BlackBerry Battery: Seidio Innocell 2600 Review
BlackBerry smart phones have many strong advantages compared to its iPhone and Android competitors. One of the biggest advantages BlackBerry users come to love is its excellent battery life. When I was using my now ancient Samsung Moment, I could barely get through a day without having to worry about it dying on me. I purchased a car charger and an emergency charging pack. I've tried it all. I've installed task killer. Set my brightness down where I can barely see the screen. I've even made sure to turn WiFi and Bluetooth off when I am not using it. I've also rooted the device and still had problems. I decided, “Enough”. I'm going to try a BlackBerry.
At this point, I has passed my 30 day trial period so I can't exchange my phone at the Sprint store. I turned online. Searching for a Sprint CDMA phone was a bit trickier than my previous carrier, T-Mobile. With T-Mobile, if you want to sell or buy a second hand phone, all you really needed to do was swap the sim card and wait for a signal. This is where I got some education on carriers and how they worked. It turned out, T-Mobile and AT&T are GSM networks. They use sim cards so you can easily sell and swap phones within the carriers. Sometimes, if you can unlock the phones, you can swap and use them between the 2 carriers. Sprint and Verizon are different. They are CDMA networks. They don't use sim cards. Each phone is carrier specific. For the most part, you can only use Sprint phones on Sprint and Verizon phones on Verizon. They have a special code called an “ESN”. This is a series of numbers and letters that is unique to each phone. You can usually find this code behind the battery.
Where To Buy?
How did this affect me? When searching on Craigslist for Sprint phones, sometimes, people are selling stolen devices. With T-Mobile and AT&T, I didn't ask, nor did I care. With Sprint, it's a different story. If a phone is stolen, the owner can report it and Sprint will disable the device. This means the ESN is “bad”. Long story short, I decided to avoid the hassle and buy it new off of eBay. After finding a reputable seller and making my purchase, I waited patiently for my package to arrive.
"I didn't have to worry about it."
I purchased a BlackBerry Curve 8530. It came in and I activated it online. After using it for a few weeks, I concluded that the battery lasts me a full day of use. I didn't have to worry about it. Even though the battery was good, I wanted more. I decided to buy the Seidio Innocell 2600 mAh extended battery and test it out. It came within a week and I charged it fully. It only took a few hours to top off. After it was charged, I began my un-scientific test. After using it for over 6 months, my analysis confirms that this battery lasts me at least 2 full days without needing to be recharged. I have gotten longer life but I like to keep my lithiums charged. 2 full days of used was fantastic. Perfect for my needs. I didn't mind the extra bulk. In fact, I like it better. The extended battery came with a new battery door and it feels nicer than the original. The original was a glossy cheap plastic and the new door is rubberize, matching the phone nicely. The new battery gave the phone some nice weight. With the original battery, the Curve was light. Too light. It feels much more substantial with my new battery.
Despite double the capacity, there are some shortcomings with the Seidio Innocell. The most obvious is the added bulk. I like it. It feels good in hand and it actually makes typing easier. The problem comes when you want to customize it. No case will fit it. If you want to put on an Innocase or an Otterbox case, you will have to use the original battery. There is no special case that will match this extended battery. I got around this by using a belt holster. The BlackBerry fit perfectly on a Seidio holster. If you want to get a generic holster like me, make sure you get one where the screen is facing in. Another problem I had while using this battery was accuracy. There was times when it showed the battery at halfway, then it would die in an hour. After a few battery pulls and charging cycles, this problem went away. My guess is the BlackBerry was not used to this higher capacity battery and needed to adjust to the higher mAh. If you experience this same problem, try pulling the battery and charge it completely. My battery indicator is accurate now.
After using the BlackBerry for over half a year, I took some time to reflect on the differences between my Curve and my old Moment. While I miss some of the games on my Android smart phone, I do not miss the crappy battery life. I was something I constantly had to worry about. While I could barely last a full day on my Android phone, I could easily do that on my Curve. Even more so, with my extended battery, I could go twice as long. It may sound a bit unfair comparing my standard Moment's battery to my Curve's extended battery but this experience shows the reliability of BlackBerry. For example, if I forgot to charge my Android phone, I'd be screwed the whole day. If I feel asleep without charging my BlackBerry, I wouldn't stress over it. This is comparing it to the original OEM battery. Am I being a bit to harsh? I don't think so. It appears many people using Android have had terrible battery life across many manufacturers. The forums on Android Central are flooded with these posts. Even more so with the newer devices. Sure they have bigger screens, but they will also drain more batteries.