Extra Battery


Extra Battery: a reader asks…

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and am going on a trip soon. I would like to use the phone as an e-reader on the plane when there’s no place to plug-in and recharge the battery. Should I get an external power/battery? One I could pick up easily before I leave tomorrow? If so, what would you recommend ??

The Samsung Galazy Note 4 has a removeable battery, so most owners buy a spare battery for it. Such as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) battery (such as this one from Amazon), but in addition to your short time-frame and situation that may not be the best solution for you. You can’t charge an OEM battery unless it’s in the phone (or on a special charger). So an external battery pack may be your best option.


Head over to the nearest office supply store or computer store, I’m sure you’ll find several different types. They are marketed under the generic name “Power Pack” and come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. What should matter more to you is the capacity – that’s expressed in milliamp Hour (mAh). the smaller ones run 2000-3000 mAh, medium run 4000-5000 mAh, and the larger ones are 6000 mAh or larger. Which size you pick depends on how much juice you need, which is based on the length of the flight. Your smartphone’s stock battery has 3220 mAh of power, so if you currently get 2 hours of use out of it, then you can expect to get that much or more out of a 4000 mAh Power Pack.

Remember that your original battery may not hold as good a charge now as when the phone was new, but being conservative on your estimate of charge time is better than guessing the other way. I would suggest you get as large capacity as available in the Power Packs at the store you visit. That way you don’t have to worry about running short.


You might be tempted to get a smaller one, but no matter which you get, it will be one extra thing to hold onto, with a short cord connecting it to your smartphone. As an alternative, you might find something like the popular Mophie Juice Pack (or other brands like PowerBear) that works like a case for your Galaxy Note 4 – so it’s all connected and sleeker. I doubt you’ll find a Mophie branded Juice Pack for your Galaxy Note 4, and no guarantee on whether you’ll find an alternate brand in a store, they are available online, such as this one at Amazon.com.

I don’t really have a recommendation for brand or type, partly because you don’t have the time to find exactly what I’d recommend anyway. There are a ton of these available on the market under a lot of different brands, and for the most part they all perform about the same. Don’t pay a lot of money for one, since it’s probably not something you’re going to have a long-term use for anyway. More expensive, quality brands will have better-quality batteries inside which may give you a longer battery lifetime, but in general buying a cheap power pack is easy, fast and simple.

Don’t forget to charge the power pack up before you head to the airport! Most power packs come with only a partial charge on them, and you don’t know how long they’ve been sitting on the store shelf. Plug it in the night before you leave and it’ll be fully charged and ready for you when you get aboard your flight. Happy reading!

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