What’s in a name? A lot if you ask people who buy Xiaomi’s Powerbanks. Xiaomi currently lists, and sells, two powerbanks in India. One of these is called 10000 mAh Mi Powerbank 2 and the other one is 20000 mAh Mi Poweerbank 2.
When you are clicking the buy button for these powerbanks you are most likely doing so because you believe that one of them has 10000 mAh battery while the other gives you 20000 mAh. That is where you are mistaken. You actually get lot less battery, over 30 per cent less, for what you pay.
Update: A lot of tech bloggers, in response to this report, have pointed out that Xiaomi is not doing anything wrong. Instead, they say that this report is wrong because it fails to take into account something called Conversion Rate, which depends on several other factors. The argument is that it is pure physics which determines the actual capacity of a powerbank. And that is accurate. It is also true that most companies selling powerbanks indulge in this shenanigans. But the point that this report makes is not that Xiaomi’s powerbank should bend the rule of physics but that the company should not name a powerbank something like “10000 mAh Powerbank 2” when it knows that the actual capacity of the powerbank is going to be significantly less. The rules of physics are the reason why this report didn’t say that Xioami is lying. But surely with the naming of Xiaomi is clearly aiming to mislead consumers.
Interestingly the rule of physics is something that a Xiaomi India PR person also highlighted in a tweet to the writer of this news report. Here is what he said, indulging in a name-calling, although he claims that the statement was made from his personal profile and in his personal capacity. It should not be considered an official statement.
But no, don’t berate yourself for paying more for less. The fault here clearly lies with Xiaomi which has named the powerbank in a way that is extremely misleading. Even if it is not factually wrong — the name can be anything, right — it is very disingenuous on Xiaomi’s part to name its powerbanks 10000 mAh and 20000 mAh while their actual capacity is less.
The 10000 mAh powerbank actually has the capacity of 6900 mAh, which explains why you may find the actual performance of the powerbank not meeting your expectations when you use it.
The 20000 mAh, meanwhile, gives users 14000 mAh battery, which again is nearly 30 per cent less than what the name suggests. The 10000 mAh Mi Powerbank 2 costs Rs 1,199 while the 20000 mAh Mi Powerbank 2 costs Rs 2,199.
The anomaly in the name and the actual capacity of the Xiaomi powerbanks was spotted by Prashanto Roy, who then tweeted about it.
Xiaomi may claim that it is not at any fault here, although the way it has named the product shows the clear attempt at misleading and fooling consumers, because it does show the actual capacity of its powerbanks on their product pages. But then it is not so straight-forward. Even on the product pages on the powerbanks, the company tend to use 10000 mAh 20000 mAh again and again in the bid to reinforce the fallacy. It’s only in one place, where it says that the actual capacity is less.
Interestingly this is not the only instance where I have seen Xiaomi trying to mislead consumers. The company uses older versions of Android in its phones. The latest Mi Max 2, which will be launched tomorrow that is Tuesday, the company will most likely use Android Marshmallow that was released almost two years ago. The company emphasises that latest version of Android doesn’t matter and yet, it is careful enough to not list the Android version on the specification pages of the phones like Mi Max.