20sep replacing the battery hero
Research report
8 October 2020

Replacing the battery in your tech

Does the battery in your phone or laptop not last like it used to? Don’t overreact – here’s how you can replace it.

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John Boyes
13 Mar 2021
Fixable?

My very helpful fixit man complains of the increase in parts prices. If you want to know what is the most reliable or worst product ask the person that gets landed with items that are difficult or not supported by the manufacture. Or better still ask which appliance not to buy.

McCaulay S.
14 Feb 2021
You must hear this "all-the-time".

I get really annoyed when the Battery powered tools can sell for $x with 2 batteries included. Then when you come to buy a replacement battery a couple of years later, the price of one battery is more than the cost of buying a new tool!
By tools, I mean DIY power tools, vacuum cleaners, hair cutters & razors etc.
I would also like to see your tests regularly cover lower-priced, and Company branded items. Bunnings, Mitre 10 etc tend to have a brand sold only by them so they don't have to price-promise them. Everything from Dishwashers to battery screwdrivers. We really need to see these tested and be able to compare them as we try to economise these days.

Dave K.
29 May 2021
Get them Repacked

I have had some of my batteries for drills depacked

Philip Ross
11 Oct 2020
Alternative to battery replacement

I consider it is fundamentally dishonest and unethical for the companies to make it difficult to replace a battery. I read the "ifixit" guide for replacing a Samsung S9 battery. The main problems are the extensive use of adhesives and a fingerprint sensor cable.

However, another possible solution, albeit it one with a degree of inconvenience, might be to plug in an external powerbank.

Barbara S.
21 Feb 2021
Plugging in to power source.

Have been doing this for 2 years since retailer told me they couldn't supply a battery for a 3 year old laptop. Have to always use at table, but apart from that works for me!
Beeb

Steven J.
10 Oct 2020
Consumer Guarantee

The `reasonable amount of time' law is too vague.
My F&P washing machine stuffed out after just on five years. The machine cost me over $1200, so wasn't a cheap one. I challenged the manufacturer and they were of the opinion that was reasonable. The cost to have it fixed was around $350.
My option was to go to the small claims court. The fee to do this, the cost of a day off work, and the hassle wasn't worth the risk.

Clark M.
10 Oct 2020
Apple Macbook Air 13" ~2015 battery replacement...

...being an Apple device I expected the worst but... bought a new battery from an after market trader off TradeMe and it's been great. Was down to 30 minutes off mains but now I get several hours like the good old days. Thanks after-market!

Andrew R.
10 Oct 2020
Operating System redundancy as well

I am also finding that perfectly good electronic devices are limited in their applicability because of the continual upgrading of operating systems.

Example 1 -- iPhone 4S iOS is incompatible with the Government's covid app.

Example 2 -- iPad 2 iOS is incompatible with the BNZ banking app.

It seems that the 'lasts a reasonable amount of time" applies to the physical device, its continued usability given operating system upgrades and apps no longer working on an older device isn't covered.

Peter I.
10 Oct 2020
Consumer’s own website didn’t work on a 2yo iPhone

Wrote to this very Consumer org about their website coding not working on a relatively new iPhone. The iPhone C (and older models like perfectly good iPhone 5) are limited to the OS they can operate on and would not display the comparison and test articles. Consumer’s response after some to & fro communication? To paraphrase: “Our site is designed to run on modern and currently available technology. Buy a newer phone.” I found this both astonishing and hilarious at the same time. The hypocrisy is tragicomic.

Mark E.
10 Oct 2020
Modern os

As an it professional I need to point out that operating systems age as does hardware. Old systems do not (mostly cannot) support security updates and do not contain the code to support the features that modern applications need. Modern operating systems use more resources than old devices can provide thereby providing an unacceptable user experience. We are at a point of massive change/progress and this conundrum is the result.

Gerard V.
10 Oct 2020
Android One updates

You can sweat a couple of years extra out of Android phones by selecting a phone that follows the Android One protocol. These phones guarantee to offer security and OS updates for 2 years after the phone's introduction. Google Pixel and Nokia phones, and I think Oppo use this system. My Nokia 4.2 (

Consumer staff
12 Oct 2020
Re: Consumer’s own website didn’t work on a 2yo iPhone

Hi Peter,

We would love it if manufacturers supported their devices and operating systems for longer! However, keeping your OS up to date is crucial for security. We test our website updates on a range of devices, including older phones and tablets. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always cover every user’s situation, though we try to ensure our content is at least legible on unsupported devices.

Kind regards,
Frank - Consumer NZ staff

Hamish W.
14 Oct 2020
Operating system redundancy

I'm a bit sad, because I just consigned my iphone 4 to the scrap heap, partly because it would not do the covid app and partly because the "off" button no longer works. It only turns off when the battery runs flat which will probably kill the battery very soon. The OS on my 2010 ipad lost contact with the modern world about 3 years ago, so I had to buy a new tablet. I'm a bit sad about that too. And, wondering if android devices will last as long!

Jenna R.
10 Oct 2020
Too hard...

After reading this I thought I'd check how easy it would be to change the battery in my phone (Nokia 6), I can't even see how the back can come off. Would need some serious research, and then I'll probably find out I can't and would need to buy a new one anyway. It shouldn't be like this! Changing a battery should be a simple fix.

John M.
10 Oct 2020
Replacing SSD drives on Mac laptops

I have had very satisfactory results, installing new SSD drives
in Mac laptops, with kitsets obtained from:
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc
In each case, I was able to move to a larger capacity drive.
Do use a wrist strap, especially in dry climates, to avoid damage
from static electricity.

Neil B.
10 Oct 2020
Ditto

Yes, I imported one from the States, along with a RAM upgrade. The company had its own "how to install" videos, which were straightforward and easy to follow. It meant I suddenly had a swift new laptop.

Paul S.
21 Oct 2020
And another

I fitted more RAM and an SSD to my mid-2010 Macbook Pro a few years ago. I've just found the article I wrote about it here: https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/laptop-upgrade-and-repair-our-staff-s-experiences

I'm happy to say that Macbook has just turned 10 years old and is still going strong. The battery life is short - so it stays plugged in on my desk most of the time now. I'm sure a replacement battery would fix that too if I needed to make it portable again.

Paul

Norris Cox
10 Oct 2020
Battery replacement

I still run a Note 4. I can change the battery as easy as a remote for the TV so I have several for when away tramping etc. I can also change out the micro SD just as easy. Dreading the day when my Note 4 fails.