Welcome to part 2 of my article series centered around getting that precious time between charges of your Android devices to be as long as possible. I'm reviewing EVO 4G products because that's the handset I personally own, but there is nothing stopping you from extrapolating my findings and exploring similar products made for your own devices.
The EVO comes with a battery containing a similar or maybe slightly larger amount of juice than most phones - 1500mAh. A portable powerhouse, my EVO can eat through its full charge long before the day ends, especially if I'm using my favorite WiFi tethering app for a few hours.
Solution 1 - Rinse And Repeat
In part 1 of the series, I offered a simple solution that provided a whole lot of extra juice for pennies on the dollar - $10 bought you 2x 1500mAh batteries along with a wall battery charger that could also charge your phone via USB. The obvious problem with getting 2 more of the same battery was that you needed to swap and recharge, always keeping track of which battery is dead and which isn't. For $10, however, it was more than acceptable.
But I wanted more, so I decided to explore a couple of other options. Beefier options. Much beefier. At the expense of having a heavier and fatter phone, I could potentially have enough battery life to avoid charging mid-day and even have a bunch of unused juice left by night time.
Solution 2 - Bulk Up
What can you do when you can't cram more battery cells into a certain size? You cram in twice as much and grow the whole thing - that's what.
Allow me to introduce these 2 bad boys:
- A 3000mAh battery + replacement back cover from eBay ($12 shipped on eBay)
- A 3500mAh battery + replacement back cover from Seidio called Innocell ($63 shipped on Amazon)
By the time these new batteries arrived at my house, I made peace with the idea of having a thicker, less elegant EVO. While still having the option of swapping 1 of my 3 normal batteries in when I wanted to go light again, I decided that for day-to-day usage, slightly heavier and bulkier was fine. In fact, I was thinking of trying out each battery for a only few days and then going slim again but instead ended up sticking with with the fatties permanently.
Alright, so before I go on describing the batteries themselves and how they fit into the phone, you may be wondering how well they did. Did they double my battery life? Did they prevent me from having to charge up mid-day?
The answer is: yes, absolutely. I no longer charge my phone at work, and by the time I get home, I have plenty of charge to go around. I use about 2 hours of tethering a day, which normally kicks the crap out of my regular battery, but now I can stop feeling paranoid about it.
The screenshot below is kind of extreme, but here's what happened when I was home all day using WiFi. I took the phone off the charger at 9:30AM or so, and what you see here is 83% battery left at 9:28PM. I'd like to think that's pretty good. Again, because I was on WiFi all day and didn't use any tethering, these are definitely skewed towards the optimistic side.
3000mAh Battery From eBay
The battery I decided to look into first was a double-capacity 3000mAh monster from eBay that only cost $11.79, shipped free. Considering the stock 1500mAh OEM battery costs $30-40, this battery costs are almost negligible.
If you are looking for the best deal, this $22.99 2x 3000mAh + battery charger + battery cover from the same seller cannot be beat (update: new link, now beefier and cheaper).
3000mAh battery (left), 1500mAh battery (right)
Due to the extra thickness, the extended battery came with its own replacement back cover. The cover, to my surprise, felt velvety and nice, had openings for the camera, LEDs, speaker, and the kickstand, and matched the color of the handset pretty well. My only complaint was the fit - it wasn't as perfect as the original cover and showed slight gaps here and there if you looked closely. However, for $12, I was very satisfied.
Here, take a look (stock on the left, extended on the right):
And a few more showing the final fit:
As you can see, my EVO is no longer lean and mean - instead, it looks like it just gained a few pounds. That's OK though, I got used to it pretty quickly. In fact, because the area around the kickstand was no longer flat, I found it to be very convenient for weeding the phone out of my pocket. Also, having weighed the battery, I found it only added about 1.5oz to the weight, which wasn't very much.
Overall, I am very happy with this purchase.
Again, you can get this particular battery from eBay user shoppinghome99 using one these deals (once these expire, you can find the latest deals by clicking the username link to the left):
- 3000mAh battery+ COVER for Sprint HTC Evo 4G ($11.79)
- NEW 2X 3000MAH BATTERY+CHARGER FOR SPRINT HTC EVO 4G ($22.99) - this is the best deal in my opinion (update: new link, now beefier and cheaper)
- 2x3000mAh battery+ COVER for Sprint HTC Evo 4G ($19.99)
- 3000mAh battery + dock charger for Sprint HTC Evo 4G
- Update: the seller now sells 3500mAh batteries too - 3500mAh battery+ COVER for Sprint HTC Evo 4G A9292 ($13.79)
You can also try to find a battery for your own phone by clicking one of these and adding your phone model:
3500mAh Seidio Innocell
Seidio is a company that makes top notch mobile accessories, and this battery is no exception. It packs not 3000mAh but 3500mAh and ships with a high quality cover. It is a bit different from the one above, as it's molded to strictly wrap around the battery, but the fit is much more snug and precise, in fact so snug that I have trouble pulling it apart at times. I still like the cover on the eBay deal more, due to the handy easily-weed-phone-out-of-pocket area around the kickstand.
In all other aspects, this Innocell is the absolutely best battery you can get for your EVO. It lasts so long that the only way to describe it is by using a very scientific measurement unit of "ages".
Unfortunately, I didn't have my T2i on me when I was taking pictures, so I resorted to using another EVO's camera instead. Here they are:
One of the best ways to increase the time between charges is to get an extended battery. It comes with a definite disadvantage of making your phone a little fatter and heavier, but in return you get twice or more than twice the juice.
The options I looked at offer something for everyone:
- the eBay battery is cheap and works well but off-brand accessories like this may not be for everyone
- the Seidio Innocell is for those looking to spend a bit extra but rest easy knowing the premium went towards the ultimate and highest quality solution
Pick up either of these batteries? Share your impressions with us in the comments.