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Summary:

I just took delivery of Samsung’s $40 spare battery charging station for my Galaxy Nexus. The second battery will give me peace of mind in case I run through my first one, but the included dock, or stand, is mediocre at best: take a close look.

gnex-spare-featured

Following one of my own seven mobile mantras, I spent $40 on Samsung’s spare battery charging station for my Galaxy Nexus. The kit includes a power cord, spare battery and a charger that doubles as a stand. It’s definitely not what I’d call a dock, but rather a stand because this kit was actually made for the Samsung Galaxy S; another Google Android phone. It just happens to work with the Nexus, as you can see in the following video.

The spare battery is a duplicate of the one that comes with the handset; same 1850 mAh capacity and Near Field Communications support. Overall, I’m happy just to have the second battery, although most days I don’t need it. However, I do wish the stand were more like a dock. Out of the box, you can’t charge both the spare battery and the phone. Instead, an optional adapter is required. And the phone isn’t secure in the stand, especially in portrait mode.

  1. I bought one of these from Verizon and iirc it did say it was specifically for the Nexus but otherwise it looks exactly the same and I have the same issues with it. Mine did come with that “Y” adapter but, and don’t quote me on this, I don’t remember it coming with a wall charger. Maybe I’m crazy though; I’d have to check when I get home.

    Like you say though, you have to have the phone in landscape mode and charge it from the end.

    I’m hoping we get a proper desktop stand/cradle/charger for the LTE version of the phone.

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  2. Jonathan Greene Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    I have one of these on backorder from letstalk.com for the GSM version… it comes with the 1750 mAh battery. I’d also love one that charged the phone at the same time along with the battery, but have yet to see anything in my searches.

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  3. I just ordered this y-cable for $1.75 from Amazon, so we’ll so how it works.

    My fear is that it trickle charges both batteries because it looks like the adapter supplies a total of 700mW; not a major issue if charging overnight though. I’ll report back in once it arrives.

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  4. on the Plus side… in landscape mode you can view video’s so its not all bad.

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  5. I’m very surprised Samsung didn’t think of making high-end accessories for their high-end smartphone – a dock that doesn’t charge your phone is rather useless. When I bought my TP2 eons ago I splurged on a bunch of extras, including an ORA-branded deluxe desktop cradle. It’ll charge and sync over USB, provides a slot for charging a second battery, and includes a 3.5mm line-out jack to feed music to a home audio system:

    http://lgponthemove.blogspot.com/2010/08/confessions-of-audiophile-2-playing.html

    Given how many portable devices I have in my arsenal, buying second batteries for each becomes a ripoff. Never mind that these batteries become immediately obsolete when I end up changing my devices. Rather than spend on a battery for each device, and end up tossing it later, I buy ONE battery that works with ALL of them:

    http://lgponthemove.blogspot.com/2010/07/accessory-corner-3-energizer-xp18000.html

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  6. I picked up two spare batteries and an external charger by Hyperion for $30 (http://goo.gl/igDZj). The batteries don’t have the NFC antenna, but at the moment I couldn’t care less. If NFC use picks up, I still have one standard battery that uses it. So far the batteries are holding up well, just slightly behind the OEM battery despite the higher mAH rating. That said, I don’t expect these to last as long as the OEM battery. In my experience, third-party batteries never last as long as the originals.

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  7. ERROR

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  8. Kevin,
    Do you plan to write a follow up article to the Galaxy Nexus over VOIP solution? I am interested in using the Tmobile $30/month prepaid plan which allows 5G of data, 100 min of talk and using the voip solution for other minutes. I use google voice over my computer during the day so this is an option I am really considering and excited to hear your feedback. Thanks…

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    1. I use an app called GrooveIP, which is an upfront purchase, but is free once it’s installed. I can’t seem to get it to accept incoming calls from Google Voice, but I can make outbound calls with it, and I also use the $30 Tmobile plan.

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      1. Jesse,

        Thanks for the info – the incoming calls seems like a bit of an issue but guess you can always call back. When you call people does it show your google voice number? Also how is the sound quality of the calls? Lastly do the VOIP calls kill your data usage? Thanks for the information.

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  9. Many years and phones ago my Samsumg 760 had an awesome desk top charging dock that charged both the battery in the phone and the spare battery in the back of the dock….and the batteries were a quick change design (no removing separate cover to swap batteries). The battery swap was just a few seconds with that design. Thus, Samsung certainly knows how to do it right….

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  10. This extra battery kit really just exemplifies the shoddiness of Samsung designs, especially with their phones. Sure the Nexus has great specs, but as someone wrote late last year, the spec wars are dead. Give me good industrial design, well thought out ecosystem, some devoid of crapware AND malware. Specs are the dodo bird of the 21st century.

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