When we look back at the smartphone industry, removable batteries were standard. Apple was the only significant smartphone manufacturer that was ditching them for non-removable batteries. Removable batteries were very convenient when it comes to changing them. You could do it in minutes without sending your phone for repairing. But not anymore.
Non-removable batteries were not standard as compared to these days. Manufacturers are now moving away from removable batteries and making non-removable batteries their default choice in new smartphones.
So is this just them following an iPhone trend, or is there any importance of removing them?
It’s all about moving forward. With time, the needs of the consumer change, and with the change, companies have to make radical decisions. From time to time, the consumer market demands change, and companies have to meet their demands as it’s in the best of everyone’s interest. But this change is quite useful.
Here are the reasons that we won’t see removable batteries in smartphones anymore:
When it comes to buying a smartphone, waterproofing is an important part of that decision. Nobody wants their phone to get damaged by water. In order to achieve waterproofing certification, smartphone manufacturers are making their designs compact by not adding removable parts and keeping devices intact. A removable battery can create many issues with waterproofing certification. That’s why it’s gone for good.
Also read: Tips on Protecting your Phone from Damage
If a device has a removable battery, it’s not possible for manufacturers to make it waterproof as removing it can compromise the safety of your phone. That’s why companies are using fixed backs instead of removable covers to protect your devices from such incidents.
Compact design has become an important part of the success of any product. Smartphones with compact designs are selling like hot cakes than the ones with a bulky or inconsistent design. If a company offers a bulky smartphone with more specs but poor design, there is a significant change that it will not perform well in terms of sale in the market.
Also read: Everything you need to know about Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus
The reason is simple; people are obsessed with well-designed products. The manufacturers are focused on making their smartphone compact packed with more features, but to achieve that, they had to make sacrifices, and in this situation, they had to fix batteries.
Opting for non-removable batteries have opened a new era of smartphone designs majorly in the premium flagships. It’s the age of slim and sleek smartphones.
No doubt that removable batteries were useful for the users, but non-removable batteries are way more beneficial than the removable ones. The non-removable batteries allow OEMs to manufacture lightweight devices.
Removable batteries also take much space on the phone. Non-removable batteries have enabled device makers to produce thinner, lightweight devices. Removable batteries also require an extra layer of protection which adds more weight and chunk in the smartphone.
To expand for more real estate in the phone without increasing the device size, creating more small-sized form factor batteries sealed inside the phones is thus a major resolve.
To further optimize how the space inside smartphones is used, manufacturers have even changed the design of the batteries inside gadgets by incorporating non-rectangular battery designs. The square or rectangular shape of the removable battery gave them easy installation and replacement. But the ability to make batteries which can blend right in the hardware allows them to make lightweight devices with better design.
Better use of space
Much of this space saved is what is being utilized to add more features in smartphones like sensors, triple camera, and face detection. It helps in achieving a minimal thin, and sleek design.
Despite the fact that phone manufacturers are moving away from removable batteries, it doesn’t mean they are perfect. I still miss the ease of removing batteries when they’re about to die and replace them so that I can keep my phone up and running. But with non-removable batteries, it’s not possible.
It’s time to move on!
In conclusion, non-removable batteries have cons too. One major disadvantage of inbuilt batteries in most cases when the battery spoils, the phone often dies along with it. Replacement of in-built batteries also requires expertise, and for that purpose, you’ve to visit a repairing facility. However, the replaceable batteries are easy to replace, and you can change them on the go when they’re no longer healthy.
Also read: Complete Guide to Save Battery on Android (2019)
But generally speaking, I’m in for non-removable batteries. They’ve more pros than cons, so why not. I do miss them, but that doesn’t mean they were perfect. It’s time to move on!
How do you feel about manufacturers ditching non-removable batteries? Let us know what you think.
The compact design argument is false. The galaxy alpha now 5 years old, is still more powerful than most non flagship phones, is about the thinnest and lightest smartphone that exists. Waterproof is one convenience but instant recharge, instant power off even when the system is lagging or frozen, and ability to replace aging batteries also is, and many phones with non-removable batteries are not even waterproof anyway. Maybe it’s more to do with built in obsolescence.
Don’t want to be tracked, remove battery. Phone overheating, remove battery. Would you rather carry a couple small batteries or a charger brick while camping ,backpacking or Disney World? Aren’t you tired of wondering where your next charge will come from ? The phone is overly fragile to drop and you worry that you can’t scuba with it?
The “non-removable battery age” is a pill that I haven’t swallowed. I firmly believe in the right to repair, when I own a battery operated device, there must be an easy and accessible way to replace its battery shall its battery chemistry go bad and all battery chemistries do eventually go bad after approx 200 to 400 charge cycles (approx 1 year of use provided that you charged and completely discharged once per day).
The only way that I will finally swallow the non-removable battery pill and buy a phone that comes with a non-removable battery is when a better battery chemistry is made for the smartphone that allows it to have charge cycles in the thousand’s range. There is already a battery chemistry that allows that, its called Lithium Titanate, its a new Lithium family class of battery that consists of crystals as part of its electrolyte processes that allows it to tolerate charge and discharge cycles well in excess of 25,000 before the battery goes bad provided that the user charge and discharge the battery at 90% mark, if the battery is charged at 100% mark then it would last approx 5,000 more or less charge and discharge cycle, still very impressive if we could enjoy such a battery in our smartphones, then the non-removable battery would be a non-issue for me. In the time being, for as long as we continue to see regular lithium Ion battery as the non-removable battery that can only tolerate approx 300 charge and discharge cycles and that it will probably go bad after the year is over then you are going to see me continue protesting it and boycotting its use, that’s why my current phone is an LG V20, which is the latest modern smartphone that features 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage and a REMOVABLE 3200 mAh battery
I’ve read these kind of arguments before in other articles. And it has holes in it (just like a ‘non-removable battery phone’ has. They’re not waterproof btw, most are not even splash-proof’d officially, so that’s an argument ‘blown out of the water’).
As Bill said, there are other smaller, thinner phones out there from years back with a removable battery that could do the same thing nowadays with the added physical buff. Smaller is not even the norm or what people care about the most: It’s battery life.
Phones have not been getting smaller necessarily (and definitely not ‘by necessity’). It’s a choice that has been pushed on to the consumers and it’s detrimental to their finances. Because…
The first thing to go, usually, is the battery. And now there is no option to replace it. These kind of articles are pushed by companies and have non-arguments just to make people think this is what they are choosing/have chosen. It’s a seduction.
Nowadays people just sort of accept that they will have to buy a new phone every two years (if on prepaid that’s clearly a pain) because they’re believing the disadvantage of their battery dying on them over those so-called advantages is “worth it”. That is what these kind of articles are telling them.
Battery dying at some point is a given, phone falling in the toilet is not (and again, non-removable battery phones still suffer the same death most likely if put in that ‘situation’, let alone the rain, there are no guarantees there in itself just because it has a non-removable battery).
I’d rather have a better battery (aka a swappeable one) over a situational calamity that might never happen (which will probably be my own fault anyway if that would be the case; Instagramming while talking to god on the big white telephone. “Plonk!”).
I had a Moto E3 (removable battery), and yes, thinner and smaller than my newest Motorola One (non-removable battery).
I don’t even mind if my new phone would be a little bit bigger than it is now (still would not be the biggest of the most popular phones), so it could have a removable battery on top of that. Why can’t we have both?
This is pushing the consumers into thinking that one excludes the other. It just does not.
The waterproof thing is definitely a joke. I’ve had a Samsung S5 for years, and it was waterproof with a replaceable battery. Granted my back cover is now cracked and I lost the annoying cover for the charging port so it’s not waterproof anymore, but all the current manufacturers of waterproof devices somehow managed to figure out how to waterproof the charging port without a cover and both of those parts are easily replaceable to I could make it water proof again for a few bucks. It has a lot more to do with hydrophobic coatings that a non-replaceable battery. I watched a guy BOIL an S5 with a cracked screen for over a minute and it was still working when it pulled it out of the water. Granted it did eventually die, but good luck trying that with any other phone, especially one with an aluminum back, the iPhone shut off in 7 seconds.
Chief Engineer says
It is also obvious that countless handheld microelectronic devices have been mil-spec waterproof (even for scuba diving) for years…and all with replaceable batteries. Most professional communication (hand held radios) and gps nav devices are just examples.
A much more plausible reason (besides cheaper-to-produce products for much higher prices) is to prevent smart phone users from escaping relentless data mining, personal privacy invasion and location tracking for the entire life of their phones…but who cares, right?
David K says
This article is just BS. The only reason manufacturers “moved on” was that they wanted to force upgrades every two years or less.
Those non-removable batteries are going to die soon and you can’t fix it without an expensive repair – hence you will just opt to buy another phone.
Landfills galore and for as long as I can get a replaceable battery phone you can count me out.