Removable vs Non-removable Batteries

As you know, a battery is what keeps your phone alive. Historically, you could remove your battery and replace it easily, but with modern phones we’ve seen the introduction of non-removable batteries. In this in-depth guide, we’ll look at the pros and cons to each type of battery, what modern handsets have removable batteries, and what alternatives you have when stuck with one that can’t be removed. 

Last updated: 2nd Nov 2020 at 11:57am

What is a removable battery?

Simply put, a removable battery can be taken out of your phone. You can usually remove it by sliding open the back panel and lifting the battery out. You can then replace the battery with another one if it died or isn’t working properly. 

Removable batteries are helpful for:

  • Quick resets
  • Swapping out batteries without the extortionate cost of getting a manufacturer to do it for you
  • Easily replacing it without needing to buy a new handset 

A disadvantage of removable batteries is the security risk they pose, as anyone can open up the back and take the battery out. If the battery is removed, the phone can’t be tracked anymore if it’s lost or stolen

What modern phones have removable batteries?

If you’re looking for a flagship smartphone with a removable battery, here are our recommendations:

Samsung

Release date

Battery capacity

Samsung Galaxy J7 

2016

3,300mAh

Samsung Galaxy S5

2014

2,800mAh

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

2020

4,050mAh

Samsung Galaxy Xcover FieldPro

2020

4,500mAh

 

LG

Release date

Battery capacity

LG G5

2016

2,800mAh

LG V20

2016

3,200mAh

LG K8

2018

2,125mAh

 

Motorola

Release date

Battery capacity

Moto G5

2017

2,800mAh

Motorola Moto E6 

2019

3,000mAh

Motorola Moto E6 Plus

2019

3,000mAh

Apple’s iPhones don’t currently have removable batteries, but EU law might force that to change. 

What is a non-removable battery?

A non-removable battery is the exact opposite: it can’t be removed. It’s built into the phone itself, and there’s no back panel to access it.

Some benefits of non-removable batteries include:

  • Extra security - it’s harder for thieves to disable your phone, giving you (or the police) a better chance to track it
  • Having a sleeker phone, as the handset doesn’t have to be designed around having the battery accessible 
  • Cleaner internals, as the hardware is more tightly packed together 

A disadvantage to non-removable batteries is, obviously, the inability to swap out your battery yourself. If you don’t want to go through your manufacturer to get a replacement, then buying a whole new handset may be your only option. 

Are non-removable batteries replaceable?

The term ‘non-removable’ is technically misleading, as these built-in batteries can actually be removed - but usually only by an official manufacturer. To access them, vital components inside the phone have to be moved out of the way, which is why the average phone user is encouraged not to do it themselves. Anyone who isn’t a trained professional might end up causing irreversible damage to the handset, so it’s best leaving it to the manufacturers.

What do I do if my non-removable battery dies?

If the battery in your smartphone dies, the best thing to do is to contact your handset’s manufacturer, or take it into an official shop of theirs. They should be able to replace the dead battery with another built-in one, and repair any damages made to the phone in the process. However, they will probably charge you, unless you have appropriate cover on your smartphone. This charge could also increase if there are other issues or repairs required that hinder them being able to access the battery, such as a damaged screen or panel. 

If it appears to be a particularly difficult job to the manufacturer, they may have to send your phone away to get it fixed at their main warehouse. If this is the case, you may also have to pay for postage and delivery, as well as be without a phone for around a week (depending on the work). 

Alternatives to non-removable batteries

If you’re stuck with a non-removable battery, there are some alternative charging options available to you:

  • Power banks/power packs - these are portable chargers that you can charge up and then use to recharge your phone’s battery while out and about. Most power banks can supply up to 5 full charges before they need topping up again themselves, but this depends on the battery capacity of your phone. 
  • Wireless charger - not all phones support wireless charging, but those that are Qi compatible can be charged without a wire. Simply place your phone on top of a wireless charging pad to boost the battery. 
  • Big battery phones - check out our list of the phones with the largest batteries. Buying a phone with a big capacity means it’ll last a lot longer between charges. 

If you’re eager to learn more about your phone’s battery life or ways of charging it effectively, you might be interested in some of our other articles:

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