The best smartphones with replaceable batteries you can buy in 2019
Smartphones with removable batteries are a contentious topic. Many readers want this feature to return to flagship devices, but it is not on Android anymore and it doesn't look like it will be making a return in the future. But never fear, here is a list of the best smartphones of the moment with removable batteries, now including the Moto G5.
This budget Nokia is the cheapest smartphone that can still do a solid job. It runs Android and, crucially, has a removable battery. When it launched in early 2018, it was sold for 99 euros on the continent. Today, you can pick up a new Nokia 1 for as little as $59.99 in the US or £59.99 in the UK.
Sure, it's only got a 4.5-inch low-resolution display, just a single GB of RAM, and only 8 GB of internal storage, but its Android Go software means that you don't really need much power to get your daily tasks done. You can always expand the storage with a MicroSD card too.
LG really tried to distinguish itself last year with the modular G5 and the V20 - a unique 5.7-inch phablet. The LG V20 has a dual screen and ships with Android Nougat. While a lot of phones are moving away from removable batteries and even headphone jacks, the V20 has kept both, despite also having a USB Type-C port.
The LG V20 offers a high definition (1440 x 1560) 5.7 inch IPS LCD screen, with a pixel density of 513 ppi. In theory, the device should be able to withstand being dropped from about 4 feet, as it has a MIL-STD 810G military certification. Similar to other 2016 flagships, it includes the Snapdragon 820 processor with an Adreno 530 graphics chip and 4GB of RAM.
Galaxy Note 4
This is an older device (2014), but it's still on of the best smartphones with a removable battery. More of a phablet, this stylus-holstered bad boy still packs a punch even compared to some recent Samsung phones. Besides, you can now get it at quite the low price.
When we compare the display of the Note 4 to some of the newer devices on the market it still looks good, and in some cases, better. The 5.7-inch AMOLED screen comes with a 1440 x 2560 resolution (518 ppi) and does it ever look crisp. It delivers some rich colors and vivid detail.
The removable battery is 3,220 mAh and performed well in our benchmarks. And it needs to be big to handle the Snapdragon 805 backed up with 3 GB RAM. And I personally still love the design of the Galaxy Note 4 with its good balance of metal and plastic.
The LG G5, released in 2016 and unveiled at MWC, certainly packs a ton of features but is still more of a niche device. It has modular expandability that only really appeals to more heavy smartphone users and not the casual buyer.
But don't let this dissuade you from buying the LG G5, even if you aren't the kind of buyer who needs extra modular abilities. It comes with some impressive specs like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 backed up with 4 GB RAM and 23 GB internal memory. And it comes with Android Marshmallow right out of the box.
The biggest drawback for the LG G5 is the price. It started around $800, and while the prices have changed, the device is still pricey. Unless you need the benefits of its 554 ppi display or the modules, I would choose one of the other devices on this list.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 is a bargain for its current price to performance ratio. The performance and battery life are still very good and the device takes decent pictures. Getting this smartphone, even today, is a smart idea. This 2014 device still packs enough power for everyday use.
While the design of the Galaxy S5 is a bit homely, it is about as ergonomic as it gets. Even if you do manage to drop it, it probably will be just fine because of its plastic body. And while the screen has the lowest resolution on this list (432 ppi), it's still enough for your daily needs.
The removable 2,800 mAh battery will keep you going for a long time. And you can get a replacement for very little money (less than $10).
The Moto G5 is an impressive device for its price. It offers a pure Android experience with a little extra, an excellent price-performance ratio, a good display and a good camera (in the daylight).
The Moto G5 could even be praised for what it doesn't have: bloatware. Lenovo hardly installs any useless additional apps. Apart from the standard Google apps, there's hardly anything extra from the manufacturer. This leaves lots of extra space for apps, photos, music and all your other files. If it's not enough, you also have the option of using a MicroSD card.
The replacement battery is identical to that of its predecessor, the Moto G4 Play.
Do you have any more smartphones with removable batteries you like? Which manufacturer needs to adopt the removable battery? Let us know in the comments.
I have a Note 4 and a Note 8 and love both but yes, it is sooo absurd not to have swappable batteries which is why I have kept my 4. However, to my knowledge, Samsung won't update the software anymore. This stopped years ago. I was with AT&T and now with consumer Cellular which uses AT&T's towers. Any ideas about keeping the software up to date on the Note 4? Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
Simply can't accept that any device rocking "just a single GB of RAM, and only 8 GB of internal storage" is competent to run any current Android, which has been pushing 6GB to 7GB and more internal storage and eating more than half a GB of RAM since Marshmallow, and trying to use performance draining microSD "adoptable" storage for apps will completely exhaust the RAM and strangle the lousy processor. Basically, Android "Go" is nothing but the OS plus a Chrome website with a shortcut on the home screen, and a scam on buyers. Low end consumers are much better off paying less than the price of that crummy Nokia 1 for even three year old devices, with a rock bottom 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 5" screen and a microSD card, and those choices abound. (Set aside my aging ZTE Android L, compare the Moto E4 with Android N at U$100, and other choices abound. I'd tell Nokia where to "Go" with that phone.)
I have the LG V20 and the Note 4. I have said many times I think the Note 4 is still the best phone ever produced. Plus it has longevity, durability and it will still run most apps. I like my V20 but the Note 4 is still my daily phone.
I have had Samsung phones for years but flat out refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a phone where I will be forced to buy a new one within a couple of years because I can't replace the battery. I think people are stupid for accepting this but the foolishness of people willing to do so is beyond comprehension. Sheep. There are still a couple of Samsung phones with removable batteries but won't work with my carrier. Sayonara Samsung, you've lost a long time customer.
LG stylus 3, as offered by Koodo, has removable battery.
It occurred to me a while ago that all modern cell phones have a built in life span limitation beyond just the non-replaceable battery. All Android, iPhones and Winderz phones use SD Ram chips welded to the processor board. SD Ram, (the same chips used in Solid State Disks - SSDs) have a maximum write limitation that when reached, renders them useless. Granted this is a lot longer than the life limit of Li-ion batteries but it is a limit that, sadly, my Galaxy S5 will eventually reach. While I can disassemble the phone and replace the processor board (assuming parts availability when needed) it won't make much sense to do so if I can buy a refurbished unit with enough life left in the on-board SD Ram to use it for another 4 or 5 years. If manufactures don't change their philosophy of non-user serviceable batteries I think we will all eventually be forced to buy a new phone that will have a much shorter life span than is reasonable. :-(
The manufacturers will not changed the philosophy of non removable battery by the user precisely because the battery lasts much less than the phone. If the battery is not easily changed by the user he will be forced to buy a new phone or spend a fortune sending the contraption to a repair shop to change the battery, both issues is exactly what makers want. Selling more phones is much more profitable than selling batteries to be easily change by the user. This philosophy is completely dishonest. Fortunately there are a few manufacturers who have resisted to discontinue phones with removable batteries. Motorola is one example. I was very happy when I heard Nokia was coming back but as soon as I found that the battery was not user removable, I decided not to buy Nokia. Unless they become completely unavailable, I will NEVER, NEVER buy a sealed phone. Just check the recent problem with Iphone 6 in which Apple decided to slow it down. If the phone had a removable battery, this problem would have never existed. Makers just want to make customers slaves of their whims to make more and more money without taking into account customers satisfaction.
Until now I changed my phone very often (they are all exactly the same, but they get "full" very quickly and for me is faster to buy a new one. Not difference beetwen them: huawey, samsumg, apple...) But now I will try to keep my battery replaceable model for years, and probably buy one or two brand new today so when mine is broken I am sure I have a removable battery new model.
the main reason for nonremovable batteries is keeping the phone sealed from water and dust.
That is weird, because the galaxy S4 active and galaxy s5 active had removable batteries and sd card slots and were water and dust resistant. The main reason for non-removable batteries today is planned obsolescence by the manufacturers.
Sorry David but that is not true. The real reason is forcing customers to buy a new phone instead of replacing battery when it works no more. Can you imagine that you had to buy a new car when the battery works no more? I think it is a terrible decision and perhaps one day this will change.
This puzzles me. Haven't they got waterproof watches with replaceable batteries for decades?
Sorry but with all due respect, THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The reason is to force customers to buy a new phone when the battery ends its life cycle. This has been confirmed by the manufacturers themselves. Can you imagine a USD1.200 phone like the Iphone X which has a sealed body, how much would it cost to replace the battery? Not even Bill Gates can afford it. Manufacturers are just abusing customers by forcing them to buy a new phone instead of buying an additional battery or a replacement. Can you imagine your car with a sealed hood and not being able to replace the battery?
Sorry but that's not true. It has been evidenced that the main reason is making people buy a new phone when battery works no more. This has been confirmed by all manufacturers. When the battery is replaceable, less phones will be sold and this industry is kept alive by selling millions and millions of phones even if people don't need to change them.
Having a replaceable battery is BETTER for preventing water damage because you can remove the battery and dry the phone without any electricity being involved at all. On sealed phones, you cannot do this.
Maybe the seals will hold and the water won't penetrate but, if it does, the phone is toast.
Water damage is usually not instantaneous... it takes time for any short circuits to occur and to get hot enough to do any damage. I can remove the back of my Galaxy Note 4 and the battery in a second or two. This doesn't guarantee that the phone will remain undamaged but it makes it very likely.
I will NEVER buy an Iphone X not only for the millionaires price but because it does not have a removable battery. Just a small example.
I have a 2016 BLU Life XL. Battery is replaceable.
A suicidal idea for manufactures to stop building with removable batteries. I am keeping my Galaxy Note4 until they revert to removable batteries. I always carry 2 spares and swap out when running low. What is one supposed to do in a remote area with no power available??
I carry power banks instead of spare batteries to swap out nowadays. It's bulkier, but it gets the job done. I'm pessimistic that removable batteries will make a strong comeback.
The problem comes when you try to keep your phone for even the two years that would make sense with most financing. The battery degrades with each charging cycle.