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Battery

Each Droid comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that typically allows you to talk for approximately 8 hours or keep the phone on standby for more than 10 days. Your Droid's battery consumption depends on several factors, most of which are common sense, including mobile broadband (4G) use, number of calls made, screen brightness, radio use, and camera use. For more tips on getting the most life out of your battery, refer to "Managing Battery Life" in Chapter 3.

Although the Droid's battery (shown removed in Figure 4.6) is much better than that of previous Android phones, manufacturer battery specs are rarely achieved in real-world use. The good news is that with a moderate amount of conservation, you can expect to get a full day's use out of the included battery.

Figure 4.6

Figure 4.6 Rear view of the Droid Pro with the SIM card, microSD card, and battery removed.

Battery charge

When you first start your Droid, the included battery can have anything from zero charge to a partial charge. Assuming that you don't have to run out the door with it right now or anything, I recommend connecting your phone to the wall charger to give it a good solid charge.

You should fully charge the Droid's battery before using the phone. Depending on how much charge remains, a recharge should take about 1.5 to 2 hours. I don't know about you, but there's almost no chance that I'll put down a new gadget long enough to charge it fully. I recommend that you find a comfy chair next to an outlet, plug in the Droid, and explore a bit while it charges for the first time.

Like most Android-powered phones, the Droid comes with a lithium-ion (abbreviated li-ion) battery. This battery doesn't suffer from the memory effect, in that you don't have to drain it completely before recharging it. I still try to fully charge my Droid's battery whenever possible, but this practice is mostly habit (and partly superstition?) and isn't necessary.

Charging methods

You have two ways to charge your Droid's battery:

  • Charger cable. The charger cable came in the box with your phone. You've probably charged devices with a cable like this since you were 5 years old, so I'll let you figure that one out yourself. You can find the Micro USB charging port on an edge of your Droid.
  • USB port. The alternative is to plug your phone into an available USB port on a computer, using the included USB cable. This method is a boon if you travel with a notebook computer because you can leave the bulky brick at home and charge your phone simply by connecting it to your notebook via USB.

Charging schedule

Your charging schedule depends on how you use your Droid. If you're a casual user who places and receives fewer than ten calls per day and uses the phone's Internet features sparingly, I recommend that you charge your phone each night while you sleep. Although the phone may not need a charge at the end of each day, charging nightly is a hedge against the chance that you'll have an unexpectedly busy day tomorrow and your phone will run out of juice just when you need it most.

If you're a heavy user of features such as 4G, GPS, and Wi-Fi, you can literally watch the battery meter trickle down as you use your Droid, and you need to plan accordingly. Heavy users may have a tough time making it through a standard business day on a fully charged battery. If this sounds like you, you'll want to read the next section and "Managing Battery Life" in Chapter 3.

Backup batteries

As I mention earlier in this chapter, Droids eat batteries for lunch, and even a moderate user will eventually need a backup battery. Luckily, replacement batteries are relatively cheap—around $40 for a new Motorola Droid—which makes purchasing one a no-brainer. Do yourself a favor: Pick up an extra battery, and keep it in your gear bag.

If you want even more power, you can purchase a battery with double the capacity (as high as 2600 mAh) of the Droid's original battery for less than $50 on the aftermarket. Although it effectively doubles your Droid's run time, this type of battery requires a replacement rear cover to cover the extra bulge. Think in terms of a trade-off: You can have longer run time if you're willing to add some size and weight in exchange.

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