Some time ago I was facing spontaneous heavy battery drain, around 5% per hour, so that battery could not last one day doing anything. Far too much because it already could work 3 days on single charge, when idle most of the time. Pinning problem down I had installed fresh stable ROM, but it did not solve the problem. Suspecting battery damage I ordered cheap but widely discussed replacement – Andida battery. Dozen charge cycles and couple weeks later I had my own opinion to share.There are mixed opinions but one is persisting, good secondary source of power, “just in case”. In fact I was trying to use it as primary, so I started with heavy usage.
First and foremost test is the real capacity. Andida claims 1800mAh comparing to 1400 mAh of original one. With the same working voltage (3.7V) Andida should last nearly 30% longer. What I have observed when used first was nearly 20% quicked discharge. I suspected initial lower capacity, that after couple discharge-recharge cycles should improve. But it did not improve as much as I expected. I took care not to over-drain battery, for Li-Ion chemistry, because deep discharge causes irreversible damages quickly reducing the capacity (most life-preserving work cycle is to stay between 20-80% of charge level). Weeks later Andida barely could meet capacity of stock battery. Rumors say that label hides real capacity specification – I striped battery down but did not find any details, except for cheaply made casing, saving on plastic case favoring paper label around.
The other unexpected and more annoying Andida feature was unpredictible voltage characteristics. Smartphone knows how much power is left in battery based on precise voltage measurement and storing voltage characteristics over time in operating system. Since new battery may have a little different characteristics, if you see any battery-related misbehavior, battery calibration is another practice. I tried many approaches, less invasive like full charge calibration, wiping battery stats and many other techniques in different moments of Andida battery life – without success. Andida could went only down once to 15% of capacity the other time to 7% (while stock battery was perfectly fine to go down constantly to 3% before shutdown). Most astonishing was charging battery to 102% that could remain as perfectly legitimate measurement (going down through 101, 100, 99% and so on), no matter which calibration procedure I applied. Funny factor was that measurement was non linear too – from 102-98% it was slow, then quickly dropping down to 80-85% and then going down slower and slower.
To summarize, this time quality meets the price; for 1/4-th of genuine battery price you get imitation of it. I do advocate budget, good quality stuff but not this time. Unless you do not care battery level measurement reliability or just want to have secondary battery in “emergency” situations. In my case half-charged and secured battery landed on the bottom of pile of mostly useless gadgets. I stick to my stock battery on daily usage; battery turned out to be perfectly fine. Power drain was incident related to never-experienced-before higher power consumption when roaming in Arabic countries.