Removable batteries should never come back, despite what everyone says

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Ilia Temelkov
Ilia Temelkov
Phonearena team
Original poster
• 3w ago

Ever since all flagship smartphones ditched the removable batteries, a very loud part of the tech community has been railing against this decision. Their main argument is that sealed phones limit the longevity of smartphones by not allowing users to change their batteries on their own. However compelling this may sound, it is nonsense.

According to Counterpoint Research data, most people say they change their phones due to battery issues, followed by broken displays. However, this data is from back in 2017 when phones and their batteries were quite different.

Today’s top flagships have longer-lasting batteries that can provide about three years of use without losing a significant portion of their capacity. This aligns with the consumer habit of changing smartphones every three years.

But even if someone doesn’t want to change their whole phone, they can easily visit a service provider and get their battery replaced. Of course, doing this at home would be easier and probably cheaper, but it is a viable solution. This option could solve the potential battery issues of older devices, but it won’t change the fact that 3-year-old smartphones are usually not great devices anyway.

You could argue that the latest Galaxies and Pixels have seven years of software support, including OS updates. However, none of these updates will include all new features after three or four years, and the reason will be the hardware, not the battery. The hardware is also the main reason budget smartphones don’t perform well after a few software updates. By the time their phone’s battery becomes unusable, most people will be drawn to the newer features and better performance of a new smartphone.

Adding removable batteries to most modern smartphones would require drastic design changes that won’t make users happy. I hope we never see the metal and glass combo being changed back to creaky plastic covers because the removable battery dream is simply pointless.

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• 3w agoedited

If you're that shallow about what your tech does for you and your future, maybe your opinion is useless to the rest of us? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


It is not rocket science to make a glass cover removable. There have already existed Samsung flagship phones with metal frames and removable batteries.


The only reason these options are no longer available on the mainstream brands is because, not offering easily replicable parts prolongs the revenue stream for them long beyond the point when you buy the device.

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• 3w ago
↵TheRealDuckofDeath said:

If you're that shallow about what your tech does for you and your future, maybe your opinion is useless to the rest of us? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


It is not rocket science to make a glass cover removable. There have already existed Samsung flagship phones with metal frames and removable batteries.


The only reason these options are no longer available on the mainstream brands is because, not offering easily replicable parts prolongs the revenue stream for them long beyond the point when you buy the device.

No, we still want removable batteries. In a pinch if your battery dies we could just swap it out. Companies don't do it any more because they either want you to pay them to put a new battery in or buy a new phone. This article is way out of touch. It's like forcing electric vehicles on everyone by changing the emissions standards.

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• 3w ago

While I don't care for removable batteries, it's a nice to have. User replaceable batteries are a bigger deal. If the battery starts aging I should be able to buy and install one with a screwdriver and pry tool. It's not hard to supply replacement kits like ifixit does.

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• 3w ago

Several reasons for dropping the removeable batter.

Without that plastic back/cover, they could make the back GLASS and give it "vibrant colors" to make them more sleek, sexy, stylish & colorful (ie: MORE expensive). Not to mention how users use their phones charging them up weakens the battery (super fast charging). The other thing is if they had a removeable battery, consumers would also want removable memory cards & sim trays. Having an extra battery is like having a spare tire. You probably won't need it, but when you do, it's nice to have.

Just give consumers the OPTION. A

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• 3w ago

3 years may be average time period when your a average phone arena reading consumer may upgrade their device. But your real average consumer that live paycheck to paycheck holds on to their phone way longer than that, Specially in developing nations where money is even harder to come by. With that said. When you’re speeding 900+ for a decent device that has software updates now going as far as 5-7 years batteries should be a concern. My S series being now a little over 2 years old and having to tweak the hell out of it so I can make the battery last a full work day is a pita because I have to miss out on some of the flagship features for the sake of battery life.

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• 3w ago

Build a phone like a Galaxy S3 with updated internals and screen and take my money NOW.

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• 3w ago
↵ilia.t said:

Ever since all flagship smartphones ditched the removable batteries, a very loud part of the tech community has been railing against this decision. Their main argument is that sealed phones limit the longevity of smartphones by not allowing users to change their batteries on their own. However compelling this may sound, it is nonsense.

According to Counterpoint Research data, most people say they change their phones due to battery issues, followed by broken displays. However, this data is from back in 2017 when phones and their batteries were quite different.

Today’s top flagships have longer-lasting batteries that can provide about three years of use without losing a significant portion of their capacity. This aligns with the consumer habit of changing smartphones every three years.

But even if someone doesn’t want to change their whole phone, they can easily visit a service provider and get their battery replaced. Of course, doing this at home would be easier and probably cheaper, but it is a viable solution. This option could solve the potential battery issues of older devices, but it won’t change the fact that 3-year-old smartphones are usually not great devices anyway.

You could argue that the latest Galaxies and Pixels have seven years of software support, including OS updates. However, none of these updates will include all new features after three or four years, and the reason will be the hardware, not the battery. The hardware is also the main reason budget smartphones don’t perform well after a few software updates. By the time their phone’s battery becomes unusable, most people will be drawn to the newer features and better performance of a new smartphone.

Adding removable batteries to most modern smartphones would require drastic design changes that won’t make users happy. I hope we never see the metal and glass combo being changed back to creaky plastic covers because the removable battery dream is simply pointless.

3 years of battery life without losing a significant amount of battery life are you high? my iphone 15 pro max is 3 months old and has lost 7% of its battery health according to the health monitor, so by that reasoning at 12 month it will have lost 28% and by 2 years it will be 56% or over half of its life, damn straight we need removable batteries and there is NO justification to not include one either.

Samsung could make waterproof phones with removable backs and batteries way back and even the xcover series still has them. get a grip with your nonsense

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• 3w ago

Removable batteries are the way forward.


They only vanished from mainstream mobile hardware when manufacturers figured they could screw consumers and sell more phones if they filled them with glue and made them impossible to service.


When all is said and done, the very health of this planet depends on electronic waste dropping significantly, and a huge part of that means we hang onto our electronic devices for a lot longer. Like, a lot, lot longer.


The EU know this to be be true. That's why they're making it law for all phones to have removable and consumer replaceable batteries by 2027.


I get that the move to easily repairable phones might mean we buy fewer, so fewer get made, and maybe annual iterations become a thing of the past, and that is definitely not good news for a mobile phone news website, but this change is happening, and thank goodness it is.

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• 3w ago

"but it won’t change the fact that 3-year-old smartphones are usually not great devices anyway." - I am assuming you are joking!


"Adding removable batteries to most modern smartphones would require drastic design changes that won’t make users happy." - Which users are you talking about. Apple spewed the same nonsense about USB C and EU finally put them in place and every Apple user I spoke with were very happy with USB C. I love drastic redesigns.


"the removable battery dream is simply pointless." - Dreams are all we have my friend.

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