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Project: Xiaomi Mi Max (2016) Battery Replacement. Xiaomi Mi max

Project: Xiaomi Mi Max (2016) Battery Replacement

I’ve been a fond user of the Xiaomi Mi Max ever since I picked it up in 2017 at the beginning of my nearly year-long holiday. As the first affordable “large” screen phone I ever owned, I found the added real-estate invaluable for my holiday and daily use, especially when combined with the flexibility unleashed when the bootloader is unlocked and the phone rooted. But perhaps the biggest attraction was the 4850mAh battery which gave the phone a stamina virtually unmatched by others at that price.

It became my primary phone for a number of years until its battery started to deteriorate noticeably. By that point, I switched my primary phone duties to a cheap (and lesser) Sharp Aquos S3 while retaining the Mi Max for home duties where the battery was still sufficient.

As time passed, the battery continued its decline to the point I wondered whether it was worth trying to replace it. Few phone manufacturers actually release genuine replacement parts to the market, so buying a replacement battery would be a risk – sometimes it’s worse than the original. The battery replacement procedure for a non-removable battery also entails some potentially difficult surgery – the gamble could result in a damaged phone which might never work again especially if you damage the original battery removing it and the new battery doesn’t work. If you puncture the battery, you could even fill the room with smoke and flames.

For many months, I put off the replacing the battery as the phone was set-up the way I liked it and it was tolerable. But then, I realised that the spare parts (even if they are aftermarket) would not be around for long, as Xiaomi has discontinued the Max line at the third iteration. I decided that even at 24 for a new battery of unknown quality, it was worth a short – new phones running newer versions of Android OS tend to be less flexible with regards to rooting and often have compatibility issues with older apps. Of course, something else in the phone may fail and the unit is probably got security vulnerabilities all over it, but I think that my Max may still have more to give.

Replacing the Battery

To replace the battery entails removing the rear casing from the unit. The first step is to remove the SIM tray entirely. I found that squeezing around the top and bottom, the casing was creaking slightly, and a fingernail could easily be edged into the plastic bezel to unclip the rear. The fingerprint sensor is wired in on a flexible flat cable – popping this off allows the rear casing to be completely removed.

The replacement battery was ordered from eBay – it was the cheapest listing, arriving in a cellophane bag inside a thin walled cardboard box in a padded envelope. The cell itself feels solid and seems to be of roughly the expected density, but as expected, is unbranded. Many of the other listings that do show a branding may be the same thing with different printing – there are lots of counterfeit and suspect items on there.

The original battery is dated 22nd August 2016, meaning it had survived three years already. Unlike some other Xiaomi phones I have owned, this battery has not noticeably swollen, although the pouch has started to come away from the pack slightly, which suggests to me that some gas evolution has taken place. The battery appears to be made by a chinese company called Sunwoda Electronic Co. Ltd. who now seem to be making electric vehicle batteries as well.

Looking at the replacement battery’s serial number, it seems to start with SWBM – could this be short for SunWoda Battery Manufacturing? Just a thought … since many phones like this use custom sizes of prismatic cells, it would not be easy to get a perfect match otherwise.

To access the battery connection requires removing the aluminium shield plate at the top, which is also bonded to the black plastic former on the top with metallised printed trace antennas. This requires undoing a lot of PH000 size screws, including one under the orange Mi warranty label and one underneath a black plastic tape near the camera LEDs.

The whole assembly unclips as long as you lever the plastic former away from both sides. The battery connector is along the bottom edge of the PCB, just left of the centre and can be snapped up to free itself from the mainboard.

Battery removal is made simple in this unit by the use of special adhesive tape that works similar to the 3M Command adhesive strips. The black tape tabs on the battery at the bottom can be lifted. Then, holding firmly on one tape at a time, pull the tape out towards the bottom of the phone keeping constant pressure as the tape elongates and eventually shears away from both surfaces. Repeat for the other tape.

The battery is then free to fall out of the chassis – great success. It’s interesting to see the printing on the other side of the battery – this included some codes which appear to be serial numbering, but the location and type of print matches on the new replacement battery, which suggests to me that the replacement may be just as good as the original.

I used some regular double-sided sticky tape to secure the new battery, clipping in the lead and reversing the process to reassemble the phone. The new battery was a snug fit – I don’t intend to take it back out again, but if I do, I might need to use the “heatpack” method to soften the adhesive before prying the battery out with a stiff card. Puncturing the battery would be bad news.

The good news was that the phone seemed to be happy with the replacement battery – it was able to boot, charge and run from the battery, seemingly unharmed from the surgery.

Battery Performance

One of my concerns was that the new battery could potentially be a poor quality replacement battery that wouldn’t meet the printed rating. As a result, I wanted to see how much I gained from replacing the battery. To do this, I had the phone running with the screen on, idle, connected to my home network and with the rear LEDs at full brightness using the torch function. The battery was drained from 100% down to 5% and the run time recorded from the phone’s operating system.

Prior to replacement, the phone achieved just 2h 47m 54s on battery.

After replacement, we were able to reach 5h 17m 14s (noting I had changed the screen DPI on the phone to get more detail when using with other apps). This is almost a doubling of run-time which means that the replacement was well worth the effort. This also implies that the old battery was perhaps just 52.7% of the capacity of the new one.

Testing the Old Battery

This leaves the question of just how much capacity the old battery had left in it. I decided to disassemble the battery to get to the cell itself.

The reason for this is that even though the snap-on connector is well marked as to its functions, I had no compatible form of connection. Instead, I decided I would dig through the adhesive tape to remove the protection board to access the cell directly.

project, xiaomi, 2016, battery

After unravelling the protection board, I snipped the spot-welded metal tabs from the board and used alligator clips to connect it to my Rohde Schwarz NGM202 to do some testing.

Charging was performed to 4.40V at 2A current, terminated when the current fell to 100mA. Discharge was performed at 485mA (C/10) rate down to 2.5V to give the cell the maximum possible recorded capacity. I don’t intend to reuse the cell, thus, I don’t mind if it is damaged by the discharge process.

According to the recorded data, it achieved a tested capacity of 2249.123mAh which is just 46.4% of the typical rated capacity (or 47.3% of its minimum rated capacity). This indicates that the battery did suffer a significant amount of capacity loss – but this is one of the benefits of owning a phone with a large battery – you can accommodate a larger amount of capacity loss before the phone has a battery life that is too short for regular day-to-day usage.

If we use this to back-calculate based on the ratio of operation time, this implies that the replacement cell may have a real capacity closer to 4270mAh or about 88% of the rated capacity. This is not matching exactly what is on the label, but is actually fairly typical for a cell that may be in service after the first few charges or after some prolonged storage.

Conclusion

Replacing the battery was probably less difficult than I had imagined and went smoothly. The replacement battery extended the run-time by about double, a very useful increase that now means the Mi Max is back in business (even though it’s a little old now and might have quite a few security holes)! This is great news for me, since I have a holiday coming up and that would come in handy, along with all the root-apps that I use and set-up that has been so carefully refined over the years.

The original battery had degraded to just 46.4% of the rated capacity within about three years, thus it was noticeable, but the benefit of starting with such a large battery in the first place is that you have further to fall before it becomes too small for comfort. The replacement battery appeared to be a generic cell, but had some similarities with the original battery. Through back-calculating, it seems the replacement cell might have a capacity of about 4270mAh or 88% of the label rating, which is perhaps better than I expected as eBay replacement batteries can be a lottery.

The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 has a tablet-sized screen and a huge battery

Remember when the race was on to see who could create the smallest phone in the world? Those days are long gone, and it’s no longer too difficult to find a phone that’s big enough to also double as a tea tray in times of need.

But those phones aren’t big enough for you — you want a truly massive phone. That’s where the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 comes in. With a tablet-sized 6.9-inch screen, the Mi Max 3 is the phone for anyone who really wants a phone bigger than their head. Here’s everything you need to know about the enormous Xiaomi Mi Max 3.

Design and display

First thing’s first — the Xiaomi Mi Max 3’s absolutely enormous display. It’s a 6.9-inch IPS LCD running a 2,160 x 1,080-pixel resolution in an 18:9 resolution. That gives it a pixels-per-inch measurement of 350, making it far from one of the sharpest phones we’ve ever seen, but it should be clear enough for most.

project, xiaomi, 2016, battery

As you might expect, the body is big too, and the Mi Max 3 towers over even the Galaxy Note 8 by over half an inch in height — but thanks to a bezel-less design, it’s not quite approaching small tablet size in footprint. Slim bezels run up the sides of the phone, leading into a fairly slim forehead and chin. Not the slimmest we’ve seen, but not terrible for a midrange phone. The front-facing selfie camera can be found at the top, along with the phone’s earpiece. You’ll find a headphone jack at the top of the device, and a USB-C port at the bottom.

Flip the phone over and you’ll find a dual-lens camera system stacked vertically in the iPhone X-style. Unlike the iPhone though, you’ll also find a fingerprint sensor here, too, placed centrally fairly far up the back of the phone. We’ll have to see whether the extremely large size of the phone means that reaching the sensor will be a chore.

project, xiaomi, 2016, battery

Specs and battery

Key Specs

  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
  • Memory: 4/6GB
  • Storage: 64/128GB
  • MicroSD storage: Up to 256GB
  • Screen size: 6.9 inches
  • Resolution: 2,160 x 1,080
  • Connectivity: GSM/CDMA/LTE
  • Battery: 5,500mAh
  • Size: 176.2 x 87.4 x 8 mm
  • Weight: 221 g (7.80 oz)
  • Operating system: Android 8.1 Oreo (under MIUI 9.5)

Xiaomi’s Mi Max line has traditionally been a midrange offering, despite the size, and the Mi Max 3 is no different in that regard. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor — the same processor on the speedy Moto Z3 Play — and offers the choice between 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and a hefty 128GB of storage. While it’s unlikely to be the fastest phone on the block, it’s still likely to deliver good performance.

With those modest midrange specs you might be wondering what the large body of the Mi Max 3 is filled with. Turns out it’s full of extra battery. The Mi Max 3 is packing a massive 5,500mAh battery. Most modern flagships sit around a 3,000mAh battery, with some particularly large batteries hitting 4,000mAh — making the Mi Max 3’s battery utterly enormous. It’s also equipped with QuickCharge 3.0, and Xiaomi claims the battery will charge from empty to 71 percent in an hour.

Software and special features

The phone will ship with Android 8.1 Oreo, but it will be hidden under MIUI 9.5, the latest version of Xiaomi’s Android skin. MIUI isn’t a terrible re-skin of Android. but it’s certainly different, so it’s fair to expect some different-looking menus and settings on the Mi Max 3. However, Xiaomi’s update game is good, and you can probably expect the Mi Max 3 to receive the MIUI updates for Android P and Android Q.

There’s also going to be a raft of special features nestled in the Mi Max 3’s ample body, including A.I. scene recognition in the camera, facial unlocking, and a voice assistant.

Camera

There’s a decent camera suite attached to the Mi Max 3 as well. You’ll find a dual-lens system installed around the back, with a 12-megapixel main lens armed with an f/1.9 aperture. The secondary lens is just 5 megapixels, and will be used primarily for depth-sensing in portrait shots. The Mi Max 3 will apparently also be able to capture 4K video at 30 frames per second, and slow motion video at 120 frames per second, but only at 720p. The selfie shooter around the front will be an 8-megapixel lens with an f/1.7 aperture.

Release date and price

There’s no word on a release date yet, or even of a possible U.S. release. Xiaomi has been vocal about its desire to break into the U.S., so it’s possible this could be the phone to do so. The Xiaomi Mi Max 3 will be available in black, champagne gold, and blue.

Pricing has been revealed, and the 4GB/64GB model will cost 1,699 yuan (about 250), and the 6GB/64GB model will cost 1,999 yuan (around 300).

What’s To Love and Hate About Xiaomi’s Mi Max 2

I’ve read so much about the massive battery savings of the Qualcomm 625 processor that when the Mi Max 2 was announced earlier this year with excellent battery usage stats, I knew it was time to let go of the Mi5s Plus. These days, it’s battery life over speed when it comes to my gadget requirements though I’d be lying if I say I don’t miss the speed of the Mi5s Plus once in a while.

Huge Battery Life

Xiaomi claims the battery can last 2 days of use and some users have been able to stretch that to 3 – 4 days. Their claims are on point as watching 2hrs 10mins of Netflix offline videos at 50% screen brightness and 100% volume via the dual stereo speakers zapped just 10% of the battery. Dual SIM, Wi-Fi and Sync were on during this test

If you decide to use an wired headset to save more battery, 3hrs 10mins of Netflix would cost you 10% of the battery capacity with the device in airplane mode.

As far as daily usage, I was getting almost 2 days on Wi-Fi with 14hours SOT before I switched on the Power Saving mode. Screen brightness was set at 25% indoors during the day, 10% at night and 5% past midnight. I only use 100% or auto-brightness when I’m outdoors

In 3G Only mode, I was able to get over a day’s usage with 9hrs SOT before switching on the Power Saver.

Not Great Front Back Cameras

The 12MP back camera and 5MP front facing camera give good shots in plenty of light but suck in low light/indoors as you can see on my instagram. Click on the side arrows to navigate the pics.

Other shots are on my IG profile

This is the best shot I could get indoors in low light. Click to enlarge

Fast Charging

The device supports Quick Charge 3.0 and as such charges quite fast. 1 hour of charging is expected to give you 68% battery. In my testing a full charge from 0% to 100% takes like 2hrs 30mins if the device is switched off.

NOTE: Charging the device with a regular 5V/2A powerbank or wall adapter will take 4 hours plus so I highly recommend you order a spare QC3.0 charger. Tronsmart is my go to brand for such chargers as they come cheap from time to time.

Also be sure to get a spare USB type C cable as these aren’t as common as the regular microUSB cables.

It’s Massive For A Phone

Most users “complained” about how big the device was but I assumed they were just exaggerating until the case arrived and I knew I was in for a rude awakening.

Just like its predecessor, the Mi Max 2 is huge with a 6.4″ Full HD display thus its phablet tag. The device feels really good in the hands without a case but is kinda slippery. Throw on a case especially one like mine and the heft of the device increases and single handed usage becomes tiring more often.

The consolation here is that the stunning battery life will keep you hooked plus it’s the next best thing to watching movies and reading on a tablet.

Good Performance

The Qualcomm 625 processor performs pretty well and gets the job done for regular mobile users but it kinda sucks when you want to run high powered apps and what have you. You’d notice the lag a lot more if you decide to use the Second Space feature of MIUI.

Loud Speakers

Though they are not as good as the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers on the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3, the speakers on the Mi Max 2 performs pretty well and according to Xiaomi when the device is in landscape mode, it automatically switches on a dual stereo effect using a speaker embedded in the earpiece.

Something might be wrong with this feature though as in my experience whether I’m in portrait or landscape mode, I can feel and hear the audio coming out from both the main speaker and the earpiece.

Summary: With third party retail for the 4GB/64GB version down to like 230, Xiaomi’s Mi Max 2 is one device you should most definitely get especially if you are one to spend day away from a charging point. It’s the perfect phone built for mobile entertainment.

Some of you may not be comfortable with humongous size and as such the best alternative within the price range would be the Lenovo P2 but I decided not to buy that one as user reviews were consistent about the camera being meh and their software updates are quite rare and buggy.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев and questions are gladly welcome.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 Review

BY Rajesh Pandey

Before you dismiss this review thinking large phones like the 6.44-inch Mi Max 2 which blur the line between a phone and a tablet are impractical for use in daily life, think again. Apart from the expensive Galaxy Note series from Samsung, phablets are all but dead. Xiaomi, however, seems to have proven everyone wrong with their Mi Max series.

Initially launched last year, the Mi Max was a huge success in China and did surprisingly well in India too. This year, the company is back with the Mi Max 2 which builds on the strengths of its predecessor. And before you dismiss the Mi Max 2 for its huge size, you’d be surprised to know that it is surprisingly not that impractical to use in daily life.

The Good

Like the Mi Max from 2016, the Mi Max 2 also comes with a 6.44-inch Full HD display. The handset does not come with the fancy new taller 18:9 aspect ratio display found on the likes of the LG G6 or the Galaxy S8. This means that you get a screen that is 6.44-inch wide when measured diagonally — that’s huge! Yet, the curved corners and the supremely refined build quality of the Mi Max 2 make it a pleasure to hold. While the Mi Max had a very blocky design with various components just glued together, the Mi Max 2 feels like it has been made from a single piece of aluminium. And rightfully so. The rear design of the device is a blatant rip-off of the iPhone 7 with the antenna lines located at the top and bottom edges and colored in a dark shade of grey to make them less visible.

When you first pick the Max 2 up, you’ll be in awe of its size and just how big the display is. Then, you switch on the display and you’ll be surprised at just how good it is. We are still talking about a 1080p Full HD IPS panel here but Xiaomi has ensured it sourced the darn best LCD panel available in the market. Just to give you an idea of its size, even the Galaxy S8 with its 6.2-inch QHD display feels tiny in front of the Mi Max 2.

The size of the display is what makes and breaks the Mi Max 2 for many. If you want a device that can act as both a tablet and a phone, go for the Mi Max 2. And then there are people who cannot imagine using a device like the Mi Max 2 due to its huge size on a regular basis. It’s the latter kind of people who really need to try the Mi Max 2.

Once you get over the size of the Mi Max 2, you will realise just how handy the huge display on the device is. Browsing, watching videos, reading etc are all an experience that no other device on the market can match. You really need to experience using a device like the Mi Max 2 first to know its benefits.

The stereo speakers on the Mi Max 2 perfectly compliment the huge display and make this device a multimedia powerhouse. The stereo speakers are automatically activated when you watch a video in landscape mode, which is more than good enough for the majority of users.

There’s another benefit of the huge screen: an equally huge battery life. Thanks to the combination of a 5300mAh battery and Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 625 chipset, the Mi Max 2 offers a battery life that is simply unmatched by any other device. While I have frequently managed to get a screen-on time of over 5-6 hours with most mid-range devices, the Mi Max 2 is a league of its own.

For over two weeks that I used the device with a single SIM, I was consistently getting upwards of 8 hours of screen-on time. And I ensured that I had disabled all of Xiaomi’s power saving modes and tricks since they end up affecting some of the apps that I use. I have managed to go through one full weekend with the device on a single charge twice with over 30% battery still left.

The Mi Max 2 is the kind of device you wish to have when you go on a road trip or for trekking since you will not have to worry about hunting for a power bank at the end of the second day. Even better, since the Mi Max 2 comes with a USB-C port, you can use the device to charge other smartphones. Nothing like showing off the battery prowess of the Max 2 by charging your friend’s phone and still going strong the next day. And since the device features Quick Charge 3.0, it can be charged to 70% in just an hour as well.

Like with almost every other mid-range device released this year, the Mi Max 2 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 chipset which helps it deliver unfathomable battery life. The chipset also does a great job of handling whatever you throw at it without overheating or skipping a beat.

Additionally, since the MIUI 8 build on the Mi Max 2 is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, it feels smoother and faster to use compared to other devices from Xiaomi featuring the same chipset. Things are only going to improve once the Mi Max 2 gets the MIUI 9 update which comes with its own share of performance improvements.

The Average

The Mi Max 2 comes with a 12MP f/2.2 Sony IMX386 shooter at its rear featuring 1.25um large pixels. The camera specs are not impressive by any means but the Max 2 still does a good job in most conditions. Photos taken from the device in daylight turn out to be just fine with Xiaomi’s color processing nailing the scene in most cases. It is in low-light scenarios where the camera shows its weakness but even then for its price, the Mi Max 2 does a fairly good job. When compared to the Redmi Note 4, the Mi Max 2 camera does a far better job. It even comes with Auto HDR and 4K video recording capabilities — something which the Redmi Note 4 lacks despite coming with the same chipset.

The Bad

Not all is perfect with the Mi Max 2 though. For a device of its size which should be a multimedia and multitasking prowess, the device only comes with multi-window multitasking. Even that feature is not available out of the box and Xiaomi will roll out a software update in August to enable the functionality. The Mi Max 2 badly needs multitasking features found on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S devices like floating apps, being able to run apps in windowed mode, and more. It is then that the Max 2’s true potential can be utilised by a power user.

Finally, despite singing praises of the Mi Max 2 size, I am not going to lie: the device does feel a bit too big sometimes. It is a struggle to take the phone out of my while I am driving. And if you have small hands, you are going to struggle to use the Max 2 properly.

In the end though, for the price that Xiaomi commands for the Mi Max 2 — Rs 16,999, it is almost impossible to ignore just how much of a value for money the device offers, especially since you are getting 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM for that price. If you want a device that bridges the gap between a phone and a tablet, go for the Mi Max 2 with your eyes closed — you will not regret your decision.

The Mi Max 2 is available on Xiaomi’s own Mi.com store, Flipkart and Amazon for Rs 16,999 in black color.

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