OEM vs. Non-OEM Mobile Phone Batteries: A Comprehensive Comparison

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OEM vs. Non-OEM Mobile Phone Batteries: A Comprehensive Comparison

Mobile phones, digital cameras, tablets, and a variety of other electronic devices use batteries that can be recharged enabling them to be used again and again. Mobile phone batteries use up power depending on how much they are used, and what they are being used for. So, for example, if they are being used a lot to watch videos on, or play games with, they will run out quickly. If, however, they are only used to run the phone on standby, or for short calls and text messages, they can last for many days before needing to be recharged. Whatever the case, few people will find that a single charge lasts more than a couple of days, so being able to recharge the battery regularly is very important. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, and these differ from non-OEM in several ways, primarily in where they are made, and who makes them.

OEM Batteries

Essentially, OEM batteries are batteries that are made by the same manufacturer that made the mobile phone itself. If, for example, someone buys a mobile phone manufactured by Sony, they will also receive a battery made by Sony as part of the package when they get their phone. If that battery starts to misbehave, and stops charging effectively, or even breaks completely, a replacement will be needed. If the replacement battery is made by the same company, so Sony in this example, then it is an OEM battery. Naturally, sellers and manufacturers will always recommend that replacement batteries are purchased directly from them. They do this to both generate more income for the company and create a higher degree of brand loyalty with the consumer.

Non-OEM Batteries

Non-OEM batteries, on the other hand, are not made by the same manufacturer that made the phone. They are batteries that are made to work with certain models of phone, but are made be separate companies. These third party manufacturers can have no affiliation with the mobile phone provider or manufacturer, and will often be based in other countries. In most cases, while OEM batteries come from large mobile phone companies that are well known and well respected, non-OEM batteries are made by companies that are not so much in the public eye.

Replacement OEMs and Upgrades

Modern mobile phone batteries are lithium-ion. This technology helps to pack a great deal of life into very small batteries and are, therefore, ideal for mobile phones and other small devices. Lithium-ion batteries are generally rated in something called milliamp-hours, which helps to offer guidelines on how long the battery will last. For example, a battery that is rated at 1200 milliamps-hours in a phone that draws 20 milliamps per hour will last for about 6 hours before it dies and requires a recharge. Any replacement OEM battery that is got from the manufacturer should last for the same length of time. It is also possible to get batteries with an extended life as well. Non-OEM batteries will generally last for a similar length of time as OEM batteries, but will usually cost a lot less. They can, however, come with certain problems.

Getting Non-OEM Batteries

Due to the fact that they are sold by third party manufacturers, non-OEM batteries can vary significantly in their quality. Sometimes they are indistinguishable from the original manufacturers batteries, while at other times they can be severely lacking. In many cases, they will be made using lower quality materials and, as such, can degrade a lot quicker than OEM batteries. The result being that they need to be replaced more regularly. While OEM batteries can come with additional features that help to extend the battery life, non-OEM batteries will lack these benefits, and will, therefore, rarely last as long as official replacements. Depending on the warranty that comes with any phone, non-OEM batteries can actually void them. In addition, official replacement batteries may not always be available, making non-OEM batteries the only option available.

Picking a Replacement For OEM Batteries

It is possible to get both original OEM batteries and non-OEM batteries from a variety of online electronics retailers. These retailers will also sell the chargers required to keep these batteries going. Original OEM replacements can be bought direct from the manufacturer or phone provider: however, it is possible to also get these from separate retailers as well. Non-OEM batteries will require a bit more work to ensure that they are coming from a reputable source. In particular, checking the returns policy of the supplier is important: if the battery doesn't work at all, works poorly, runs down quickly, or doesn't fit into the phone properly, return it. The best way to compare a variety of models and brands is by looking at online forums and reading reviews to build a better picture of which makes to do for.

Cost of OEM and Non-OEM Batteries

Generally, OEM batteries are more expensive than non-OEM batteries. Often it is possible to find non-OEM batteries at massively reduced costs, and this usually stands as the biggest attraction for those seeking replacement batteries for their phones. If the battery performs well, this stands as an attractive benefit. Often, however, these batteries will suffer from issues, such as quicker loss of charge. This often offsets the potential savings that are made.

Generic Vs Name Brand Batteries

Purchasing a non-OEM battery instead of an OEM battery is akin to getting a regular, generic, product rather than a brand product. Often the higher quality generic products will do a great job, just like the name brand would, but will be a lot cheaper. However, there is a scale here - with some top quality generic products at one end, and much lower quality ones at the end other. It really comes down to budget and personal preference when choosing replacement batteries. Some people will always opt for OEM batteries because they know what they are getting, they trust the manufacturer, and they are willing to part with more money for the guarantee of a good quality product. Others, however, will not be as concerned about the risk of non-OEMs, and will prefer to save a bit of extra money. As long as some research is put in, it should be perfectly simple to find some decent quality non-OEM brands and manufacturers.

Caring for OEM and Non-OEM Batteries

In order to prolong the lifespan of any battery, whether this be an OEM or non-OEM battery, there are several techniques anyone can use. These can be particularly useful for those whose contracts are about to expire and want to avoid having to get a new battery for their phone. One technique is simply to close apps when they are not being used. This is very simple and effective. In addition, it's a good idea to avoid using battery draining apps and features such as cameras, games, and video streaming where possible. Leaving the phone on its charger all the time will also degrade the battery more quickly, so this should be avoided. Along the same lines, leaving the battery to drain completely is also bad for it, so always recharge it before it gets too low.

Buying OEM and Non-OEM Batteries on eBay

To buy OEM and non-OEM batteries on eBay, start by going to the main homepage, then click on Electronics & Technology under Shop by Category. Next, click on Mobile Phones & Communication and then Mobile Phone Accessories.. Once there, check down the left hand side of the page and click on Batteries.. Finally, tighten the search by clicking on the appropriate tabs on the left relating to brand, condition, price and so on. As an alternative, use the search function at the top of the page. Simply type in some relevant keywords, such as "OEM batteries for Samsung", specifying the exact brand of mobile phone if necessary. This will return only highly targeted search results.


The differences between OEM and non-OEM batteries can be subtle or substantial, depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers of non-OEM batteries will create products that closely approximate the original in terms of their quality, while others will fall a long way short, either running out of charge quickly, not fitting the mobile phone properly, or not working at all. When shopping for non-OEM batteries it is, therefore, important to always take time to scrutinise any manufacturer closely by checking reviews and reading forums. By finding good quality non-OEM batteries, it is possible to see significant savings without having to sacrifice much in the way of quality.

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