Friday, June 10, 2011

Mugen Power extended battery for Motorola Droid 2/Milestone 2 review

Mugen Power has been in the business of supplying replacement batteries for as far as I can remember. They have always been my first port to call ever since I first bought an extended battery for my old HP iPAQ h4150 back in 2004.

Mugen produces two types of batteries: an extended battery which retains the same size as the standard battery, and another extended battery with twice the capacity and size. Indeed the latter kind extended batteries are somewhat a speciality of Mugen Power who regularly produce these batteries with twice the capacity for almost any popular device on the market. In most cases an extended battery cover is also included to accommodate the larger battery size, although sometimes they come with a built-in cover.

The battery that I have here is one designed for the Motorola Milestone 2/Droid 2 and is also compatible with the Flipout and DEXT. The standard Lithium Ion Polymer BP6X battery from Motorola has a rated capacity of 1390mAh at 3.7V where as the one supplied by Mugen Power has a capacity of 1700mAh 3.7V. The battery provided by Mugen is the same size as the BP6X and yet contains 20% more battery capacity. This I find impressive, but will the extra battery capacity translate well in real life. I believe the battery cells are made in China. It used to be the case that quality battery cells originated from Japan, but these days most manufacturers have moved their factories to China (it's simple economics really). Even Motorola batteries are made there.

Mugen states that to allow for the battery to be charge and run down several times in order for it to reach its maximum capacity. I have been doing that for a couple of weeks now on my Motorola Milestone 2 and I am happy to report that I do feel that there is a difference between the two batteries. This review isn't based on any scientific test as I believe the best way to review a product is to subject it to everyday use based on one's personal usage pattern. This is why I never use benchmark applications on my review of phones.
The Mugen Power extended battery retains the same physical size of the standard battery
Anyway my usage pattern is very predictable. Gmail and Twitter (via Twicca) is always on, pulling updates every now and then. I also have WhatsApp turned on the entire time. I listen to music via the phone about two hours a day (my commute time), and do the odd web browsing. I do not play games on this phone. My Milestone 2 is always switched onto to 3G, with the GPS receiver only turned on whenever I want to check into Foursquare (which is always left on in the background). WiFi is always switched off whenever I am out.

A typical day out with the standard Motorola battery meant I had to reach for my charger after about six to seven hours. Yes it is that bad, but that's just how Motorola Android smartphones are. Admittedly I am a power user who tweets about 80-100 times a day, of which 40% of the time are done on smartphones, so a 'normal' casual user will never see their smartphone battery dead after barely half a day of usage. With the Mugen Power battery, I found that my phone was able to last about eight to nine hours, which is in line with the increased in capacity.

What can I say? I sort of knew what to expect, but the fact that Mugen Power are still able to make batteries with increased capacity while retaining the same size as the battery they were 'copying' still impresses me. Casual users may not need extended batteries, but power users will certainly find these useful, especially for those who wishes to have their phones retain the same dimensions and weight. And for that I would gladly recommend their batteries.

The Mugen Power Extended battery for Motorola Milestone 2/Droid 2 is available here.

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