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Mobi Products 1050mAh Battery for Treo 750, 680

Mon Jun 18, 2007 - 10:54 AM EDT - By Jay Gross

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Product Info


Overview

The Treo 680 cries for batteries. Frequently! The trimmed down Treo comes with a slim, 1200 mAh marvel that has, since the beginning, created a tempest among owners. Seidio offers an extra-beefy 2400 mAH extended battery Ė at the cost of a bulge on the back of the Treo - they supply a replacement cover. That bulge causes a problem with any formfitting case, so the Treo ends up in your pocket or stashed in your purse, instead of safe in a case.

Seidio also offers a 680 battery of normal size thatís a little bit higher capacity, at 1300 mAh, but no distended battery door needed. Itís much higher cost, however - $34.95, versus Palmís original at $24.95 replacement cost and Mobi Productsí entry, the subject of this review, at $19.95.

If you need all the mAhís you can get, and canít stand the extra bulge of a mega-battery, plan on getting one or more spares. Drop one in and do the little pink bunny thing: keep on going.


Hours of amps

The mAh moniker stands for milliamp hour. That means a one-thousandth of an amp sustained for one hour. Not a lot of power, but the Treo, being a computer, doesnít need much. Naturally, your mileage will vary, but you can reasonably expect a batteryís life to be approximately proportional to its mAh rating. By most accounts, 1200 mAhís donít keep longwinded talkers talking all day long on their Treo 680ís. Even if you spring for one of the extended batteries, you might still want to horde a spare battery for just those occasions when you need some more power and thereís no place to charge.

A spare battery has to be recharged, even if itís not used. Over time, lithium-ion batteries, which are what keeps Treos going, lose their charge, even if connected to nothing. The easy way is to give each of your batteries a turn in the device, so they all stay fully charged. I do this with my digital SLRís batteries Ė rotate them systematically to the charger and into the camera, so I can take the whole kit out for a location shoot on a momentís notice, confident.

Even a longer-life Treo battery will deplete eventually, especially if you talk or roam a lot. Indeed, roaming where signals are poor eats up a good bit of power because the phone keeps transmitting, looking for a cell tower to honor its signal. The Gremlins in Charge of Misfortune dictate that those desperate times when the battery level goes cuckoo coincide with there being no power to hook up to for a recharge.



First the math

Mobi Productsí replacement battery for the Treo 680 comes in at 1050 mAh. Thatís a bit less than Palmís original (and replacement) 1200 mAh battery, but itís a little less expensive. Thatís about 12.5 percent. If only it were also lighter, too.

The batteries weigh almost exactly the same Ė about 0.9 oz (25 grams) each, and theyíre within a fraction of a hairsbreadth the same dimensions. Why thereís any difference in capacity at all is anyoneís guess. My electronic scale totes up even grams only, so there could be a weight advantage, although if there is one itís less than a gram, so I wouldnít even mention it, even if I could.



Usability

Mobi Productsí spare pops into the Treo just like the Palm battery, and it runs out of ďjuiceĒ just like the original, only a little bit quicker. For me, however, the difference in run time isnít all that noticeable. I keep my 680 charging, on my desk, unplugging it to use the calculator or make calls Ė then return it to the charge cable. I take it out for several hours at a time, but rarely all day, and usually donít do more than an hourís worth of talking on it at a time. In two months, I didnít even know Iíd left the Mobi Products battery in it, instead of the Palm original, and I never had a problem. But of course Iím not a power user.

The facts of life are out there for your consternation anyway you look at it: Lower capacity means less talk time, less standby time, and even worse, less Bejeweled time. However, as a spare to tide over that extra couple of hours after the main batteryís given up, the lower capacity isnít much of a problem. Charge them both up again, and have at it the next day.

Other than capacity and selling price, I can find no difference between the batteries. Apparently, my Treo 680 canít, either.




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