Different phones come with different batteries. These batteries power the phone and attempt to keep it running for as long as possible. However, the speed with which a battery loses charge will be largely influenced by the functions the phone is being used for. While it may be possible to talk for hours and hours with most phones without losing too much charge, for example, streaming video or playing games will tend to squeeze the life out of the battery fairly quickly. Since most phones host a variety of different functions, and are often used an mini computers and multi-purpose devices, batteries need to provide as much charge as possible.
Types of Batteries
There are 4 major types of battery technology used to power both new and old phones.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCD)
Nickel cadmium is more or less obsolete as a battery technology, largely because far better versions have appeared. Cadmium is toxic, making these batteries harmful to the environment. Moreover, they have lower charge capacities than other batteries, and will lose memory over time due to the 'memory effect'. This simply means that the battery will remember shorter charge cycles when it isn't fully depleted before another charge. In other words, when a battery is charged without being left to fully discharge first, it will not take so long to recharge, and the battery will remember this shorter cycle and reduce its own capacity as a result.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
Nickel metal hydride is a far better option than nickel cadmium as it doesn't use toxic materials and has a 40 per cent higher charge capacity. It still suffers a little from the memory effect, but not to a great degree. As such, it is advised that anyone using a phone with one of these batteries let it run out of charge at least once every 20 recharges.
Lithium-Ion batteries are currently the most popular for modern mobile phones, and they are used in many smartphones to provide greater power capacities. They have a higher charge capacity than nickel based batteries, and they are smaller and sleeker as well, allowing them to fit into sleeker phone designs.
Lithium-Polymer batteries are the newest, most expensive, and most powerful batteries available. They don't require any sort of casing, so can be extremely small, and suffer from no memory effect at all. These batteries are generally used with top of the range phones.
Branded and Unbranded Phone Batteries
Mobile phone batteries can either be made by the original manufacturer of the phone and battery, or an unofficial manufacturer. Official manufacturer products are known as branded, genuine, or OEM (official equipment manufacturer) products, while unofficial manufacturer products are known as unbranded, generic, or non-OEM products. There are pros and cons to both.
Pros of Unbranded Phone Batteries
There is only one original manufacturer, but there can be countless mimics. Essentially, unbranded batteries will be made by companies who wish to mimic the official products of the big brand names, such as Apple, Nokia, and Samsung. When these companies sell a phone, it will come with an official battery. If the user wants to get a replacement or backup battery, they can either choose to buy from the original manufacturer, or can shop around with all of the other companies selling similar products. Having a greater degree of choice can be advantageous, especially when looking for specific batteries to fit personal needs and requirements.
The major advantage of unbranded batteries is that they are cheaper. New technologies, such as Lithium-Polymer, for example, charge high prices that push up the costs of the phone. Buying these direct from the manufacturer can be expensive, so choosing imitations from other companies is a good way to save money. Again, extra choice provides more options for comparison - and comparing products is a great way of reducing costs.
The level of quality provided by unbranded batteries will vary. This is natural given the range of manufacturers who make them. Some of these will provide levels of quality that are comparable to that of the original branded batteries, and this will remain at reduced prices as well. As such, it is perfectly possible to get high quality batteries without having to break the bank.
Cons of Unbranded Phone Batteries
The greatest con of unbranded phone batteries is the issue of the warranty. While branded batteries sold by the original manufacturer will come with warranties, unbranded batteries generally won't. Consequently, it will not be possible to get a refund or replacement if the battery turns out to be faulty. When buying fairly high priced batteries, this can be a risk.
While some unbranded batteries will be of high quality, this cannot be said of all of them. The vast majority will fail to live up to the originals, and they may be made of low quality materials. Some may arrive faulty, or may stop working overtime. Others may provide much lower charge capacities than expected, or will lose charge very quickly. The worst of these may even cause damage to the phone itself: when inserting batteries into an expensive phone, this can be a massive risk.
The Bottom Line
Unbranded batteries certainly carry risk, but also great potential reward. The key here is to ensure that sufficient research is conducted before choosing which battery to go with. In order to achieve this, it will be necessary to read reviews and look at ratings of different products. Most online retailers have some sort of review system in place that allows customers to offer their own feedback on their experiences with using different products. As such, it is easy enough to find out which unbranded products to avoid, and which to buy. It is all about weighing up personal preferences. If price is of no issue, there really is no need to buy unbranded batteries when high quality, official options are available. Not only do these almost guarantee that they will work to spec; they will also come with warranties to provide refunds or replacements if they don't. When money is an issue, unbranded batteries will come into play. However, it is perfectly possible to find comparable options with some work.
Buying Unbranded Phone Batteries on eBay
The best place to quickly search for unbranded phone batteries is eBay. When it comes to buying on eBay there are two straightforward options available: using the search function, and shopping by category. The former options is the simplest for those with a direct idea of what they are looking for. Just type some words into the search box and only listings with those keywords will appear. When shopping by category, firstly choose the main category on the homepage called Electronics & Technology. Next, click on Mobile & Home Phones, and then Mobile Phone Accessories when the new pages load. Finally, look down the list of sub-categories under accessories and click on Batteries. This page will now list all batteries on eBay for mobile phones, both branded and unbranded. In order to specify just unbranded batteries, click on the tab on the left marked Unbranded/Generic under Brand.
Whether searching for a replacement battery, or one to use as a backup for when a phone runs out of charge, it is a good idea to consider both branded and unbranded options before coming to a decision. Those without financial concerns may want to go straight for branded varieties to be safe, while those who wish to save money will do well to shop for unbranded ones. If the latter, sufficient research is crucial in identifying both reliable products, and reliable sellers.