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May 20, 2009 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Talking on my Blackberry while it was plugged into the charger did weird and horrible things to the battery (battery started bulging a bit and voltage changes made my phone crash a lot), and so I bought a new battery and refrain from doing that. Must I avoid doing this with my iPhone as well or is this problem a quirk related to how Blackberries operate while in charging mode? I have unlimited minutes on my cell plan, other than battery talk-time limits...
posted by Fupped Duck to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just as with every cellphone I've ever owned, I talk with my iPhone plugged in all the time. I don't think that should have happened on your blackberry.
posted by birdherder at 6:57 AM on May 20, 2009

This does not sound even remotely normal, at least not based on the experiences of my Blackberry-using friends whom I have personally witnessed using their phones while they were plugged in (a couple different models of varying age).

I have used my iPhone while plugged in on several dozen occasions at least, with no problem. Indeed, it never occurred to me that it could be a problem.
posted by aramaic at 7:08 AM on May 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I actually had two batteries for my Blackberry, one old, but still usefull and the other brand new. They were both swollen, and annecdotally, there are similar reports online.

It might be just using the car charger vs the home charger...
But changing the battery on an iPhone is non-trivial so I don't want the to repeat the mistake with my new phone
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:14 AM on May 20, 2009

I talk on my Blackberry Curve (the older model) while it's charging all the time. This has never happened to me. It does crash all the time, but I think it's because it doesn't have enough memory.

What Blackberry do you own?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:20 AM on May 20, 2009

I know our entire company had our Blackberries updated recently to fix some major battery issues. Issues such as BBs destroying the battery...
posted by krisak at 7:51 AM on May 20, 2009

I use my iphone while plugged in ALL THE TIME. Particularly since a few folks have the uncanny ability to call me just when I've managed zap my battery playing games. The only time I can't use my iphone while it's plugged in is if I'm also synching it. (and I can get calls then, I just can't make them)

I've talked on LG, Samsung, and Nokia phones while they were plugged in, too.

I can't imagine that, if that was a normal reaction for the blackberry, they wouldn't have tons of warnings out about not using it while charging since that is not the norm for just about every other phone out there. I'd say it's most likely defective, and maybe see if you can return the wrecked battery for a new one. (always good to have a spare, after all)

(oh, and I've seen my mom and sister talk on their blackberries while they were plugged into the charger, too)
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:12 AM on May 20, 2009

Oh, and since you said you got an iphone, here's a tip I learned the hard way. iPod accessories are not compatible with the iphone by default. I got a Belkin iPod-authorized car kit with a charger and FM adapter, and it crashed my phone. The accessories have to say iPhone on them, not just iPod. Which blows, as the FM adapter is about $20 more for the iPhone.
I ended up getting an iGo charger, with an iPhone tip (they make a tip for the phone and a different one for ipods), and haven't had a problem since. I just wouldn't mess around with accessories that don't say iphone on them.
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:31 AM on May 20, 2009

Response by poster: Its a T-Mobile Blackberry 8320 (Curve)

T-Mobile swappped it out (twice, and the instability issues carried over from phone to phone).
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:47 AM on May 20, 2009

Your battery should never do that. It was probably defective.
posted by zippy at 9:31 AM on May 20, 2009

> I bought a new battery

Check your service / warranty agreements. Mobile batteries are guaranteed not to explode. I hope you explained the situation and that this was a freebie from your dealer. Also, I am strongly suggesting that you swap out your phone (as damnit suggests above) because it may have sustained internal and non-obvious damage and may fail later. Who knows - there may even be faulty components (voltage regulator circuitry) that are bad on the phone itself that cause current and future batteries to malfunction.

From a technical standpoint there is no reason why talking (transmitting) on any mobile phone while it's charging should cause any trouble with the battery. It sounds very much like a manufacturing defect with the phone, or the battery, or with both.
posted by ostranenie at 9:33 AM on May 20, 2009

I frequently talk on my iPhone while it's charging through the computer. Not a problem.

The battery sounds defective to me. Take it to your T-Mobile shop and ask.
posted by ardgedee at 9:37 AM on May 20, 2009

Note that third-party batteries (rather than the exact models RIM sells or recommends for their Blackberrys) are probably not going to be covered under warranty or recalls, even if you bought them at a cellphone store.
posted by ardgedee at 9:40 AM on May 20, 2009

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