One of the most common niggles I hear about the HTC Hero is its weak battery life. To be fair, the Hero isn’t the only phone to suffer from this. As smartphones have got more powerful and connect to the Internet, there’s no surprise to see battery life taking a hit.
A number of third party battery manufacturers have sprung up to cater for this growing market. One of the most prominent (and the only one I really trust) is a company called Mugen Power. It provides batteries of different capacities for pretty much most phones on the market today. They were kind enough to send over two HTC Hero batteries for us to test out. This included the 1550mAh and 3200mAh capacity batteries. Click through for our review of both batteries.
Taking each in turn, we first look at the larger capacity 3200mAh battery. The battery arrived with a white and black cover (the latter included in some bubble wrap). There was also some paperwork that should be read before using the battery. It suggests that you need to charge the battery for 12 hours for the first time.
The battery comes in quite simple packaging. The battery sits in the white cover and this has a small piece of sponge behind it to prevent it getting scratched in transit.
The usual warnings and warranty information is placed on the back of the packaging. The battery comes with a 6-month warranty.
As the codename (HLI-HEROXL) suggests the 3.7V 3200mAh battery is quite big and won’t fit into the existing housing. This is the reason why Mugen Power provides a back cover to account for the larger battery.
It’s difficult to get a sense of how much thicker this battery is when just looking at it alone. We have some comparison pictures later in the review that give you a better idea of the size.
Mugen Power provides back casings in both black and white colours. If you have a pink HTC Hero you’ll be out of luck in getting the casing to match.
Both covers have protective plastic on the back to ensure that they do not scratch during transit.
The plastic used is matte and matches the rest of the HTC Hero.
The plastic covers have been manufactured to a high standard and have the right size holes and fits the phone well.
With the battery attached you can get an idea how much the 3200mAh battery sticks out over the original HTC Hero battery.
Without the cover attached you can see how much the 3200mAh battery protrudes from the back. This is why Mugen Power has provided the large back door covers.
Once the back cover is attached, it fits very snugly to the rest of the phone. It can be a bit too sung, requiring quite a bit of force to remove. However, given the size I’d rather it be a tight rather than loose fit.
As mentioned previously, the covers have been manufactured to a high quality. All of the holes for the power input and headphone sockets are the right sizes and nothing feels loose.
This even extends to the volume control. It can take some getting used to as the volume control is on the phone part of the handset, rather than the back cover. I often found myself pressing the cover initially to change volume.
Whilst the HTC Hero doesn’t come with a lens cover, given the depth of the back casing, a lens cover is built into it. This was probably a necessary design decision to ensure dust doesn’t enter the lens. A simple slider switch opens and closes the lens cover.
The picture below shows the original HTC Hero back casing (on the left side) adjacent to the casing provided by Mugen Power. As you can see below, both the colour and texture of the plastic matches the original very well.