-IF specifications.

USB-C includes communication lines, along with power and data lines. The comm lines allow power negotiation without disrupting data transfers. USB Power Delivery uses these comm lines. As does Quick Charge 4+. But fast charging standards which pre-date USB-C do not. Instead they manipulate the data lines to negotiate power. That go against USB-C specifications, as it disrupts data transfers. But one doesn’t use data transfers with a dedicated charger.

In 2016, some USB-C chargers started offering Quick Charge 3.0. A few USB-C focused engineers warned against this practice and cited USB-IF specifications. But the predicted consequences were vague. As it turned out, nothing bad happened. Since then many chargers have operated this way, against specs. But there have been no reports of real world issues.

I have also not run into any issues with these fast charging standards on this or any other charger. But you should be aware of all the information before buying.

If you’re a stickler for meeting USB-C specifications this isn’t a good charger for you. If you’re more pragmatic it works well and has no known issues.

Pass Through Charging

Pass through charging allows a power bank to both recharge and charge a connected device. Some of the energy flows from the wall output, through the power bank, to the device. The remaining energy recharges the power bank itself.

The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 supports pass through charging:

  • Input: USB-C, Output: USB-A

You can use either USB-A port to charge while the power bank re-charges. Quick Charge and Apple 2.4A fast charging still work during pass through charging.

Pass through charging is useful for overnight stays with limited wall chargers. It is not recommended to do so on a regular basis. It puts more heat and stress on the power bank, which can affect its lifespan. Doing it when traveling is fine. But don’t set this up next to your bed at home every night.

 Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 vs ZMI QB820

The Xiaomi is partly responsible for my favorite power bank, the ZMI QB820. When the Mi Power Bank 3 was announced it looked like an updated version of the ZMI QB820. And in some ways it is. But the QB820 maintains some advantages.

Top: ZMI QB820. Bottom: Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3.

Top: ZMI QB820. Bottom: Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3.

Similarities

  • USB-C x1, USB-A x2
  • 20,000mAh capacity
  • Up to 45W USB-C PD output (with 40W limit @ 20V)
  • Quick Charge 3.0, Samsung AFC, Huawei FCP, and Apple 2.4A

Differences

  • Xiaomi supports Power Delivery 3.0, ZMI supports Power Delivery 2.0
  • Xiaomi supports PPS
  • Xiaomi is more efficient, but not enough to translate to more device uptime
  • ZMI supports USB Hub function (connect USB-A devices to ZMI, they appear on connected USB-C laptop)
  • ZMI includes USB-C to USB-C cable and pouch
  • ZMI is smaller and lighter
  • ZMI costs $10 more, but Xiaomi loses that savings when you buy a separate USB-C cable
  • ZMI is available on Amazon in the USA and a few other regions
  • Xiaomi is available on Banggood in China, but ships worldwide

So which should you look at getting? If you like the USB hub function (one less USB-C adapter to carry around) then go with the ZMI. Or go with the ZMI if you want fast shipping from within the USA.

If ship time isn’t a factor the Xiaomi is more future proof with Power Delivery 3.0 and PPS support. And most any region can order the Xiaomi from China. Whereas the ZMI has limited availability outside of North America.

Trip Report

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 in Austin, TX

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 in Austin, TX

My wife attended a work conference in Austin, TX and I tagged along. Taking several new chargers along with us. She was doing a presentation, which meant she needed her laptop. But it is near impossible to find a convenient power output at a conference/convention. So I usually hook her up with a 45W power bank to keep both her MacBook Pro and iPhone topped off. She usually takes my ZMI QB820. But for this trip I gave her the Mi Power Bank 3.

She didn’t notice the 1.2 oz weight difference. But then she didn’t hold them together. It got shoved into her bag and as long as it worked she was good. And it did work. With a regular Lightning cable she recharged her iPhone mid day. She used her laptop during earlier sessions. So for her presentation she plugged in the power bank. During the hour of slides and questions it kept the Mac running and added to its internal charge.

We didn’t measure exact usage. But it came back at least half charged and her laptop never dropped to a low level. She said it worked as well as anything else I’ve given her to use in similar situations. So standard performance for a 45W USB-PD power bank. She’d be happy to use it again on her next work trip.

Summary

The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 offers as many fast charging standards as possible in one package. It isn’t available from any USA retailers. But it can ship to the USA at a competitive cost. Those outside the USA with fewer options can also enjoy international shipping.

Its 40-45W output works well for small USB-C devices on up to a 13-inch laptop. Phones and tablets that support USB Power Delivery can fast charge via USB-C. Newer models that support PPS will enjoy a more efficient charge. And put less wear on the power bank and their device’s battery. A 12-inch laptop can draw at its max rate. And most 13-inch/14-inch laptops can stay topped off while performing normal workloads. Or charge while asleep. The Nintendo Switch charges while you play.

Quick Charge 3.0 is supported on all three ports. Though I couldn’t get it to work via USB-C using a phone that mimics Quick Charge. All three ports also support Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging, Huawei FCP, and Apple 2.4A. Samsung and Quick Charge Android phones will all fast charge. Older Huawei USB-C phones will fast charge as well as with their original charger. Newer Huawei USB-C phones will also fast charge, though not as fast as with their newer SCP chargers. iPhone 8 and newer models charge fastest via USB-C. But older iPhones can enjoy a fast charge as well.

Almost every significant fast charging standard is on this power bank. It is missing Huawei SuperCharge and One Plus Dash. But those technologies are so different they are completely incompatible with the rest.

Also note you cannot fast charge two devices at once. With USB-C and USB-A in use only USB-C provides fast charging. With all three ports in use no device receives fast charging.

About Xiaomi

Xiaomi has U.S. based support (web, chat, email, phone). They are a large and well respected Chinese electronics company, most known in the USA for their smartphones and laptops. They helped found ZMI, their USA mobile power brand.

About Banggood

Banggood is a Chinese e-commerce retailer that focuses on gadgets and electronics. They ship worldwide, with warehouses in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, and the United States. They receive significant traffic from the USA. But are better known in other countries. Shipping to the USA is free for orders of $50 or more. But takes 7-20 business days if not in a regional warehouse. Closer countries usually see faster shipping.

Banggood’s reps are aware of how Chinese retailers are viewed. And they are realistic about the challenges they all face. They have recommended using PayPal over credit card for the added security and want customers to understand the longer ship times before they order.

Bottom Line

The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 3 is a powerful power bank. Supporting every fast charging standard possible. Both newer and older phones can enjoy fast charging. As well as USB-C devices up to mid sized laptops. Perfect for supporting a wide range of diverse brands and devices.

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