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Only you can really decide if you need or want one but I personally thing they are nice and a must have on my phone.

The stock battery icon in the notification bar of the Captivate is pretty useless. I have tried a few and here are the ones I like. I currently use BattStatt since it looks slick to me, its accurate, at least on my phone and I have no issues with it. It also shows you battery health, voltage and temp etc with one tap of the widget ... I also like Battery Indicator since it sits on the notification bar and it is numeric - pretty handy. Maybe one will impress you, all of these being free is a good start

BattStatt Free - Android app on AppBrain

Also tried:

Gauge Battery Widget - Android app on AppBrain

BatteryLife - Android app on AppBrain

Battery Indicator - Android app on AppBrain

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Yeah and I will be the guy who says i used to use all those types of apps on my cappy and between those and taskillers my phone was dead in five hours. i use NO apps of any sort to manage anything on my phone. Toggle wifi and background data when not needed my phone battery right now is at 42% and was off the charger at 8 am this past morning. Some say they work, others say they dont.
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^^ he is looking for an app to measure the battery left. I think battery indicater is most handy and useful. It doesnt eat ur battery much as well. my phone is 20 days old. and its giving me more 15 hrs of battery with social netwroking apps all day, surfing and radio/music player on all the time on wifi.

I was also annoyed by the shitty battery in start, but it gets better with time and ofcourse little tweeks like disabling 3g and wifi when u r not using them etc.
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I use battery minder currently. I've tried batt stats but prefer instead of a widget as batt stats uses, to having a battery % in the status bar and in the dropdown an estimated time left of battery power and the batt temp also, that way I don't have to unlock to view it, the % that is. That and the options are nice but to each their own. :D

Battery Indicator is a nice alternative too but I like the choices better in battery minder.

Haven't noticed a significant amount of power drain from the app. I've had my phone on standby one evening and through the night and used it moderately the next day and got about a day in half and it has been accurate up all the way to this day so far...
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Battery Indicator. It's small and uses the notification system to update itself instead of constantly polling for status. It also just puts a small icon in the notification bar. Nobody needs a huge freaking widget with bells and whistles for a battery gauge.

The only reason I use an app at all is that the stock indicator is non-numeric, and more importantly, inaccurate. It blatantly lies about the remaining battery.
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I'm using an app called "Battery Indicator".

It's from the App Store that you access with your Captivate. Free of charge it's only 548kb in size and runs in the background with no hit to battery life. It places a small horizontal icon that looks like a battery along the top of the display.

Reading out in percentage remaining, it's quite accurate and a good gauge of how much you have remaining. Just install it, and it sets itself up automatically.

I am really pleased with the excellent battery life I'm getting on my un-rooted Captivate with heavy usage on the net, email etc.

I get better life than I do from my Droid X or my iPhone 4. It took about five charge and discharge cycles for the battery to begin returning good life, as in the beginning it was not that great. I'd say about the third week of use, is when the battery began delivering longer run times.

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