Tag: Samsung

Product Review: Anker 7500mah extended battery for Samsung Galaxy S5

I recently upgraded my phone to a Samsung Galaxy S5, after several years running on a Galaxy SII. While the SII was the best phone I’d had up until that point, there were a number of problems that I had with it, which got especially aggravating toward the end of my time with it. The biggest being ongoing support of the firmware, continually degrading performance over time, necessitating periodic factory resets, and battery life.

Even when brand new, the battery drain on the SII was a serious problem for me, and led to me feeling like I was chained to a power outlet. I’d lose 10% while disconnected from charge for 40 minutes, the length of my commute to work. And yes, I looked in to every conceivable thing you could possible think of to identify causes of drain and do something about them — nothing worked. I bought an extended 3800mah battery for it, which helped a bit, but even so at times I would see the phone draining impressively fast — 1% per minute, on many occasions.

I came to the conclusion that an ideal smartphone should be about an inch thick, and be about 90% battery by weight.

When I went shopping for a new phone, I was really unsure of whether I would want to consider one of the newer generation Samsung Galaxy phones. But ultimately, I selected the Galaxy S5. The non-removable, non-upgradeable battery on the S6 is one of the main reasons why I went with the S5 over the newer model. The other major reason was the lack of a SD card slot on the S6. While looking at extended battery options for the S5, I found that there were a few super-sized batteries offering 5500mah+ — including a 7500mah battery from Anker, and a 8500mah from ZeroLemon.

I went with the Anker for two reasons: the case looked like it would be more comfortable in my pocket, being less bulky if perhaps less armored than the ZeroLemon. And two, the battery was shaped in such a way that it would not block the external speaker, which is an issue with a number of the other extended batteries.

Thankfully, I found that the S5’s battery life on the stock battery wasn’t bad at all, going 10-14 hours on a charge before it got below 20%. That’s almost a full day on the go. But I still wanted to see what it would be like to live completely free of battery anxiety, and this does it for me. Maybe someday they’ll integrate transparent solar cells into the touch screen so that we can charge while using the phone, and at that point a smaller battery might make sense. But I think, minimum, a smartphone with today’s power draw characteristics needs a good 5000mah on tap at a minimum in order to be useful.

With the 7500mah battery from Anker, I am completely satisfied. I have had days where I unplugged at 7am, and didn’t charge it at all throughout the day, used the phone quite a bit, and yet still had a 65% charge by 10pm. Knowing that I don’t have to worry about my battery draining, and can still use my phone, makes me feel like I really have a phone, and not an emergency device to use sparingly if at all. And not needing to stay within 6 feet of a power outlet all the time feels like complete freedom.

anker7500-2 anker7500

It makes the phone heavier and thicker, but these are not a big deal. It’s well worth it to have a phone that I can use all day, and really use, without running the battery critically low in just a few hours. I feel that this should be the standard battery performance for any smartphone. It’s pretty much a must-buy.

The only real downside to the battery is that the way they designed the case, it makes it basically impossible to use the fingerprint reader/heart rate monitor. If you want to use that feature on your phone, you may want to look into a different battery. Samsung makes an OEM extended battery with 3500mah capacity, which, based on the performance I saw from the stock 2800mah battery that came with my phone, is probably adequate for an estimated 16-18 hour day of moderate to heavy phone use. There are some other larger batteries between 3500 and 7500mah from various other manufacturers, but I don’t know how reputable they are, and it’s not uncommon for false, inflated capacity claims from the no-names, so be careful. The Anker, at least, is the real deal. Highly Recommended.

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Seidio 3800mah extended battery: suddenly it’s like I have a phone

Since I got my Android phone in May, I figure it’s a good time now to revisit my earlier review.

After six months of having my phone, I established a routine I’ll call the Battery Anxiety Lifestyle. I would drive to work, about a 40-minute drive, and between unplugging from my charger when I woke up and getting to work, I’d have already lost anywhere from 5-10% of my charge. By noon, I was down to about 70%, and by the time I got done with lunch, I was at 50% and entering “power saving mode”. I’d plug in to re-charge and by mid afternoon I’d be back up to 100%, and have enough battery to get me through an evening of being not umbilicaled to a wall socket. And, well, as long as I got home by around midnight or so, I’d be down to around 20-50% depending on how much I used the handset in the evening.

Plainly, the Samsung Galaxy S2 is geared toward a sedentary lifestyle, where you’re never inconvenienced by having to sit tight by a wall outlet for a couple hours. At least, that’s how it works if you actually use your phone.

I got sick of that, and last week I broke down and bought a $60 extended battery from Amazon. It’s a Seidio 3800mah and today was my first day with it in, and I feel liberated. I didn’t have to charge in the middle of the afternoon, and I’m still above 50% charge at 8:30pm. I really have to wonder why this isn’t the way it is for everyone, why you have to spend another $60 to get a special battery to have a phone that you can actually use.

The biggest problem with this bigger battery is that it requires a bulging back plate. Now, I don’t mind the added mass or bulk at all, but no one seems to make any kind of protective armor case that will fit the handset with the extended battery in place. So I have to adjust to transitioning from Battery Anxiety to Drop Paranoia. To try to protect the handset a little, I bought a soft, silicone rubber case for around $3, and cut out the back of it so the bulkier backplate protrudes outward. It basically gives me a bumper around the edge of the phone, which I hope will be adequate protection in the event I drop it on a hard surface.

I really don’t like this solution, for a number of reasons: One, the cutting job I did looks like a sixth grader’s shop project. Two, I don’t think it fits or protects as well as before I cut it. Three, it covers the side buttons for power and volume. You can feel them through the case, and press them still, but it feels a lot less precise. Still, I consider the battery capacity to be essential, and so I’ll have to live with it. I’m usually very careful and protective of my handset and don’t drop it very often, so hopefully it’ll hold up.

Before I switched to the bulkier battery, I was using a hard Body Glove case that I liked a lot. This chopped soft silicone boot is passable, but inferior.¬†I really want there to be armored cases designed for extended battery covers! No one seems to make them, and they should. Really, the extended battery should be mandatory, and ruggedized phones should be mandatory as well. I don’t understand how people can get by with a dinky battery and an unprotected handset. There’s a ton of accessories out there for the Galaxy SII, yet no one makes an armored protective case for an SII using an extended battery. There should be. Most people with an extended battery would buy one, and their existence would probably boost sales of the batteries.