14 May 2007

When Your Celphone Puts on Weight

Some people accessorize their mobile phones by adding various cases, colorful straps, flashing lights, cute pouches to the unit. Others are fond of personalizing the phone internally by customizing ringtones, wallpapers, pictures and video. I prefer my flavor to be plain... as plain as the standard unit you see when it's being displayed in a store. I don't carry a celphone to show off to people... just the basics, to use as a tool for communication and transferring data.

A couple of days ago, my celphone unusually morphed itself; or as I pointed it out, gained weight.

I was experiencing frequent charging since my battery would go from 100% to 25% in less than a day. On days with heavy use, a 10 minute phone call would drain half of my battery immediately. It was frustrating enough to have to conserve my phone's battery by turning it off randomly just so I'd be able to use the phone before I could get home and charge. (I don't have a car charger). So I decided it was time to buy a new battery.

I inquired in a nearby mall and got oriented to different classes of batteries. I didn't know this prior to buying. There's a Class B, Class A and the original. They all look the same. Some are made from Finland or China. Some say they were manufactured Korea but finished in China. When I asked the saleslady what's the different, she'd say the exact same thing... this one is made in China, the other one is from Korea, that one is from Finland. It really didn't help me at all so I just based my selection on what my budget could handle.

So I got myself a Class A BST-37 Sony Ericsson which is good for my K608i unit and a K750.

When the saleslady opened my unit, we were both surprised to discover my phone breeding a bloated battery. It looked bulky enough to suspect its either pregnant or mutating. I did ask the lady if that was the reason my phone would easily drain. She concurred and in addition told me it's the combination of overcharging practices and frequent bumps, hits or falls to the ground that could bring a battery's life to a screeching low. She advised me not to use my old battery anymore too cause it might spark a fire or something like that.

I was pretty happy with the new battery's performance which was way better than my old one if you'd compare the two. I did decide to keep the worn out battery in my bag as a spare just in case I need it.

One day, I was out the entire day and forgot to charge it before leaving the house and so by early evening, my phone was already "lowbatt". I remembered the spare battery of mine and took it out of my bag. I was shocked to see that it bloated even more from the last time I saw it. It wasn't flat anymore. It was starting to have curves and wouldn't fit in my phone's compartment like a person trying to squeeze into tight jeans. I wanted to use a hammer to flatten it again.. but that was just the scientist in me wanting to experiment knowing the battery was rendered useless at this point. I knew though that since the battery is unstable, chances are, it would explode the moment it would be struck. I think the reason why my battery bloated even more was becuase I left it in the car one day exposed to the intense summer heat. That's when I suddenly scared myself of that thought. Because of that, I was even scared to throw it away in our garbage can.

So now, I'm trying to practice more strict charging habits. Gotta take care of your battery or it might gain weight.
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