Review

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 3,100mAh wireless charging battery pack review: a winner with quirks

I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge since March 9th when it arrived at my doorstep (2 days before the phone went on sale worldwide, thanks to being a Verizon pre-order customer), but I’ve never been too keen on battery packs despite my love of battery cases.

Most battery packs tend to quickly wind down in terms of battery life after a month or two, and so many charges can quickly deplete the juice they have that it gets to a point where you’d rather just carry the phone with a sealed battery than carry a case that can only get you an additional hour of battery life (at most, after less than 500 charging cycles – though Mophie, for example, has promised up to 500 charges being covered under warranty).

But, when I saw that Samsung had provided its own take on wireless charging battery packs with one designed for the Galaxy S7 and another designed for the Galaxy S7 edge, I decided to take a leap of faith and invest in yet another battery pack that was designed to run out after so many charges.

Boy was I surprised.

The Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack has proven to be the go-to option for me with the company’s most beautiful smartphone yet (despite the Galaxy S7 acclaim, I still think the Galaxy S7 edge is the true flagship of the S line). As with everything, Samsung’s wireless charging battery pack has its strengths and drawbacks. What do I think about the battery pack? I’m not giving that one away until the end of this post, so keep reading.

Advantages 

Easy fit for the Galaxy S7 edge 

There are some advantages that make me really love Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack. First, the battery pack fits on your phone like a ball in a glove, and the S7 edge fits into the battery pack in the same way that you would step into your favorite pair of shoes. I assumed that it would be as difficult to remove as a Mophie juice pack or an Otterbox case from past phones, but it was easier than either of these: you need only place the phone on top of the case and lightly push the sides into the case, instead of having to press it down and keep snapping or pushing to get it to go in.

One gentle push is all you need to get the phone into the battery pack. When you prepare to take the case off the phone to just hold your phone in its fragile state (it’s fragile, I know, but beautiful), you need only lift up the bottom portion of the phone near where the speaker is located and the S7 edge just lifts out of the wireless charging battery pack. It’s as if the wireless charging battery pack was made for the Galaxy S7 edge – because it is.

Excellent build quality, elegant and rugged, all at once 

Samsung deserves credit for its Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack (3100mAh) because it’s not built like most Otterbox cases out there that are designed to protect your device. I will never forget how many times I was told by retail employees that Otterbox cases will protect your phone. Oh, they do; it’s just that they do little else, and when you pry your phone from them (yes, “pry” is the most fitting word to describe it), you could also break the case in the process.

With Samsung’s Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack, you’ll find yourself wanting to keep it on your phone, then loving when you take it off. Not only is it comfortable to take off your phone and comfortable to place your phone in, it also has an excellent build quality. The outsides of the battery pack that you use to grip the device in hand are made of soft rubber, while the back of the battery pack itself is made of a textured plastic that has a print design similar to that of Samsung’s Keyboard Cover for the Galaxy Note 5.

The battery pack doesn’t protect the speakers or micro-USB port, but then and again, it doesn’t need to. Samsung made the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge water and dust-resistant, so the device has great protection from the elements. With no need to provide this protection in a case because the phone has it by default, Samsung could devote more time to crafting a battery pack that would flaunt every curve of the Galaxy S7 edge.

The battery pack is elegant and rugged, both at once, making it the perfect battery pack for those who want to flaunt their Galaxy S7 edge. If you’re a “flaunter,” I don’t blame you.

Wireless charging implementation matches wireless charging expectations from Samsung’s charging pads 

Not only does Samsung’s wireless charging battery pack snuggle up your Galaxy S7 edge like you’d snuggle in your favorite blanket, but it also has excellent recharging implementation. When you need to recharge the device, you need only plug into the wall by way of a Samsung adapter, and the wireless charging battery pack will charge up on its own. If your Galaxy S7 edge has died along with the battery pack, just connect your micro-USB Samsung cable into the wireless charging battery pack USB port and the cable will charge both the battery pack and the phone.

For those who want to charge their devices via a cable but don’t want to charge them via the S7 edge’s USB port, you need only charge the battery pack and the phone will charge, too. It’s a remote charging method that allows you to have the kind of charging you want while still protecting the phone’s internal battery from any damage. If anything, the wireless charging battery pack will take the impact, not the phone (and anything that safeguards the S7 edge is worth applauding, right?).

The battery pack is called “wireless charging battery pack” for a reason: it works like all other wireless charging pads. If you’ve owned or currently own a wireless charging pad, you’ll know that when the phone is placed on the pad, there’s an on-screen animation that shows you the phone is charging. The same thing happens when you tap the button at the top of the wireless charging battery pack to start charging the device. There are 4 LED lights at the top to the right of the power button that light up as the battery pack charges, then flick green when the battery pack starts juicing up the Galaxy S7 edge.

To turn off the battery pack, just press and hold until you see the phone battery stop charging on-screen. When you charge the phone and battery pack together, the battery pack will give off a solid green light to let you know it is charged. Of course, it’s not a cylindrical green like what you’d find on the wireless charging pad, but the color matches and will prove familiar with what most individuals expect that have used wireless charging pads before.

Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack is light and keeps the phone easy to hold – even with the battery pack on 

While all this sounds good, someone will ask, “okay, this is great, but what about the battery pack itself? Isn’t it bulky?” In a word, “No.” Not. At. All. The Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack is quite slim, though it does add some slight heft to the device. I’ve tested it out with my own pants pockets and can confirm that it is still very portable and light, though. You won’t have any problems throwing it in your pocket – unless your pockets are too small, a matter of individual taste.

The quirks 

Doesn’t double the battery capacity 

Samsung’s S7 edge wireless charging battery pack is fantastic due to the three reasons above, but there are some quirks. First, the battery pack is only a 3100mAh battery pack that doesn’t match the exact size of the S7 edge’s battery (3,600mAh). The Galaxy Note 5’s battery pack that was on backorder here in the US was a 3,400mAh battery pack that would’ve doubled the internal 3,000mAh battery of the Galaxy Note 5, but such is not the case with the Galaxy S7 edge’s battery pack.

In the future, I’d like to see Samsung create a 3,600mAh wireless charging battery pack for the Galaxy S7 edge or the Galaxy S8 edge. After all, if you’re looking to add to the battery life you already have with a battery pack, why would you want to attach a battery pack that has a smaller battery capacity than that of your phone?

Even if the Galaxy S8 edge has a larger battery capacity next year, I’d still like to see Samsung create battery packs for future smartphones that match, if not exceed, phone battery capacity. Creating a 3,400mAh wireless charging battery pack for a 3,000mAh-endowed Galaxy Note 5 is acceptable, but creating a 3,100mAh wireless charging battery pack for a 3,600mAh-endowed Galaxy S7 edge is a bit underwhelming. I wondered why I couldn’t add another 3,600mAh battery capacity in a battery pack, and I’m sure many consumers who use this will eventually ask themselves the same thing.

The wireless charging battery pack’s 3100mAh battery only provides about 50% recharge, not 100% 

Here’s one of the largest quirks or drawbacks about the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 3100mAh wireless charging battery pack: the 3,100mAh battery pack only provides a 50% battery recharge for the Galaxy S7 edge, not 100%. Of course, it doesn’t have the matching battery capacity, as I said above, but even then, with a 3100mAh battery, you should get at least a 65% battery recharge – not just 50%. I tried this on both wireless charging battery packs (both Samsung, both 3100mAh) that I received, to make sure that it wasn’t just a defective battery pack. It took two battery packs to charge the device, one after the other, before the phone’s internal battery reached 100%.

I’ve also done the math to see what battery charge I could expect. Since it would charge 3100mAh out of 3,600mAh, I should see an 86% battery charge, right? Nope, it’s only 50%, a staggering 36% battery transference loss in-between leaving the battery pack and heading into the phone’s internal battery.

What this shows is that there’s quite a bit of battery life lost in the transference process, so you may find one battery pack to be insufficient for your charging needs. Samsung says that its 3,100mAh Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack will get you “an extra few hours of power,” and the Korean giant’s battery pack doesn’t disappoint. Keep in mind, though, that these “extra few hours” will not translate into an entire additional day of battery; you’ll need two battery packs from Samsung to accomplish that.

In the future, I’d like to see Samsung provide greater battery life on a full recharge than that of its current 3,100mAh wireless charging battery pack for the Galaxy s7 edge. Even if the best Samsung can give is 75%, I’d like to see the battery capacity on these thin and light battery packs improve.

The wireless charging battery pack provides standard wireless charging, not fast wireless charging 

The Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack operates like a wireless charging pad, but it disappoints in one aspect of its wireless charging outside of battery capacity: it charges at the standard wireless charging rate and isn’t fast wireless charging-compatible. What this means is that it’ll take longer to charge the Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack than it will to charge your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge – both of which rely on standard wireless charging speeds and lack fast wireless charging.

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have fast wireless charging speeds, but the S7 edge will charge faster on the wireless charging pad than it will the battery pack Samsung has given here: 3-4 hours charging from 0 to 100% for the wireless charging pad, but 4.5+ hours for the battery pack to charge your phone from 0 to 100% (and that’s if you use two wireless charging battery packs rather than one).

I know, I know, most consumers don’t want something to take longer, and many do not rely on wireless charging because it takes double the time to charge their phones than wire charging does. Now, with that said, I should also advise you that wireless charging is a more “green” way to charge your device, maintaining your battery life in excellent condition without burning out your internal battery (as USB charging is wont to do), so wireless charging should be adopted by all Galaxy smartphone users. I am aware that there are many who’ll respectfully disagree with my statements, but you can’t say I didn’t try to help.

With the Galaxy S8 edge, I’d like to see Samsung bring out a fast wireless charging-compatible battery pack so that users can take advantage of the fast wireless charging tech already within their smartphones.

One More Thing… 

This could be considered a drawback in the eyes of many, though I see it as more of a personal wish fulfillment than anything else.

The Galaxy S7 edge 3,100mAh wireless charging battery pack lets you USB charge the battery pack, but it’s my wish that in future editions, Samsung would give the battery pack the same wireless charging capabilities that the Galaxy S7 edge has. In other words, the same way that you can drop your Galaxy S7 edge and Gear S2 smartwatch on the wireless charging pad to see them charge, you should be able to drop the battery pack on the charging pad and watch it charge as well. Of course, this isn’t necessary for Samsung, but, as with everything else, it’s something I’d like to see.

Conclusion 

The Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack (3,100mAh) is an excellent help with battery life and a great means of protection for your device. My phone (with the battery pack) dropped from a lampstand during the course of using the battery pack, and it didn’t have one scratch or crack on it – even though the battery pack went one way and the S7 edge went another.

There are some quirks, and these may influence your decision to buy or not, but I can live with them for now. And, while the $89.99 retail price for the Galaxy S7 edge wireless charging battery pack may throw off some, you can always pick them up for as low as $59.99 via renown online retailers (Amazon is a good source, as I purchased my own from there).

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