UPDATED with ZooGue case pics! - An Anecdotal Samsung Galaxy S3 OEM 3000mah Battery Experience & The Unexpected Perk
I recently got the uber-delayed Samsung OEM 3000mah Battery for my GS3. Figured I'd share my experience with it so far. Cheers!
Outside of a few quirks, I've been very satisfied with my Galaxy S3. Good phone, good battery life (after you change clean up some of the settings), and once you tweak it to your liking (aka, disabling all the S-Crap, adding a launcher) it's a fun, fast Android phone.
Before I got the phone, I was really interested in the Razr HD maxx... Why? For the battery. No, I didn't neeeeed the bigger battery, but after coming from the OG Evo on Sprint, I have a lingering battery paranoia that's hard to shake! The HD was not coming out early enough and I was ready to get an upgrade, so BLAMO! S3 it was.
Like I said in the first paragraph. I've had a good battery life experience with the phone. My habits aren't to linger on screens (probably developed from my Evo days), get on, do what I'm doing, get off. I'm not a gamer except for the occasional puzzle game on the subway and rarely watch movies or tv shows on my phone. I do love to read my kindle app on the subway when I'm not commuting on my bike. So other than reading, the screen doesn't "stay on" for long periods of time.
What I'm getting at is, I've had no problems with my GS3 battery. On my heaviest phone days, at most, I would get to yellow or red by the time I cozied into bed.
So why get the 3000mah? One, that lingering battery paranoia is still there. I still might hesitate to use my phone for, say, an always on GPS situation while running around the city. Or maybe I won't watch a youtube clip I was emailed until I get back to a computer, thinking to myself, "meh, don't want to burn through the battery". Worse, whenever I dipped below 50%, I became a miser of phone energy, wouldn't listen to music, would be like lightning to check things.
Two, there's so much to get out of the phone that I haven't touched yet! Things like Google Now or more location service type apps. Or maybe allowing that app that runs a little too much in the background to stay on my phone (I'm like an executioner with apps that don't know when to quit). You know, really USE my phone to it's full potential!
Or maybe it's just I don't want to think about my battery anymore.
So back in December I ordered the Samsung official 3000mah battery for the GS3 through Amazon.de (not available in the states when it came out). I didn't want the big honking batteries of dubious quality out there, too big, too heavy, and too many with "9,200,300mah" actually being a 1200mah with a fancy sticker. No, this one looked like a perfect comprise of mah's and size. Check done.
But then came the delays. Expected to ship late December, then January, then February... It was starting to feel like vaporware! But then suddenly this month, surprise! It shipped and a couple days later it was finally here.
Note: I'm not rooted. I'm on Verizon running Jelly Bean with Nova Launcher.
It came charged to 52% and I used it here and there for a day or so to get the charge down. The big test was going to be this past Saturday. We had friends coming to visit us in NYC who had never been here before and only had 36 hours to visit. In other words, it was going to be a busy day.
I woke up around 8am on Saturday, and unplugged it with a full charge to start my day. I did my normal morning light internetting (tumblr, flipboard, reader) as well as some texting keeping track of our friends' arrival to the city.
It's their first visit to the city, so that meant lots of subways & a few exhibits (i.e. bad service), lots of photos & instagramming, lots of busy touristy areas (i.e., again, bad service, for example 1x-3G in times square, that kind of thing), street meat, and, of course, lots of texting & facebook messaging to coordinate meet-ups with other friends. Add to that that we went out to dinner and drinks with a group and took tons more photos (instagramming everything, of course). What I'm trying to say is... we were on our phone alot.
Note II: The back is thicker now, but this did not cause any issues with the flash. Check my instagram at tsurufoto from Saturday night for flash examples.
All that plus throughout the day I used google maps, my normal flood of email (two accounts), my subway app, played my favourite puzzle game 7x7, etc, etc.
You get the idea. A pretty good day, long & fun with lots of phone action.
I got home at 1am (or 2am or something, damn time change), pretty buzzed (damn you vodka tonics!!!), and forgot to plug the phone in. Woke up for a few minutes Sunday morning, realized it wasn't plugged in when I checked the time. Took a quick screen shot, plugged it in and went back to bed.
So, with all of that, after about 24 hours, here's the status of my battery.
50% to go. WOOHOO! Not too shabby dabby, eh?
Would the stock battery had made it through the day? Probably. What about compared to an iPhone? My wife has an iPhone 5 and made it under similar wear & tear that day. Whatever. I'm sure there will be better more analytical data on the internet soon, but 24 hours on a busy day for me? I'll take it.
But the best part was, I didn't even have to think about it. When we got home before going out, I didn't worry about giving my phone a bump to insure it for the night. I didn't censor my usage. I didn't think about my battery's ability to make it through the day at all!
And that, my friends, is worth the money alone.
THE UNEXPECTED PERK:
But this is what I didn't expect. All over the forums these days people complain about plastic. Everyone's getting tweaked over Samsung's plastic this, cheap feeling that, etc, etc. My phone's always in a case so I never really thought about it, but even I had to agree that when ever I took the phone out of the case to give it a clean, pull the battery, or just let it take an air bath, it felt thin, flimsy, and fragile.
A good case goes a long way to making that feeling go away, but I definitely would be more ginger when handling the naked GS3.
The GS3 with the 3000mah battery? Word is the more stretchy rubber/tpu/silicone cases will stretch over them and work. I've seen pics of the Zoo Gue on the 3000mah, looks good and is on order. Until then, I'm going commando! What I found was an unexpected perk.
While the big batteries from Gorilla and Hyperion or even the Mophie may double your battery, they are huge & heavy. The Mophie lasted 10 minutes in my back pocket before I sent it back to Amazon. For me, they are ridiculous. I don't want to carry around a brick in my pants.
The 3000mah is a wonderful compromise of weight & size increase. But the unexpected perk was.... the phone no longer feels flimsy and cheap! With the little bit of weight in the center of the phone, the phone sits in my hand with a balanced secure feeling. With touch more thickness to hold on to, eventhough it's still plastic, it feels solid, the flimsy feeling like I can bend it on itself is gone!
Suddenly, the phone feels nice. I was not expecting that. I'm still running naked until the Zoo Gue gets here, so I'm still paranoid of a drop, but I'm being careful. Let's just hope I get through the next few days without doing anything dumb.
A great upgrade for a really good phone. YAY!
9/10 (a 9 due to lack of cases and the unlikely hood of many being made)
* * * UPDATE * * *
Today I got my ZooGue Social Case - http://www.zoogue.com/galaxy-siii-social-case/ - (free shipping and only like $10). It fits like a champ! I'm no longer a paranoid freak that I'm about to drop it!
The back side is matte and neither slick or tacky. It has a sanded feel to it, giving a nice grip. The ridges add to a secure hold without visually messing with the aesthetic too much. A nice compromise all around.
I got white because I like the denim staining that's sure to occur, but they have other colours, if that ain't yer bag. The buttons work fine and I was able to plug in the usb & the headphones without having to modify the case.
Here are photos: