Having recently purchased my Centro and really putting in some playing and talking time, I quickly realized that buying a spare battery would be a good idea *smile*.
The stock Centro battery is pretty standard as far as mobile device batteries go (well, if you don't compare it to the Treo 650 battery) for stand-by and actually talking when you make or receive a phone call. BUT, I'm the type who likes to dive in and really give my Centro a thorough workout! It's not unusual for me to sit down and play games on my Centro for an hour or two at a time, which is a big drain on my battery. After a few sessions of such game playing were cut short by a drained battery, I set out to buy a new, robust secondary/replacement battery
Writing for TreoCentral, I found the Palm 1850 mAH Extended Battery w/door for Centro and, after reading the item's description, decided to pick one up for my trusty Centro. I received my battery and battery door within a couple of days. Before I ran a head-to-head comparison of the 1850 mAh and my stock Centro battery, I used the extended life battery a few days, letting it run down to under 5% each time - to properly train the battery to take a full charge when recharging. (My personal regimen, which I believe extends the longevity of rechargable batteries)
Having prepped the extended life battery for competition, let's move on to the show.
Gentlemen, start your engines!
In testing, I played a video clip at full screen and at a set volume while testing first the stock battery that shipped with my Centro and then with the 1850 mAH battery I got via the TreoCentral store.
Let me note here that while the video, a short camcorder capture of my niece when she was around 4 years old, was cute initially - by the time the initial battery test was complete, I was ready to mute the sound hehe. Hearing the same thing over and over again, no matter how much you may like it, does tend to wear on you -grin-.
Back to the testing. At the set volume, and having to ok each warning I got as the battery got into the dreaded 10% or less zone, the stock Centro battery managed to hold out for a respectable 4 hours and 48 minutes - not bad! I have no other data to compare this to, personally, so I repeated the initial test and the results were almost identical - so, 'my' battery will run said tests and score 4 hours and 46/48 minutes consistantly I would suppose.
For the 1850 mAH battery test (and the 2nd test of the stock battery) I was prepared. I started the same video clip, at the same volume and again at full screen, and set the Centro to the side in a make-shift sound-proof box LoL!. I was pretty confident that, given the stock battery time, I really didn't need to bother checking the progress of the test for at least 5 hours - so, I went to bed and let the test play out. When I awoke, a full 6 hours later, I immediately thought of the battery challenge I was conducting and checked on the progress - still going without a hiccup. After okaying the battery warning messages as before, the 1850 mAH battery had managed to hold out for an impressive 8 hours and 29 minutes - REALLY not bad!.
Comparing the two times I found:
stock battery 4 hours, 47 minutes
1850 mAH battery 8 hours, 29 minutes
This translates to a full 77% increase in battery time over the stock battery for the 1850 mAH battery; that's a lot more talking time for those of you chatterboxes! * ducks *
The manufacturer only claims a 60% increase over a stock battery, which I can confirm - and then some.
Ok, so now you're more informed on how the battery performs - on to my impression of the look and feel of the Centro with the extended life battery installed and the extra-capacity door attached.
First to note is the door. While manufactured by Palm and made for the Centro, the door is not the same color as the Centro itself, although the color is pretty close. While this may not bother some folks, I like my colors of my devices to be consistant. It is, to my eyes, a tiny bit darker than the stock Centro battery door - I'd call the color 'pearl'. There's also the obvious, the additonal "hump" that replaces the slim, contured look of the stock Centro - something that is necessary to accomodate the extra thickness of the extra-capacity battery.
On a positive note, the door does attach to and come off of the Centro easier than the stock door does. This is nice, to me, as I always worry I'm going to break the door when I have to remove my battery door to access my storage card. I've talked to a couple of other Centro owners and they, too, have experienced this same moment of dread.
Another thing I should point out here is the effect on my stylus storage when the extended life battery door is attached. While it may not cause any long-term damage to my stylus, the stylus seems a bit pinched when I have the included door attached to my Centro. This makes removing and re-inserting the stylus more tedious and has lead to a soreness in my finger nails and finger tips.
Since writing the review, I've switched my White Centro for a Black one. So now I have a White battery door on a Black Centro whenever I'm using the Palm extended battery. Here are some pics of how the White door on my Black Centro looks. I kind of like it. It would probably look really odd if not for the silver trim running along the sides and across the front of the Centro. The White door doesn't stand out as much against the Black body of the Centro due to the silver/black combination.
Hopefully Palm will be coming out with other colors for the extended battery doors soon. I'm sure many of you on Sprint are waiting for a Black, Red, and Pink door.
The extended life battery and door has both positives and negatives as I've noted earlier. I'm already used to the somewhat bulkier profile my Centro sports when I'm using the larger battery, and the much longer battery time is certainly very nice. It's always nice to have a spare battery also, so the 1850 mAH is pretty much a no-brainer for me - I'd recommend it.
I recently bought the Mobi Products Battery Cradle for Centro from the TreoCentral store for $24.95. It is ideal for charging your Centro through the USB cable (included) and the spare battery (1850 mAH) and can be charged by the included AC adapter which plugs into the cradle - allowing for simutaneous charging of both batteries. This would make an ideal addition to the 1850 mAH if you decide to make the purchase.
Pick up the 1850 mAH extended life battery and door today!
Much longer battery life over stock battery
Includes extra-capacity door
Spare battery is a must have for everybody
|Makes Centro a bit bulky
Included door somewhat affects stylus storage