Samsung Galaxy Note 2 extended battery review

By | January 21, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is considered by many to be the best or at least the most powerful phone of 2012, and will probably still be amongst the top mobile phones for most of 2013 (until the next craze). The self-styled phone/phablet certainly has the size and specs to back this reputation, but all that power comes with a price – it needs a good battery to match its needs.

The default stock battery provided by Samsung is actually quite good; at 3100 mAh, it does provide enough of a boost for my Note 2 to make it through at least one and a half days of rather heavy usage (most of the time, anyway). But for those of us who find that we are using our mobile phones more now than before, this battery life may not be enough.

Enter the extended batteries sold by third party manufacturers. Extended batteries are those batteries that offer more battery life than the default OEM one provided by the manufacturer. There are a number of companies that manufacture such batteries, but one of the prominent ones is Mugen Power Batteries.

First off, I have to inform anyone contemplating ordering third party batteries that any damage occurring to their device as a result of using these batteries will void whatever prior warranties they may have. Therefore, use them at your own risk (and use a good brand where possible).

mugen battery note 2

I ordered the 6400 mAh Mugen battery for my Galaxy Note 2 around 29 Dec, and it arrived about a little over two 2 weeks later. The battery appears to be a thicker version of the original, thus requiring a new back cover (which Mugen also supplies). At first, I did not think that I would be impressed with the battery, but I was pleasantly surprised.

mugen battery casing

The battery came with instructions to recharge it for 8-12 hours and then drain the battery to almost zero before recharging it, and to then repeat this process for another 4 more times.  This is so that the battery becomes “initialized”. On the first charge alone, the battery lasted nearly 3.5 days on fairly moderate use, which would include hours of gaming and some web surfing. This alone is incredible, and it was quite difficult to drain it down into the single digits before I could plug it in for the next charge.

mugen battery usage

On the next charge, the battery just went down 9% for the entire day on light use. It subsequently went down 1% only on standby mode during the night lasting some 7 hours. The stock OEM battery would have gone down some 3-4% on standby mode for the same time period. Subsequently, the battery lasted another two more days on fairly heavy use before needing a recharge. Presently, I am still on the first few initial charges.

mugen battery use

I am convinced that on standby mode, the battery can easily last well over a couple of weeks at least, perhaps even more. This seems to be the Note 2’s strongpoint – The battery hardly goes down on standby mode, be it on the stock battery or on any extended battery, for that matter. The one activity that does seem to deplete the battery relatively fast is browsing. Even so, this extended battery will enable one to browse continuously (without any breaks) for 12 hours at least.

Aside from the improved battery life, Mugen’s support is good as well (with free worldwide shipping), and they even shipped a free leather case to go along with it, although I find the leather case to be too cumbersome for daily use. There is also no suitable protective (strap on) case for the Note 2 to accommodate the bigger dimensions, although I hope Mugen manufactures some suitable cases in the future. All in all, I am happy with my new extended battery, notwithstanding the heavier weight and bigger size of my phone.  If you can live with that, the increased battery power you get is more than worth it. Details on the Mugen website.

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