Do you carry around extra batteries?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: July 29, 2012

I think I had forgotten what it’s like to worry about battery life. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, of course, but now that I’m using a phone that isn’t an iPhone, things are a bit different. I didn’t have the Galaxy S III from Samsung long enough to notice a major difference in battery life between it and the iPhone 4S, but now that I’m using the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung I can’t help but notice it. Because it’s obvious. The differences are pretty staggering, to say the least, especially with the Galaxy Nexus’s display on, and while I’m using the device.

I’ve asked in the past if our features are leaving our batteries in the dust, and I think that’s true. I do believe that services like Google Now, along with plenty of other things (some of which you can find on the Galaxy S III), are almost too advanced for our phones right now. The batteries, anyway.

The thing is, I’m not sure that’s the case with the Galaxy Nexus. And I can’t help but laugh about this a little bit. I mean, I really love Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It still surprises me, even after more than a week of using the Galaxy Nexus as my sole device. But I’ve had to limit my usage of Google Now because of the battery. What makes it worse, though, is that it isn’t just the stock battery.

I used to be someone who carried two phones. When I was using a Palm Pre, and then eventually a Palm Pre Plus (when I switched to Verizon full-time), I had a second device because the battery life wasn’t great. Or even kind of good, some days. Having the second device made it possible to get through a day with a working phone. It wasn’t the perfect situation, but having two phones wasn’t all that bad, either.

But, I’m not a fan of having more than one device on me anymore. I’ve consolidated, and I’m glad that I made the decision to do it. After all, our devices are advanced enough to make that happen without much of a hiccup, so why not take advantage of it? Right. But it seems like now that I’m not a fan of carrying two devices, I’m forced to carry multiples of something else:

Batteries.

Out of the box, the Galaxy Nexus LTE comes with an 1850 mAh battery. On paper, that should be enough. In practice, though, it’s pretty incredible how short the battery lasts. What’s even stranger, though, is that when I had the GNex LTE when it first came out, I never had a real problem with the battery. It did pretty well for itself. Now, though, I’m seemingly right in the same spot as all those others out there who have been decrying the GNex’s battery for so long.

So now I’m carrying two batteries. No, it isn’t two devices, but it’s the same principle, right? I’ve got the standard battery, and then I also picked up the “extended battery,” which measures in at a whopping (sarcasm?) 2100 mAh. Theoretically, it should last longer than the 1800 mAh battery. But you know what? It doesn’t. It just doesn’t.

And every single time I check my battery information, it’s the Galaxy Nexus’s display that’s sucking all the juice from the battery. Batteries. It has me wondering if maybe I shouldn’t start carrying two devices again, because what’s the difference. Aside from the fact that I’d need to tell people I have two phone numbers again (or stick with services like Google Talk), and there’s obviously a difference between an extra phone and an extra battery.

It’d be a reason to use another mobile operating system every day, though, and that can’t possibly be a bad thing. Not for someone who likes to use things like that on a regular basis, anyway.

So here’s my question to you, Dear Reader. Do you currently carry around two or more batteries? Or do you keep an extra one somewhere just in case, like at work or easily accessible at home? Or do you keep a secondary device (hopefully with a fully charged battery) ready to go, just in case the battery in your main device goes dead? Or, better yet, have you skipped devices with reportedly bad battery life in favor of handsets that you know should last you the day? Let me know!

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