phone battery

Removable versus Non-removable Batteries

Batteries keep our phones alive. Historically, you used to be able to remove your battery to replace it, but many modern phones nowadays only have non-removable batteries. In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each battery type, which modern handsets have removable batteries, and the alternatives available to you if you’re stuck with one that can’t be removed. 

What is a removable battery?

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

Removable batteries are helpful for being able to quickly reset your phone (either through replacing the battery or restarting it), for swapping out batteries yourself rather than paying a manufacturer to do it for you, and for avoiding buying a new handset if the battery dies. 

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

 

Why are removable batteries not as common anymore?

Whilst Apple has never released an iPhone with a removable battery, Android does offer this functionality on some models. However, even the most expensive of the brand are no longer manufactured with a removable battery in their hardware. 

Why might this be?

  • Other features prioritised over battery functionality
  • New designs and materials making it impossible to keep in the ability to slide the back panel open and remove the battery (without specialist help from a manufacturer)
  • The thickness and weight of a phone is also affected by the battery type, so for manufacturers to make smartphones thinner and lighter, they have to sacrifice the bulky batteries 
  • Maintaining efficient waterproofing capabilities means eliminating any entries or gaps in the design (such as space around the back) for water to creep into
  • Battery shapes are different between removable and non-removable. The smaller, less square, and less bulky non-removable shapes are preferred by manufacturers.

 

Which modern phones have removable batteries?

If you’re looking for a smartphone with a removable battery, you’ll most likely have to settle for one that’s not a brand new release, as the majority of flagship devices are created with non-removable hardware. 

Here are our top recommendations:

Samsung

Release date

Battery capacity

Samsung Galaxy S5

2014

2,800mAh

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

2014

3,220mAh

Samsung Galaxy J7

2016

3,300mAh

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4

2017

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 Stylus 3

2017

3,200mAh

LG K8

2018

2,125mAh

LG Tribute Empire

2019

2,500mAh

 

Motorola 

Release date

Battery capacity

Moto G5

2017

2,800mAh

Moto E5 Play

2018

2,800mAh

Moto E6

2019

3,000mAh

Moto E6 Plus

2019

3,000mAh

 

Nokia

Release date

Battery capacity

Nokia 1 Plus

2019

2,500mAh

Nokia 2.2

2019

3,000mAh

 

BLU

Release date

Battery capacity

Studio Mini

2019

3,000mAh

Vivo X5

2020

4,000mAh


While Apple doesn’t create removable batteries currently, a new EU law might force that to change, so keep an eye out if you’re an avid iPhone fan. 

 

What is a non-removable battery?

A non-removable battery is the exact opposite, and entirely what you’d expect: a phone battery that can’t be removed. This type of battery is built into the phone itself, and there’s no back panel to access it. 

Some benefits of non-removable batteries include:

  • The extra security they provide, making it harder for thieves to disable the device
  • The aesthetic of having a thinner, sleeker phone as the design isn’t compromised by battery accessibility
  • A cleaner internal structure because the hardware is packed together

A disadvantage of non-removable batteries, however, is the inability to swap it out 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’ battery is technically misleading, as these built-in batteries can actually be removed if necessary, but usually only by an official manufacturer with the right tools. 

To access them, vital components inside the phone have to be disturbed and 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.

 

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 to one of their official stores. They should be able to replace the dead battery with another built-in one, and repair any damages made to the phone during the process. 

Having a manufacturer replace your battery costs money, though. How much depends on what sort of protection or warranty your device has. Apple, for example, charges between £49 - £69 depending on the model if you don’t have AppleCare+. Samsung charges similar prices, which again, vary by model. 

Other charges could be added on top of the initial battery replacement if there are additional issues or repairs required that hinder them being able to access the battery, such as a damaged screen or panel. 

Further, if the job is particularly difficult, the manufacturer 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 being without a phone for a week or more. 

 

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 five 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 - you can check out our list of the best phones with the largest batteries. Buying a model with a big mAh 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 you can charge it more effectively, you might be interested in some of our other articles:

For more tips and guides, make sure to follow us on Twitter


No contracts, no limits

With no contract you have the freedom to flex your usage whenever you need to.

Powered by Vodafone

Powered by Vodafone with up to 99% UK population coverage.

Cap your spend

Put a limit on how much you spend every month so you don't need to worry about getting a big bill.

I'm autistic and needed things explaining in more detail. I abserloutly love everything about Asda mobile!

Ian, Kent

Very pleased that I am not bombarded with adverts unlike other networks. Keep up the good work.

Jeff, Stockport

Lovely to speak to someone who was so friendly and he was easy to understand as he did not speak to quickly.

Myra, Retford

Keep up your fabulous service, the best!!

Ann, IOW