Author Topic: Need Help Extending Life of Cell Phone with a Reliable New Battery  (Read 2285 times)

stor_stark

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Location: Colorado
I currently have an LG Nexus 4 (purchased in December 2012) on an Airvoice Wireless plan. This phone still does everything I need it to do so I would like to keep using it for another couple of years if possible. The original battery lasted about 2 years and I've been replacing it with batteries I've found on eBay every 3-6 months since then. The problem is that these 3rd party batteries all seem to be low quality knockoffs that have lots of issues. For example, the one I have in my phone right now is slowly expanding and is starting to cause the back of phone to expand, so I really need to replace it yet again ASAP. I've bought others that have been DOA or will only work for a couple of months before suddenly not holding a charge at all, which is obviously annoying/frustrating.

So my question essentially boils down to this: does anyone here know of a reliable place to buy cell phone batteries for older phone models? I've seen lots of good information here about choosing cell phone plans and providers, so I'm hoping to get some insight here on this tangentially related topic.

Note: I tried using the search function to find old discussions on this topic, but the search seems to alternate between either working very poorly or not at all.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 05:52:33 PM by stor_stark »

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Need Help Extending Life of Cell Phone with a Reliable New Battery
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 08:53:50 PM »
How much are you spending per battery, and are you getting generic aftermarkets, or are you getting genuine OEM parts?

Do you still have the factory original to compare to and look for differences on to tell the difference between an OEM battery and a knock-off if necessary?

Cheap aftermarkets and counterfeit OEM batteries can be rife from sellers on both Ebay and Amazon, but it is possible to get legitimate OEM parts, too... but it usually takes some research, and checking the history and reviews of the company selling. It also helps to have the original to compare to the replacement to check to see if it's counterfeit. Occasionally, the counterfeit OEM batteries will be done really well to the point that you can barely tell, but most of the time it's really piss poor. Other than logo sharpness and details, the markings, fine print, country(ies) of manufacture, build and sticker quality, and specs of the battery itself can all be compared as well. In your case, the part number should be an LG BL-T5 and it'd better be 3.8V, 2100mAh/8Wh with a minimum mAh/Wh rating of 2030mAh/7.7Wh. If you still don't have the original kicking around, there are some good photos of both sides of one over on iFixit, which'll be better than nothing. Odds are if it's brand new and you only spent $10 on it, it's probably a counterfeit.

Your best bet is buying through Amazon directly, not a third party seller on Amazon. This way, if you get an obvious counterfeit fake on a listing that specifically states in the name and listing that it is an LG made, OEM battery, the return and refund process will be much easier and shouldn't cost you a dime. You should probably expect to pay around $30-35. If you're not 100% sure it's genuine or a fake, don't try to guess, call up customer support at Amazon anyway and explain your concern and reservation... but odds are, if it's from Amazon directly and not a Warehouse Deal open box, you'll probably be fine.

Otherwise, it can be a crap shoot as you've seen with aftermarkets. If you do go aftermarket, make sure they're a company/brand that's been around a few years with good reviews and offers a really good warranty (one year at least). As for a specific brand, I can't help you on that. Sorry.

(By the way, this is one of the things I hate about most built-in, hard-wired batteries - harder to tell the genuine from the fakes. Most user replaceable cellphone batteries on higher end phones usually still have some sort of accessible, genuine OEM check process via serial number, holograms, etc.)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 08:58:18 PM by I.P. Daley »

stor_stark

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Need Help Extending Life of Cell Phone with a Reliable New Battery
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2016, 10:33:09 AM »
Thanks for the thorough response, IP. I have to admit that I was hoping you would respond when posting this topic.

What I've found is that the online battery market is pretty much like the Wild West. Some of the batteries I've bought are truly generic and others are crappy attempts at OEM replicas. I'm only spending $10-15 per battery which is probably the biggest problem. I don't mind spending more - hell I've probably spent over $50 cumulatively on crappy batteries now, but I don't really want to spend more money and still get burned with a faulty item. Going through Amazon directly is a good idea for maintaining a modicum of buyer protection.

Quote
(By the way, this is one of the things I hate about most built-in, hard-wired batteries - harder to tell the genuine from the fakes. Most user replaceable cellphone batteries on higher end phones usually still have some sort of accessible, genuine OEM check process via serial number, holograms, etc.)

Oh yeah, I totally agree with this. Speaking even more generally, I really dislike how most cell phone technology (and really all tech devices) is built for a kind of planned obsolescence for the average consumer. A minor issue like replacing a battery is not a reason to buy a new device, despite what Apple or LG or whoever leads you to believe. You know better than I that's now how we do things around here!

Laserjet3051

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 754
  • Age: 91
Re: Need Help Extending Life of Cell Phone with a Reliable New Battery
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 09:35:12 AM »
Dont know how relevant this observation is for you but I have an older LG phone where the battery lasted a long time before the phone needed recharging. In the past year the battery life dramatically shortened such that the phone would only last a few hours before going to zero charge. I actually bought, what I thought was, an authentic LG replacement battery online. After researching this topic extensively, I decided to factory reset my LG phone and VOILA! What I thought was an old worn out battery, transformed back into its old fully functionally self with the factory reset. My best guess is that the forced OS upgrade by Android, combined with some extra bloatware, was suckign the life out of the battery. Never installed the new battery, old one now holds a charge for quite a long time.

MMMaybe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
Re: Need Help Extending Life of Cell Phone with a Reliable New Battery
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 03:24:40 PM »
I guess I got lucky. I bought a replacement iPhone battery from Ebay and installed it myself, following along with a video on You Tube. A year on and it is working better than the original Apple battery.

Miranda

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Location: Missouri
Re: Need Help Extending Life of Cell Phone with a Reliable New Battery
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2016, 12:55:42 PM »
I don't know if you've already bought one or not.  I bought one years ago from BatteryBob.com and it worked great for more than 4 years.  Paid less than $20 for it, free shipping.  I found out about the site from several people who had used it with good success.  I haven't used it since then.