Review: Sonnet iPod Replacement Battery

by on February 21, 2006

Many believe that once their iPod’s battery stops holding a charge for longer than an hour or two, it’s time to start shopping for a new one. Although this is a possibility, what if you don’t need the latest and greatest features or more space? Replacement kits, such as Sonnet’s iPod Replacement Battery are now an option that allow you to keep your iPod in use after a brief surgery.

Our test unit was the version for the third-generation iPods, as ours was a few years old and had an aging battery. Since it was past Apple’s lawsuit settlement replacement program, Sonnet’s kit provided us with all the tools to do it ourselves. In the package was the replacement battery, two plastic tools for opening the iPod’s case, and a CD-ROM complete with documentation and instructional videos.

iPod Replacement Battery
iPod Replacement Battery Kit

iPod Replacement Battery
iPod Replacement Battery

iPod Replacement Battery
Dismantled iPod

The battery itself looks like a smaller version of many batteries inside cordless telephones—a small battery pack with two leads to connect it to the iPod’s motherboard.

Although taking apart an iPod seems like it might be a scary process, Sonnet does a good job of making it easy. Although I have taken many computers apart, including iBooks, I was not sure if I was ready to crack open such a compact device and risk ruining a $300 gadget. On the included CD-ROM, there is documentation to explain the process and QuickTime videos in multiple languages to walk you step-by-step through the process.

After watching the video a first time to figure out my game plan, I was ready to dismantle the iPod while watching the video. The process is as simple as prying open the iPod (the plastic tools won’t scratch), removing the hard drive, unplugging the old battery, plugging the new battery in, and putting the whole thing back together. The process took about 10 minutes to complete and the iPod looked just like it did before the surgery.

After letting it charge overnight, the iPod was ready to use. After some informal tests, our iPod averaged about 10 hours, which is much better than even the original 8 hours it was rated for. Sonnet claims that the third-generation iPods can get as much as 130% of their original playback times. First/second-generation iPods are rated at having almost double the original playback times, and the other models are somewhere in between.

For $30, this kit included all the things needed to replace the battery in an iPod. The battery works just like the original Apple one, but lasts a bit longer and gives older iPods a new lease on life. It also features a one-year warranty. Sonnet has done a great job making it easy for anyone to improve their iPods.

The One-Sentence Verdict™

Sonnet’s iPod Replacement Battery kit offers anyone who has an older iPod a chance to save some money over replacing it.

Pros: Easy to use, includes all the tools, similarly priced to competition
Cons: None significant

Rating: 10/10

The Facts

Product: iPod Replacement Battery
Company: Sonnet Technologies, Inc.
Platform: iPod (1 2 3 4 M)
Price: $29.95-$39.95

This post has been filed in iPod, Mobile Devices, Reviews