Surprise, some extended batteries actually work!

I’ve been very critical of third-party extended batteries for smartphones on this blog. They add bulk without adding to the battery life. Rated capacity are hugely exaggerated: my tests with a computerized battery analyzer (CBA) showed the actual capacity to be only a feeble 24% to 43% of claimed capacity.

So I was pleasantly surprised this week when I tested the extended battery for my new Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I know I’ve said third-party extended batteries are a waste of time and money, but I simply couldn’t resist the cheap deal – a 3800mAh rated battery going for only $10 (USD8.30).

unbranded Samsung Galaxy Nexus 3800mAh extended battery

The battery seemed to make a significant difference to my battery life. So I tested it with the CBA. The actual capacity was measured at 3016mAh (79.4% of rated capacity). This was the best result by far.

And it was a cheap, unbranded battery.

To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I bought another battery from the same supplier. This time, the result was 2981mAh (78.4%).

The first test terminated halfway, so the full graph isn’t available. Here’s the test for the second battery:

CBA Galaxy Nexus 3800 discharge test

Again, a decent result.

I don’t understand why these third-party battery manufacturers feel the need to inflate the rated capacities. Samsung isn’t producing an official extended battery, so they pretty much have the field to themselves. Why not rate these batteries accurately at 3000mAh? The amount of customer goodwill they will win is invaluable.

My only concern is how will these batteries can last over time. I will repeat the tests once I notice any significant drop in performance.

Right now, I’m just enjoying the freedom to use live wallpapers and high screen brightness, to watch YouTube videos, and play 3D games whenever I want.

In fact, I run out of things to do on my phone before the battery runs out of juice.

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About Hun Boon

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
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