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A 1500mAh Battery for the HTC Surround. Really!

TL;DR: See Update comment below

That’s right. A 1500mAh that fits in the same slot as your stock 1230mAh battery. But wait, that photo over there to the right clearly states, “For HTC Desire HD”. Allow me to explain.

This started on a forum a couple weeks ago when some bloggers were going gaga over a Mugen 1800mAh battery to “exact fit” replace their stock Verizon HTC Trophy 1300mAh battery. I basically stated a 500mAh, or 38% boost in the same package, was simply too good to be true and eluded to believing in fairy dust or something like that. Anyway, I got slapped rather hard for my comments.  But that got me thinking about this whole “more juice in the same wrapper” thing. So I started searching for knockoff and incredible claim batteries, planning a story to do a little slapping of my own, when I stumbled upon a couple sellers on eBay. 

They were offering a replacement 1230mAh ( or 1300mAh, whatever) battery for the HTC Surround, but they also stated the battery would work in the HTC Desire HD, another device that happens to come with a 1230mAh. Now, call me a dumb ass, but I would never buy a replacement battery for $3.99 or the best deal yet; (3) 1230mAh replacement batteries, a charger, and FREE shipping, all for one low payment of $11.90. Btw, the Focus deal was $14.98, guess because the batteries are 1500mAh. So now I had a clue, the Desire HD = Surround. As I continued my search I found a UK site with an 1800mAh Mugen battery for the Desire HD, same as the Trophy fantasy battery, but alas it had been discontinued, probably because it’s not possible. Next stop was the Mugen site where I found this 1500mAh “same fit” battery for the HTC Desire HD and the HTC Inspire 4G, both of which happen to come with 1230mAh batteries as stock. But no mention of the HTC Surround and of course, out of stock. Back to eBay and a Mugen reseller who happened to have a bunch on hand. Well it looked the same as my battery, so I crossed my fingers and clicked the “Pay Now” button.

Battery came in yesterday and the first step was to measure this bad boy. Width / HTC-2.057” – Mugen-2.054” Check – Height / HTC-1.813” – Mugen-1.815” Check – Thickness / HTC-0.192” – Mugen-0.189” Check. While the contacts (see photo) on the Mugen are a tad shorter than the stock HTC battery, the Surround has pins which sort of drop right in the middle of the contacts, a non issue. So out with the old and in with the new. Powered up my baby and all was good, although only a 25% current charge, so off to life support for a while.

Played with it a little last night, keeping it on one of my Digipower USB chargers all the time to make sure it stayed close to topped off. Then it got a good 8 hour charge overnight. So far today I am unimpressed. After a mere 3.75 hours of active use (screen on and browsing, blogging, etc.), my low battery light is blinking. With my stock battery, I usually don’t wait till I am out of juice, but after three hours I typically have around 40-45% remaining and plug in for a boost. Now, in all fairness the Mugen instructions do state, “Batteries should be initially charged and discharged 3-5 times to achieve stated capacity”. Of course, my stock batteries don’t come with those instructions but then again, what does HTC know about phones and batteries. Right. I will try to follow the instructions as best I can and promise to report back in this article with an update so stay tuned.

UPDATE: I think everyone knew how this was going to turn out. After 6 full drain/charge cycles, this battery was performing about the same, or possibly a little less, than my stock OEM battery. The magic Mugen battery is on it’s way back, along with a full refund. Linking to this article probably didn’t hurt that effort. I never doubted any of the prior research, but as noted I wanted a true story of my own. That was worth the few dollars for shipping. I typically stick with OEM when purchasing accessories for any of my devices so this was a departure from the norm, driven by the lack of any OEM option and to quiet those who believe that OEMs purposely “under power” their batteries simply to piss us off. My only other venture into non-OEM territory was a Seidio 2000mAh (w/battery door) for my Fuze to replace the equally anemic 1350mAh stock battery. No doubt that this battery probably did not live up to its claimed rating, but it definitely packed more punch than stock. If OEMs ever get around to offering extended batteries for all their devices these little adventures will no longer be necessary. Then again there will always be those who believe they can pack 8lbs. of crap in a 5lb. bag, and will continue to try, despite any efforts to dissuade them. Good luck with that.

The skeptic in me does not know if this battery will actually give me a 22% boost in capacity, but 15% would be nice. Actually anything to improve upon the paltry 240 minutes talk time would be welcome. Priced at $44.95 on eBay and free shipping, same as the Mugen website. There are other brands with a bunch of different claims, but shop at your own risk. At least you now know that the HTC Inspire 4G = HTC Desire HD = HTC Surround.

I did find one incredible deal on eBay for a 2400mAh Surround battery with a new back cover and free shipping, but added that to my too good to be true list. And the Mugen 3900mAh battery w/back door, even if it’s really only about 80% of that claim, is simply too big. Oh, and that magic Mugen 1800mAh battery for the “Verizon” HTC Trophy. It appears, from at least one user, that the pin alignment is different on the Verizon model so the battery will not work. Oh well. Still don’t understand why the OEMs don’t just make something like a 2200mAh w/back door and release it the same day they release the phone for say $59.95. That’s money in the bank. Maybe 30 minutes to revise the CADD drawing to add 3-4mm of depth for the replacement door, modifying one position on the 12 up cavity mold, a generic blister and a label. What’s the big deal. If they do offer something, it’s usually 6 months into the life cycle of a device. Too late for many to consider the hefty investment.

Oh, and one last thing. I finally have a reason to be thankful for the incredible popularity of Android phones. Thanks guys.