One of the most disappointing aspects of the Android smartphone device explosion is the lingering impotency of battery performance. Sure, users of Android devices can all extend battery life by running power management applications like JuiceDefender and by cultivating conservative usage habits, but what we really need here is a rapid improvement in the performance of batteries. Battery R&D was clearly left behind while the manufacturers were all trying to out-do each other over screen, processor and camera performance.
Fortunately, while the pleas from the early adopters to the device manufacturers to address this debilitating problem appear to have fallen on deaf ears, other smaller manufacturers have taken notice. In fact, a surprising number of 3rd party battery manufacturers have now stepped up to bat, offering replacement batteries offering everything from slight to massive performance improvements. For current owners of Android smartphones the challenge now lies in answering the questions “What are my options for replacement batteries and where can I buy them?”
Having dedicated some time to this matter myself and successfully upgraded batteries on three different Android smartphones (a Samsung Galaxy S, an HTC Desire HD and a Motorola Milestone XT720) I decided to compile a list of popular devices, sorted alphabetically, with links to sellers of the highest capacity replacement batteries available. Many of these are super heavy-duty upgrades, leading to up to three times the runtime between charges (when compared to original stock batteries). These batteries tend to be over-sized, and ship with replacement back-plates for the phone. You can see what I mean with the Samsung Galaxy S example in the video below.
As for the table, while it is not a comprehensive list, I would love some encouragement and assistance to help it grow. If you have any requests for information on alternative batteries for specific devices or you’d like to share your experiences or add information to this chart, please leave a detailed comment at the end of this article.
|Brand||Model||Stock Battery Capacity||Maximum Battery Capacity||Purchase from|
|Google Nexus One||1500mAh||3000mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|HTC||HTC Bravo||1400mAh||3000mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|HTC Desire A8181||1400mAh||3000mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|HTC Desire||1400mAh||3000mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|HTC Desire HD||1230mAh||1800mAh||obostore.com|
|HTC Droid Eris||1300mAh||1500mAh||DinoDirect.com|
|HTC Hero||1350mAh||3200mAh (with cover)||Mugen Power|
|HTC Legend||1300mAh||1800mAh||Mugen Power|
|HTC Wildfire||1300mAh||1800mAh||Mugen Power|
|LG||LG Optimus 2X||1500mAh||4500mAh (with cover)||Mugen Power|
|Motorola Milestone XT720||1400mAh||2000mAh||DinoDirect.com|
|Samsung||Samsung Fascinate||1500mAh||3500mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|Samsung Galaxy S||1500mAh||3500mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|Samsung Vibrant||1500mAh||3500mAh (with cover)||DinoDirect.com|
|Sony Ericsson||Sony Ericsson Xperia X10||1500mAh||2600mAh (white cover)||Amazon.com|
|Sony Ericsson Xperia X10||1500mAh||2600mAh (black cover)||Amazon.com|
When we switched on our first Android smartphones in 2010, we were thrilled with the possibilities of at last having a powerful pocket computer and cellphone in one convenient package. Since then, we’ve been impressed by Google’s operating system upgrades and the rapid growth of applications on offer in the Android market. One bedbug that just keeps on biting however is the need to keep chargers in the car, home and office. With a stock battery and moderate use, not a day goes by when my smartphone doesn’t cry out for a recharge.
There are two ways to manage this problem. The first involves changing your behaviour, and that of your operating system and applications. The more functions you run on the device (wifi, bluetooth, gps etc) and the more applications you have running simultaneously, the faster your battery will discharge. Keeping a power widget on your desktop is a good start, and making sure you only turn on a phone feature when you need it (and turn it off again afterwards). Similarly, killing background applications is good practice, and there are a number of apps in the Android market which can make this easy.
Another cost-effective strategy to reducing charger-dependency is to seek out a high capacity replacement battery to suit your handset. We have done this recently with two handsets: Samsung’s Galaxy S and Motorola’s Milestone XT720. In most cases, you won’t find high capacity or heavy duty batteries offered by the manufacturers of the devices themselves. Instead, a number of third party manufacturers have identified the opportunity to answer consumers cries, albeit with varying success.
Our grand success story is that of our Samsung Galaxy S replacement battery upgrade. After searching for the battery offering the highest available capacity, we ordered this 3500 mAh battery from DinoDirect.com . The stock Samsung battery (which ships with the handset) holds a meager 1500 mAh, so we were expecting at least twice as much runtime from the changeover. Put to work immediately, the substitute battery now only requires charging every three days on average, when previously charging was a daily imperative. You can see a video of the battery and its installation below.
Purchase this battery now from DinoDirect.com
A less successful upgrade was that of my Motorola Milestone XT720. I swapped out the stock 1390 mAh battery with a 2000 mAh Deji Business Battery. I could not find any information or reviews about the battery and its effectiveness when used in combination with my phone. Evidently, the battery works well with the Motorola Droid A855 for which it was principally designed. Unfortunately, despite providing improved runtime in my XT720, the Froyo 2.2 battery meter was not able to measure the battery’s charge accurately, leading to some very frustrating behaviours. You can find out more in the video below.
Purchase this battery now from DinoDirect.com
It is clear that battery life was low on the priority list for first wave Android cellphone designers and manufacturers. Compared to processor speeds, screen size and quality and overall form factor, battery life didn’t get a look in! Inevitably, as these devices are gradually refined, battery technology, software streamlining and devices’ power economy will all improve. Sadly for now, Android users will have to keep chargers at the ready, fiddle with power management applications and turn to replacement batteries for a stop-gap solution.