BoxWave ElectraSpan Extended Battery for the Dell Axim X51v

by PocketGoddess on January 11, 2007

I must say that I didn’t realize what all the fuss was about when the first Treo came out and didn’t have a replaceable battery. I’ve never had too much trouble with power running out on me, but that could simply be due to the fact that I was very well trained regarding the need to charge my PDA every night, and my phone every 3-4 days.
It wasn’t until I got my Dell Axim that I realized just how nice it is to be able to take out a dead battery and replace it with another one. It seems that the X51v is much more power hungry than any device I’ve ever had; I don’t know if that’s a symptom of the Windows Mobile platform, or just this particular device. That’s a real problem when you need to take notes in long business meetings and most emergency chargers won’t work because the Axim requires a lot of juice in order to charge.

Comparison shot; ElectraSpan Extended Battery on the left, Dell OEM standard battery on the right

Thankfully BoxWave stepped in and solved my problem for me, and did it very well indeed when they sent me their ElectraSpan Extended Battery. This review of course covers the specific model for the Dell Axim X51v, though they make them available for just about every mobile device with a replaceable battery. Since the extended battery is bigger than the standard battery that comes with the PDA, a replacement battery cover is also included with the purchase. When you install the new battery and cover, the back of the device will no longer be flat, but the bottom half will be about 1/4″ thicker than the top. This took some getting used to at first, but now I hardly even notice the extra thickness at all, and the freedom from power worries is definitely worth it.

There isn’t any good way to objectively test battery life, so I’ll provide the technical measurements and anecdotal evidence and let you make your own decision. The standard capacity battery that comes with the X51v is 1100mAh, and the BoxWave ElectraSpan Extended Battery is 2200mAh, or double the capacity. My head insists that it’s even more, because the results I’ve gotten are simply astounding.

In the old days, before I got this new battery, my travel charger was practically my best friend–I never went anywhere without it! With the extended battery, I think nothing of going for two to three days without charging my device, and don’t even bother with taking along the charger unless I’m going on a business trip longer than three days. In the old days, less than two hours of ebook reading or game playing would leave my device clamoring to be “fed” because the battery was running low. A couple of times it drained completely, seriously cramping my style if I happened to forget my charger. Now I can feed my seemingly endless PaintBall obsession for hours at a time and never give a second thought to running out of power.

Dell X51v with extended battery, profile

If it seems like I’m gushing with praise, that’s because I am–I simply can’t think of a true negative associated with this product. The only thing I can come up with is the fact that you’ll likely need a new carrying case because of the extra thickness. If you’re worried about the desktop cradle, there’s no problem there–a cutout leaves plenty of room for the extended battery, and since Dell thoughtfully included a battery charger on the back, you can easily charge your original battery at the same time for even more on-the-go power. The price might seem a bit high at $59.95, but it won’t after you take a quick look at Dell’s site and see that their extended battery sells for a mind-blowing $98.95!

I’m very proud to induct this product into the PocketGoddess Hall of Fame by awarding it a “Perfect 10″ rating. If you have a PDA, smartphone, or other device with a replaceable battery, do yourself a favor and use BoxWave’s HandyFinder to see if they have an regular or extended ElectraSpan battery compatible with your device. You’ll be glad you did when you too enjoy the freedom of never again worrying about running out of power at a critical moment. Prices range from $14.95 to $49.95 for the ElectraSpan standard battery and from $19.95 to $59.95 for the extended version. You can find out more or get one for your device at the BoxWave online store.

A Perfect 10!

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