Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 is one of the longest-lasting phones on the market, with the T-Mobile version enduring for 11 hours and 15 minutes of continuous use on our battery test. However, if you plan to use your phone as a hotspot, pump up the brightness all the way, or go more than 24 hours without charging, the default 3,200 mAh battery may not provide enough juice. For just $25, Hyperion's Samsung Galaxy Note 3 6,400 mAh Extended Battery provides nearly twice the longevity, though it adds a little weight and thickness to the phone.
Click to EnlargeAt 0.4-inches thick and 3.9 ounces, the Hyperion Galaxy Note 3 6,400 mAh is nearly double the weight and thickness of the Galaxy Note 3's .2-inch thick, 1.9-ounce default unit. Because it's so much thicker, the Hyperion battery comes with its own replacement back panel, which is a slanted glossy plastic material instead of the faux leather Samsung uses on the phone's original flat backside.
To match the color of the Note 3, Hyperion sells the battery with your choice of white or black back panels. For $5 each, the company also sells replacement back panels in a variety of fashion colors, including bright red, blue, hot pink and purple, all with honeycomb textures on them. However, these look a bit gaudy for our taste.
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With the replacement back panel on, the phone's thickness doubled from 0.3 inches to 0.6-inches while its weight increased by approximately 2.3 ounces, going from 5.9 to 8.15 ounces. Lifting up the Galaxy Note 3 with the Hyperion battery installed and comparing it to another Note 3 with the default battery, the difference in bulk between the two phones was very obvious. However, after carrying the phone around for a few days, we got used to the added size and it didn't feel quite as heavy to us.
Unfortunately, because of the added thickness, you cannot fit your phone into a case that's been designed for the Galaxy Note 3. We had no problems fitting the phone in our front pants pocket, however.
Installing the Battery
Click to EnlargeBecause the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a removable back panel, upgrading to the Hyperion battery is a breeze. It took us all of 1 minute to pop off the original back panel, remove the battery, and replace it with the Hyperion unit. It was just as easy to switch back to the default battery.
While some third-party batteries don't have NFC chips, the Hyperion Samsung Galaxy Note 3 6,400 mAh battery provides full support for Near Field Communications. With the battery installed, we were able to tap and pair our phone using NFC with a number of products, including the Pebble smartwatch.
Battery Test Results
The Hyperion Samsung Galaxy Note 3 6,400 mAh extended battery has exactly twice the milliamps of the phone's default battery, so it was no surprise that it nearly doubled the phone's battery life. With the extended battery installed, the T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 lasted 20 hours and 6 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuous surfing over 4G LTE at 40 percent display brightness. That's not quite double the T-Mobile Note 3's original time of 11 hours and 15 minutes, but it's still quite impressive.
The Hyperion extended battery was just as impressive when we used it with a Verizon Galaxy Note 3 over the course of a few weeks. After a typical day of Web surfing, email checking and listening to music at work, the battery was at over 50 percent - sometimes even at 70 or 80 percent - by the time we went to bed at night. Under these conditions, we could easily go more than 48 hours without charging.
We really challenged this battery at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, leaving the FoxFi hotspot software running all day long and maintaining a persistent connection to our HipChat instant messaging service. During the first few days of the show, we still had 30 or 40 percent of the battery left at midnight after unplugging the phone at 7: 30 or 8 a.m. However, on other days where we used the hotspot more and had a worse 4G signal, we were down to the yellow 15 percent level at midnight.
Despite its high capacity, the Hyperion battery seemed to charge very quickly, completely filling within 1 to 2 hours. Sometimes, after only 15 to 20 minutes of charging, we saw a good 15 to 30 percent increase in charge.
Click to EnlargeThe Hyperion Samsung Galaxy Note 3 6,400 mAh battery is well worth the additional weight and thickness it adds to the Galaxy Note 3. And at just $25 for nearly double the endurance, this extended battery is a steal. With that kind of added longevity you can enjoy your phone for about two-plus days of typical use or go through a full day of very intense phone activity without ever worrying about losing power.