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No, you don't need a smartphone with a removable battery

ANDROIDPIT battery 5
© nextpit

Smartphones with a removable battery have become increasingly rare in recent years. This feature no longer seems to be a priority for many manufacturers since there are fewer and fewer of them in this field. This trend confirms my feeling that having a smartphone with a removable battery is not really that important anymore in 2017.

The debate on removable batteries in smartphones isn’t new. I often hear people talking about why this feature has been left out of many new smartphones. I understand why this issue crops up time and again, given that until recently, a removable battery was a trademark of Android smartphones and was one of the key features that differentiated it from Apple phones - it was an important selling point for manufacturers to convert iPhone users to the Android world. So why the drastic change in just a few years? Well, it’s simply because you no longer need a removable battery.

AndroidPIT iPhone 7 plus 1138
Apple’s iPhone initiated this trend of a non-removable battery. © NextPit

Battery technological advances

There are several reasons that explain this change of situation. One of the simplest reasons is the significant evolution of batteries in recent years. Smartphones are now able to offer more thanks to improved technology, as well as give users more options, especially with regards to charging. In particular, technological advances like fast charging and wireless charging have appeared and become the norm. External batteries have improved and widened the market, thus replacing the need for a smartphone with a removable battery as users can always have a battery at hand. As a result, the removable battery is no longer as sought-after as it was once was. 

If you want more battery power, go for an external battery

Moreover, if your smartphone battery tends to lose its capacity and battery life over time, users might prefer to switch smartphones than change the battery. Typically, a smartphone battery starts to run out of steam roughly 24 months after purchase, which is often the date your phone subscription is due a renewal anyway. This battery capacity loss is often a good excuse to buy a new smartphone. It’s definitely quite consumerist and not very ecological, but it is representative of the majority of users at the moment, there's no denying it.

New purchasing criteria

Another major reason for such a change in situation is that the demand for removable batteries in smartphones has drastically reduced. Users now prefer to buy good-looking smartphones and get separate accessories according to their needs (camera, SD card, etc.). Therefore, to satisfy the new wishes of users, manufacturers have adapted and the result of this was the dismissal of a removable battery.

To make smartphones more stylish and attractive, as observed in recent years, it has often been necessary to cross off the removable battery. This gives manufacturers the ability to use more premium materials and offer more daring designs, something they couldn’t do with a removable battery. Manufacturers can organize their internal components as they wish. The absence of a removable battery also makes it easier for them to offer new features that are much appreciated by users, such as waterproofing.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S8plus 1966
Thanks to the absence of a removable battery, the design of the Galaxy S8 was possible. © NextPit

Apple initiated the trend with the iPhone, and Samsung and other companies had to resolve to it themselves after several years. It’s ultimately thanks to the abandonment of the removable battery in the Galaxy S6 that Samsung launched its new design policy, with the Galaxy S8 as the perfect result.

Finally, LG’s example also shows the lack of interest from users for removable batteries. One of only a few manufacturers who resisted surrendering with its latest flagship product, the LG G6. The LG G5, its 2016 flagship product, didn’t actually thrive as much as the South Korean brand had hoped. As it was announced to compete with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the modular design of the LG G5 (which offered the removable battery option) didn't seem to entice users, thus forcing LG to rethink its strategy and abandon the removable battery.

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Even LG gave in after the failure of the LG G5. © ANDROIDPIT

An option that’s no longer important

To summarize, the absence of a removable battery is no longer an issue. The loss of this feature has allowed us to benefit from other functions, which today offer a better experience that we’re no longer able to sacrifice in favor of a removable battery. And if you really miss it, you’ll find smartphones offering this feature on the market, but you’ll have to cross off choosing any top range smartphones.

Would you like to see the return of removable batteries?
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Do you have a smartphone with a removable battery? Which is it and why did you choose it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Pierre Vitré

Pierre Vitré
Head of Content

Pierre has a strong passion for new technologies and mobile since its first StarTac. Android user since 2011, Pierre became totally hooked. He never leaves his smartphone and smartwatch and still believes in the success of Google Glass. That's why he joined to be the head of content.

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  • 1
    Nyx Jan 16, 2020 Link to comment

    These kind of measures are the ones that tell you what Companies are really like. Since now it is fashionabe, they are all talking about how much they care about the environment. But when it comes down to really do something about the environment?

    Well of course we have to throw away the whole phone, instead of just the battery, and they tell us that they do that because we want it, and it is good for us.

    Even though, I buy new phones fairly frequently, I like keeping the old ones as backup, it makes me truly mad to think all the wasted materials these dead phones represent. And I don't even have the heart to throw them away because Where am I supposed to throw them that is safe? So I have a bunch of pretty paperweights.

    In the US, I guess, it is fairly easy to get a new phone, maybe, but I don't think everyone has the money to throw it like that.

    The reality is that the whole world nowdays needs a phone for work, not just the US, and not just for fun, and in certain countries having to buy a whole new phone is just cost prohibitive. Add to that, that they sell you a phone with 8/16GB of Storage, which the OS eats away in half a second and they are basically selling you a useless gadget! And you are supposed to be greatful and can't complain because you are "poor".

  • 1
    Eric Abarico Dec 1, 2019 Link to comment

    Even my grandma knows that glued-in batteries are fucking stupid as I saw when I told her that my wife's iPhones battery is glued in and she immediately got an expression on her face which clearly portrayed what she was thinking which was "well who's the fucking idiot who screwed that up".

  • 1
    Eric Abarico Dec 1, 2019 Link to comment

    You presume to tell me what I want or need and then proceed to try and feed me bullshit? FUCK YOU !

  • 1
    bpquetzal1 Nov 26, 2019 Link to comment

    Lmao this entire article was a massive gaslight. Really, the majority of users prefer to get a whole new phone instead of replacing the battery? Do you get a new car when your battery is dead???? Unbelievable.

  • 1
    spanco23 Oct 20, 2019 Link to comment

    It's simply a marketing trick to force you to pay money for changing the battery. It's a scam. I'm sick of it.

  • marco sarli 39
    marco sarli
    • Admin
    Oct 7, 2019 Link to comment

    Replaceable batteries are needed. The cost for the producer is the same for a replaceable and a non replaceable battery. The only reason to make phones with non replaceable batteries is that at the end of the life of the battery (one year,just over it ?) we have to change the phone. Although here in Vietnam the same shop where I buy all my phones, a branch of the biggest name in the country for phones, unflinchingly replaces old batteries if asked to do so. I observed how they do and it is incredibly easy

  • 3
    Allureana Sep 6, 2019 Link to comment

    92 percent of the 2,864 respondents disagree with the opinion that replaceable batteries are not needed. Feel free to buy yourself a new phone every other year, and a new car every time your gas tank runs empty. Stupid. Reminds me of the iPhone user who mentioned they had to buy a new one because their old one was all full of photos they'd taken. They'd never learned how to offload the pictures! What will THEY do when the battery finally dies? But hey, that's Apple users for you. My $69, 3 year old 16gb, Android 6.1 phone with 4G, GPS, Bluetooth, etc. is running fine and my wife's identical one just got the battery replaced for about $10. Both phones have 128GB micro SD cards and neither is half filled because we DO know how to offload photos. 10 years from now, we'll maybe have spent another $20-$30 on new batteries. You'll probably have spent another $5000-$7000 on "new" phones. Obviously, some people have more money than sense.

    Eric Abaricobpquetzal1

  • Johnny Boy 2
    Johnny Boy Nov 16, 2018 Link to comment

    Horse shit. As everyone disagrees with this. All the reason for removing the removable battery option are beyond bullshit. They're all pathetic excuses to sugarcoat the real reason of wanting us to buy a new phone every time. OEM does their best to make sure we buy new phone each time and that includes locking the bootloader to make sure we cannot develop and continue supporting our phone.


  • 3
    nerchianera Nov 16, 2018 Link to comment

    I've never read such an utter pile of rubbish claims as in this piece. So we should be satisfied with a market trend that is clearly devised to force the public into dumping perfectly good devices and keep the producers happy because hey, the "majority of users" is a consumistic, money-strapped bunch and so should be you! mister expert, beat it. you're a joke.


  • 3
    No Name Nov 13, 2018 Link to comment

    Paying a grand for a phone and being expected to get a new one in two years when the battery stops holding a charge - what planet are these people living on ??!! I have a Note 4 with 16 MP Camera and more Pixels-Per-Inch than a Note 9 with its 12 MP Camera - OK, two of them. My battery stopped holding a charge after 2-1/2 years, so I replaced it for around $35 and the phone is still going strong on year 4 and counting. So instead of being out another grand after 2 years of ownership, I'm out $35. Oh wait - my rubber case split year or so ago, so I think I had to shell out another $30 or so. And the phone is waterproof enough for me - never stopped by rain yet, the screen protector has a hairline crack not easily visible, and my rubber case is awesome - I have dropped the phone dozens of times. The phone companies have figured out P. T. Barnum's adage about a sucker being born every minute, so yes, why wouldn't they make batteries non-replaceable?

    bpquetzal1spanco23UberStCrewDeactivated Account

    • 3
      Allureana Sep 6, 2019 Link to comment

      Not to mention the Youtube video I watched last night showing things big companies don't want you to know, and #1 on the list was that Apple's $1000 iPhone only costs them about $200 to make. Yeah, 400% markup. Barnum was right.

  • Larry Miller 3
    Larry Miller Oct 20, 2018 Link to comment

    You have got to be kidding me! Who paid for this article? Just look at the response numbers inside this very article. I personally paid for an LG-V20 out of my own pocket when I had to upgrade my phone a while back. Up until then I had not even heard of LG phones. I found the model from research just because I refuse to buy a phone without a replaceable battery. Fortunately for me it had just been released. I have replaced the battery twice already. That is really important to me, and I think to everyone since smartphones are pushing the 750.00 to 1000.00 dollar mark these days. My latest battery purchase was just a few weeks ago. The battery cost me 11.00 dollars on Amazon. That's twice I would have had to shell out 750.00 or more for a new phone. So with a personal savings of 1500 to 2000 dollars over the last few years, I call B.S. on this article. I have resigned myself that I will be exiting the flagship phone owner rolls in the near future. As soon as I can no longer procure a new or used smartphone with a replaceable battery, I intend to convert to my Tablet for the fun stuff, and drop back to just phone and text for my phone if necessary. I am a generator/Solar power tech by trade, so keeping abreast of battery technology is at the core of my world. the one statement I agree with in this article is that the chemistry of batteries does break down at the latest in about 48 months. I however feel if we are paying around a thousand dollars for our phones the devices should be good for more than 48 months. Or even less if we sadly accidentally damage our battery by overly discharging like I did to my last two. Sorry Pierre because I love your other work. I especially liked your latest article on "Getting Started with the Google Pixel 3. But on this subject, we will just need to agree to disagree. To me personally it just looked like payola.

    bpquetzal1UberStCrewNo NameTopHat Prodxns115 (TopHatProductions115)

  • Boar 3
    Boar Oct 6, 2018 Link to comment

    The main reason manufactory stop making phones with removable battery is to force you to buy a new phone every two years. If one manufactory does it, the others will make sure your phone does not sell well with bashing articles like this one.

    Eric Abaricobpquetzal1UberStCrewNo Name

  • 3
    mistclan Oct 4, 2018 Link to comment

    Add me to the list of those who made the mistake of buying a phone without a removable battery. The phone would freeze and become unresponsive and the only thing that could be done was wait for the phone to completely run down and recharge it. After that happened a few times I was planning what new phone to buy and making sure it has a removable battery. I currently have the LG V20 and a replacement battery for when it needs it. Hopefully it will last until this sealed case madness goes away.

    bpquetzal1UberStCrewNo NameTopHat Prodxns115 (TopHatProductions115)

  • 3
    astar Sep 22, 2018 Link to comment

    What kind of moron writes this kind of article? Donald Duck Dump Trump climate change denial fool? Coming from what claims to be a reputable Android website? It is fools like these bloggers-posing-as-writers propagating such idiocy that the Earth is going to shite with electronic waste pileups and disposable US$1000 phones that you have to throw away every year.

    My LG G3 is going strong only because it is on its 3rd battery already. It takes me only 5 seconds to change a battery, something which I can pre-order online as soon as I notice battery life/capacity degradation - way before it fails. Why do I need to buy a new phone when I have rooted it and it performs faster with a newer OS version than when brand new? It is way more powerful today then when I first unboxed it.

    On the other hand, retarded moron writers, such as this Pierre Vitré, has to travel to a service center to surrender his phone while some minimum wage technician-stranger looks at his naked selfie photo collection for upload to some ransomware site... While paying a king's ransom for a battery replacement for a $5 component part. And having to fall back on his homing pigeons while waiting for "servicing" completion. Or worse, who is so dumb f*ck stupid he throws it away and goes out to buy a new phone.

    This idiot writer does not even understand that sealed non-removable batteries are a greedy cash grab exercise.

    I registered as a member just so I can slam this retarded writer and/or this click bait website. Wouldn't bat an eyelid if I never come back to this idiot site anymore. Boy I sure hope somebody archives this (Way Back Machine yeah!) so that Pierre Vitré can be remembered & quoted for his idiocy.

    nerchianeraNo NameGriffin C.

    • 1
      Doopster Sep 22, 2019 Link to comment

      What kind of moron believes in the "climate change" hoax? Science is based on reproducible experiments. I can describe an experiment that anyone in the world can perform to confirm that gravity exists and follows certain equations. You can't describe any reproducible experiment to confirm "climate change" because it isn't science. In fact it isn't even a falsifiable theory - everything "confirms" it. It's the result of fudged temperature data being fed into bad models. It's a scam being used to promote global socialism. NONE of the predictions of the climate alarmists have come true. ZERO.

  • 2
    Kockak Sep 16, 2018 Link to comment

    Im sticking to my old Note 4 (and avoided Note 5, 8, and 9) for the removable battery and IR blaster. Problem with fixed battery is the TROUBLE of having to go to experts and leave your phone to someone else's hands when your battery finally dies (which most likely would come at a most unexpected time).

    No NameGriffin C.

  • 3
    Rt Commodore Aug 22, 2018 Link to comment

    I just chose a replacement for my old phone based first and foremost on the removable battery. I am buying a Moto E4. Removable battery and battery life were my number 1 and number 2 criteria, so don't tell me it isn't important.

    You have only said why the manufacturers don't offer removable batteries--to make more money! The consumers still want them. Who wants to be suddenly without a phone? And who wants to spend $700-$900 for one every two years? I refuse to.

    No NameGriffin C.Kockak

  • 4
    Steve Bahr Aug 18, 2018 Link to comment

    I'm sick of being lied to. Curved screens and no bezel to increase likelihood of screen breaking. Glass back for same reason- with lies about antennas and wireless charging- like glass is the only material that would work. No headphone jacks so I have to buy their Bluetooth gadget & can't plug it into my work truck. Can't change a battery - nonsense about waterproofing- like the guts behind the battery bay can't be waterproofed. I delayed buying new for as long as possible, because they kept removing features I wanted. So much BS it's unbelievable. They should just say: we want it to break often so you buy another.

    bpquetzal1UberStCrewnerchianeraNo NameTopHat Prodxns115 (TopHatProductions115)Griffin C.

    • 4
      Griffin C. Sep 23, 2018 Link to comment

      I'd like to add that they could also just put in an O-ring like they do with the SIM-card slot.

      UberStCrewNo NameTopHat Prodxns115 (TopHatProductions115)

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