Shannon Stacey

Extending battery life at conferences?

When it comes time for RWA Nationals this summer, I don’t see myself coughing up exorbitant internet fees on top of everything else, so I plan to make do with my Droid X. I can tweet pictures and blog and manage my Facebook page and everything else from it. (No, I won’t be activating tethering. It’s only $20 for the month, but it’s capped at 2GB and I don’t know how much that is. Going over can cost so very much.)

The question is how to get the battery to last beyond lunch. Right now, with light usage, it’s usually in the orange (at 20-30%) by 8pm. With conference usage, I’m not exaggerating when I say I could see it being almost dead by noon. And with my husband and the Short Kid running amok in the city, I can’t have a dead phone.

So…if you or your significant other has a Droid X, have you invested in an extended battery? Are they worth the money?

How do all keep your smartphones juiced during conferences? I know they make those little packs that enable your phone to suck the life out of AA batteries. Do they work worth a damn? Or there are packs you charge up that act almost like an external battery. Have you used one of those? Do you carry your charger around and try to sneak seats near the outlets?

Any suggestions? I don’t want to wait and try to figure this out (and spend the money) at the last minute.

8 comments to “Extending battery life at conferences?”

  1. JoyceZ
      · January 25th, 2011 at 2:44 pm · Link

    I invested in the extendend battery when I bought my Droid X and I am so glad I did. My phone is in constant use (texting/e-mail) and I use my kindle app to read. Where as reading on my iTouch drains the battery significantly, I can make it through a whole day into the night with the extended battery on my Droid. Even on those heavy use days. Definetly worth it.

  2. nightsmusic
      · January 25th, 2011 at 11:06 pm · Link

    Get the extended battery (best investment you’ll make), turn off all the apps that run in the background and then buy PDAnet for $24.95 (the second best investment you’ll make if you travel). You can tether all day, every day and it doesn’t use any of your own plan’s tethering garbage (which is ridiculous anyway since I have an EVO and already have to pay a $10 premium per month for data…) It’s just another little android app and works great!

  3. Maryan
      · January 25th, 2011 at 11:14 pm · Link

    I always carry an external battery source. Kensington makes a great model that s small and compatible with most devices. Brookstone also makes one (also small and compatible with most devices) that gives your phone an extra charge when you need it. My iPhone recharges pretty quick when I hook it up to the external battery. Once it’s done, just unhook and tuck it back in your handbag. Another thing to do, is if you’re in an area that you know you can’t get cell coverage, then put it in airplane mode. That way it’s not searching constantly for a cell signal.

  4. Shannon
      · January 26th, 2011 at 12:42 am · Link

    So do you guys have the regular extended battery? I was reading about a super extended battery (2600mAh) that doubles the life, but you have to jump through hoops to monitor your actual battery life because the phone can’t register that much battery. I don’t want to get one that could actually hurt the phone, but I’m not sure if the regular extended life from Verizon is worth it.

    I was reading about PDAnet at androidcentral, but it seemed too good to be true. So I can really bypass my carrier with the tethering?

    Thanks, Maryan! I’ll definitely check those out. Maybe if I get an extended battery and one of those, I can make it through the day at conference!

  5. nightsmusic
      · January 28th, 2011 at 1:00 am · Link

    Sorry, I’m a day late…

    Yes, you can totally bypass your carrier’s tethering charges because it uses the internet.

    Mugen is the only extended battery I would trust. You can buy them on eBay. The one for my phone is $89 and it’s 3200MAH. It includes the back plate because the true extended battery is fatter than the one you have now.

    I turned everything off that I don’t absolutely need on my phone and can go about three hours watching a video (which is really draining) with the regular battery. The extended one gives me 4 back-to-back videos so…

  6. Shannon
      · January 28th, 2011 at 2:35 am · Link

    I’ve got PDAnet installed, but I haven’t shut down my router yet to test it out. I’ll try the free one and, if I like it, I’ll probably buy the version that lets you use secure sites. I’m not sure I’ll use it very often, but for that price it’s worth having for that one time I do.

    I’m definitely going to grab that battery. One last question: does the phone register the correct battery remaining? I’ve heard some people have to reboot their phones when it’s falsely showing 5% left to get the real amount. I’ve also seen apps mentioned that show the real amount.

  7. nightsmusic
      · January 28th, 2011 at 2:40 am · Link

    I use Juice Defender to keep an eye on my battery. I don’t trust the meter that’s standard on the phone and Juice Defender will tell you what’s really going on as well as let you know which programs are the most draining.

    And yes, a one time charge of $24 is much better than a minimum of $24 a month.

  8. Shannon
      · January 28th, 2011 at 2:43 am · Link

    Awesome! Thank you so much. I love the phone, but I’m still trying to learn all these tricks and secrets to maximize its potential.

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