Extending iPhone battery life

Since my first iPhone, I’ve never had any issue with its battery life. As long as I get access to the charger by the end of the work day the battery life on the iPhone 2G or 3G have been perfectly adequate. That is until I started working on a project down in Atlanta and my weekly commute now extends to around 6-8 hours, depending on flight delays.

I began looking for battery extender for my iPhone. Initially I wanted a battery extender that can charge the iPhone 3G and 3GS, as well as possibly the Kindle. This means the ability to attach different cables to the battery. Also the ‘green’ side of me wanted a solar charging battery so that it’d be possible to charge the battery up using solar energy alone.

Unfortunately after perusing iLounge’s extensive list of battery extender reviews, it was pretty obvious that there weren’t any battery out there that would satisfy my initial list of requirements. The closest one is the IceTECH Solar i9005. With its large solar panel, large battery capacity (2500 mAh), and large collection of connector tips, it would be ideal. The only issue is it doesn’t currently support the iPhone 3GS, as Apple in its infinite wisdom has changed something with regard to charging on the 3GS.

So the search was back to regular battery extender. There are plenty of options out there but none of them really excite me. At least not at the price they are charging for. That is until I came across MonoPrice’s iPhone backup battery. With a rather large capacity (2200 mAh *) and very affordable price (~$15, depending on quantity purchased), it is perfect.

It arrived two weeks ago and I have so far used it twice. From about 10-15% charge in the iPhone, it would take about two hours to fully charge the phone from the backup battery. During that time, I was able to continue to use the iPhone with podcast playing in the background while online twittering and browsing. The only thing that is annoying is the ‘cyclon’-like blue LEDs in the front which move from left to right during the charging process (both from main to battery, and battery to phone). They are very bright and very distracting while using the phone with the battery attached, especially in a dark backseat of a taxi! To charge the backup battery, simply plug the iPhone cable to the bottom of the battery and charge it just like the phone. Unfortunately the battery does not pass the data through to the phone so you can’t sync with iTunes while charging both the phone and the battery.

But overall, the MonoPrice iPhone backup battery is priced just right and perform as advertised. High recommended if you are looking for a simple backup battery for your iPhone.

* For comparison, iPhone 3G battery capacity is 1150 mAh which means the MonoPrice battery can potentially charge the iPhone from 10-15% charge to full twice!

Essential accessories for iPhone

Yes, iPhone is still more than 2 months away but I already know what accessories I would be buying or looking for when it is finally out on the street.

  • Carrying case – During the MacWorld keynote, Steve Job did not mention whether a carrying case will be included in the iPhone package. Most probable reason is that they are still in the design stage so they have nothing to show yet. But given the history of iPod carrying case Apple includes in the box, I would imagine it will be just functional and will create a huge 3rd party market. Ideally, the case has to be thin but well made so not to increase the bulk of the iPhone. Somehow the case has to made taking the iPhone out easy so the chance of dropping the phone would be minimum. And most importantly, the headphone jack has to be accessible while the phone are inside or outside the case.
  • Screen protector – Assuming that Apple is not using the ultra tough coating invented by TDK, some type of screen protector that allows the touch screen to be used is needed.
  • Bluetooth stereo headphones – Apple is providing a wired stereo headphone with microphone as accessory but I am hoping the iPhone will support A2DP Bluetooth profile so a wireless Bluetooth headphones can be used instead.
  • Solar/Battery charger – The battery in the iPhone is not changeable like in the iPod. I don't think it is an issue since there are plenty of ways to charge it up (e.g. from desktop computer via USB cable, power charger from wall socket or car socket, etc.) but for those situations where electrical power is unavailable (let's say I'm on a beach) then a solar recharger would come in handy.

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend

iPhone battery

What is everyone so worked up about iPhone's battery being not changeable? Just think about this, how many iPod owners do you know who also have a sync/charge cable with them, either in the office or at the airport waiting lounge? At least one? Ok, then you can charge your phone almost everywhere. I mean, surely you will be able to borrow a charger/cable if you promise someone a few minutes of playing your iPhone?

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: