- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Samsung Galaxy S5 Glide Battery Case Review
I am actually pretty excited to review this battery case. This battery case is very interesting and unlike any of the current ones on the market. What makes this battery case so interesting is efficiency. I'm not a fan of those battery cases where it pairs an extra battery to be activated at the press of a button. In other words, you're recharging your phone's battery with the battery in the case when it's running low. This isn't as efficient as expanding the battery by putting it back to back.
The way the Galaxy S5 Glide battery case works is pairing another battery with your existing battery to boost the overall usage time. This is efficient in the sense that you don't have to recharge your existing battery midway through. The Galaxy S5 features a whopping a 2,800 mAh battery. The Glide case packs another 2,400 mAh battery under the hood so you can expect to get an additional 86% usage time. This design means minimal efficiency loss as it reduces the overall charging frequency and time.
Flip open the cover and you find out some usage estimations. This case is supposedly able to get you about 40 hours of audio playback, 8 hours of talk time, and an additional 10 hours of internet usage.
Of course, the actual usage time will vary depending on your brightness settings, other running apps, current networks, and so on. Preserving the battery life is a bit out of the scope of this article. Perhaps I will make a future article on how to preserve your battery life, especially if you're using a Samsung device. Yes, I know, Samsung devices don't exactly have the reputation for the best battery life.
Are you interested in seeing an article on preserving battery life?
The great thing about the dimensions of the Glide case is that it doesn't add much to the length or width. In fact, I find the new dimensions unnoticeable. Of course, the thickness is another matter. To give you a rough idea, this case brings the overall thickness to slightly double of the Galaxy S5 thickness. This is because of the battery, the battery housing, and the slightly curved back. The Galaxy S5 has a thickness of about 8 mm or 0.32 inches.
How This Case Works
The design is incredibly simple. What happens is you remove the existing back cover from your Galaxy S5. You also have to remove your existing the battery. Make sure you turn off your phone before you do all of this. After you remove your battery, it is time to expand the battery. The S5 Glide battery case comes with a battery, but also a mount for the existing the battery. Simply put your original S5 battery into the battery mount. Snap it into place and you are good to go. What happens now is that this mount will make sure that your phone uses both batteries as the same time. It's pretty simple really. You essentially created one big battery from two smaller batteries. Put the new "super" battery into your Galaxy S5. Make sure the prongs line up and you are almost good to go. It's time to snap the back cover on.
I suggest you do this by aligning the teeth and clicking them in one by one. The reason for doing so is to make sure all the teeth click in place for a secure fit. I wrote a review for the wireless charging case and about one of the possible defects associated with it. It features a similar click lock system. I wrote about how it always pops back out, but it turns out the last teeth didn't click in place. This is why I emphasize you make sure it does with this case.
Charging and Calibration
This isn't exactly emphasized, but I thought I should in order to maintain the usage life. Before you start using this battery case, make sure you drain it completely. What you are basically doing is bring bring it to 0% so the percentage that displays on your screen measures the true capacity of your new super battery. After you have everything installed, you can start using it normally. Watch a couple of cat videos or play a couple rounds of candy crush to fully drain this battery. I don't mean drain it to the 15% critical warning mark. I mean fully drain it so your phone shuts off by itself. Once it shuts off by itself, do not start charging it yet. Let your phone sit for 24 hours to let it continue discharging.
What this does is putting the battery to 0%. At the same time, your phone's circuitry will also be at 0%. By matching the two together, it will now display the new true capacity once you fully charge it. In order to charge it, you need a powerful enough charger to kickstart the phone. With lithium batteries, there is usually a battery controller. I recommend a 2A output wall charger. This allows for a fast charge to full capacity. I have listed a few affordable recommendations below. I often stress not using a cheap no-name charger as they pose as a fire hazard.
Inside The Cover
The design of this cover does have its flaws too. If you look at the cover, there's quite a bit of hollow space in between where the battery is and the sides. The first problem is sound. This case doesn't have any barriers around the speakers to make sure the sound is redirected towards the vent opening. Without any barriers, you get a slightly echoing sound. There isn't any direction to the sound. This isn't a big deal if you don't blast music much. However, it may affect your ringer. The sound will be slightly muffled and won't be as clear.
The other issue I have with the cover is durability. I get a feeling that this cover can't really handle a drop especially if the internal is hollowed out. I get the feeling that a hard drop will crack the back cover easily. The S5 Glide case is only good for maximizing your usage time. The back cover design does not feature any raised edges. The problem with this is there is no screen protection if you were to leave your phone face down. Of course, you can always use a screen protector. However, that is just one line of defense. I would have liked to see raised edges so the screen never touches the table when it is faced down. Why is this important? The speaker is on the back so leaving it faced up will maximize the volume. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want any more barriers to the speaker.
The back cover is pretty awesome material wise. It has a slightly rubberized grip so it doesn't skid if it isn't on a flat surface. However, it isn't fully rubberized so it doesn't attract the dust particles in your pocket. The slightly curved back offers a great grip in your hands. It wraps in your fingers quite nicely. Although I admit it is still pretty thick to handle with one hand. I had a lot of trouble typing with one hand much along navigating. I don't mind this too much as the Samsung Galaxy S5 is already pretty big without a case at all.
Another downside to the cover is it blocks the sensor to the heart rate monitor. It is still technically usable, but you have to hold the phone upside down instead of right side up. I didn't find the heart rate monitor extremely accurate so I ended up not using this feature much. If you were to use this feature, you will definitely have to re-orient the phone. This is just a minor issue that I experienced. The cover doesn't block the camera nor the flash so it doesn't affect the picture quality at all.
It's pretty obvious that the IP67 certification will no longer apply. This phone won't be completely dust and waterproof now. The case still maintains a cover for the micro-USB port. However, the S5 Glide cover doesn't appear to have any sealing to keep the dust and water out. The earphone jack is also exposed. The good news is that you don't need to carry an additional dongle to extend the earphone jack.
There is a bit of a difference between the durability and and quality. I gave it a much lower score for durability because of the hollow cover. Nevertheless, the overall quality is great in terms of the rubberized back and tight locking once all the teeth are clicked in place. Of course, I would upgrade the durability rating if the hollow space was filled or have greater support beams.
Overall, I definitely recommend this battery case. It is super efficient. The percentage you see on screen reflects the new bigger battery. It certainly beats recharging your battery halfway through your usage using the battery embedded in the case. I wouldn't get this battery case if you're hoping for protection because this is where it concerns me the most. Other than that, you can still fit the phone in your pocket.