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Samsung Galaxy Nexus owners report battery problem

Some owners of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus report that it's the latest smart phone with a battery problem.

Another major new smart phone is facing claims of a broken battery. Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus report that the phone is failing to charge.

CNET UK readers Vikram Shankar and Andrew Lee contacted us separately with concerns about the battery in their Galaxy Nexuses (Nexii?). At Google's support forum, other Galaxy Nexus owners report the problem too.

When plugged in, affected phones fail to charge, sometimes switching themselves off. They also think they're being charged when they're not, intermittently flashing the screen on and displaying the charging icon even when not plugged in.

Nexusites say, "It is an intermittent but HIGHLY ANNOYING issue"; "I initially had the problem where the phone will say it's charging while it's not plugged into anything. Took the battery out while it was still on and rebooted the phone, that issue went away. However, it didn't recognize any power source after that"; "At random moments, my GN thinks he is charging but he isn't even plugged!"

Another affected owner adds, "If the phone is switched off and I connect the phone via USB to a wall socket or PC, I get the charging symbol, but the phone is actually discharging what power it had left in showing me the charging screen."

The odd handset having a problem is only to be expected, but this is a problem reported by several users. One Nexus owner filmed his phone's phantom charging and put it on YouTube, the phone repeatedly claiming to be plugged in even though it isn't connected to anything and is just sitting on a table.

The problem doesn't affect every phone, however. Our reviewer Damien McFerran -- who bought his Nexus from an online retailer -- reports, "I have to admit that I've never faced any of these problems, and my phone is connected to a charger at least once a day, sometimes twice. It has always charged faultlessly."

We've contacted Samsung and Google to find out if the issue is being investigated -- a Google spokesperson replied, "This is something Samsung will be best placed to help you on I think." We'll keep you posted when Samsung responds.

It's not the first smart phone to have battery problems: in fact, the three major smart phones at the start of 2012 have all had battery problems. The Nokia Lumia 800 suffers from a bug that causes affected phones to stay dead if allowed to run out of power completely, unable to charge or switch on. The iPhone 4S also suffered battery issues.

You'd think batteries have been around long enough that manufacturers would have got the hang of them -- after all, old phones worked just fine. But it seems the ambition of today's smart phones is dangerously close to outpacing the technology that keeps them ticking. Even smart phones in perfect shape require charging every day, and if you've had Wi-Fi on, apps running in the background, watched a few videos, listened to some music and played some games? Forget about it.

Have you had battery problems with your smart phone? If you own a Galaxy Nexus, have you encountered this issue? Tell us your top battery tips in the comments or on our Facebook page.