Power does not come without side effects. When we learned that the new BlackBerry 7 smartphones would contain faster processors than any previous BlackBerry, it was heralded as a universal good. My most common frustration with previous BlackBerry models, and especially the BlackBerry 6 devices, was lag. It seemed I couldn’t get from Point A to Point B without a holdup. While the 1.2GHz processors in the first wave of BlackBerry 7 devices adequately handle the platform, they do provide a small drawback: battery life. In fact, RIM held off on faster processors for this very reason. While they generally did a good job with preserving battery life with the faster processor, it’s definitely not what it once was. It might be time for a few battery alternatives. Better battery life One mitigating factor here is that RIM did improve battery life with updates to BlackBerry 7. In fact, I’ve definitely noticed the 9930 running a bit longer with the most recent update. So there might not be great need for an extended battery or other hardware upgrade. But if you’re frequently away from places you can charge your device, you might be better off with one of these solutions. Before you go dropping money, though, you might want to check out this Inside BlackBerry post on ways you can extend battery life. They’ll keep your juice flowing for a little longer than normal. Spare battery Friends of mine who use Android smartphones tend to carry around an extra battery. While there are extended battery solutions, they often involve new battery doors that make the devices a clunky mess. Part of a smartphone’s appeal is its smallness, and extended batteries can be anathema to that. And so a spare battery is the next best solution. A standard battery runs at 1230 mAh (milliamp hours). That will give you a pretty standard charging cycle. You can get a spare battery at a number of outlets. At the BBGeeks Store you can go to the batteries page and then select your device to narrow down the selection. Unfortunately, these run a bit expensive — the 9930 battery is $40. At Amazon they’re a bit cheaper. You can get a standard 9930 or 9900 battery for $20. It’s easy to search from there for your own model. Just carry around the battery with you and swap when needed. Just make sure to swap back when you charge up, so you can charge up the second battery. It’s a bit of a pain, sure, but it helps if you need that extra little bit of juice. Extended battery If you don’t mind a slightly larger device, you might want to try an extended battery. These are slightly larger than normal batteries and therefore need a special battery door to house them. Many people dislike them because of this, but if you need extra battery life and don’t want the hassle of carrying — and charging — and extra battery, you might want to try these. The extended battery for the 9900 and 9930 runs 3600 mAH, so you’re getting more than double the juice. Even better, the extended battery, at least for the 9930 on Amazon, doesn’t cost much more than an extra standard battery. It’s just a buck more, in fact. You can get an extended battery for just $21. Again, that’s for the 9930/9900, so just search for your device and you’ll see the appropriate extended battery. I recommend only getting the ones that are labeled “by BlackBerry.” This isn’t out of loyalty, per se. It’s more about not getting ripped off by flimsy third-party products.
Extending the battery life of your BlackBerry 7 smartphone
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