April 17, 2014

Accessory Review: Seido Extended Battery for Nexus One

While I am generally satisfied with the Nexus One’s battery life, it is something I do have to think about and manage. So I jumped when I was offered the opportunity to test out the Seidio Innocell 3200mAh Extended Battery for the Nexus One. I found that the battery itself works great, making battery management a non-issue, though I do have a couple of complaints about the replacement back cover the larger battery requires. At $69.99, it’s more than a stock replacement battery, but worth it for someone who uses their phone heavily and does not have access to a charger throughout the day.

Battery Life
This thing just seems to last forever, even with heavy use. One day, for example, in addition to my normal use (some light web browsing, some games and other apps, a few apps that poll data every half hour), I also used Google’s turn-by-turn navigation for several errands, totaling about an hour of constant gps, data usage, and display and speaker use. Later I streamed a 20 minute YouTube video (over wifi) and listened to some music. At the end of the day, I purposely did not plug it in, and in the morning, 24 hours after it had last been connected to a charger or USB cable, the battery was still almost half charged.

With and without the extended battery and replacement back

In short, in normal use, I did not have to think about the battery at all, and generally plugged the phone into the charger each night with most of its charge still remaining.

Back Cover
It’s no surprise that a battery of double the stock battery’s capacity would not fit in the same space, and so Seidio provides a replacement back for the phone that allows room for the larger extended battery. This makes it impossible to use other standard Nexus One accessories such as cases and docks, and the larger battery weighs a bit more. These all would be an acceptable trade-offs, but unfortunately the replacement cover has a few issues that are hard to overlook.

First, the cover is made of a plastic that, while light, does not seem sturdy. This was immediately confirmed when I found two of the three small posts that attach the cover to the phone’s body had snapped off in shipping. If you buy this battery, be sure to inspect these parts when you receive it, and don’t hesitate to ask for a replacement if there is any damage.

Two of the three small posts that attach the cover to the phone's body snapped off in shipping.

Second, while the top of the case is fairly attractive and even protects the camera in a recessed area, the bottom leaves a lot to be desired, with a large, ugly gap where it meets the phone’s body. I was initially concerned that this gap would allow large amounts of dust to get into the back of the phone, but did not find this to be the case. But it certainly does not look good.

While the top of the case is fairly attractive, the bottom has a large gap where it meets the phone's body

All in all, this battery is a good value, the issues with it being for the most part cosmetic. It’s an accessory that I don’t use every day, but that will come in handy when traveling and other times when I want to make sure to get the most life out of my Nexus One between charges.

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