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Replaceable battery or unibody design - which one do you prefer?

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Replaceable battery or unibody design - which one do you prefer?
Apple started the trend with sealed batteries in its iPhone franchise, and a lot of manufacturers are following suit now with pretty unibody designs that don't give us access to the battery compartment on the go.

HTC with its sleek aluminum One comes to mind from the latest crop, the Sony Xperia Z whose battery had to be sealed to likely achieve the waterproof status of the handset, as well as the flagship Lumia 920 from Nokia's portfolio.

Actually the ones still bucking the trend from the top tier makers are Samsung and LG, which always provide a removable back cover that gives you access to the battery plus a microSD slot for storage expansion, making them the perfect handsets for those who look for flexibility in that regard.

Still, we were wondering how many people actually would carry a spare charged battery with them at all times, and to what extent the presence of a sealed battery compartment in the latest unibody designs would hinder their purchasing decision towards those handsets. 

After all, there are pretty compact portable juicers now that can fit in your wallet or on your keychain for the unibody types as well, yet the ability to take out the battery might be important for some during those rare complete freezes of your handset, or after battery quality has deteriorated with prolonged usage. Take your pick in the poll below and sound off with the arguments in the comments.

Phonearena polls
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Replaceable battery or unibody design - which one do you prefer?
52.26%
1864 votes
(1864 votes) I'd like to be able to take out or swap my battery any time I want, unibody designs needn't apply
47.74%
1703 votes
(1703 votes) If the phone's battery lasts about the average or more, I don't care

3567 votes

162 Comments
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posted on 15 Apr 2013, 05:50 53

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4667; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I have voted for unibody design. :)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:19 8

20. omar300 (Posts: 171; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


im with you, i have galaxy s3 with 3 extra batteries.
they give me cushion to use as much phone as i want
BUT i would defiantly go for none removable back if it means better looking phone.
like sony xperia z stamina mode is great example. why use battery when there is no need!
plus portable charger exist with 2amps output. that will charge phone in 20 mins

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 07:40 9

63. eisenbricher (Posts: 965; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


Stamina mode of Z is crap. A phone hardly running 5-6hrs run for 2 more hours. Sony made a lovable phone but didn't bless it with enough juice that many users hoped for.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:27 3

73. b1acktiger (Posts: 197; Member since: 19 May 2012)


Stamina Mode is a bit Rip off from the Snapdragon battery guru.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:43 1

89. omar300 (Posts: 171; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


I could care less who copied who, i am talking about apps and settings that shut off service when its not needed and as for eisenbricher: yes the battery is small and some customers complains are stamina mode isnt good but i hope it starts function as its supposed to, if it does that then it should save ALOT of battery.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:48 4

90. Topcat488 (Posts: 1047; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)


When the battery goes "dead" (for good), after years of charging, a unibody phone is a brick... But i can give my old Samsung to my little bro... Simply buy a new battery, open and replace the dead one, and it's a new phone.

After a while a battery won't take a charge anymore = brick.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 19:52

142. phoenixpr (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Agree with you 100% topcat488. I've been saying this very thing for years.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 20:01

165. 14545 (Posts: 992; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Especially in the cases of phones like the one. It's one thing when you have something like a nexus 7 without a removable battery because it is still easily changed out. But when you are talking about something like the one there is practically no way to even change it. So that phone might be good for 3 years max.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:26 18

29. Brutus (Posts: 19; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


+1.... Uni-body is the wow these days. With manufactures giving +2000 mAh batteries in their flagships, there is no need to worry about juice. By the time the battery gets weak (min. 2 years), the technology would've moved so ahead that we'll get a new one.... Simple....!!!!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:28 4

30. MobileJunkieJr (Posts: 46; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)


I knew this poll was coming sooner or later.
I'll take the unibody... I have a phone with a removable battery cover, but i haven't needed any extra battery, i just carry my charger or mini-USB around.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:33 4

33. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 491; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Why all the down vote? Vote for whatever you want. Its just his opinion. Mine also Unibody Design.. CHEERS :)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 07:08 6

54. ahmed_ali_yossef2010 (Posts: 154; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


this poll should be named : do you prefer galaxy s4 or the htc one

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:36 1

84. Avicktim (Posts: 22; Member since: 09 Apr 2013)


Wack!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:38 4

87. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)


unibody is good until u get a battery life note worthy! whats the use of a smartphone when its battery dies when u really need it!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 19:55

143. phoenixpr (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Amen to that.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:39 6

88. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


Which is stupidity.... I travel so I need:
Navigation
Internet
Camera

With unibody I can forget about traveling and have to have more devices

Unibody =stupidity

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:05 1

94. milesboy5 (Posts: 126; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


Your comment = stupidity

Navigation - smartphone
Internet - smartphone
Camera - smartphone

Smartphone = Smartphone therefore that is all one device and away you go on your travels. All of which could have a unibody or removable backs.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 13:01 1

115. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


Forget to survive with Nexus 4 like I use Galaxy Nexus when traveling ;-)
Think a little :-)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 14:04

128. milesboy5 (Posts: 126; Member since: 07 Nov 2012)


I have the Galaxy Nexus as well but you get all three of those things plus a good battery life from the Maxx line from Moto. I'm just saying there a lot of counters to your argument.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 23:23 1

150. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


no, you can not replace the battery so you have to charge and can not use the phone, do you get it all, finally??? ;)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 11:33 1

103. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3661; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


... What? Since when does unibody mean you can't have those things?

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 12:58

114. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


You will see ;-)
Just think a little:
The best phones have big batteries,
Big batteries + uni body = ? Guess what ;-)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 14:24

130. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5488; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


lolwut? xD

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 16:21 2

136. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3661; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Big batteries + unibody = the Razr Maxx and Razr Maxx HD.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 21:59

146. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5488; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


that's right and as a MAXX HD owner i assure you anywherehome i use my camera, browser and navigation excessively.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 23:21

149. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


Big batteries + unibody = the Razr Maxx and Razr Maxx HD. = non replaceable battery

so I was right, thanks for confirmation ;)
you dont get it, right? :)
are you able to understand a term "replaceable battery"? do you know what it could mean in reality? it still seems you dont :)

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 01:28

152. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5488; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i don't think you're getting across real well to anybody so how about you just start being more specific about what you're saying here. how does having a unibody design mean you have to forget about traveling and have more devices? you're also gonna have to just tell us the answer to big batteries + unibody because the only answer i can come up with is "win-win" and i don't think that's what you're looking for.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 03:12

154. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


so again, unibody means non replaceable battery for better phones with bigger batteries = have to charge a phone = do I have to wait 2 hours somewhere to charge the phone? do you get it now??? ;)

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 15:00

161. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5488; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i don't think you comprehend how long a Razr MAXX HD lasts my friend...and besides the MAXX HD many phones with unibody designs now can get through the day with the kind of usage you describe just fine. the only time you'll really have to worry about charging these things is when you're sleeping anyway.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 04:29 1

155. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3661; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


You are making no sense. Since when do non removable batteries mean you can't travel?

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 04:51

156. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


so again: do I have to wait 2 hours somewhere to charge my phone? :)
please, read more so you will understand more :)

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 05:03

157. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3661; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Or you can carry an external battery that you can plug into your phone. Or you can get One of Motorola's Maxx devices that can last 2 or 3 days.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 05:50

158. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


you still miss the point :)

do you want me to:
1) have an external battery connected when Im taking photos? :)
2) I have to wait 2 hours somewhere to charge my phone? No, Maxx will not help me
:)

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 06:02 1

159. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3661; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I was talking about travel, in which you could have it connected to your phone while using navigation. And even without the external battery, pretty much every phone out there now lasts a full day with moderate use, so 90% of the market (which I'm sure includes you) will be just fine and can charge overnight when you won't be using the device.

Dude, the Maxx helps everyone. The Maxx lasts 2 days at least on a single charge, which is definitely enough for everyone.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 15:04

163. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5488; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


oh yeah, it's more than enough because even though the MAXX can last 2 days it should still be charged while you're sleeping anyway.

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 15:03

162. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5488; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


1. no, unplug it, take your picture, plug it back in.
2. lol, ohhh yes it would. xD

posted on 16 Apr 2013, 17:46 1

164. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


I don't understand what part of 2 to 3 days of battery life don't you get. Not like you're going to use the phone half way throughout the day and the battery dies on you. Almost everyone charges their phone every night if not every other night. Are you just arguing because you want to sound right?

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 05:51 26

2. magnanimus (Posts: 118; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Incase the battery gets damaged, i'll prefer removable back cover

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 05:58 10

4. amansingal14 (Posts: 277; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


In case my battery gets damaged, I will prefer going to the Service Centre to get to know the reason about the same...

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:07 22

9. JaM1977 (Posts: 6; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


congrats on being 7-14 days without a phone because they need to replace the battery...

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:10 5

11. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4667; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Not true! There is also fast technical services too.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 11:15 2

99. daniel_bargs (Posts: 322; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)


but opening it will destroy the phone cause its unibody, you'll end up on a cracked plastic or aluminum with scratches and probability of losing all data(manufacturers warn you about this when going to repair the phone)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 19:58

144. phoenixpr (Posts: 167; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


I agree 100%

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:36 1

37. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 491; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


What's the use of having a secondary mobile? Good luck for you though (JaM1977)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 13:49 1

127. magnanimus (Posts: 118; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


you can even change the battery of the HTC One. all cuz of the unibody

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 14:35

132. ebubekir26 (Posts: 305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


you spelled 'can't' wrong

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:16 6

16. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4667; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Just because "may happen"?
How often that happens?
Looking from "may happen" viewpoint, other internal components also may be damaged, then what?
How many people are carrying additional battery?

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 10:50 1

97. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 258; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


I'm carrying an additional battery right now. TBO, 95% of the time there's always a power source nearby and I don't need the extra juice. But I do a lot of hiking, camping and other outdoor activities where the extra battery comes in handy. Even when I'm tailgating it's nice to have one battery charging in the car so it's ready to swap out when needed.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 12:07

112. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4667; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Agree, but look at the statistics, people don't need that often. :)

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 05:59 17

5. zuckerboy (Posts: 715; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


I prefer removable battery until they improve battery life ...

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:22 1

25. omar300 (Posts: 171; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


what you said does not make any sense. read it!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:45 9

45. paynekiller (Posts: 139; Member since: 24 May 2010)


he said he prefers having the ability to remove the battery and possibly swap for another one at will, until these smartphones have improved battery life, so there is less of a chance to wind up with a dead battery on the road or somewhere.

posted on 17 Apr 2013, 08:01

166. zuckerboy (Posts: 715; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


thanks mate ^^

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 09:12

80. pixel8or (Posts: 32; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)


I can go either way with the unibody/removable battery thing, but I agree. I wish they would all get a clue and create phones with 3000+ batteries, a la Razr Maxx and Maxx HD. It adds so little in thickness, and one no longer has to deal with phones dying late afternoon...

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:01 6

6. uchihakurtz (Posts: 172; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


It feels awkward if I can't remove the battery, I experienced this on my Tab 2. What happens if some bootloop happens?? You can't do anything. That's why I prefer removable battery.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:34 2

34. Igneel (unregistered)


Phones or tablets without removable battery will always have a hard reset button combination in case they got stuck or jam. Booya!

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:24 3

72. uchihakurtz (Posts: 172; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Reset, yes but not turn off, CMIIW though. I experienced a bootloop on my Tab and it keeps restarting, if I didn't have my PC and Odin, it would've kept on going on and on. As I am used to a phone with removable battery, it feels weird and awkward being unable to take off the battery.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 11:46

107. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


don't worry Sony have fix that problem in newer device like Xperia SP it have OFF BUTTON so you can turn off the phone
just wait i think other manufacturer will follow Sony

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 08:22 1

71. terabyteRouser (Posts: 407; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


as a computer engineer, this is one of the most easiest things to implement. setting up a button combo to do a hard reset after 5 or 10 seconds. all desktop pcs have this capability. this is pretty much a non-issue.

posted on 15 Apr 2013, 06:02 8

7. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3661; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Unibody. If my battery degrades and doesn't hold a charge after time, I'll just take it to the manufacturer and get a new device.

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