Monday, 14 May 2012

Review: High Capacity Gold Battery (2430mAh)

The Nokia N8 is shipped with a 1200mAh battery by default.
At today's standards that's not very high, but thanks to the Hardware and Software optimisation by Nokia it is not bad at all...

I already published a Review about the battery life of Nokia's original battery on my CFW:
Review: The One v4.7.1 Battery Life

As you can see there, the battery lasts long enough when you use it carefully. But there's still room for improvement...

I had very good experience on my old Samsung I8910 HD with non-original batteries.
After Leno (a user of my CFW) recommended me the "gold battery", I though why not giving it a try on the Nokia N8.

I ordered it from ecell on eBay and I paid around 14.- CHF (shipment included).
There are many stores who sell this battery, you should search for one that offers the best conditions for your location. Be aware that the "gold battery" exists with the same design for other phones too... when you order one, make sure its really for the Nokia N8 (BL-4D).

Here is the link to ecell:
(I noticed, since I bought it,  they dropped the price a little bit and shipment is now free!)
High Capacity Gold Battery BL-4D
Quality and Safety
The battery was delivered by air mail from the UK, it came in a plastic bag about the size of an regular envelop.
I don't know if it has anything to do with the production or shipment, but when it arrived, I had to clean it first!
There was some milky, white dust around the connectors, I used alcohol and cotton to clean it.
So the first impression about quality wasn't great... but like I said, it could be just bad luck (or caused during the shipment).

The "gold battery" is made in Japan and assembled in China, strangely there is no manufacturer information whatsoever!

So I don't really know where it comes from...
But according to ecell and the package, the "gold battery" has a temperature fuse and safety control switches, so it should be as safe as Nokia's original batteries.
(That's good to know, because I carry the phone in my pants pocket, which is kind of a sensitive area...;))

Battery Installation
Replacing the original battery is very easy!
You just have to remove the bottom clip (two screws) and a plastic clip that keeps the battery in position...
For details you can check out the Youtube video linked in my earlier review:
Review: Nokia N8 Case Replacement (disassemble and reassemble)

Something that's worth mentioning here is, that the "gold battery" doesn't come with that small tape at the bottom (like the original battery). So removing the battery again is a little bit tricky.
To prevent that problem, use the tape of the original battery on your new one, to make it easier for future replacement.

Real Capacity?
2430mAh is a very impressive number... but it raises lots of questions for me.

The first one is, does this battery really have 2430mAh?
I don't know... you will see in this review that this battery holds up much longer than the original one, but that doesn't prove 2430mAh.

If it is true, why doesn't Nokia produce batteries like this?
Are they to expensive? Is Nokia just saving money? Is it not possible and the "gold battery" is fake? Maybe those high capacity batteries are based on new technology and Nokia can not mass produce them with their current factory equipment (not yet)?

Why do we have to buy batteries like this on eBay, while local stores around here never heard them?
Well, I can just speak for Switzerland, but around here its very hard to find non-original batteries for phones. At least I can imagine the reason for that...

Since non-original batteries are cheap, the seller wouldn't make as much profit as with the original ones.
Logistic is probably another issue, I guess it's much easier buying original batteries from a big company like Nokia, than get in contact with a nameless "gold battery" manufacturer.

The BL-4D battery was also used in devices like the "Nokia N97 mini", that one hit the market a while ago... the development of batteries made some progress and maybe it's possible to produce high capacity batteries like the "gold battery" now.
But the question "why doesn't Nokia produce batteries like this?" is still open...

Gold Battery Performance
The settings and configuration of the phone during my test, was the same as it was in my last review.
Review: The One v4.7.1 Battery Life

Here is the screen shot I took after using the gold battery for 24 hours:

As you can see the battery usage in "almost" standby is lower than on the original one.

The "gold battery" gives me around 10 days of standby/very low usage without charging.
Compared to the original one, I have an improvement of 30% battery life!

In theory I should have an 50% improvement, which means I should have had 93% left after 24 hours (according to my last review).

This "almost standby test" is not 100% accurate and in regular use I think I really have 50% more capacity!

For my personal usage, it's almost impossible to drain the "gold battery" within one day, which was an easy task with the original BL-4D.

The days of being worried about battery life are over for me and I am really satisfied with this product!

2430mAh seems to be a huge number compared to 1200mAh. But it is "only" twice the capacity of the original battery.
So don't expect anything magic going on here, if you have major problems with battery life (depending on your usage (I heard of people who charge two times a day) and the "real capacity" which we are not sure about) you won't be able to solve them with this product!

Battery Monitor Problem
After I switched my battery, Nokia Battery Monitor v3 was going crazy!
The battery status was changing up and down, within a range of 20%... The software became completely unreliable.
The original battery indicator in the top bar was not affected by the replacement, it seemed to be correct and stable.

I suggest that it's best to reinstall Battery Monitor after you switched your battery.
For me it took some time after reinstalling, but now it works fine and gives me correct values. It also matches the battery indicator in the top bar now.

After more than one week, I can say that this battery works great!

To be honest, I had my doubts about the quality.
It's hard to trust a product that comes with an unknown manufacturer branding, so what do you say about no branding at all?

Luckily I was worried over nothing. There are no heating or performance problems (not even while charging), everything works stable and as you expect it to be.
And also very important, it didn't disappoint me in battery life.

So I can recommend this battery to everyone who can fit a BL-4D battery into his phone ;)

If you have questions or feedback about my review, let me know via comment.

*** Updated  Conclusion 1 ***
I think I have to correct my conclusion. After reading the comments and emails I got as a reply to my review, I feel the need to set some things straight!

Basically what I said about this battery is true for me, but the fact that I still have some critical doubts about this product, is not really clear in my conclusion.

This battery feels save and does the job perfectly for me, no doubt about that.
But like I said in the part about the "real capacity", I highly doubt that a no-name battery can offer twice the capacity of original ones (especially at the same size)... 2430mAh is definitly FAKE!!

But in my tests the battery works better than my 6 months old original one. After six months the battery should still work fine, so maybe the gold battery really has slightly more capacity... but I cannot prove that!

For half the price of Nokia's original products, the "gold battery" is an ideal replacement.


  1. Vaquero del Teclado14 May 2012 at 21:50

    I live in California, there is a border with Mexico, Tijuana. about 3 miles away from my house.

    In California The " BEATS " dr.dre headphones cost 200 dlls in Best Buy Aprox. , in Mexico they make a replica of the headphones and cost 40 dlls. (the orig, cost 350 dlls)

    The funny thing is that 40% of the BEATS are made in Mexico, as well as Toyotas Tacomas and also the Samsung LED TVs. (for mention some products)

    I mean, they use the same products, materials and machinery but CAN PUT THE BRAND, and therefore sold more cheaply.

    But may have the same or better quality than the original.

    So in final words, thats why Nokia dont made the batterys. they have standars rules. or i dont know.

    1. yes you are right about that!
      same factories, same products, but different labels and prices...
      i am aware of that fact and they are doing it in with all kind of products (food, drinks, all kind of technical stuff, etc.).

      i would agree with you, that this is not a big deal if nokia would be selling the same product for a higher price, but this situation is different...

      its not the same product!

      the gold battery claims to be twice as powerfull as nokias batteries. nokia's batteries don't even come close to this kind of capacity.

      so the question is, why doesn't nokia produce them like this?

  2. Hi,

    i think this "special" batteries have more power, but they lost power after some charging-discharging cycles and they stand less cycles than the original one. Genuine Nokia batteries have lower power, but they stand more charging cycles before they getting bad.

    I have made my experience with "better" mobile phone batteries some years ago. First, the Power was great, but after a half year, all the batteries broke down.

    But it was at a time, long long ago. Now i am very interestet in this golden Piece of Power, and i will order it, too :D

  3. "That's good to know, because I carry the phone in my pants pocket, which is kind of a sensitive area...;)"
    Good one! :D
    Thanks about the review by the way! :-)

  4. Hello I have it and in its second day of testing I have not seen the defirencia large, the original takes me 7 or 8 hours maximum, is from 2 pm I downloaded before 9:30 pm about 9 hours , maximum 2 hours more than the original, I have heard music by fM transmitter more than 2 hours, and at that time was still the end of last page in a PC version, then a 15 minute call and the whatsapp and messages the text.

    This well I lasted this?

    As you yourself hard?

    1. Hi Johanna,
      As you can see in my review, I have my own doubts about the "real capacity" of the gold battery.

      Maybe the updated conlusion made it more clear.

      For me, the new battery gave me around 30% more battery life in my test.

      Maybe you can increase your battery life, by applying some of the settings I recommended in the first review about battery life?

  5. Can you test your gold battery with BatteryInfo widget/PhoNetInfo app? It shows the 2430 mAh?

    Thanks and Regards
    sry 4 my poor English

    1. I tried BatteryInfo v1.0.6... but that was unable to handle the gold battery.

      fully charged, batteryinfo showed me only 51% and ~620mAh.
      i guess i would have noted it, if the gold battery holds only half as long as my old original one :)

  6. Check this out:

    This Battery is fake & cheap for 2xxx mAh....!

    1. thank you very much for this information. matter of fact is, i already saw that post on xda-dev forum.

      the linked image shows a bl-5j...
      so this "new" gold battery (bl-4d) seems to have more than 750mAh, because it does work slighly better than my original one.

      i hope this one has at least 1300mAh, but i doubt it has much more than the original battery.
      like i said in the review, i highly doubt that the 2430mAh is the true capacity (that seems to be almost impossible).

      but that doesn't mean its a fake battery, only the promised value of 2430mAh is fake!

      i still think, for its price its a nice replacement battery...

  7. Hey Daniel,

    I really enjoyed your thorough review of the 'Gold' battery. Not many would bother to go as far as you did in reviewing a product such as a battery so a great help for others to make their own decisions. Unfortunately I didn't have the phone with the 'Gold' battery long enough to comment on it's endurance (longer term) but what I did find was that for the first week it held its charge magnificently, second week it had dropped a bit and that's how long I had the experience before parting with the Nokia N8 to pursue my photographic hobby with a 'normal' camera (hence sell&buy).

    The Nokia PureView is not far from my sights though... :)

  8. By the way, someone called Klaran will possibly get in touch with you for some advise about the N8. He's the person I sold my phone too :)

  9. I bought Gold BL-4D 2430mAh High Capacity Business Battery from China. Ir real it has 1207 mAh. I have program how to check it. :(
    13 Euros it cost.

    1. thanks for the info, thats what i expected 1200-1300mAh...
      what programm did you use to measure it?

      as far as i know, accurate measurements are only possible via hardware tests, not software?

  10. hi all! i just purchased one and had the same concerns. i'll post my own personal experience and measurements with hardware tests as well, as soon as i get it. This will be great to see whether gold batteries are worth using for futures purchases as well. My old battery is capute but at least if this is 1200-1300, it will do okay till i get new phone.

  11. This is a great battery. On my nokia e5 i now get two full days use. My old nokia battery used to last only 7 hours. Takes a bit longer to charge. But well worth the money

  12. Hi,
    I didn´t find the Akku BV-4D (which fits for the Nokia 808 pureview) in the ecell-shop on ebay. The only one I found is this:

    But you´ll need another cover and the phone will be much thicker. And the new akku costs like a little house.
    Does anyone tried the BL-4D from ecell in a Nokia 808 phone?

  13. Hi,
    I heard, the akku for the Nokia 808 is the BV-4D.
    Has anyone tried the BL-4D from ecell in the Nokia 808 phone, too? I only found this new akku for the 808:
    But the mugen akku needds a new akku back door and is very expansive.

    Thanks for the review

    1. hi felsen,
      there is a 1500mha variant of that "mugen power" battery, which fits perfectly into the 808, without any replacement cover...

      i ordered one a few days ago (didn't arrive yet).
      will write something about it, after i tested it for a while :)

    2. See here:

      Kind regards felsen2000