Batteries for my phone
April 10, 2012 1:48 PM   Subscribe

How risky (or not) is it to buy non OEM batteries off of ebay from china for my cellphone?

I just got a brand new samsung android smartphone and I am already a little dismayed at how quickly the phone eats up battery life.

How risky would it be to get something like this for my phone?

If the risks are that the batteries won't be super great, well, I'm fine with that.

What I am worried about is the risk that the batteries could somehow leak or in any way damage my phone. Can anybody who knows about this stuff let me know more about that? Thanks!
posted by skjønn to Technology (5 answers total)
Mostly they will just suck, at least in my experience. As in hold a charge for 5 minutes. YMMV.
posted by rockindata at 1:55 PM on April 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

Those generic li-ion battery charges sometimes have smart charging circuitry built in and sometimes they don't. I've had a phone battery overheat and rupture once while using one - an autopsy of the charger revealed it was just 4 diodes, a transformer, a red LED and two resistors. Batteries also sometimes have their own charge/discharge protection circuit built in. It is unlikely that the generic batteries will have that.

That said, I use generic li-ion batteries in my dumb phone and rely on the phone's charging circuitry to keep them from blowing up. It certainly wouldn't hurt to only charge the batteries in a fire proof area and not, say, on top of a pile of oily rags.
posted by ChrisHartley at 2:10 PM on April 10, 2012

Just a word of warning, make sure you check reviews before you buy - there are definitely some battery chargers that will refuse to charge non-original batteries. Their "smart" charging circuits can apparently recognize when you've inserted a knockoff.

In some cases it is still worth it even if you have to buy a knock-off charger as well, but you'll have to do the math for yourself.
posted by xdvesper at 4:59 PM on April 10, 2012

Batteries are definitely a case of getting what you pay for. The cheap knock-off camera batteries I've bought have nowhere near the advertised charge capacity. The risk of a bad battery isn't so much leaking as it is exploding.
posted by Nelson at 5:08 PM on April 10, 2012

I bought a large battery for my G1 on eBay a few years back and it worked as advertised. The new backplate it came with was a little chintzy though.
posted by MonsieurBon at 6:10 PM on April 10, 2012

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