Review: Kanex High Capacity Battery for the Palm Pre

One of my big complaints about cell phones and mobile devices generally is that the batteries are never able to adequately handle all of the advanced features which tend to be included.  The Palm Pre is a perfect example of this, with its WebOS interface, and always connected email (not to mention Internet, Wifi, 3G, and Bluetooth).  Generally, if I do not have a charger handy, then I am going to lose my phone before my day ends.  Add to that equation the fact that I love to go camping overnight, and the battery is quickly unveiled as typically inadequate.   So, I was pretty excited to hear that Kanex released a high capacity battery.  They sent me one to check out (and keep) and I thought I would share my impressions with all of you.

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The Kanex battery weighs in at 1350 mAh, which is only slightly more powerful than the 1150 mAh OEM battery which came with the Pre.  Not exactly what I would call high capacity.  More like regular capacity plus.  Still, that extra 200 mAh could mean an extra couple of hours in battery life.

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Additionally, although the battery features 200 mAh more power, it is virtually the exact same dimensions as the original battery.  That means it will fit in the Palm Pre’s battery slot effortlessly, and adds nothing to the footprint of the device.  There is no need to replace the back of the device with a different battery cover, because this one will fit perfectly with what you have.

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OK.  So far, on paper, the Kanex battery looks great.  It is 200 mAh more powerful than the OEM battery, but fits in the same space.  Fantastic!  But how does it work?  That is the real question.  In order to answer that question, I subjected my Pre to science.  On two consecutive days, I subjected my Pre to normal use (light to moderate) without charging until the battery completely gave out.

On the first day, I tested the OEM battery.  I took it off the charger at 5:00 AM, and it lasted nearly twelve hours, until 4:48 PM.  Not too shabby.  In that time, I made phone calls, checked email, surfed the store, and kept track of my calendar.  The replacement from Kanex was subjected to exactly the same use on day 2.  Given the extra 200 mAh, I expected it to last somewhat longer than the OWM battery.  To my surprise and disappointment, however, it lasted almost the exact same amount of time.  I took it off the charger at 7:20 AM, and it lasted until right around 7:00 PM.  While I was not expecting miracles, I was expecting an extra hour or two.   Nonetheless, while my testing may not have revealed the promised high capacity, it did serve as an adequate replacement for the OEM battery.

The real advantage of the Kanex battery, however, is the price.  At $29.99. it is priced at nearly half the price of Palm’s OEM battery ($49.99).  This is a significant price difference, and well worth looking at as a spare or backup battery.

What I Liked: Fits in the Pre’s battery compartment using the standard back.  No additional size added to the footprint.  Price.

What Needs Improvement: Battery life is about the same as the OEM battery.  Not really high capacity.

Price: $29.99 (includes free shipping)

Where to Buy: igonemobile

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