Review: FastMac TruePower Replacement Internal Battery for 4G iPods
Pros: A replacement internal battery for 4G iPods that’s fairly easy to self-install with included tools, and less expensive than Apple’s battery replacement option by a considerable margin. Backed by a two-year warranty, which is the best we’ve seen to date.
Cons: Provides around 12 hours of run time per charge, roughly equivalent to Apple’s standard batteries, which is not an improvement on performance like the company’s 1G-3G iPod batteries. Self-installation is not right for everyone.
Having recently reviewed FastMac’s TruePower replacement internal batteries for 1G, 2G, and 3G iPods, we’ve now had the chance to test the company’s latest edition - the TruePower 750mAh 4G iPod battery ($29.95). You can install the battery yourself with a set of included tools or have the company do the installation for an additional $39.95. Since the process has becomes easier for us with every iPod we open, we’d take the first option, but as with prior internal batteries we’ve reviewed, we’d recommend the do-it-yourself route only to people with nimble hands and a bit of experience handling electronics.
FastMac promises that its 4G battery is the “longest lasting iPod battery upgrade” available, and continues to offer its industry-leading two-year warranty. As we mentioned in our prior review, this two-year warranty is a major win for consumers, guaranteeing that one purchase will keep your iPod running at 70% or better of TruePower’s initial capacity for a full two years, or else you’ll get a replacement from FastMac.
It is the only major selling point of the 4G battery. Unlike the other TruePowers, which are actively touted as outperforming Apple’s own batteries on play time per charge by a pretty substantial margin, the 4G version of TruePower was a less able performer. Across three tests, the battery ranged in performance from a bit over 11 hours to 12 hours and 14 minutes of total run time - first hitting 11:44, then 11:11, then 12:14. How does this compare with Apple’s original 4G iPod battery? Our tests ranged from an initially anemic 8 hours and 30 minutes to 13 hours and 21 minutes, lately settling in the 12-hour range, in line with the company’s 12-hour promised running time.
In other words, TruePower won’t bump your 4G iPod’s performance up past where it started, but it will keep it going for two more years when the old battery runs low. For that reason, it’s a better value than picking Apple’s $60 battery replacement service, complete with its one-year warranty - particularly if you are willing to try the do-it-yourself installation route. But it’s nowhere near its 1G-3G predecessors in overall longevity. For that reason, it receives our flat B recommendation: it’s a solid alternative to other available replacement options, but nothing to get excited about.
It’s worth a brief note that the company is, at the time of this review, offering a promotional deal that includes your choice of a free wall or car charger with each TruePower 4G purchase. We haven’t received either of these items for testing, and other than our assumption that they’re safe to use, have no further opinion on their added value to this package.