Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review

It’s been about 7 months now since I purchased the Nexus S, and overall I’ve been very pleased about the phone (yeah, yeah detailed review soon. Promise!). However a point of bother has been the battery life- or the lack of it. While it’s better than my better than previous iPhone 3G, the stock Nexus S battery lasts just about a business day. By business day I mean about ~ 12-14hours (though I I do use it heavily – on an average ~3hours of music, about hour and half or so of browsing on 3G, checking mail, facebook, twitter every half hour or so).  And my addiction to the phone means that the low battery life generally becomes a problem when I’m travelling.

Mugen Power Batteries, one of the most popular aftermarket battery manufacturers have brought out some high capacity batteries for quite a few mobile devices, including the Nexus S. Mugen were kind enough to send me a review sample of the Mugen Power Nexus S Extended Capacity 3300mAH Batteries, and I’ve been testing them for the past 3 weeks and have been quite pleased.

First, a look at the extended battery specifications:
Cell Type: Li-Ion
Voltage: 3.7v
Capacity (mAh): 3300

In comparison the stock Nexus S battery is a Li-Ion, 3.7v 1500mAh battery. Theoretically, the battery capacity is about 2.2 times the stock battery. Unfortunately, this also means that the battery is quite thick – almost 2 times as thick as the stock battery. The thickness of the battery means that Stock Nexus S back cover will not fit over the extended battery.

Mugen has thoughtfully provided a replacement battery door. It’s worth pointing out that the replacement battery door also features a NFC Antenna so that you don’t have to worry about losing any functionality.

My 3300mAh battery by @MugenBatteries is here

My 3300mAh battery by @MugenBatteries is here

Build Quality, Weight & Thickness

A pet-peeve I’ve had with the Nexus S is that the plastic back door doesn’t seem to be very durable and there’s this constant fear of it breaking into two while trying to remove the cover. While the replacement back cover is still plastic, thankfully it has a more rugged & sturdy feel. To aid in easy removal of the cover, there’s a handy little notch at the top of the cover. The notch also assists in giving you a nice grip to remove the cover.

As mentioned earlier, the higher capacity battery is about 2 times as thick as the stock battery. This results in your very slim & slick Nexus S looking quite literally like a chalkboard duster. The battery also adds considerable weight to the phone. If you have trousers with rather tight pockets, the results are definitely not pretty and it’s going to look like a big bulge. The thickness also means that the phone will now be more susceptible to scratches from keys and the like.

P1010024

Nexus S After Installing the Extended Battery

Despite the bulk & thickness, the phone doesn’t feel awkard to hold, fits in your palms rather well.

Performance

For testing, rather than using any synthetic battery testing software or benchmarks, I subjected to my daily rigor.  I consider my usage to be on the heavy side: on an average, my usage is as below:

  • Auto sync, background data transfer enabled.
  • Sync Accounts: Google Apps ( Mail, Contacts, Calender), Google Account(Picasa, Google+), WhatsApp, facebook(all contacts)
  • Background apps: twicca, Skype, Latitude, Foursquare, Gtalk
  • About 3 hours of music playback( app used: PowerAmp + VooDoo sound)
  • Atleast 1.5 hours of dedicated Internet browsing( lunch time, while compiling)
  • Checking up on tweets, facebook, Hacker News once every 45 minutes or so.
  • About 1 hour of calls,  10 or so SMS
Note that I’m always on 3G, on the rare occasion the phone falls back to EDGE. With this kind of usage, my Nexus S lasted what I call as a “business day” – about 12hours or so. After fitting the battery and letting it settle into its groove, I subjected the extended battery to the same kind of usage. And the results were impressive.
Perhaps impressive is an understatement, I was blown away by the performance – normally I leave from my home with the battery fully charged and by the time I return home, the stock battery would be at about 15%-18% battery level. With the Mugen Extended battery, the battery level at the end of the day was about 50%. That’s just phenomenal.
Android Battery Usage

 

Android Battery Usage

I subjected the battery to yet another torture test: one of my favourite features of the Android: Portable WiFi Hotspot. With the portable hotspot running for about 3 hours on 3G, the battery drain was about 25%. That’s just awesome.

 


On wifi tethering for past 3 hours(with 3G%
) the battery has drained by About 25%. @mugenbatteries extended battery packs lot of juice.less than a minute ago via twicca Favorite Retweet Reply


 

Conclusion

Despite it’s bulk & thickness, the Mugen Extended Battery is definitely a worthy purchase. Now you might wonder why go for a thick bulky piece of slab when you can always carry a spare battery? That decision is definitely up to you. My take? Honestly, I would rather have a single battery rather than have to juggle 2 batteries, their rotation, keeping them charged et al. At about $99.95 the extended battery isn’t exactly cheap – but then again, the ROI in terms of the how much longer you can use the phone without having to cut down your expenses is unmatched.
Definitely recommended by me.

Links:

 

 

 

Super User ♦, Oracle Forms, PLSQL, Mangalorean, Rum, Beer, Chip.in, @preshit certified Lazyass, Bacon, Chicken Wings, iPhone 3GS, Gaming. More @ http://sbhat.me

19 Comments on Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review

  1. Sathya says:

    Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review: It’s been about 7 months now since I… http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  2. Sathya says:

    Cc @far1983 @aravindkumar RT @SathyaBhat: Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  3. kaushalgoa says:

    Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review: It’s been about 7 months now since I… http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  4. AnxiousNut says:

    Upon seeing the second image, my jaw literally dropped! WOW, that’s … HUGE!

    While I was still in the first paragraphs, I was considering getting myself one for my GalaxyS phone, but after seeing that, no thanks! There isn’t space in my pockets to hold bricks! XD

  5. far1983 says:

    I think i will probably get one for my SII and use it especially when traveling… caz without the phone… traveling is just a boring affair… but for everyday usage… i still think the bulk is quite a lot :(

  6. Vinod says:

    Yuck!.. Looks super ugly. Is that phone pregnant or something?

    Good write-up though. Thanks :)

  7. Sathya says:

    @mugenbatteries in case you missed RT @SathyaBhat: Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  8. Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review: It’s been about 7 months now since I… http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  9. @mugenbatteries in case you missed RT @SathyaBhat: Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  10. Roweena says:

    Excellent review but must say I would ‘probably’ not go for a replacement that would make my phone more bulky!

    The G2’s stock battery is kinda making me infuriated with it in the past few weeks and I have been considering a replacement battery. According to the site the G2 replacement would fit without a extra battery cover, so I might just go for it. http://www.mugen-power-batteries.com/mugen-power-1800mah-extended-battery-for-htc-desirez-t-mobile-g2.html

  11. Sathya says:

    @Anxious Nut hehe!

    @Vinod Thanks! @pathik actually tweeted something similar:P http://twitter.com/#!/pathik/status/91558177874771968

    @far1983 You’ll actually get used to it… or find ways around – like now I keep the phone on my desk instead of in my pocket 😛

    @Roweena That’s a good idea. Thanks!

  12. Mugen Power says:

    @mugenbatteries in case you missed RT @SathyaBhat: Blogged: Mugen Extended Battery for the Nexus S Review http://goo.gl/fb/CBlIM

  13. Mugen Power says:

    #REVIEW: 3300mAh extended battery reviewed @SathyaBhat here: http://t.co/f64YENQ #tech #movile #android #google

  14. Mugen Power says:

    #REVIEW: 3300mAh extended battery reviewed @SathyaBhat here: http://t.co/f64YENQ #tech #mobile #android #google

  15. Nitish Kumar says:

    #REVIEW: 3300mAh extended battery reviewed @SathyaBhat here: http://t.co/f64YENQ #tech #mobile #android #google

  16. Renjith.M.B says:

    #REVIEW: 3300mAh extended battery reviewed @SathyaBhat here: http://t.co/f64YENQ #tech #mobile #android #google

  17. Kishan Gor says:

    I must agree with others, phone looks really weird (pregnant!) with this but considering performance part, quite hard to decide what to do.

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