Xiaomi gadgets Part 1: Xiaomi Power Strip

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Xiaomi has a huge army of satisfied customers in China, and in recent years it has gained millions of fans around the world. I must say that I like and respect Xiaomi devices for their consistently high quality and worthy consumer characteristics. At the same time, as a rule, they have a very attractive price, comparable with the prices of ordinary goods of  “basement” manufacturers from China. In addition to hardware of its phones and tablets, company also attracts customers by proprietary MIUI operating system. You can say it is another shell for Android, which is now offered by almost every self-respecting manufacturer of Android devices, but the degree of customization and usability of MIUI is undoubtedly one of the highest among all competitors. But today we will focus on Xiaomi gadgets, which are recently appeared in large numbers. In fact, some of them are designed not by Xiaomi, but by third-party developers, financed by the company. However, all the gadgets are made in the company’s laconic style, tested and approved by Xiaomi, so that we can continue to count on high quality at the affordable price. So that is what we will check today.

Review of Xiaomi gadgets will consist of several parts. The first part will be devoted to one of the freshest and inexpensive, but very useful devices from Xiaomi – Xiaomi Power Strip. Next we look at the new Xiaomi PowerBank 10,000 and the first gamepad from Xiaomi, with a straightforward name Xiaomi GamePad. I also have many other interesting gadgets from Xiaomi, such as Xiaomi Pistons 2 Gold, Xiaomi Pistons 3, Xiaomi PowerBank 10400, Xiaomi MiBand, Xiaomi Mini Wi-Fi USB router, Xiaomi Wi-Fi router Mini (two different products) Xiaomi LED Lamp … But they were released a bit earlier, and today you can find a sufficient number of reviews. We are more interested in newest devices.

Traditionally, the table with the technical specifications:

ModelXiaomi Power Strip XMCXB01QM
PurposeUniversal power strip, charger with USB ports
Maximum load2500 W for 250 V
Maximum current10 A for 250 V
USB voltage5 V
Maximum current and load for USB ports3,1 A for all 3 ports, up to 2,1 A for 1 port, 15 W for 3 ports (10,5 W for 1 port)
Cable length1,7 m
Dimensions and weight225 × 41 × 26 mm (298 x 57 x 38 mm packaged), 275 g (300 g packaged)
Allowable temperature range when usingfrom -10 to +40 degrees Celsius
Plug typeCPCS-CCC (Chinese standard for 250 V with grounding) in tested sample, there are already options with European and US plugs on sale
MaterialNon-flammable plastic, resistant to temperatures up to 750 degrees Celsius
OtherSwitch-breaker with overload and over-voltage protection with white LED, 3 universal sockets, suitable for all types of plugs, child protection, compliance with safety standard Q/DXQMK0001-2015

So, Xiaomi Power Strip comes in a compact box made of white cardboard. Cardboard is ordinary, typical for many Xiaomi products in recent months. The same cardboard is used in packages of Pistons 3 and slightly thicker – in Power Banks. It protects its contents not so very good, but fortunately nothing was damaged during transportation. Some other Xiaomi products have much better packages, but let’s talk about this in the next sections of the review. However, the packaging is to some extent reflects the price of the device, which in China is only 49 yuan, i.e. a little more than $8. Of course, outside of China the price will be much higher, because it is also necessary to lay profit of the intermediary and transportation costs. The Power Strip itself is stowed in the package, and its plug is carefully protected by a plastic cover. Except this, box only contains brief instructions manual, traditionally for Xiaomi only in Chinese. Well, I don’t think we miss something substantial ;).

Appearance. Click the photo middle mouse button to see the full size.

The power strip itself is white, made of flame-retardant plastic, top and bottom are matte and the sides are glossy. The plastic holds, according to the manufacturer, the temperature up to 750 degrees Celsius. Coupled with promises about the protection against overload, over-voltage and overheating, as well as compliance to the latest safety standard Q/DXQMK0001-2015 (I could find no information about it, though), we can say that Xiaomi Power Strip will not be the cause of fire. The design is laconic and practical, which is typical for Xiaomi. Three sockets are suitable for almost all plugs, used around the world. And any plug will sit snugly and securely, thanks to the original design and use, unlike in many other power strips of Chinese origin, of a considerable amount of high-quality metal. I checked the sockets with European and US plugs – no problems detected. However,  grounding will not work in typical full size European plugs, because sockets are flat. All sockets have child protection. The main problem of the tested sample is a Chinese-Australian plug, which is not suitable for both European and US sockets. Some sellers already offer Xiaomi Power Strip with European and American plugs. But these options are a bit more expensive, and I’m not quite sure if they have the original Xiaomi plugs, and not replaced by the sellers. I use Xiaomi Power Strip with a high quality adapter, perfectly suitable for this plug, which you can see in the photos. With this adapter even the grounding will be functional, but, again, not in the European plugs. It is also not difficult to replace the plug with any other, because Xiaomi Power Strip has a dismountable design. By the way, according to the manufacturer, sockets of Power Strip have been successfully tested for 5,000 connections.

What's inside

Xiaomi Power Strip is designed for 2,500 Watts and 10 A at 250 V. Accordingly, with typical 225-230 V in our sockets it will be about 2750 watts and 11 A. Frankly speaking, it is difficult enough to load 3 sockets harder. Although you can if you try. But then the protection will trigger. Power key is equipped with white LED-indicator with optimum brightness, invisible when the device is turned off.

Now let’s continue with charging USB ports. For many it will be the main reason to buy Xiaomi Power Strip. Indeed, it is not such a big problem to buy the power strip, even with the power key and protection, although the price of high-quality models may be compared with the price of the tested device. But 3 USB ports with a declared total current up to 3.1 A and 2.1 A per port – it is much more interesting. As shown by my personal experience, it is not a trivial task to buy a high quality charger with a stable and “clean” (not giving interferences on the touch sensor) voltage and current in China, even if we are talking about devices with price of about $10 or even higher. However, recently the situation in this regard has started to improve, proof of which are two devices mentioned in this review. Is Xiaomi Power Strip is such a high-quality charger? Definitely, yes. It fully conforms to the claimed specifications, easily giving to two USB ports more than 2.5A at voltage slightly higher than 5V, which is very close to perfect. At the same time, I detected no interferences on the touch sensor, even on prone to such problems devices. Heating of device is also quite moderate. Subjectively, it is a bit warm. Voltage drop with increasing load for Xiaomi Power Strip is even lower than in very good Tronsmart charger, which you can also see on the photos next to the tested sample. Tronsmart under 2,7A load produces approximately 4,98V. Without load, as well as Power Strip, it outputs 5,12V, and 5,04V under 1A load. Xiaomi Power Strip shows the same 5,04V when giving 2.5A. The “intellectual” (equipped with “smart” chip, which selects the optimum charging current for various devices) Tronsmart has a much higher total power (40 Watts, 8A) and power per port (12 Watts, 2.4A), but all tested phones and tablets are charged equally quickly and efficiently by both devices. The distance between the USB ports is 9 mm, which allows to use any USB cables. In Tronsmart it is only 5 mm, which may cause some inconvenience if you connect more than three devices simultaneously. By the way, another interesting fact: USB tester in Xiaomi Power Strip turns off 20 seconds after the power is turned off.

USB ports testing

Let’s sum up the results. Xiaomi again pleased us with high-quality, low-cost and very useful device.

Among the disadvantages we should mention the following. 1. Chinese-Australian plug for standard devices. There are options with European and American plug, but there is no certainty if the plugs are original. The problem is easily solved by high quality $1 adapter (I have dozen of these adapters stocked for a long time) or self-replacement of plug (which is not hard, but worsen the design a bit). 2. There is no possibility to use the grounding with full size European plugs. 3. Only 3 sockets. This quibble, of course, but if we had, say, 5 sockets, then combined with three USB ports, they are guaranteed to have covered all my needs on the desktop. With 3 sockets, Power Strip covers them by 95%. The router, laptop, speakers – all sockets are occupied. But it is possible to charge three devices via USB. I rarely need more, but sometimes it happens.

Now let’s continue with the advantages. 1. Convenient, versatile and multi-function device. 2. Nice appearance, compact size. 3. Power switch with dim white LED. 4. Universal sockets, suitable for all types of plugs. 5. Children protection. 6. High reliability, overload and fire protection, high quality materials. 7. 3 convenient USB ports with high current, stable voltage, low heating and the lack of interferences. 8. Relatively low price, even if buying outside China.

I feel that Xiaomi Power Strip is a long time roomer of my desktop.
To be continued. In the next part I’ll briefly describe the new Xiaomi PowerBank 10,000.

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