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webOSroundup: Review: Mugen 1400mAh Extended “SL” Pre 3 Battery

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Our webOS phones have not been known to have the greatest capacity when it came to battery life, no one would argue otherwise. While there has been improvement between each version of webOS and iterations of devices, they typically would not make it a full day with normal moderate use on a single battery, without of course charging intermittently during the day. Luckily for owners of the original Pre series up through the Pre 2 there were some options for extended batteries, or simply spare batteries that were all interchangeable with one another. This helped people to swap batteries throughout the day as needed, or with the use of the larger options that were available; requiring a larger replacement cover.

Then, there was the announcement of the Pre 3 which was larger than its predecessors and required a new battery. Not a big deal, surely there would be the same battery options available as in the past once the phone would be released, right? Only that did not exactly happen, and a full on release never came about. The official release of the HP Pre 3 was limited to Europe right around the time HP announced ceasing all webOS hardware production. Luckily, devices that were headed for AT&T stores and even a few Verizon branded devices made it to eBay. The problem here was, how would those of us with this device get a spare battery without purchasing a spare Pre 3 to go with it? What about getting a larger capacity battery? Who would want to make batteries for a device that really was never released in full force? What would someone do when the stock battery inevitably lost its useful capacity to hold a charge? Purchasing a spare Pre 3 just for a battery isn’t really a cost effective solution.

Seeing that there were a lot of Pre 3’s hitting the market, either via eBay or importing from Europe, caught the attention of Mugen Power Batteries. Now, we all know Mugen is no stranger to creating batteries and have made spare and extended batteries for the Pre and Pixi in the past. Mugen decided to get in touch with the community and find out just how much interest there really was in spare and/or extended batteries for the Pre 3 by setting up a survey.  It didn’t take long, since it was only a matter of hours before Mugen announced enough support to produce both an $46.95 “SL” 1400mAh battery and a rather massive (by Pre standards) $98.95 “XL” 2800mAh Battery, which includes a larger back cover. Pre-orders for these batteries were opened in December.

Stock Battery

Stock Battery

Mugen "SL" 1400mAh

Mugen "SL" 1400mAh

For reference, the stock battery that comes with the Pre 3 is rated at 1230mAh, certainly nothing to write home about, but it does the job. These new Mugen batteries would give a boost of roughly 14% and 128% for the “SL” and the “XL” respectively.  These batteries began shipping earlier this month and they kindly set us up with some batteries to test out and review.  Up first we will take a look at the “SL” 1400mAh battery. I will note that the 1400mAh battery was being detected as being 14060mAh, 60mAh more than it is marketed as having. Who doesn’t like freebies right? Per Mugen’s recommendation I let the battery run through a couple cycles of letting the battery fully charge, and discharge to below 10% before charging again. Even during this calibration stage I noticed the bit of improvement that it was giving. Once this stage was done, I put it through its paces using it as I normally would on any given day. I had the typical background tasks running; Exchange syncing, Gmail, another email accounts checking at 30 and 1 hour intervals, Twitter keeping tabs in the background, sending texts, browsing the web and more. What I noticed was that on average I was seeing what would amount to an extra hour or 2 of use. I had roughly 10% or more capacity higher at any given time than the stock battery.

This doesn’t mean I could go a full day and into the night without a charge let alone last even the day under heavy usage. What it did give me was a bit more breathing room and the ability to have a spare battery if the need arose. It was certainly worth it to me. What would I do if the stock battery failed or simply wouldn’t charge anymore? Another nice thing about this battery is that it is the same physical size of the stock battery, so it fits right in and I had no issue with charging on the Touchstone.

I will say that this battery is a no brainer for any Pre 3 owner. This battery would be the go-to battery for many as it’s aimed as being a replacement or spare to the stock battery. Additionally, who doesn’t like a bit of capacity enhancement without needing a new back cover? The rest of the community must feel the same since it also took the lead for best sellers of 2011 according to Mugen.

Mugen currently has the “SL” battery on sale for $44.95 and you can receiving a 7% coupon code if you “like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @MugenBatteries.

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