### Real or Fake? Trying to Replace my iPhone Battery in Shenzhen, China

My trusty iPhone 7 is on its last legs. I bought it a year or two ago at the Apple Store in Hong Kong, but now, by noon, the battery is down to 10%. It’s clear I need a replacement. Sure, I could take it back to the Apple Store and get it replaced for around $49, which is less than it used to be. However, being in Shenzhen, China, the cell phone repair capital of the world, I knew I could find a better deal.

Shenzhen’s markets are legendary for their abundance of electronics and replacement parts, especially iPhone batteries. As I embarked on this adventure, I had two main questions: How can I tell if a battery is any good? And how can I distinguish a genuine battery from a fake one? I didn’t have the answers, but I was determined to find out.

Entering the bustling markets, I was greeted with countless battery booths. Almost every vendor had some sort of battery tester to check the battery’s condition before selling it. I decided to get one of these testers for myself to better understand the batteries’ quality.

After some browsing, I found a battery tester and a handful of batteries from different booths. Each battery was labeled with its booth of origin, whether it was claimed to be original or not, and its price. Additionally, I purchased two NOHON batteries from Taobao, a Chinese online shopping website, based on a recommendation from someone on Twitter. One was a standard capacity battery, while the other was a MAX battery, boasting higher capacity than the original iPhone batteries.

Using the tester, I evaluated each battery. The tester could measure the cycle count, designed capacity, and actual capacity in mAh. It could also reset the cycle count to make a battery appear new. This feature highlighted how tricky it can be to determine a battery’s true condition in these markets.

Here’s a summary of what I found:
1. **Battery from Booth 1**: Cost 48 RMB (~$7). Claimed to be original, and the tester confirmed it.
2. **Battery from Booth 2**: Cost 55 RMB. The vendor said the cable was original, but the cells were new. The tester labeled it as a copy but with reasonable capacity.
3. **Battery from Booth 3**: An aftermarket brand DORAYMI, marked as a copy 1:1, but with higher than expected capacity. Tester indicated it was a decent battery.
4. **Battery from Booth 4**: Claimed to be original and confirmed by the tester, though it had a cycle count of zero, which was suspicious.
5. **Battery from Booth 5**: Cost 30 RMB. First battery with a non-zero cycle count. It seemed used but reasonable.
6. **Battery from Booth 6**: Had the Apple logo scrubbed off on my request. Marked as a copy and performed adequately on the tester.

The NOHON batteries from Taobao were also tested. The MAX battery showed an impressive capacity, but the tester flagged it as non-original. The standard NOHON battery performed similarly to original batteries.

After evaluating these options, I decided to replace my iPhone’s battery. Opening the iPhone was challenging due to the well-sealed gasket around the screen, and extracting the battery without breaking the adhesive strips required patience and care.

To my surprise, my old battery had 725 cycles but still maintained 85% capacity, suggesting it was in better shape than I expected. Despite this, I opted to install the NOHON MAX battery due to its higher capacity. After ensuring it fit and functioned correctly, I sealed the phone back up, albeit with some compromise on waterproofing.

Reflecting on this experience, it’s clear that Shenzhen’s markets offer a wide range of battery qualities and prices. You can find anything from branded aftermarket batteries like NOHON and DORAYMI to original Apple batteries, each with varying states of use and authenticity. This aligns with the broader perception of Chinese manufacturing: you get the quality you pay for, and it’s up to the consumer to discern what they’re buying.

For those looking to replace their iPhone batteries, the key takeaway is to buy from reputable sellers who test their products properly. Avoid random sellers with unknown histories unless you’re willing to take the risk.

Additionally, the process of replacing an iPhone battery is quite straightforward and can be done at home. If you’re technically inclined, there’s little reason to visit the Apple Store for an out-of-warranty battery replacement.

For those seeking a reliable option, I recommend iFixit’s battery replacement kits. They offer a comprehensive kit with all necessary tools and a battery tested for quality. Their batteries are aftermarket but claimed to match Apple’s quality. iFixit’s customer support and repair guides are invaluable resources for DIY repairs. Until the end of 2019, they committed to keeping their battery kits priced at $29, even though Apple raised their replacement price to $49.

In conclusion, whether you opt for a market adventure in Shenzhen or a trusted kit from iFixit, replacing your iPhone battery is easier than you might think, and it can significantly improve your phone’s performance.

If you want more information about phone repairs and battery replacements, check out [Gadget Kings](https://gadgetkingsprs.com.au/), a site dedicated to providing top-notch repair services and advice on the latest gadgets.

Gadget Kings Prs

Shop no. 20 A kensington village shopping center, 8 sovereigns ave, Bray Park QLD 4500

gadget.kings.prs@gmail.com

4/28 Elizabeth St, Acacia Ridge QLD 4110 Brisbane Australia

gadget.kings.prs@gmail.com

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