10
Sep
IMG_7693 wm
Last Updated: July 26th, 2011

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:

  1. A 3000mAh battery + replacement back cover from eBay ($12 shipped on eBay)
  2. 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.

The Results

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.

snap20100821_212842

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).

IMG_7693 wm

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):

IMG_7689 wm IMG_7694 wm

IMG_7686 wm IMG_7697 wm

 IMG_7683 wm IMG_7698 wm

And a few more showing the final fit:

 IMG_7699 wm IMG_7700 wm 

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.

Buy

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):

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:

IMAG0042 wm IMAG0043 wm

IMAG0045 wm IMAG0046 wm

IMAG0047 wm IMAG0048 wm

Buy

The best deal on the Seidio Innocell I found was on Amazon, where it's currently sitting on sale for $63 (reg. price is $70).

Conclusion

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.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Stefanauss

    Excuse, but how can you call this a review if you don't even mention recharge times?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Don't see the value in recharge times really - what's the difference? Stick it on the charger and it'll charge as much as it can as fast as it can. The time probably takes twice the amount of time and depends heavily on which charger you're using.

  • Lokesh

    Bleah those look ugly as f***
    I'll stick to swapping batteries out...

  • Phil

    What power widget is that in the first screen shot? It does not look like the default one and I wanted the 4G and battery icons.

  • T

    Can you be more descriptive as to how well the no-name battery performed? At least how well it performed vs the Seidio? You had 83% left after 12h from which extended battery? How much more time did you get with the Seidio relative to the no-name? All I got from this article is that the extended batteries give you more juice compared to the 1500mAh battery.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Hi T,

      fair enough, this ended up being more of a PSA regarding extended batteries and a visual roundup for those looking at options.

      The 83% was with the eBay battery. I didn't run any specific conclusive tests, so every day's usage was different in the amount of WiFi, tether, calls, screen brightness, etc used. The Seidio performed the best of all of them, expectedly but since it's many times more expensive, I would still say the eBay battery is the best deal for the money. The question is, after 100 charges, will the eBay battery die out compared to Seidio or not, and I can't answer that.

      • T

        Thanks for the clarification. It seems strange that you still have 83% left of the 3000mAh battery after a day (~500mAh used) while you had to charge with the 1500mAh (>1500mAh used) though. Well.. not really strange, but I can't make use of the comparison since the usage was different. I'm just trying to gauge how much of the supposed 3000mAh is usable in the no-name battery.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          As I explained in the context, it's skewed to the optimistic side because I was on WiFi and didn't use tethering, i.e. I was at home. I usually have to recharge mid-day when I go to work, thus not being on WiFi for a while and using 2 hours of tethering on the way.

  • stephen

    i bought a extended battery 4 my sprint hero and it booted in safe mode?????the batteries r supposed to be the same????

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      What is safe mode on Android exactly? And yeah, I don't see how a battery can affect the load path.

  • boriqua2000

    i've been using my hero 3500 mah battery on my Evo and i only get about 18 hours of use.i run live wallpaper and have my brightness set all the way up.also where i work i get really bad 3g so the phone is constantly looking for a signal.is there any way to turn off 3g on the Evo?

    • http://www.gaveuphope.com Angstwad

      Buy Tasker - they did a review of the app here 2 weeks ago. It will let you create custom profiles based on location.

      So, for example, you could create a profile based on your work location that turnes off mobile data and uses wifi exclusively...or just WiMax, no 3G.

      It's approx $6 and should be downloaded direct from the dev. http://tasker.dinglisch.net/

    • madio

      Tasker is great I use it, but for free you can just hold down the power button and turn "mobile network" to off.

      • Mrxiro

        Or just the Widget labeled "MOBILE" to toggle it on and off. It only effects the DATA not calls nor texts.

  • Earl Stewart Jr

    Artem,

    Thanks for the review of the extended batteries. I have a question about something. You said that you weren't sure that the ebay battery would die out after 100 charges or so. Is that a standard problem with all cell phone batteries or just the extended ones? If it is true, why should we invest in a battery that will only last for a certain amount of days? I bought an extended battery for my Sprint Hero from Mugen Power batteries. It was 1800mah. I haven't had it a year yet and it seems like it dies out quicker than previously. Actually, the stock battery for the Hero lasts longer now. What can cause that? I apologize for the long reply.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Earl, from what I understand, the way batteries are made internally affects how long they hold the charge, how fast they recharge and drain, and how long they last before losing capacity. Therefore, aftermarket batteries vary so much in price - the cheap ones are likely to hold less charge sooner. I don't see a reasonable way to really measure that, so the question that will remain unanswered is: is it worth it to buy 3 batteries in a 2 years time at $10 each or 1 battery at $60, IF, and we don't really know this, IF the $60 battery is indeed much better.

      Regarding stock batteries, they are definitely going to be the highest quality - lots and lots of QC goes into making sure they are both safe and efficient.

  • http://www.protodepot.com E.J.Su

    Hi,

    What is that toggle on/off widget in your screen shot? Where can I download that?

    That's something I've been looking for since forever!

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      The on at the top is ExtendedControls, and the rest are regular Sense widgets.

  • Jake

    I bought the ebay product and I must say I'm surprised at how well it performs. I listen to audio books via bluetooth on my car stereo, field calls constantly, and check email and surf quite often throughout the day. Although I live in an area with full coverage 4g, which I never have on, the battery lasts me all day without a charge. A far cry from the half day to three quarter day I pulled from the stock battery.

    The long term life of the battery is the unknown, however upon doing the math, I think the price to ebay cheap factor is worth any perceived risk.

  • Earl

    I bought the battery deal from ebay as well and it hasn't worked out for me. I maybe get 8 hours out of it. I turn off bluetooth, wifi, GPS, the background light is turned to its lowest and I "kill tasks" that are running. I do occasional texting, surfing the web, and phone calls. If I do more of those, the battery life is shortened. How long did any of you charge the ebay battery before using it? The ebay deal I got came with a battery charger and 2 3500mah batteries. The price was obviously amazing but I want to experience the longer battery life as some of you have experienced as well...LOL. I am considering whether or not I should the Seidio battery now.

    • Tom

      Did you purchase from the seller specified in this article?

  • Earl

    Yes, I did. That was the only place I felt comfortable because of the review.

  • http://shoppinghome99 Zhongliang Deng

    I'm the seller.

  • http://shoppinghome99 Zhongliang Deng

    My E-mail:[email protected]

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