16
Mar
2012-03-15 17.06.44

I love my Galaxy Nexus. It's nearly perfect - fast, sleek, sexy as hell, and runs Android 4.0 (which is, without a doubt, the best version of Android to date). As impressive as it is, though, it has one massive shortcoming: the craptastic battery life. Fortunately, I'm around a wall outlet pretty much all the time, and I also have a couple of external chargers that stay in my gadget bag for times when I'll be away from the desk for an extended amount of time (read: hardly ever). But that's how things work in my life, which is definitely not the way it is for everyone else. Some people are away from the charger for hours upon hours at a time. For you guys, there's Seidio's behemoth 3,800 mAh battery, if you can stand a little extra bulk on your ultra-sleek Nexus.

I spent a few weeks toting around this massive brick-of-a-battery to see how much it actually improved my battery life. In some aspects it wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be, while I was pleasantly surprised in others.

What is it? Well, it's a battery. Pretty sure you already knew that, though.

How much is it? Depends. If you want it equipped with NFC, it'll set you back a cool $74.95. If NFC means nothing to you, then save yourself a Lincoln and grab the non-NFC version for $69.95. Of course, if you're not into paying retail, you can always check Amazon and get it a little bit (read: a lot) cheaper.

Where can I buy it?  Here. Or here if you want to save some cash (didn't we just go over this?)

The Good

  • Around 36 hours of battery life, depending on use
  • Charges relatively fast
  • It doesn't add as much weight to the device as you may anticipate
  • Still easily fits into the pocket (mine, at least)

The Not So Good

  • Takes away most all the sleekness of the device
  • Adds more bulk than some users want to deal with
  • The battery door is a pain to get on correctly compared to the stock door
  • Makes the phone look slightly like a jet-ski or some other sort of aquatic contraption

It's big, but not too big

wm_wm_2012-03-09 13.30.53

At first glance, you'll notice one thing: this battery is big. It adds quite a bit of junk to your GN's trunk, along with a slightly awkward new battery door. Surprisingly enough, though, it doesn't add that much overall weight to the device, is quite comfortable to use, and still fits nicely in the pocket. In fact, I noticed very little difference in comparison to the standard battery with the phone in my pocket. However, you may not be able to fit your newly-Frankensteined phone into those skinny jeans (if that's your thing), so that's something to be aware of.

wm_2012-03-09 13.08.26 wm_2012-03-09 13.07.00

Using the device with the larger battery isn't much of a change, though it is easier to hold with your shoulder for those times with you need to use both hands for something else while talking.

If you have the gin, it'll bring the juice

So, let's get down to the nitty gritty: how long does the battery actually last? Like with most things, this a question that isn't easily answered, as there are many variables that come into play. What I can tell you, however, is that I consistently went two days (around 36 hours) without touching a charger while using this battery. Understandably, it was a bit shorter on days when I used my phone more, and a bit longer on days when I used my phone less. Regardless, though, this thing will get you though a full day without breaking a sweat. In fact, if you manage to deplete this battery in one day, you need to put your phone down and go outside for a little while. Perhaps take the dog for a walk or go to the mall... just do something aside from jack with your phone all day long.

wm_2012-03-06 14.11.54 wm_2012-03-06 20.06.06 wm_2012-03-08 16.54.52

Even though this battery could easily get me through two days of use, I was actually slightly disappointed in the overall battery life. The fact that it's packing a whopping 3,800 mAh immediately made me think of the RAZR MAXX's 3,300 mAh battery, which has been know to last for nearly three days on a single charge. Given the RAZR MAXX's documented performance, I assumed that a battery with 500 mAh more would easily go for three days, but that's just not going to happen; unless, of course, you don't use the phone at all.

With that said, would I (or anyone else) really need to go three days without charging the battery? Not at all. Perhaps the disappointment was partly my fault for having it set in my mind that I would likely get three days of use out of a single charge. Despite this initial letdown, I'm still pleased with the fact that I can use my phone as much as I want without fear of depleting the battery and only need to charge it once every other day. It may not last for more than two days, but nearly 36 hours of battery life is still pretty dang impressive.

Update: It's worth noting that I was on Wi-Fi most of the time while using this battery, and, since Verizon hasn't yet activated LTE in my area, used 3G while away from home.

Conclusion

wm_2012-03-09 13.13.47

Let's recap. The battery is big, but it's not intolerably big. Does it make your phone look a bit awkward? Definitely. But does it keep you away from a charger for more than 8-12 hours? Absolutely.

Overall, my experience with this battery was more pleasurable than I expected it would be, though I was initially let down with the battery life. After adjusting my expectations in this area, however, I was very pleased with the battery's performance. I was equally impressed with how little weight the battery added to the device, though I do wish it were just a bit slimmer. If the RAZR MAXX can pack a 3,300 mAh battery into a 9mm frame, it would be nice to see a few millimeters shaved off of this behemoth, as well.

At the end of the day, it's really up to you to decide if this battery is a worthy investment for you - is the bulk worth the tradeoff for pretty incredible battery life? If so, then this battery is definitely worth the money. If not, then I suggest picking up a good portable charger.

Buy

Seidio | Amazon

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Aaron

    It's kind of dumb to compare the size of this extended battery to the RAZR MAXX. That battery came with the phone, and the phone was designed for it. They can shift around the internal components of the phone to make the phone, overall, slimmer. Seidio has to do with what real estate was predetermined. So it's not really fair to say you think it could be thinner...

    • Cameron Summerson

      I didn't say that I think it could be thinner. I said I wish it were thinner. Completely different things.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

      In theory, yes. But the RAZR MAXX's battery can be used inside a regular RAZR, as shown in here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1477982. Which means, Motorola didn't have to do anything dramatic to make the phone appear slimmer.

      That being said, the Galaxy Nexus's design has a disadvantage to begin with -- the battery has a shorter form factor than the RAZR's. Increasing its capacity will always make it thicker than the RAZR's battery.

  • Rob

    With the Siedio case, it makes it look a bit better

  • kentholio

    Screen on time would really be helpful in these extended battery reviews. Also, I see that you were on wifi for those pics. Is the majority of that 36hrs on wifi? 3g? 4g?
    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

    • Cameron Summerson

      In the shot with highest percentage of screen usage, it was on for around three hours.

      And yes, I was on Wi-Fi most of the time, and ran on 3G when I was away from home. Good question - I didn't even think about how the network usage affects battery life.

      • kentholio

        From what I understand, the radio is the biggest battery hog. Even more so than screen. This holds true in my testing also. If you are on wifi most of the time, this battery life is actually kind of depressing. Thanks for the reply!

  • Ryan

    I wonder if this will work in the soon to come Galaxy Nexus from Sprint. (When that
    wiil come, I don't know)

    • Sorian

      Since the design wasn't changed, I don't see why this wouldn't work in Sprint's Galaxy Nexus, which some rumours have it mid-April.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

    All I can say is that Seidio's designer is really lazy. Instead of making a 3800 mAh hunchback, they should make a nicely designed case that extends the built-in battery.

  • Ryan

    That thing is fu-gly!

  • Idle Time

    These extended batteries by Seido is a bit of a joke. You have to learn how to use and tweak your phone (through Tasker and SetCPU, if rooted). I have a 2000 Mah on my Evo 4G and it lasts 36 hours easily with medium to heavy use. and my buddy has a 3500Mah Seido one and he can barely go through 12 hours without having to charge his brick-like phone, while mine remains sleek and long-lasting.

    Buying bigger batteries is not the answer.

  • Chahk

    Oh my! It looks like someone strapped a G1 on the back of that GNex!

  • http://buggin.me Phil

    My "extended battery" is Wifi access. The thing goes all day without a problem on Wifi. The minute you're on 4G watch out.

  • Cheesycook

    I will say this for Seidio, I used nothing but their products for my EVO 4G because nobody else had the forethought to think "Maybe people want an extended battery, case, and docks that actually work with both". The phone manufacturers are making some nice docks (and charging three times their value) and completely discounting any features or add-ons. Someday maybe someone will make a truly universal dock that is configurable for almost any phone. I suppose I will hold out for the WICC revolution.

  • Tyler

    I recently just purchased the QCell 3850mAh battery from Amazon for $20. It was either that one or the 3800mAh Trexcell, both seem to get about the same reviews. Hopefully the 4.0.4 update will help with the battery life. I won't get to test the Qcell battery until tomorrow, if it doesnt last at least 50-75% longer than the 2100mAh, I won't be uber impressed.

    • Shamalama

      I was looking into that one, hope it works out for you!

  • max

    I purchased this batter I do miss the slim part of my phone but the truth is when I properly conserve my battery it can last me a whole day with heavy heavy usage I'm still on the fence with this but for people who really don't have lots of time to charge there phone its perfect

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

    That phone looks like a rape in progress. Someone call the police. Oh wait...

    • Roger vampire

      lmfao :-) :-) XD nice one...

  • Kevin

    I get a day and a half with stock battery.

    • dane

      kevin, how do you get a day and a half on your stock battery?

    • http://www.freshbrands.co.uk/ London Media Agency

      I can get two days out of it, until I actually need to look at the screen. For calls and stuff, the battery is fine - so it depends on how you use it, but there's no way you're getting that battery life while browsing the internet, responding to emails, looking at video or reading for any length of time, unless you've seriously under-clocked it.

  • Steve Rogerse

    I tired the Seidio and QCell Extended from Amazon.

    End up both having the same performance but QCell is only a third of the price of Seidio.

    I end up returning the Seidio and keeping the QCell extended. Seems to be a good deal vs. the original extended 2100mah battery which is a joke

    http://www.amazon.com/QCell-Verizon-Samsung-Extended-Compatible/dp/B00746TQVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1333084783&sr=8-1

    • Tyler Chappell

      In my experience, the QCell, thought usually better than stock, realistically is much more like a 2500mAh battery at best. I just ordered the Seidio because even with Gummy 1.2.2, the battery life still doesn't impress. As for this review, good job, but even though it's larger than the Maxx's 3300mAh battery, you're still comparing two completely different phones here, and quite frankly the LTE GNex is poorly designed when it comes to battery life, so it's not Seidio's fault that their 3800mAh battery lasts less than Motorola's 3300mAh.

  • Christopher Bauman

    I find it hilarious that people describe having batteries like this as having a "brick" as a phone.  I mean it does add a little extra girth to the phone, no question, but when the phone while stock is as thin as a "See spot run" book (aka Extremely thin, paper thin... almost too thin, it can sometimes pop out of your hands if they are sweaty.. thin).

    So basically batteries like this just make the phone closer to the size a phone probably should be.  If the phone were to have been built for this battery size and the added size was distributed along the entire back of the phone, I doubt you would hear anyone complain at all.  It's just the shear thinness of the phone and then seeing this normal-ish sized battery slapped into it makes the battery look huge.

    Personally I think phone makers need to stop the "who can make the thinnest" *Whatever* contest already.  I don't care you managed to make the thinnest tablest,smartphone,laptop ..etc if you can't use it for more than 10 minutes before the miserably small battery dies.

    Smartphones should all be designed with 3000-6000mAh batteries in mind. which would actually give full day usage on most high end phones.

    Whatever you think, it's def less bulk to carry around than the route that multiple verizon employees tried to steer me towards, which was having an extra 1-2 normal batteries with an external wall charger that could charge my phone and or the batteries.

    Not sure about you, but I'd rather carry a battery that adds like a cm or so to the phone than having to carry the phone and 1 or 2 extra normal batteries AND a charger =(

    Frankly I'm glad companies have the balls to make these things, cause we need them.

  • Emiel

    Can anyone confirm if with this extended battery the NFC function is still working???

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