Simple Pleasures – Hot Swapping Batteries with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

I recently switched US cellular carriers from Sprint to Verizon, and Android phones from the Sprint HTC EVO 3D to the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Being a power user, I tend to burn through my battery fairly quickly. With any new phone purchase comes the inevitable buying of extended batteries and external battery chargers.

When power runs low, it’s great to be able to swap in a new battery. I love user-replaceable batteries.  You can argue with me that a non-user-replaceable battery would allow for a design that could incorporate a larger primary battery. On second thought, don’t. It sounds like a boring argument.

It’d be great if I could swap out a battery without needing to shut down the phone first. Why isn’t there a little backup battery or capacitor that makes this possible? Probably lack of space, or desire to keep costs down.  Now, you can just pull the battery (killing the phone), and probably things will be fine, but once in a while I expect doing so will cause some kind of data loss and corruption. I’m a good little user, so I always shut down the phone first.

Here’s the “feature” that some of my past phones have had, my HTC EVO 3D didn’t, and my Galaxy Nexus does. I can plug in the USB charger, yank the battery, and the thing keeps running. So I can hot swap the battery without wasting time shutting down and booting up.

It’s the little things.

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Larry Silverman

Larry Silverman is a father and husband, software developer, small-business owner, DIY tinkerer, occasional musician, continuous learner, free thinker, despiser of yard work and comma abuser.

4 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures – Hot Swapping Batteries with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus”

  1. It would be interesting to know if you’ve had any problems doing this battery hot-swap, as the advice in this other thread (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1508472) seems to advise against it.
    I also find it frustrating not being able to hot-swap the battery on my Ace 2, as it’s not just the time to power off and reboot, but a real hassle if you didn’t want to interrupt a program (recording a long GPS route for example). A capacitor or mini cell to hold a charge just for 5-10 seconds while you swapped the batteries would be ideal, or even the ability to plug in one of those booster AA cells into the charging port while you swap the main battery.
    It’s great being able to swap the battery, but a shame they can’t be hot-swapped!

    1. I did it a few times, but the fun wore off and I took to shutting it down and doing a normal swap after that. Usually when I run out of power, I’m on the go without a ready charger to plug it in to for the swap, so I just stopped doing it. A week or so ago, I happened to try it and I swapped an 1850 mAh battery with a 2100 mAh one. The phone reset itself shortly after insertion of the new battery. It’s difficult for me to offer any prescriptive advice here as I run various third party ROMs (currently CM 10.1) and I can’t say whether the restarting behavior would occur under stock ROM. This was definitely a YMMV blog post.

    1. Ha, thanks. Now I’m sporting a Nexus 6P and the battery lasts all day. Usually.

      I can see it now. LG G5 users with a Batman-style utility belt of batteries, slamming new batteries in like gun clips.

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