Nexus One: New Toy – External USB Battery

The Nexus one makes pretty good use of it’s battery, despite running a faster processor and larger screen than the original G1 model. In most situations the battery should last you the day (The G1 often runs out of juice by mid afternoon). The Nexus comes with a 1400 mAh battery vs the G1’s 1050mAh battery, but I think they’ve also done a better job on power conservation with this new model.

Having said that, there are days when you end up in a low signal area or spend a few hours surfing the web and realise your battery is already low. This is when a second battery helps … or does it? While it’s nice to have the option to replace the battery on these phones (yeah, can you believe on some phones the battery is built-in and not removable? gee …), having to shutdown and restart your phone is a bit of a nuisance. Not to mention that without an external charger, you have to shuffle batteries around to keep them charged?

The solution:

I bought this off ebay for USD9.87 (about RM32) inclusive of shipping to Malaysia. I’m sure you can find it in low yat plaza but compared to the effort of driving there and asking each shop for it, I found ebay a lot easier. It shipped from Hong Kong to my house in 10 calendar days.

It’s essentially a 1500mAh battery and charger in its own enclosure. To charge it, you plug it into a regular USB charger or PC (mini USB or micro-USB). The nexus charger works with it just fine. When it’s fully charged, a row of 4 LEDs completely light up.

Now whenever your phone is running low on battery, you simply plug this external charger into the USB port on the phone, and it start’s charging:

The charger has the D+/D- pins shorted, so the phone detects it as a AC charger and goes into fast charging mode (usually fully charging itself in about 2 hours). It’s great for when you’re travelling and not likely to be near an AC charger. The fact that it charges off USB too means that you only need to bring a single wall adapter with you.

I would have liked it just a little bit better if it came with a micro-USB extension cable, as the current design forces you to have the phone and charger aligned while charging. That’s fine if you’re near a table somewhere, but usually those places have AC supply. If you’re on the move, it can be a bit of a pain. Anyway, still useful to have around.

The charger is generic, it works on any phone that takes a micro-USB charger (e.g. newer blackberry, HTC, motorolas and nokia phones).

This post was originally published as a Facebook Note at 2010-03-29 21:23:01 +0800.

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