Since the day it hit the street, the Treo 680 has created a tempest about the life of its battery -- or rather, the lack of it. At 1200 mAh (thats milliamp hours) the original battery weighs little, fills the 680s flattened battery compartment, and doesnt get heavy talkers through a day.
Initially, the blame went to bugs in the phone that caused extra battery drain. Once you fire up the 680s camera it keeps eating power, even if you switch to another application (and turn it off).
Palm has made fixes available to solve the camera problem, but people are still complaining, and rightfully so in many cases. Trimmed down from the larger form factor of the 650 and 700 series, the svelte Treo 680 has less space devoted to battery, and therefore a smaller battery: 1200 mAh, versus the 1800 mAh of the older Treos. So, besides its good looks, the 680 brings the necessity for mid-shift charging to a product line noted for hanging in there all day long without a recharge.
Palms official specifications for the 680 state:
What to expect from your Treo 680 battery
The Treo 680 smartphone's battery has been tested with normal usage patterns, and can provide up to 4 hours of talk time, 300 hours of standby time. However, these are approximate numbers based on test criteria. Depending on how you use your smartphone, you may find that your battery needs to be charged more frequently.
I havent verified this. However, I think the key phrase is probably "up to." My Treo 680 hangs out on my desk, connected to power most of the time. I use it, on battery power, to call clients, because I can quickly plug in a headset and keep my hands free to snack or type while talking. Preferably the former.
If I racked up four hours of talk time in a single day Id fire myself -- for talking on the phone too much and not getting any work done. For some people, though, thats a necessity, not a fetish. Moreover, from the battery threads in TreoCentrals forums, mileage varies greatly, and often differs from Palms "up to" specs.
In the case of the Treos, I welcome the addition of Seidios 2400mAh Extended Battery to my Treo 680. It overfills the devices battery space, but comes with a replacement back door that accommodates the bigger battery in a 5 mm hump. Not the prettiest thing in the world, but much less objectionable when you consider the benefits.
With twice the capacity, the Seidio jumbo battery merrily gets me through much more than just one day. To test it, Ive left the 680 off the charger cord for seven days, and it still shows a 40-percent battery reading. This is with Bluetooth running -- a battery-conservation suggestion: turn it off if youre not using it and IR active (another power saver: turn it off when not needed) plus a 1-Gig SD Card in it (in case that matters for power usage), and many phone calls, one more than 20 minutes long.
In short, Im impressed. This compares to the one-day depletion I had, with the factory battery, to less than 20 percent. Theres so wide a difference, Im tempted to think theres something wrong with the original battery. The common wisdom on lithium ion batteries is that they perform best if fully charged and discharged a few times at the outset, and I havent done that, yet. However, I didnt do it to the Seidio hump battery, either, so Im still comparing oranges to oranges here.
Treo 680s come in wondrous color. Mines crimson. Fortunately, Seidios jumbo battery also comes with a battery door in the corresponding color. Mines crimson, natch. Seidios products website lists all the colors, but TreoCentral omits the copper.
Unfortunately, at least for the crimson unit, the replacement battery hatch doesnt exactly match the Treo. Its extremely close, perhaps a difference in the metallic-ness of the paint, rather than its actual hue, but it appears just a whisker darker. Its a safe bet the Treos paint varies by at least as much from unit to unit, anyway, and Im hypercritical on color matters no one will go to movies with me any more cause I constantly critique the color balance -- so this complaint isnt entirely fair. Just ignore it.
The door isnt exactly the same smoothness of shape, either. It has a great fit, snug and cozy, but the casting is a tiny bit bumpy on one side. Not worth mentioning, however, so I wont.
Although the battery and its companion cover weigh 1.8 ounces (51 grams), their toting weight isnt that much higher, because the original battery and cover come off to make way for the hump set. The Treo 680 with original battery (and door) weighs in at 5.5 ounces (157 grams). With the extra hump battery I clocked it at 6.1 ounces (174 g), a mere 0.6 ounces more 17 grams. The extra weight isnt much of an issue, unless youre one of those people who hold the thing up to your ear four hours at a time. But didnt you choose the 680 in the first place because of its smaller size and lighter weight?
Charging the extended battery with Palms included cable is no problem at all, but if you use a charge/sync cradle, you might be in for a surprise. I use a Seidio Inno.Dock cradle, and the 680 with extra hump battery works fine on it. Other cradles, holders, holsters and the like might not. Indeed, the company says it will not work on Palms cradles. Some cradles dont work with the 680, anyway, but if yours accommodates treo 680s and Treos in cases, it might work with the extended battery equipped 680.
Forget form-fit cases. My favorite 680 case, so far is Seidios Super Slim Hard Case (Crystal), not for protection, but for "coolth." Namely, its clear, so the crimson beauty shines right through. It will not work with the extra hump battery, no way no how.
The easy solution is a carry-all case that doesnt conform too closely to the Treos shape. Alas, such cases hide the 680s dazzle until you whip it out.
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