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Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the they're-a-myth dept.

Power 131

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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131 comments

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Feel for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733365)

It is tough. I'd suggest you try to find a battery with a higher mAh than the original because they usually are crappy but it might just help a bit.

Rebuild? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733805)

Why not just rebuild your old battery pack? Easy. Be sure to buy nice japanese components.

Cell phones with non-replaceable batteries? (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 2 months ago | (#47734115)

An even bigger issue than buying replacement batteries is replacing batteries in cell phones that are said to have batteries that aren't replaceable.

It shocks me that companies can be so hostile to their customers as to force them to buy new cell phones after the inevitable degradation of the batteries.

Re: Cell phones with non-replaceable batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734691)

The phone manufacturers' customers are the phone service companies, not the consumer. The service companies don't need to replace the battery - they want to sell you a new phone under a new contract.

Re:Cell phones with non-replaceable batteries? (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 months ago | (#47735543)

An even bigger issue than buying replacement batteries is replacing batteries in cell phones that are said to have batteries that aren't replaceable.

So which phones would that be where the batteries cannot be replaced? And we are talking about "cannot be replaced", not "cannot be replaced by the user", or "cannot be replaced by a guy on a market stall".

Non-replaceable component (4, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | about 2 months ago | (#47735629)

So which phones would that be where the batteries cannot be replaced?

Apple's iPhone are designed with battery that should not be replaced by the end-user. The only official policy is that you should bring a phone with a dead or dying battery to the shop for replacement, whereupon the salesperson will try to persuade you to buy a new phone because replacing the old battery is almost as expensive as the newest shiny toy.
You can try to replace them, but it's non trivial, you need to actually disassemble the phone, which might void your warranty.

Compare with any other brand sold in Europe:
You just to :
- buy a replacement (either the original part from any phone shop, or by a 3rd party like mugen [mugen.co] )
- power off the phone
- open the battery lid (just pushing a button)/swap the batteries/close the lid
- power on
- don't forget to throw the battery in the appropriate recycling bin instead of putting it into trash.
That's it.

(Please note: air-mailing lithium batteries has a special regulation. Some postal service just refuse to handle them "on security ground", even if they are standard conformant, the proper paperwork is filled, and (like everyphone battery, unlike some modelling batteries) the protecting electronics are actually embed inside the battery itself. That's plain stupid. And it might block your possibility to return the battery for RMA)

Re:Feel for you... (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 2 months ago | (#47734499)

Onite makes good batteries for various phones. I have a stock LG battery and two Onites for my phone and they work great, as good or slightly better than the official one.

For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck with (5, Interesting)

aussersterne (212916) | about a month ago | (#47733373)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734137)

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

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (3, Informative)

Sowelu (713889) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733667)

Good to know. I just brought an Anker battery.

Looking through the Amazon review for my battery replacement, I found that most places had low prices and disturbingly low reviews-- as in dying exponential function. I noticed that that Anker was priced a bit higher but didn't have the bad reviews.

So I took a chance that no one is gaming the Amazon review system and spent a few more bucks on their replacement battery. I'll see when the time comes to swap out the original battery...

For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck with (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733457)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about a month ago | (#47733501)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733503)

Agreed on Anker products. I have gotten replacement cellphone and laptop batteries, as well as an external 15000 mAh battery pack, and solar charger from them. Everything is solid.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (2)

Trashman (3003) | about a month ago | (#47733517)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (4, Informative)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733709)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (3, Insightful)

Carnildo (712617) | about a month ago | (#47733759)

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.

Yes to Anker (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | about a month ago | (#47733817)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47733971)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 2 months ago | (#47734349)

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 know why they are in trouble.

Re: For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734759)

I bought an Angel battery for my son so gs3 and it works well,. Cost a bit more than other batteries but you get what you pay for

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734841)

I, too, have had a good experience with Anker. The battery for my Epic 4G still works great over a year later. They care about customer satisfaction and it shows. They're proud of their product, not ashamed of it like most others in this arena.

Anker Batteries - Get My Vote (2)

JakFrost (139885) | about 2 months ago | (#47735069)

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 love their universal battery charger with the sliding battery terminals that do polarity auto-detection. I can charge all kind of different batteries in it since many phones now don't have separate battery charger cradles.

Or it comes free if you buy 2 battery packs from Anker, or at least mine did a year ago since I can't find it bundled with anything anymore.

Re:Anker Batteries - Get My Vote (1)

JakFrost (139885) | about 2 months ago | (#47735077)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 2 months ago | (#47735091)

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 3 PCIE card from them. It started getting flakey after 6 months. I sent them an email and was surprised to get a response in a day or two. All they asked for was the serial number for quality control purposes and shipped me a new one at no charge.

I've also received multiple emails from them asking me to contact them if I had any issues with any product I've purchased from them. From my experience, they seem to have above average products, though not spectacular. However their customer service is outstanding.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

Radak (126696) | about 2 months ago | (#47735449)

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.

Re:For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wit (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 months ago | (#47735451)

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 :-(

Re: For 3rd party batteries, I've had good luck wi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47735695)

I have an external anker battery for keeping my phone charged during ingress and it's nothing short of great.
Will recharge a laptop given the right cable or keep my phone going for days without a wall plug in sight

Just buy a new Firefox OS phone. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733377)

For the same amount of money you can just buy a whole new Firefox OS phone. It'll give you the same shitty performance and shitty user experience that you've come to expect from your ancient phone, but I'd sure as fuck like to think that the battery life will be somewhat better. Then again, I might be wrong. When all of your phone's "apps" are just web pages with shitty inefficient JavaScript code powering them, maybe the phone's battery life goes down the shitter, too.

Who the... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733379)

gtfo n00b

More details, please (2, Informative)

unitron (5733) | about a month ago | (#47733383)

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+

Re:More details, please (4, Insightful)

starless (60879) | about a month ago | (#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.

Careful! (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 2 months ago | (#47734043)

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.

Re:More details, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47735067)

I'm looking for an original Motorola MicroTac battery... that works. I have a bunch that could be rebuilt if I could figure out how to disassemble them, they seem to have taken a hint from Apple and glued them together.

Also a question for slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733389)

My wife is a slut, what should I do?

Also a question for slashdot (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733463)

My wife is a slut, what should I do?

Do? Your wife.

Re:Also a question for slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47733977)

A good spanking?

Also a question for slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

slashdice (3722985) | about 2 months ago | (#47734587)

Call up the pizza man, the plumber, and the pool boy. While they're fucking her, you can read /. and jack-off to internet porn.

Variation in online reviews (4, Insightful)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a month ago | (#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.

Toner Cartriges (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a month ago | (#47733669)

Your comment makes me realize that tactic might work for toner, too... it has the exact same problem in my experience.

Re:Variation in online reviews (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#47733989)

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.

Re:Variation in online reviews (3, Interesting)

hamjudo (64140) | about 2 months ago | (#47734233)

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.

Get one that Amazon Sells, not Fulfills (4, Interesting)

turp182 (1020263) | about a month ago | (#47733397)

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 (4, Interesting)

zelbinion (442226) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:Crap Shoot (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47734873)

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 after market Chinese battery too for 1/4 of the price of the Nikon one. The Nikon one died first even though they were both given equal cycles (always swapped them when they needed charging). But with the D800 I have now the Chinese one lasted about a year and the Nikon one is still going strong.Also my sister's Dell Chinese knock-off battery lasted about 9 months before its performance notably degraded.

Do you feel lucky punk?

Re:Crap Shoot (1)

markass530 (870112) | about 2 months ago | (#47735125)

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

Use Reputable Dealers (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#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. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#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

Roll the dice (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a month ago | (#47733419)

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.

A reputable retailer...or...maybe the manufacturer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733437)

...is there a way to bury posts yet?

Mugen Power (2)

dark_requiem (806308) | about a month ago | (#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).

do what the rest of us do (1)

lyapunov (241045) | about a month ago | (#47733451)

Make a best guess of the reviews, keeping in mind that some are astroturfed, both for and against, and roll the dice.

Always buy spares when you get a new phone: (4, Informative)

w0mprat (1317953) | about a month ago | (#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.

Re:Always buy spares when you get a new phone: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733491)

That's how I do it. I always get a spare.

Doesn't apply to Crapple, of course.

Re:Always buy spares when you get a new phone: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733591)

You lose capacity of them just sitting around. The reason why these batteries lose charge is oxidation. The number of charges and whether it's left plugged in constantly do have an impact, but just existing does as well.

I've found that the batteries are usually less of an issue than the apps are. After several years of use, it's not usually the battery that gives me trouble, it's the increased demand that comes from newer apps. My old Nexus One still had plenty of charge when I replaced it a few months ago, it was the rest of the phone and the apps that caused the upgrade.

Re:Always buy spares when you get a new phone: (3, Informative)

Ichijo (607641) | about 2 months ago | (#47733927)

Store your spare li-ion batteries with a half charge

And at 0 degrees C [batteryuniversity.com] .

I prefer eBay myself. They have the most selection (4, Informative)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a month ago | (#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...

Re:I prefer eBay myself. They have the most select (2)

caseih (160668) | about 2 months ago | (#47734725)

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 two year old, brand name, batteries). The problem with a lot of vendors is that batteries have a shelf life. If the new batter is more than a year old, it's not going to perform.

I'm trying Anker now and will see what happens.

Re:I prefer eBay myself. They have the most select (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47734909)

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 straight in and contested the sale. It smells of an impatient git who should be walking to a counter and not ordering online. Most sellers will actually try to talk their way out of something if they are dodgy enough. I've never seen someone demand 5 star reviews. What typically happens is they send you a canned reply email saying in many different ways "Thanks for ordering, we've dispatched it, please leave 5 star reviews for us." which in reality is about common curtsey and feedback anyway. The worst they can do is leave you a bad feedback, and boo hoo, it's not like someone can't sell you something if you have a bad buyer feedback rating. Auctions are legally binding.

The reality is even when dealing with cheap Chinese crap I have on several occasions not have items arrive and after a quick email to the seller they've shipped it out again. In some cases it's clearly not their fault because 2 of the same thing then arrives in my post on different days.

You don't need to be savvy to buy from ebay, you just have to have common sense and don't expect that $20 Rolex to actually be made from white gold.

Re:I prefer eBay myself. They have the most select (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 months ago | (#47735087)

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.

Re:I prefer eBay myself. They have the most select (1)

geezer nerd (1041858) | about 2 months ago | (#47735135)

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.

Re:I prefer eBay myself. They have the most select (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47735719)

"The trick to using eBay is that the seller needs to have a lot of positive star rating..."

How the fuck is that a trick? That's what they're there for. To rate a seller.

You fucking moron.

Is this reddit/craiglist now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733497)

Seriously, no one does research?

Why not rebuild if possible? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733533)

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.

Re:Why not rebuild if possible? (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a month ago | (#47733611)

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

Re:Why not rebuild if possible? (2)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a month ago | (#47733655)

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 knock off battery - bad, bad, bad. Retail or genuine batteries do not use clone boards. There's no need.

Shipping costs are something to pay attention to too. Some sellers like to offer a cheap price on an item but charge something stupidly expensive for shipping. This is a scam/trick so beware...read the entire page and make sure they ship to your country before buying. It's actually FUN shopping this way...you get the same satisfaction of getting a deal as you would through scoring something rare at a garage sale for cheap. Depending on your determination, you can find really cheap prices with free shipping from reputable people. I do.

Re:Why not rebuild if possible? (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a month ago | (#47733831)

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.

Re:Why not rebuild if possible? (1)

chaosdivine69 (1456649) | about a month ago | (#47733861)

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.

Don't ask on slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733543)

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 device like on XDA (they usual have accessories forums) and see what other peoples experiences are.

Batteries Plus (Now called Batteries Plus Bulbs) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733627)

I've had GREAT success with Batteries Plus (Now called Batteries Plus Bulbs), so much so that I'm actually a loyal customer fan boy.

They sell Rayovac contractor's packs of batteries for like $8 you get 25 AA,AAA batteries. Similar prices for 9V, C, and D.

I've purchased 2 laptop batteries from them, 1 cell phone battery. I've recycled an old car battery with them.

They recently had a promo selling LED light bulbs that normally cost $12. They were selling them for $3.

They do minor electronics repairs. They sell *awesome* flashlights.

CHECK THEM OUT. See if they have a store near you.

http://www.batteriesplus.com/

Not that hard (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a month ago | (#47733657)

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 (3, Insightful)

rsclient (112577) | about a month ago | (#47733705)

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.

Re: Not that hard (1)

corychristison (951993) | about 2 months ago | (#47733919)

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.

Re: Not that hard (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 months ago | (#47735103)

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.

Re:Not that hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47735011)

What's your point, exactly?

Should the post be "Hey Slashdot, how can I verify the batteries I'm buying aren't knock-offs?" Or perhaps "Hey Slashdot, which Amazon vendor is the most reputable?" Maybe go full derp with "Hey Slashdot, I found a Sqny brand battery that's much cheaper. Is it actually any worse?"

So much facepalm to everything you said.

Re:Not that hard (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a month ago | (#47733815)

"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.

Modern batteries are not commodities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47733685)

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 OEM battery, you are getting a knock-off of dubious safety at best.

I'd like to emphasize that I said safety, not quality. Unlike NiMH or NiCD batteries, lithium batteries are much, much more dangerous and unstable.

A manufacturing defect in a NiMH or NiCD (or alkaline) battery will, at worst, give you a mild burn.

In contrast, a manufacturing defect in a Lithium battery can burn a hole through your floor (house or car), severely burn a human body, or poison you. Sometimes all of the above.

I'd add that the majority of lithium battery fires are from thirdparty "value" batteries from 'nameless' importers of Chinese knock-offs. (Though there were notable fires in Dell and Apple batteries about 8 years back)

So the real question you should ask yourself: Which is worse: Being gouged by a greedy manufacturer, replacing the device, or assuming the risks involved with buying a knock-off battery? None are good options.

It'd sure be nice if manufacturers would come up with 'standard' sizes for lithium batteries - so batteries would compete on their merits, rather than being sole-sourced.

Re: Modern batteries are not commodities (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734113)

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.

Re: Modern batteries are not commodities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734229)

Then again the OEM battery isn't much of a guarantee. I've gone through 2 OEM batteries under warranty for my Galaxy S4 due to swelling and overheating issues. They probably weren't far off full meltdown. Let's hope my current one is lucky number 3.

Batteries+ ? (2)

aklinux (1318095) | about a month ago | (#47733689)

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.

Re:Batteries+ ? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47733913)

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 (at least for Nikons).

Amusingly enough, I've had good luck with cheapo Chinese knockoffs for my iPhones. Since battery life is crummy anyway, the bar doesn't appear to be all that high.

And for power tool batteries, I've used several different rebuild companies, all with good results. Compared to the unique shapes and sizes of laptops and cell phones, power tools seem to have standardized on generic cells and construction methods.

Re:Batteries+ ? (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 2 months ago | (#47733983)

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).

Re:Batteries+ ? (1)

karnal (22275) | about 2 months ago | (#47734315)

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.

Re:Batteries+ ? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 2 months ago | (#47734505)

Yes but they are still called Eneloop.

Re:Batteries+ ? (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 2 months ago | (#47734637)

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.

Re:Batteries+ ? (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | about 2 months ago | (#47735129)

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.

Re:Batteries+ ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47735017)

Wait, wait. Your phone has required not one, but multiple battery replacements? And you recommend that company?

Brick and Mortar (2)

jIyajbe (662197) | about a month ago | (#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.

NLee the Engineer reviews (4, Informative)

mattack2 (1165421) | about a month ago | (#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]

eBay & Stochastic Methods (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734325)

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, then leave negative feedback. If You have to talk to them to get the right thing, or if it arrives late, leave neutral feedback. Working items that arrive on time and as described get positive feedback.

Some will say that it is wasting money to order multiple batteries. I would ask how much a working phone with a great battery is worth ($200+) relative to the cost of a battery ($3-$20). I am willing to do what I must to get the best battery on the market.

I use a ZeroLemon battery at the moment. $50 is worth it, given the capacity and included case. My Galaxy Note 2 lasts 3+ days of hard us

LMGTFY (-1, Troll)

mcmonkey (96054) | about 2 months ago | (#47734355)

On second thought, google it yourself.

Worst. Ask Slashdot. Ever.

Replacement batteries. (4, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 months ago | (#47734553)

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. :)

My Three Sources for All My Batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734693)

Your needs may differ from mine, but these three distributors get me what I need.

MTO Batteries
Thomas Distributing
Wholesale Batteries Direct

I've used all three multiple times over multiple years and so far I've yet to have an issue.

Pathetic Stories for Losers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47734973)

Seriously? This is a front page story? This is no longer News for Nerds. It is Dear Abby for Assholes. What a bunch of pathetic cunts.

Re:Pathetic Stories for Losers (0)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 2 months ago | (#47735121)

Did Netcraft confirm it?

Replacement batteries are nearly useless (1)

rnturn (11092) | about 2 months ago | (#47735085)

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 not selling used batteries. With the replacement batteries costing $15+, it's not likely that we're going to do it any more. The missus is the last major user of the cordless phones and she's switching to mobile next month. The crappy battery life is one of the reasons she's switching.

I have worries that I'll run into the same battery rip-off with my laptop. And those batteries run upwards of $100. Given the track record of the supposedly equivalent batteries we've been finding for our phones, I'll probably go with an original manufacturer battery for the laptop.That's probably no guarantee but I'm guessing they won't be as bad as the third-party batteries.

Original batteries... (1)

solidraven (1633185) | about 2 months ago | (#47735397)

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?

aliexpress.com (1)

ChoGGi (522069) | about 2 months ago | (#47735533)

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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