Monaco 3500mAh Battery for the HTC EVO 4G Review

Probably the biggest complaint leveled against the Sprint HTC Evo 4G when it was launched was about a short life from its 1700mHa battery. It did not take long for several companies to offer bigger batteries, which were also thicker and meant different backs, cases, etc. Monaco offers a battery and back combination that promises extended life with only another 3-4mm added to the thickness.

Installing the battery is easy as the Evo has an easily removable battery cover. Proper alignment is just a matter of lining the pins and contacts up and snapping into place. Of course, the phone has to reset, which takes forever with the Evo (it would bug me more if I had to do it more often.) Snap on the new battery cover and done. The battery I am testing was charged about 1/2 way so everything was up and running in minutes.

Monaco battery, left, and original battery, right

There are two main aspects to the extended batteries- battery life and managing the additional thickness. Let’s look at the thickness first.

The extra thickness probably looks especially bad with this back because of the new, deep-set holes for the camera, lights, and stand. It must makes it look rather bloated. It felt funny in my hand at first, but it is well-rounded and felt pretty natural in no time. In fact, the bottom edge of the bulged section seems to make a nice ‘ledge’ to rest on my little finger. I carry my Android in my pocket (which sounds like  a cool title for a rocking sci-fi tale) and barely noticed the difference most of the time.

Monaco battery and back on the left, original on the right

After carrying it for a couple weeks, I went back to the original cover and felt… amazingly little difference. I would have bet that I would have been relieved to go back, but I really have not noticed much of a difference.

Battery life was roughly doubled. I know that is not a big surprise, but it was a pleasant result. The original battery generally lasted me a day, usually getting close to, or just into the orange warning area before hitting the charger overnight (assuming I did not charge during the day- which I usually do just to make sure I have juice.) The extended battery rarely hit the halfway mark after a day’s use. Even getting cocky with it- videos, background music, interactive live wallpapers, etc.- it rarely hit the the halfway mark after a day’s use. It was really refreshing to be able to use all of these cool Evo elements that I reluctantly killed in favor of battery life.

Monaco unit in my hand

Of course, there is a downside. The extended back does not work with most cases, holsters, chargers, etc. I have a cool transparent back, some left-over skins, a carbon-fiber skin I really like (review coming soon), and Sprint hard-shell case, and some other stuff- none of which work now. Eh- I can live without the carbon fiber skin if it means I get to use the cool backgrounds without restriction!

 

Product Information

Price:$59.95
Retailer:Wirelessground.com
Requirements:
  • Sprint HTC EVO
Pros:
  • Double the battery life
Cons:
  • Additional thickness does not work with all accessories
Posted in: Android related, Reviews

8 comments… add one

  • Ed Venture March 1, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Now if they would only come out with something like that for my HTC Desire Z, I’d be a happy camper.

  • Freddy D. March 2, 2011, 2:12 am

    It looks nice, but I still prefer the more stylish look of the Seidio brand 3500mAh extended battery w/cover. The battery life is still doubled, but the battery has to be charged 2-3 hours longer after it hits 100% power because they use some special Japanese cells that need extra charging. The battery is about $70, but worth it. I have two. Never had a problem. But if price if an issue, stick with the cheaper one.

  • Mark Adkins March 15, 2011, 9:59 pm

    FOLLOW-UP: I have gone back to a ‘skinny’ phone for most uses, but keep the extended battery around and charged. I’ve rooted my EVO and the battery life is better now so it is less of an issue.

  • Tim April 29, 2011, 1:23 am

    The battery and cover seem as if it solves the issue of the camera lens lying directly on a surface when set back down. Am I right?

  • Mark Adkins April 29, 2011, 10:29 am

    @Tim- true!

  • briana July 1, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Me and my husband are about to get that phone, I’m a little confused on the battery situation. Is the original battery sucky? If so what should we do?

  • Rob Tillotson July 1, 2011, 8:49 pm

    @briana No, it’s just that advanced phones chew a lot of power if you use all their features heavily, and the built-in battery is a compromise between weight/size and usage time for a typical user who just wants to get through their day without running out of juice before they get home. So extended batteries are popular with power users, heavy 4G hotspot users, etc.

    Generally, your battery life on a phone like this should be fine, provided you turn off 4G when you’re not using it and don’t go overboard with apps that do background syncing. (Ask yourself: do you really need your phone to update your tweets or facebook every 5 minutes or whatever the default is? If not, change that setting. Also considering turning off auto-sync for Google stuff if you don’t use gmail or change your contacts/calendar a lot.) If you use it for navigation in the car, make sure it’s plugged in. That sort of thing.

  • briana July 1, 2011, 8:58 pm

    Thanks a ton Rob! Me and my husband aren’t on any social networking so that part is covered lol.
    Thanks again!

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