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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries? 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the they're-a-myth dept.
An anonymous reader writes: I have an old phone with a battery that barely works anymore. My current phone's battery is mediocre — I can put up with it, but I've been thinking about getting a new one. My four-year-old ThinkPad holds less of a charge than I'd like, and less than it did when I bought it. In all these cases, the only thing holding me back from buying a new battery is that I'm not sure where to find a good one. Searching for my phone's battery on Amazon (or any major online retailer) yields a dozen results, all fairly cheap. But which are reliable? They all seem to have varying reviews, ranging from "Perfect official factory replacement!" to "Garbage knock-off, worse than the battery I replaced." Part numbers don't seem to help, as the knock-offs replicate those pretty well. I ask you, Slashdot: where can I find a good replacement battery?
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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

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  • by aussersterne (212916) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:16PM (#47733373) Homepage

    Anker products.

    As you note, the problem with batteries is there's just so much undifferentiable import crap. Lots of it has fancy packaging.

    Anker is no doubt trafficking in generics as well, but they do have their own design department (even goods like their Qi chargers that are made out of glass and metal have logos embedded in them and don't look like everyone else's generics) and when I posted a lukewarm review on Amazon ("Seems to work, nothing impressive, but good that it works.") about a phone battery, a rep with native English contacted me immediately and asked if there was anything they could do or offer to improve my experience from lukewarm to stellar.

    So that at least is indicative of a company that cares. Note that I don't work for Anker, but since that experience (the phone battery was my first purchase of their products) I've purchased a number of subsequent products and none of them performed more poorly than the original OEM equipment, so that's at least something in this world of mostly fake batteries.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:28PM (#47733449)

      Came here to say Anker. I purchased 2 replacement batteries for my phone (Galaxy s2x) + standalone battery charger as a bundle from Amazon.ca for $28 delivered.

      Batteries work great, and the standalone charger seems to be able to charge any kind of battery I can throw at it.

      My first attempt at ordering a battery on ebay for $9 was a washout - took a month to arrive, and was complete crap when it did.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I've had good experience with Anker batteries and chargers for a couple of years, and quick response to and resolution of a query.

        KCS

    • by Sowelu (713889) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:28PM (#47733455)

      I can second Anker batteries, mine worked fine. I can't say I'm as thrilled with their wall-wart router, but that's probably more on me. Two data points isn't too useful, but if I had to recommend someone, I'd say "Anker didn't suck for me". No bigger help than looking at their Amazon reviews though.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'll second Anker. I have a couple spare batteries for my phone and they work great, good enough that I've been using one as my primary battery for the last few weeks because I am too lazy to swap it out with the OEM one.

    • I second Anker. Have had very good luck with their products across the board. I have a suspicion that they're actually an Amazon house brand, but I can't confirm it.

    • by Trashman (3003)

      I bought Anker batteries for my (now Ancient) Thinkpad T42p and Macbook Pro 4,1. Prior to the purchases, I bought some cheep ones for the thinkpad and dropped (a lot of) money on the OEM replacement for the macbook and the Anker battery is actually better than Apple's.

      This was over a year ago and half ago, and They're still in use.

    • by FuegoFuerte (247200) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:05PM (#47733621)

      I'll second/third/fourth this... I had an HTC Arrive (Sprint's WinMo7 phone), and bought a couple Anker batteries and a charger. I switched from the HTC battery to one of the Ankers as my primary battery, because it lasted substantially longer. I still carry the universal charger when I travel, as it can charge my camera batteries, anything that charges over USB, etc. It's a little finicky to get it to contact the battery correctly sometimes, but overall it works quite well and is far more flexible than any other charger I've seen.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      FWIW I had an Anker replacement laptop PSU die on me in two months, opening it up revealed shoddy construction to the point where I was amazed it worked.

      Maybe their battery products are better, but their PSUs in my limited experience are poor.

    • by Carnildo (712617) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:34PM (#47733759) Homepage Journal

      The nice thing about Anker is that they're honest about being a third party. Entirely too many companies do their best to visually imitate OEM equipment.

    • Anker Galaxy II replacement bat is as good as the fresh OEM one ever was. And the Anker universal charger works a treat. It has sliding contacts and a spring-loaded housing that will fit any mobile phone bat you could think of.

      I can charge the still-okay OEM and keep it as a spare.

      Oh, and I also like my Lumsing energy bank. Nothing to do with Anker. But the Lumsing is downright swanky.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Seconded on Anker batteries. I didn't like the funky wall charger with the movable contacts, ended up not using that. But the battery was fine.

    • The online auctions tend to sell store stock from failed stores and the batteries have been on the shelf way too long. The catch is that the batteries may seem fine at first and you give the seller a good rating but after a few days the battery shows its true quality. Local stores often have good stock but they price gouge. I can buy a new portable phone as cheaply as buying a replacement battery. Radio Shack can't figure out why they are sinking. Check their prices and you will
    • Same issue as the poster, dying batteries with pretty thick bulges from LiPo expansion on a 4-year old HTC phone. Same dillema searching for reputable products, found Anker batteries and bought 2 of them. Very happy with their performance. Tested them with a LiPo hobby charger using a charge-discharge-charge cycle and the mAh rating on them came within the advertised 95-97% value. Batteries still work great after over 1-year of usage.

      Anker Universal Cell Phone Battery Charger [ianker.com] - $9.99 USD @ Amazon [amazon.com]

      I lov

      • by JakFrost (139885)

        FYI, that Amazon link is mine, I put it into the post that way and now I realize that it looks too professional, as if it's some kind of an Advertisement / Slashvertisement injection by Slashdot / Dice Holdings Inc. It's not, I write posts like this with links and price references in USD. Sorry, for any anger it might cause.

    • I bought two Anker batteries for my Galaxy S3. They were considerably better than the stock battery when new. They swelled after sometime over a year and didn't hold a charge as long as when new. But I don't think the stock batter lasted much more than a year either. Actually, I'm pretty sure even after being degraded, they held a better charge than the stock battery when new.

      I also have a rechargeable battery that can be connected to a phone via USB to charger the phone. It works great. I also bought a USB

    • by Radak (126696)

      Everybody's said it already, but here's another vote for Anker. I've bought batteries from them for three phones and they've all been great, and if you read Amazon reviews, you'll find their customer service in the rare event of problems is second to none.

    • After reading the first 20 posts, and owning an Anker 40 Watt 5xUSB charger which works just fine, I conclude the the fakers will now start faking Anker batteries :-(
    • I just checked, and the laptop battery I bought last December for our Toshiba is an Anker, with a higher mAh rating than the OEM battery. It's still working great with a decently long battery life, so consider that yet another recommendation. I didn't know anything about the brand at the time - I bought it because it offered longer life than OEM, and it was highly rated on Amazon.

      As for cell phones, I bought a couple EC Technologies batteries [amazon.com] for our Samsung cell phones one year ago that are still going s

  • More details, please (Score:3, Informative)

    by unitron (5733) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:18PM (#47733383) Homepage Journal

    Tell us exactly what model phone and exactly what brand and model battery.

    That way you have a better chance of catching the attention of someone with experience with what you need.

    Otherwise I wave you in the vague direction of Batteries+

    • by starless (60879) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:47PM (#47733541)

      I think the question is really intended to elicit general comments on good places to buy batteries, as much as one particular battery type.
      That makes it of much more general interest to slashdot readers.

    • If you need an obscure battery right away, try Batteries+, but be prepared to pay big time for it.

      If you need an obscure battery and can wait, there are often resellers on Amazon that will get you what you need DIRT CHEAP! If it turns out to be crap, you can just be thankful that you paid a fraction of what you would anywhere else, and then try somewhere else.
  • by Fwipp (1473271) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:20PM (#47733393)

    > They all seem to have varying reviews, ranging from "Perfect official factory replacement!" to "Garbage knock-off, worse than the battery I replaced."

    This is because amazon lumps reviews from different sellers together. Once you've identified a potential seller/product you want, go into the list of sellers, and make sure to pick one with good reviews. It's going to be more expensive than from a place with 2 stars, but at least it'll work.

    • Your comment makes me realize that tactic might work for toner, too... it has the exact same problem in my experience.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      If it's a big shop with tons of review it won't prevent this particular product from being a lemon. I recently had that happen to me on eBay, 99.5% approval rating and >100k feedback score but product was real bad. They delisted it after I complained. At any rate, I wish Amazon would split it into "Product reviews" and "Vendor reviews", because a lot of the feedback is about bad customer service that's entirely irrelevant if you buy from a different seller.

    • by hamjudo (64140) on Friday August 22, 2014 @09:15PM (#47734233) Homepage Journal
      Sometimes the variations in reviews is due to variations in the product. Many years ago I worked in a brick and mortar store and resold electronics. I'd buy a small number of units from a supplier and test them. If they were good, I'd buy a bunch for resale. Assuming the customers didn't bring them back, I would buy more of the same, from the same vendor. Customers who were happy with units from the first few batches, were not at all happy with units from later batches.

      I dissected customer returns. Again and again, the products in later shipments looked identical on the outside, but were "cost reduced" on the inside. For example, I would see empty places on the circuit boards where the filter capacitors were supposed to go. In one batch of one product, many of the units were dead on arrival, on the ones that worked when I unpacked them, the solder joints only lasted a few weeks. Once opened, I could see that the boards were either soldered at the wrong temperature, it was the wrong type of solder, or badly made solder. Every connection was visibly a cold solder joint. Either the factory had no quality control, or they ignored the quality control.

      Other products looked identical inside and out, but based on the failure rate, the factory must have gotten a bad batch of one the components.

      Even longer ago, I worked on a product that logged data to a Compact Flash memory card. It was an embedded product that needed to work across a wide temperature range, including in the winter in Minnesota. The big names like SanDisk would randomly swap component suppliers. Our largest customer saw less than a 2% failure rate, but that was way too much. We found a specialty supplier that charged 5 times as much, but they had a rigorous quality control process. They paid attention to the specifications. They tracked where parts came from, and promised that we would be able to test sample units if they needed to switch suppliers. Alas, the 2% failure rate from the earlier parts had already doomed that product line.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        My solution is to just cut out the middle men and but my own cells to repair my old battery with. For laptops I prefer genuine Panasonic cells as they are extremely reliable and consistent. Most battery packs are not hard to open with a bit of effort and soldering the tabs is easy.

        Phone batteries are unfortunately not suitable for this, but they are not expensive either so best just to buy genuine ones from the manufacturer.

  • by turp182 (1020263) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:21PM (#47733397) Journal

    Amazon offers 30 day returns. If it fails fast they will take it back. Be wary of items they just fulfill, return policies vary (and Amazon has great service). Compare the manufacturers warranties, ask a question on the Amazon item pages.

    Read the most recent reviews. I've seen several "different item/different serial #" issues with Dell batteries. Items presented can change over time, they are mutable.

    Don't rush. You've been putting up with the performance you are seeing, you can take it another week or two.

    Anyway, that's how I buy batteries...

  • Crap Shoot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zelbinion (442226) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:23PM (#47733409)

    I just ran into this with my wife's Dell laptop. I tried an aftermarket battery at newegg that had some glowing reviews and some terrible reviews, but was cheap enough (about $35) that I was willing to give it a try. It sort of worked for about a month, and now won't charge at all. So, we wound up buying a replacement direct from Dell for $150. I also recently bought an aftermarket battery for an old Toshiba laptop, but it only lasts about 1.5 hours if I'm lucky. It was $15 from Amazon. I guess you get what you pay for. So, other than paying through the nose for a genuine battery from the manufacturer, I don't know where to get good quality laptop batteries anymore (it used to be you could find decent batteries at various places on line, but all I see is junk now...)

    On the other hand, I bought a new battery for my phone (an HTC) and got a battery made by a company called Anker. It works great and have had no problems with it. Bought several more for my wife's and my mother's phones, and they work well too. You can find Anker batteries on Amazon.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Also cheap and nasty doesn't necessarily mean bad. It's just a roll of a typical DnD dice.

      I have currently a 3 year old, definitely cheap Chinese import battery in my ancient Dell XPS. It was less than 1/3rd of the price of the original Dell. This is now the 3rd battery in it. The original Dell lasted about 3 years, the replacement from Dell lasted about 1 year, and now this ebay Chinese one, covered in Chinese writing is almost 3 years in and still going strong.

      When I bought my Nikon D200 I also bought an

    • you seriously spent 150 bucks for a laptop battery? AYFFM? there's about a dozen online options, the most expensive ones around 60-70 bucks and come with long warranties, from places that specialize in laptop batteries
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:23PM (#47733415)

    B&H Video
    Amazon when Amazon is the source

    Pretty much don't look for price, look for details in the Specifications and Reputable Reviewers.. its finding these temporary sign posts that mark a good source.

    More and more its random process

  • from experience. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:24PM (#47733417)

    Go anker, they have worked very well in the past for my phones. Avoid andida, 2 sets of batteries Went bad in 32 days

  • It's pretty much a crap shoot. The Amazon reviews are always mixed, but look for the most 5s and the least 1s.

    I've purchased a bunch of packages of two batteries and a travel charger for $10-$20. A few of them have been garbage, but compared to $40 each for an OEM battery, it's worth throwing a few away.

    I recently got Caseology batteries for my Galaxy S5 and they're fantastic.

  • by dark_requiem (806308) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:26PM (#47733439)
    Mugen Power Batteries [mugen.co], great batteries, excellent price. They make extended batteries, some that fit in stock battery compartments, some that use extended battery covers. I've used them on several phones, and am about to buy one for my new LG G3 (only an extra 100ma, but when you're on call, it helps).
  • Make a best guess of the reviews, keeping in mind that some are astroturfed, both for and against, and roll the dice.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:32PM (#47733473)
    A tip: When you get a new smartphone these days, buy one or two spare batteries while they are widely available, and well before the device is deprecated and hard to find a good battery for, let alone an official one. Store your spare li-ion batteries with a half charge, and/or just alternate use of the batteries. Spare accessories are also a nice selling point if you upgrade and want to sell your old phone on ebay, or to a friend.

    Li-ion batteries lose about 20% of their lifespan every year, I've had plenty that die faster, perhaps due to much more intense cycling and usage. Having spares you rotate means you'd still have most of your battery range after a year of ownership.
  • by chaosdivine69 (1456649) on Friday August 22, 2014 @06:38PM (#47733487)
    The trick to using eBay is that the seller needs to have a lot of positive star ratings and has a recent selling history - as in they do this to make money, it's how they eat. Not someone with a 6 star rating who hasn't sold anything for months to years. The more perfect a score (closer to 100%) rating the better. The more decent ratings the better. Also, this is critical, read the seller feedback, they're short, but they scream volumes. When searching for items, search for words like "genuine OEM" or "original (brand here) battery". Lastly, when paying, use PayPal since they cover your ass if/when a seller doesn't come through. It has happened to me before twice in like 7 years and PayPal has helped me out and refunded my money both times. I love eBay and have been using it for years. You can find some really obscure stuff and can land some great deals if you're patient, persistent and careful. No one likes getting fleeced or screwed over. Do you homework and you'll get exactly what it is you're after. One last thing, don't be afraid to email the sellers and ask questions. If they don't reply, don't buy from them. You can even be bold and ask to negotiate price (within reason). You'd be surprised what you can get if you're nice, respectful and within reason. My thoughts anyhow...
    • by caseih (160668)

      Interesting. Usually when I buy from Ebay the results are mediocre at best and the seller demands that I give him a full star review. I don't have the ebay foo or the patience that you have. I've bought cell batteries from a ebay seller that looked very much like what you recommend, and they were junk. I also bought from a random, supposedly reputable dealer on Amazon, and they were junk (brand name, two year old batteries). Went to a local store specializing in batteries and they were junk too (also tw

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Follow the advice on looking up sellers and it's quite easy.

        1. Find product I like at price I like.
        2. Look to the right of the product page. If feedback is less than 97% then you're in questionable territory.
        3. Click the seller rating and look at the dates the reviews were posted. If they are recent then you're good to go.

        It's also worth looking at the negative reviews. Some customers are outright asshats. I typically don't put much value on reviews that say the seller was unresponsive and they jumped strai

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        That's strange. I've never had a seller demand anything from me. About half of the purchases I've made recently gave me positive feedback as soon as the received payment.

    • Lastly, when paying, use PayPal since they cover your ass if/when a seller doesn't come through. It has happened to me before twice in like 7 years and PayPal has helped me out and refunded my money both times.

      I would have to disagree with that. My mileage did vary.

      A couple of years ago I used Paypal to buy a product that was never shipped. The vendor ignored my complaint, and Paypal equally ignored my complaint. And I mean IGNORED.

    • The trick to using eBay is that the seller needs to have a lot of positive star ratings and has a recent selling history - as in they do this to make money, it's how they eat. Not someone with a 6 star rating who hasn't sold anything for months to years.

      If all buyers followed this rule, how would a seller opening for business for the first time go about building enough feedback to get started, especially with eBay's slow start rules for new sellers?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If possible, I have my batteries rebuilt. A small ma/pa shop near me [bbmbattery] cracks the case, disassembles, recycles old cells, and replaces new cells with quality batteries often of higher capacity. In my opinion, it's well worth the cost from an environmental perspective.

    • How much does that cost? Considering a new one is often $10, that cannot be cost effective.

      • eBay prices/costs vary but for a laptop battery that goes for $150 retail and you get a brand new one for $50 genuine OEM...I'd say that's a deal you can live with. Phone batteries for $10? Not likely a genuine retail OEM battery...they'll probably come in some rip off packaging with a clone board (this is a giant red flag...if they don't come in retail looking packaging from your phone's manufacturer, it's a scam) and also clone boards (circuitry) copy the battery security key from an old battery to the kn

        • Phone batteries for $10? Not likely a genuine retail OEM battery...they'll probably come in some rip off packaging with a clone board (this is a giant red flag...if they don't come in retail looking packaging from your phone's manufacturer, it's a scam

          I was talking about phone batteries. Obviously laptop batteries are different.

          Calling knock off phone batteries a "scam" is a huge stretch. I've bought probably 8 pairs of knock off batteries from Amazon over the past 5 years. 1 of those sets was garbage. 2 were mediocre, probably 60%-80% capacity of the OEM version. And 5 were perfectly fine, at least 80% of the capacity of the original. Considering that they cost about a fifth of the price of the originals, I am happy to accept that.

          • Well wait until one bursts into flames and burns down your house. Then get back to me. Then I think you'll change your tune.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Generically speaking the only way to be 100% sure to get a good battery is to overpay for the OEM battery from a reliable source (not the cheap"OEM" battery on ebay which is probably a fake anyway). Failing that my preference is to go cheapest possible on ebay. Yeah, you have a high chance that it won't be a great battery but you aren't paying much for it either. If you want to try to improve your odds on ebay you can look for sellers with good ratings or try to connect up with some community for your devic

  • I'm not sure how Slashdot became a place for shopping advice but... This really isn't that hard. Most places such as Amazon, Newegg, etc. have customer reviews. Select from the ones having large number of overwhelmingly good reviews. As an FYI, particularly with phones, OEM batteries are in many (most?) cases salvaged from used devices, and are not new. If you insist on going the with OEM batteries, then only buy from the OEM unless customer reviews provide a compelling case otherwise.
    • Re:Not that hard (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rsclient (112577) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:23PM (#47733705) Homepage

      Actually, it is that hard. I needed some CR32032 batteries, and looked on Amazon. Guess what? There's a ton of sellers, claiming to sell from a ton of vendors. I'll guess that many of them will sell me a battery with the right physical and electrical form factor, but....

      Which brands last longer?
      Which sellers are selling official brands, and which are selling indistinguishable knockoffs?
      Are the knockoffs actually worse?

      Is something that looks more official and appears more reputable actually selling something better? Or am I paying for reputation and not actual quality?

      How valid are the reviews? Are they astroturf? Does it matter? How can someone tell a good battery from a bad one, anyway, right after getting it. Are the just giving 5 stars because the batteries came quickly in nice packaging?

      I think these are all reasonable questions, but I don't have an answer to any of them. I'm hoping that someone has done a real comparison, and can provide some kind of solid data.

      • I really hope this is not a serious post.

        Assuming you meant CR2032 batteries, if you are looking online you're not the brightest crayon in the box.

        CR2032's are so incredibly common (motherboard CMOS, car remotes, watches, etc).

        You can find them at any big box store, drug store, and most corner stores. I recommend Duracell, Energizer or Panasonic when it comes to button cells.

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          Well, his CR32032 would be amazingly rare. :) I'd guess if he was serious, he's 12 and has never gone shopping on his own.

          Out of morbid curiosity, I searched "CR32032" on Amazon. I think that's the first search I've done there, that only came up with one item.

    • "This really isn't that hard."
      Reading the submission isn't that hard, yet you failed to do so. The submitter specifically mentions a problem with using reviews.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately, unless your device uses disposable battery types (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V - in the US, at least), your battery is almost certainly custom-manufactured.

    This is especially true of Lithium-polymer batteries

    Device manufacturers love this for a couple of reasons:
    * They aren't constrained by the size/shape of the battery.
    * Since the battery size isn't standard, they are assured they are likely the "sole source" of the battery, and will happily gouge its customers for replacements.

    Unless you're buying the

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The case (custom for the most part) circuit board (custom) and cells. The cells in pretty much every battery I've taken apart are general readily available lithium cells. You can order high quality cells with the same or higher capacity at numerous online sites.

      I have rebuilt every raid controller bbu, laptop, and cell phone battery I have this way. Depending on construction it may not be pretty when done, but for the most part, the cells not custom.

  • by aklinux (1318095) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:20PM (#47733689) Homepage
    I have had good luck with Ray-O-Vac batteries from there for laptops, cameras, & cellphones. For one camera I have though, all they had was some cheap, no-name, Chinese manufactured battery that didn't work so well. I've had pretty good luck at the store for the most part though.
    • For AA batteries (yep, still the most widely used), I like Maha [mahaenergy.com] batteries and chargers. Have a number of AAs from 4 - 6 years ago still going strong.

      For alkaline cells, Radio Shack has been an excellent source of decent brands over the years. Somebody in purchasing must actually look at what they sell. Better hurry though, it doesn't look like RS will be around much longer.

      For camera batteries, I stick with OEMs, even the knockoffs sold at reputable stores like B&H and Adorama just don't work as well

      • Agree that Mahas are workhorses. Worth mentioning the Sanyo Eneloops are really good too for AAA/AA. The rest seem to be hit and miss (including name brand).

        • by karnal (22275)

          Just an aside; was out looking @ thomasdistributing.com and noticed that Panasonic purchased Sanyo (didn't realize that) and that they recently shut down the Sanyo name.

          • Yes but they are still called Eneloop.

          • Wow you're right, hadn't bought any in a while. At least they kept the distinctive white coloring though it's odd seeing the Panasonic name. Goes to show how well the entire branding was done under the Sanyo moniker.

        • by PReDiToR (687141)
          I was recently looking for Eneloops [wikipedia.org] and read about the differing variants by the two corporations.

          I went off Panasonic a few years back because they had the temerity to stop honouring warranties if you used non-OEM batteries in your camera instead of building rectifiers into the power system of the camera.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        I am an engineer who works on battery powered products. At work we tested a huge number of AA and AAA cells. Long story short, everything is shit exactly fit Panasonic and Sanyo. The latter are now owned by Panasonic anyway.

        Varta, Tekcell, Maha, Duracell, Energizer, the various *fire knock offs, and a dozen more I can't remember right now. NiMH and lithium cells. Some were okay, at least for the first few cycles. Only Panasonic cells are consistent and meet their stated spec over their entire lifetime thoug

    • by jpfulton (2075948)
      A really great source for general battery reviews is the candlepowerforums.com site. Although they're (as the name indicates) all about flashlights, there are a large number of posts and reveiws about batteries and the relative quality of various manufacturers.
  • by jIyajbe (662197) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:24PM (#47733713)

    If there is a decent brick-and-mortar store within a reasonable driving distance, I'd shop there. Of course, this won't change what quality batteries you find, but--Apart from the issue of supporting your local economy, if the battery fails within the warranty period, it's a heckuva lot easier to return/replace/exchange it than trying to fiddle with an online retailer.

    Plus, some stores (my local Batteries and Bulbs store, for example) can open many devices that are not designed to be opened by the average consumer. Finally, they are a LOT more likely to sell you the correct one on the first try.

  • by mattack2 (1165421) on Friday August 22, 2014 @07:34PM (#47733755)

    I'm not sure if he reviews all different types of batteries, but "NLee the Engineer" reviews tons of rechargeable batteries (and other stuff, as you'll see at the link) at Amazon, and he seems to really know his stuff.

    Basically, after you've found what you're looking for, his reviews seem to be very knowledgeable. He'll knock bad products and give good reviews to good ones.

    His link:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/p... [amazon.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. Never buy something that hides the battery behind screw or *shudder* glue.

    2. Got to eBay.

    3. Find different batteries. Be aware that one seller may advertise the same battery in many ways, so get very different batteries.

    4. Order one of each from sellers with 99% or better positive feedback.

    5. Order an external charger for that model of battery, so You can keep a few spare batteries charged and ready to go.

    6. As they arrive, test them.

    7. Leave appropriate feedback. If someone claims OEM, and it's not, the

    • Never buy something that hides the battery behind screw

      Never? Toy safety regulations in some countries require certain classes of battery-powered devices to have a screw on the battery door so that toddlers can't open it and eat the batteries.

  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Friday August 22, 2014 @10:23PM (#47734553) Homepage Journal

    Here's my experience. Buy something from eBay or Amazon.

    Well, we've bought a lot of batteries from various people I've been harvesting laptop batteries for the 18650 cells to put into phone recharging backs so we can play Ingress for effectively limitless hours, and for eCigarettes. That's given me a look inside them, and what condition the actual cells are. Leftovers, I sell to friends and friends-of-friends at cost.

    The recharge packs I have take 4 18650's, so if I get 2500mAhcells, I have a 10000mAh pack. I went with carriers that have a physical on/off switch, rather than the soft switch like the Anker has, so they can sit a long time without discharging. I haven't needed to change batteries on them yet.

    Generally, I buy from eBay. I'm looking for the higher cell counts, and aiming for about $1 to $1.50 per cell. So a 8 cell pack I want to spend $8 to $12 on.

    When I crack them open (always more work than it sounds) they all have the standard overheat sensors, which was the concern before about exploding batteries. They have all been wired well. Out of say a couple dozen packs, I received one that had a dented cell in it. It didn't hurt the performance of the cell, but since it was dented, I refused to use it or give it to anyone. Some of them, I've damaged the wrapper, so I re-shrink wrap if I'm in urgent need of them, or I dispose of them.

    Regardless if it says on the listing that it's an OEM or 3rd party pack, almost all of them have had no-name cells in them. I did get a few true Sony, Panasonic, or Sanyo cell, but they are rarer.

    They've all tested out to be the listed capacity, and they all have worked at the expected life expectancy.

    The only big exception was the battery for my old cell phone. It originally came with a 1400mAh battery. The only cheap seller listed 1600mAh for about $10/ea. I used them, and they were fine, but they only lasted as long as my original battery when it was new. When they finally started failing, I pealed the stickers off, and the original markings showed they were 1400mAh batteries. If I had been paying extra for the extra capacity, I may have been upset. Since I just needed batteries that worked, it didn't matter much.

    I played Ingress a *lot* with my phone though that period. That draws a lot of power, so I kept a couple spare batteries in my pocket all the time so I could swap them as needed.

    My new phone came with a much larger battery (part of my selection criteria), and I don't play as much. I let it charge in the car when I'm driving. If I'm walking, still carry the external pack, just in case I need it.

    So.. Pick something cheap on eBay. Look for listing saying they're "new". Don't expect a higher capacity batter to be any better than the original battery. Since you're looking for cheap, you can generally afford to get a spare. :)

  • I have some cordless phones that have served our household well for a number of years. The original batteries lasted a couple of years before they wouldn't hold much of a charge. I was able to work via the cordless phone via the speakerphone for over an hour before the batteries gave out. Now, a couple of replacement batteries later, I consider it a good day if I can stay on a phone call for, say, 20 minutes and that's using a battery that's only a couple of months old. It almost makes me wonder if they're

    • by karnal (22275)

      I think a bigger issue with things like Cordless Phones and other devices using Nicad or Ni-MH techs is that they never seem to design a proper charger for them. I have a home phone set of 4 handsets - and each and every one of them overcharges the Ni-MH cells within to the point of heating up continuously post-full-charge. On devices designed with Lithium style batteries in mind, they HAVE to be more of a smart charger or you'll get fires...

      I also bought years ago a small compressor with a Sealed Lead Ac

  • Sheesh, way to make it difficult. Am I the only person who just orders a new battery on the manufacturer's website or from their Amazon page?
    • by tepples (727027)
      That's fine so long as the device manufacturer continues to make replacement batteries. For example, now that 10 inch laptops are hard to find new, where should one find a replacement battery pack after the maker of one's existing laptop EOLs it?
      • They still have them in stock. I managed to find a new battery for a 10+ year old IBM Thinkpad for a very reasonable price, so you're not looking hard enough.
        (And that's what you deserve for using a flawed product.Ten inch screens are post stamp size, useless for practical computing or even note taking.)
  • http://aliexpress.com/ [aliexpress.com]

    I've a samsung galaxy s, found a seller with $5 batteries, grabbed four of them,
    three work fine, been swapping them in my phone for a few months

    the last one charges fine with the wallwart but if i stick it in my phone and plug in the cable the phone crashes :)
    the brand name on the batteries is deji, but who really knows

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