The Treo 680 cries for batteries. Frequently! The trimmed down Treo comes with a slim, 1200 mAh marvel that has, since the beginning, created a tempest among owners. Seidio offers an extra-beefy 2400 mAH extended battery at the cost of a bulge on the back of the Treo - they supply a replacement cover. That bulge causes a problem with any formfitting case, so the Treo ends up in your pocket or stashed in your purse, instead of safe in a case.
Seidio also offers a 680 battery of normal size thats a little bit higher capacity, at 1300 mAh, but no distended battery door needed. Its much higher cost, however - $34.95, versus Palms original at $24.95 replacement cost and Mobi Products entry, the subject of this review, at $19.95.
If you need all the mAhs you can get, and cant stand the extra bulge of a mega-battery, plan on getting one or more spares. Drop one in and do the little pink bunny thing: keep on going.
Hours of amps
The mAh moniker stands for milliamp hour. That means a one-thousandth of an amp sustained for one hour. Not a lot of power, but the Treo, being a computer, doesnt need much. Naturally, your mileage will vary, but you can reasonably expect a batterys life to be approximately proportional to its mAh rating. By most accounts, 1200 mAhs dont keep longwinded talkers talking all day long on their Treo 680s. Even if you spring for one of the extended batteries, you might still want to horde a spare battery for just those occasions when you need some more power and theres no place to charge.
A spare battery has to be recharged, even if its not used. Over time, lithium-ion batteries, which are what keeps Treos going, lose their charge, even if connected to nothing. The easy way is to give each of your batteries a turn in the device, so they all stay fully charged. I do this with my digital SLRs batteries rotate them systematically to the charger and into the camera, so I can take the whole kit out for a location shoot on a moments notice, confident.
Even a longer-life Treo battery will deplete eventually, especially if you talk or roam a lot. Indeed, roaming where signals are poor eats up a good bit of power because the phone keeps transmitting, looking for a cell tower to honor its signal. The Gremlins in Charge of Misfortune dictate that those desperate times when the battery level goes cuckoo coincide with there being no power to hook up to for a recharge.
First the math
Mobi Products replacement battery for the Treo 680 comes in at 1050 mAh. Thats a bit less than Palms original (and replacement) 1200 mAh battery, but its a little less expensive. Thats about 12.5 percent. If only it were also lighter, too.
The batteries weigh almost exactly the same about 0.9 oz (25 grams) each, and theyre within a fraction of a hairsbreadth the same dimensions. Why theres any difference in capacity at all is anyones guess. My electronic scale totes up even grams only, so there could be a weight advantage, although if there is one its less than a gram, so I wouldnt even mention it, even if I could.
Mobi Products spare pops into the Treo just like the Palm battery, and it runs out of juice just like the original, only a little bit quicker. For me, however, the difference in run time isnt all that noticeable. I keep my 680 charging, on my desk, unplugging it to use the calculator or make calls then return it to the charge cable. I take it out for several hours at a time, but rarely all day, and usually dont do more than an hours worth of talking on it at a time. In two months, I didnt even know Id left the Mobi Products battery in it, instead of the Palm original, and I never had a problem. But of course Im not a power user.
The facts of life are out there for your consternation anyway you look at it: Lower capacity means less talk time, less standby time, and even worse, less Bejeweled time. However, as a spare to tide over that extra couple of hours after the main batterys given up, the lower capacity isnt much of a problem. Charge them both up again, and have at it the next day.
Other than capacity and selling price, I can find no difference between the batteries. Apparently, my Treo 680 cant, either.
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