There’s no denying that Samsung’s Galaxy S II is one of the best smartphones one could buy. However, with smartphones getting powerful, one thing that has limited its ability is the battery backup. Galaxy S II’s 1650mAh battery is more than enough if you use your phone thriftily but when it comes to using it all day long with a bit of tweeting, email, multimedia and games, Galaxy S II’s battery is a disappointment. Luckily, we’ve got third-party battery manufacturers like Mugen who’ve come up with a 3200mAh battery for Galaxy S II. We’ve been trying it out for a while and this is what we think.
The first thing you’ll notice is the size. Considering it doubles the battery capacity, it’s a behemoth compared to the stock one. To complement the added thickness, Mugen has also bundled a battery door that flush in the battery. Good thing about the cover is that its build quality is good and is almost at par with the origin. Of course, the texture design is slightly less refined than Samsung’s but on the brighter side adds a matte finish, which adds to the grip of the phone. Another positive for the battery door is that it elevates the back side considerably to protect the camera lens and its flash.
Using a Mugen extended battery is not rocket science but it does require some work to make it reach the full potential. The first few charges are like “test runs” that requires continuous charging for at least 12 hours. Mugen says this is mandatory to achieve the battery’s stated capacity.
All said and done, how does the Mugen’s offering fare? To sum in one word, Excellent. With the stock battery, I used to get about 16-18 hours with normal usage (Sync off at night) and with Mugen in place, the battery life easily reaches more than a day, with heavy usage and Sync on. Surprisingly, battery life with HSPA / 3G is at par with 2G.
However, there’s a little hiccup if you plan to use both stock as well as Mugen’s extended battery. You’ll need Mugen’s Battery Calibration app (available from Market), which requires a root access. In case, your device is not rooted using two batteries at the same time is not preferable.
So it all boils down to one question, is it worth it? Well, if you’re willing to trade Galaxy S II’s sleekness for more than a day’s worth of battery life then Mugen’s extended battery is worth every penny. But if form takes preference function, you should better stick to the stock battery or Samsung’s 2000mAh battery, which is yet to go on sale in most parts.
Mugen’s 3200mAh battery is on sale for $98.95.