Smartphone batteries are always a sore talking point, mostly due to the fact that batteries still don’t last heavy users all day. And up until relatively recently, we’ve been big proponents of removable batteries. However, we’ve come to our senses and we’re changing this (outdated) stance. The fact is that non-removable battery is just better. Yes, there are still some removable battery phones available on shelves mainly found in feature or ‘dumbphones’, but the choice isn’t exactly wide. And there are very good reasons for this. Why should you go non-removable? Let us fill you in on why we’ve changed our minds and tell you why you shouldn’t be buying those removable battery phones.
Removable WAS Better
Firstly, let us justify our initial stance. For a long time, removable batteries were the way to go. And there were a few reasons for this. The most popular was that phone batteries didn’t last particularly long, and with removable batteries, you could carry a second battery around with you if necessary. You could also remove the battery to “hard reset” if your phone froze, which was pretty convenient. Plus, when that battery life started to get worse, as happens to all phone batteries over time, you could simply buy a new one and slot it in, rather than buying a new phone or paying for professional repair services.
But times have changed, and there are a few things that have made us change our minds on this issue. Whilst it’s true that taking a battery out is still the easiest way to hard reset a phone, there are other, more important issues at stake here.
Like it or not, battery life on phones HAS improved. Sure, it might not be as great as we’d like, but it’s far better than it used to be. Plus, charging tech has improved, making it faster to charge your phone. And to be honest, carrying a small charger around is a lot more convenient than carrying a spare battery (and you’re more likely to find someone with a charger you can borrow than someone with a battery you can borrow). Truthfully though, if you’ve got a top end smartphone and you’re not an extremely heavy user, that battery really should get you through most (if not all) of the day.
On top of all this, cheap battery packs are now a dime a dozen, meaning you CAN charge your phone on the go. All of this makes carrying a spare battery around kind of a moot point.
Better Warranties and More Tech
If you do want to replace your battery then we’d argue that at this point you’re better off having a professional do it. Partly this is for reasons that we’ll go into more detail about below, like materials. But also because nowadays batteries do tend to be covered pretty well by warranties, meaning you won’t pay for the repair. And even if you’re outside of that warranty, repair costs aren’t tremendous. In some cases, you’ll even get a replacement battery for free (like with Apple’s iPhone battery scandal).
Plus, smartphones nowadays are more high tech and more fragile than ever. If someone’s going to be messing around with the internals, it should probably be a professional.
Size and Weight
Yet another factor here is build, which includes size and weight. A non-removable battery can be inserted into a phone and the space-optimized to fit in the other components. In simple English, this means that a phone with a non-removable battery is likely to be smaller than one without. And given that size and weight are now big deciding factors in most people’s buying choices, this is obviously important.
Even further, there’s the question of build materials. These slimline, lightweight phones that we like tend to be aluminum and glass build, which keeps weight down. However, aluminum and glass aren’t exactly the most sturdy of materials. They’re easily bent and easily broken, particularly when, for example, someone slides off a back panel to replace a battery. Older phones didn’t have this problem since back panels were made of sturdier plastic so they could be removed multiple times without breaking or warping. But if you want that fancy glass and aluminum build then you’re going to have to settle for a non-removable battery.
There’s also the issue of waterproofing via the IP68 standard. We’re seeing more and more waterproof mobiles, and not just at the top end of the scale either. And this is a good thing. Just think about how many people have dropped phones in the toilet, spilled coffee over them, or even run them through a washing machine. Waterproof might not be a huge deciding factor in your buying decision, but you have to admit that it’s a nice convenience to have.
A waterproof phone needs to be sealed, which essentially means that removable batteries are a no go. Sure, it would technically be possible to have rubber gaskets to seal the phone around the edges and still allow you to remove that back panel but that would cost more AND make the phone bigger and heavier. Hardly ideal.
The Cost Factor
Finally, there’s the all-important cost factor. It’s simply cheaper to make a smaller framed phone with a non-removable battery. Adding gaskets to keep the phone waterproof would add cost. Making the phone bigger to enable the battery to be removed would add cost. Using different materials that are less likely to break if a back panel is removed would add cost. You get the idea. Believe it or not (and with top end phones reaching the ₹;70,000 marks it is tough to believe) mobile manufacturers DO try to keep costs down, both for themselves and for consumers.
So there it is. We’re officially saying that the non-removable battery is a good thing and something that you should definitely be shopping for. Whilst a removable battery does still have a few conveniences, those are heavily outweighed by the pros of having a non-removable battery, and that’s the simple truth of the matter.