Mobile phones are needed for both personal and professional use, and good batteries are needed to make them run. Modern phones have a variety of functions, making them more like multi-purpose devices rather than traditional phones. Besides using them for their primary use of calling, and even texting, they are also used to play games, watch television, film, and video, surf the Internet, take pictures, and more. There are tens of thousands of apps available for some phones, making it possible to customise them to be completely unique to each user. All of this, however, means that battery power no longer lasts as long as it once did. Choosing the right battery, therefore, is important.
1. Types of Mobile Phone Battery Technology
There are several different types of mobile phone battery. Phone designers are constantly trying to maximise the power that batteries can provide, while minimising the space they take up in the phone. This, in turn, helps smaller, sleeker phones run for longer, even when using power-draining functions like video streaming and gaming. There are 4 main types of rechargeable battery used with mobile phones:
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
These batteries are made out of non-toxic materials, making them environmentally friendly. In addition, they are able to provide a high capacity relative to their weight and size. This technology is, however, vulnerable to the memory effect. This occurs when rechargeable batteries aren't discharged fully between cycles of charge, resulting in the battery remembering the shorter cycle, leading to a capacity reduction. This consequently leads to the battery lasting for shorter periods. In order to combat this, it is advisable to completely use up the battery's charge after every 20 recharges.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)
This technology is fairly old, but probably the most well known. These batteries also experience the memory effect to a fairly large degree, unlike NiMH batteries, and for this reason, they should be fully discharged each time they are used before being recharged to avoid damage to the battery. The chemicals used in these batteries are harmful to the environment, and disposing of them is a problem. That said, they are the cheapest variety of mobile phone batteries, and can help to reduce the cost of the phones they are used in.
Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
This has become the most popular technology used in mobile phone batteries, with their only real disadvantage being their price. As a result, these batteries generally come with only industry leading phones, such as powerful smartphones. They are both light, and long lasting, but can be damaged through excessive overcharging. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid charging these batteries for a period of more than 24 hours: when the phone is charged up, take it off the charger to avoid damage.
Lithium Polymer (Li-Poly)
This technoloy is the newest and the most advanced for mobile phone batteries. They are both ultralight and resistant to the memory effect, so they won't be damaged through small, frequent charges. In addition, they can provide more than 40 per cent extra charge than NiMH batteries, and are the thinnest variety of battery as they don't need a cell casing. Any battery that comes with a new phone will adopt one of these technologies. In order to find out which one is present in a phone, refer to the manual that comes with it, or get in contact with the manufacturer.
2. Buying Replacement Mobile Phone Batteries
When buying replacement mobile phone batteries, there are several options available. Be careful when shopping in order to avoid buying poor quality goods, and always check seller feedback closely, whether buying from a large online retailer or a smaller independent seller.
These batteries are otherwise known as non-OEM, which stands for 'original equipment manufacturer'. These batteries, therefore, won't have been produced by the manufacturer of the original battery or phone. As a result, they will often be of a lower quality than genuine products, and will have a lower charge capacity. It is important to always check closely on the feedback given to these manufacturers and products before buying these types of batteries.
Genuine New Blistered
These batteries will be geniune, and they will have been made by the original phone manufacturer. They will come in full retail packs and may have warranties included with them. They are, therefore, guaranteed to be of top quality, and are generally replaced for free if they fail to work, or break quickly after use.
Geniune New Bulk
As above, these batteries will have been made by the original manufacturer. They will, however, be sold with less packaging - usually just a small bag for protection - and won't come with warranties.
Nearly New or Grade A's
These types of battery are often those that have come from phones that have been returned to the network, usually with the 2 weeks cooling off period. When these phones are returned, the network will take the batteries out and install new ones. As such, Grade A batteries are almost brand new and will have been barely used.
Additional Factors to Consider When Buying Mobile Phone Batteries
As mentioned above, there are a variety of ways in which new replacement batteries can be bought for a phone. Any new phone is going to come with a new battery as standard, but when these break or go missing, it is important to get a replacement. Here are some factors to consider when looking for a new battery:
3. Read Product Descriptions Carefully
Always check on the details of any listing closely before committing to a purchase. Specifically, read the description and don't only look at pictures. The picture of the battery may present it as being genuine, but the listing may describe it as non-OEM. When shopping for genuine OEM batteries, therefore, it is often a good idea to go directly to the manufacturer, or to the original retailer that sold the phone.
4. Affordable Price
Saving money when buying any type of product is important, but not at the sacrifice of quality. Retailers and sellers that appear to offer much better prices than others, even if their products are listed as genuine, might be selling Grade A batteries and passing them off as new. In order to determine whether this is the case, really assess the seller. If at all possible, check with other customers and their opinions or feedback. If people have high opinions of the seller or store, go ahead and buy.
5. Close Distance
Some retailers will present the image of offering local goods and services, when in actual fact the product is being delivered from other countries. Always check on where the retailer or seller is based to check to see how long the item will take to be delivered. Most people will need to get their hands on a new battery as soon as possible, so seeking local sellers is a good idea.
Buying Mobile Phone Batteries on eBay
One of the best places to buy both genuine, non-OEM, and Grade A batteries is on eBay. Here there will be thousands of sellers offering a range of different types of batteries for every phone in the world. To search for a suitable seller on eBay, first navigate to the main homepage. Once there, click on the link called Electronics & Technology under Shop by category. After this, go to Mobile & Home Phones, then Mobile Phone Accessories. Now a long list of categories for mobile phone accessories will appear on the left: click on the category marked Batteries and all of the listings within this category on eBay will appear. Now it is simply a case of narrowing down the listings by using the different options to the left. Checking the different boxes relating to brand, condition, price, and so on, will help to create more targeted listings and specific products and sellers. In addition, the search function can also be used to look for more specific listings. For example, for a new Samsung battery, type in "Samsung mobile phone battery new".
The battery is the lifeblood of the mobile phone. When a battery begins to lose charge quickly, goes missing, or breaks completely, a replacement will be needed. In addition, it is often a good idea to buy an extra battery for emergencies: if the phone runs out of charge and there is no charger nearby, a replacement battery will be hugely useful. When shopping for a replacement, always consider the quality of the battery itself, and try to avoid buying them second-hand if possible. Check ratings, read reviews, and make sure the battery and seller are high quality before buying.