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5 min read 67 comments

The best smartphones with replaceable batteries

Update: Moto G5 added

Smartphones with removable batteries are a controversial topic. Many readers want this feature to return to more flagship devices. But so many Android devices don't feature this, and it doesn't look like there will be many more on the horizon. But never fear, here is a list of the best smartphones of the moment with removable batteries, now including the Moto G5.

LG V20

LG really tried to distinguish itself last year with the modular G5 and the V20, a unique 5.7-inch phablet. The LG V20 has a dual screen and ships with the latest Android version, Nougat. While a lot of phones are moving away from removable batteries and even headphone jacks, the V20 keeps both, despite also having the modern USB Type-C port.

The LG V20 offers a high definition (1440 x 1560 px) 5.7 inch IPS LCD screen, with a pixel density of 513 ppi. In theory, the device should be able to withstand being dropped from about 4 feet, as it has a MIL-STD 810G military certification. Similar to other 2016 flagships, it includes the Snapdragon 820 processor with an Adreno 530 graphics chip and 4GB of RAM.

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A powerful phone that ships with Nougat. / © AndroidPIT

Galaxy Note 4

This is an older device (2014) but it's still on of the best smartphones with a removable battery. More of a phablet, this stylus-holstered bad boy still packs a punch even compared to some of its Samsung contemporaries. And now that new generations have been unveiled, you can get it at a low price.

When we compare the display of the Note 4 to some of the newer devices on the market it still looks good, and in some cases, better. The 5.7-inch AMOLED screen comes with a 1440 x 2560 resolution (518 ppi) and does it ever look crisp. It delivers some rich colors and vivid detail.

The removable battery is 3,220 mAh and performed well in our benchmarks. And that battery needs to be big to handle the Snapdragon 805 backed up with 3 GB RAM. And I personally still love the design of the Galaxy Note 4 with its good balance of metal and plastic.

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The display of the Galaxy Note 4 is sharp, even for today's standards. / © AndroidPIT

LG G5

The LG G5, released in 2016 and unveiled at MWC, certainly packs a ton of features but is still more of a niche device. It has modular expandability that only really appeals to more heavy smartphone users and not the casual buyer.

But don't let this dissuade you from buying the LG G5, even if you aren't the kind of buyer who needs extra modular abilities. It comes with some impressive specs like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 backed up with 4 GB RAM and 23 GB internal memory. And it comes with Android Marshmallow right out of the box.

The biggest drawback for the LG G5 is the price. It started around $800, and while the prices have changed, the device is still pricey. That's due to how new it is and the fact that there isn't a successor yet from LG. Unless you need the benefits of its 554 ppi display or the modules, I would choose one of the other devices on this list.

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A solid design for the modular device. / © AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S5 is a bargain for its current price to performance ratio. The performance and battery life are still very good and the device takes decent pictures. Getting this smartphone, even today, is a smart idea. This 2014 released device still packs enough power for everyday use.

While the design of the Galaxy S5 is a bit homely, it still is about as ergonomic as it gets. And even if you do manage to drop it you probably will still be okay because of its plastic body. And while the screen has the lowest resolution on this list (432 ppi), it's still enough for your daily needs.

The removable 2,800 mAh battery will keep you going for a long time. And you can get a replacement for very little money (less than $10).

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This older device is still good enough for everyday use. / © AndroidPIT

Moto G5

The Moto G5 is an impressive device for its price. It offers a pure Android experience with little extra, an excellent price-performance ratio, a good display and a good camera (during the daylight).

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Lenovo is still loyal to the removable battery. / © AndroidPIT

The Moto G5 could even be praised for what it doesn't have: bloatware. Lenovo hardly installs any useless additional apps. Apart from the standard Google apps, there's hardly anything extra from the manufacturer. This leaves lots of extra space for apps, photos, music and all your other files. If it's not enough, you also have the option of using a MicroSD card.

The replacement battery is identical to that of its predecessor, the Moto G4 Play.

Do you have any more smartphones with removable batteries you like? Which manufacturer needs to adopt the removable battery? Let us know in the comments.

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Readers' favorite comments

  • kate mcmenamin 11 months ago

    bravo i agree - not only do they want you to pay for battery replacement - they more likely want to force you to buy a NEW PHONE - the greed of these major companies is a a disgrace - we can all fight back by buying ONLY phones with removable batteries

  • rbbartho 11 months ago

    A suicidal idea for manufactures to stop building with removable batteries. I am keeping my Galaxy Note4 until they revert to removable batteries. I always carry 2 spares and swap out when running low. What is one supposed to do in a remote area with no power available??

  • Eduardo Barriga Caro Jun 27, 2017

    I don't even consider buying a cellphone with no removable battery. Can you imagine your car with sealed hood and not being able to change its battery? It has been a stupid, pointless and unnecessary decision not to allow the user to change battery. I'm sure this feature was incorporate to force customers to pay for battery replacement, charging a small fortune to do it.

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  • I have had Samsung phones for years but flat out refuse to spend hundreds of dollars on a phone where I will be forced to buy a new one within a couple of years because I can't replace the battery. I think people are stupid for accepting this but the foolishness of people willing to do so is beyond comprehension. Sheep. There are still a couple of Samsung phones with removable batteries but won't work with my carrier. Sayonara Samsung, you've lost a long time customer.


  • LG stylus 3, as offered by Koodo, has removable battery.


  • It occurred to me a while ago that all modern cell phones have a built in life span limitation beyond just the non-replaceable battery. All Android, iPhones and Winderz phones use SD Ram chips welded to the processor board. SD Ram, (the same chips used in Solid State Disks - SSDs) have a maximum write limitation that when reached, renders them useless. Granted this is a lot longer than the life limit of Li-ion batteries but it is a limit that, sadly, my Galaxy S5 will eventually reach. While I can disassemble the phone and replace the processor board (assuming parts availability when needed) it won't make much sense to do so if I can buy a refurbished unit with enough life left in the on-board SD Ram to use it for another 4 or 5 years. If manufactures don't change their philosophy of non-user serviceable batteries I think we will all eventually be forced to buy a new phone that will have a much shorter life span than is reasonable. :-(


    • The manufacturers will not changed the philosophy of non removable battery by the user precisely because the battery lasts much less than the phone. If the battery is not easily changed by the user he will be forced to buy a new phone or spend a fortune sending the contraption to a repair shop to change the battery, both issues is exactly what makers want. Selling more phones is much more profitable than selling batteries to be easily change by the user. This philosophy is completely dishonest. Fortunately there are a few manufacturers who have resisted to discontinue phones with removable batteries. Motorola is one example. I was very happy when I heard Nokia was coming back but as soon as I found that the battery was not user removable, I decided not to buy Nokia. Unless they become completely unavailable, I will NEVER, NEVER buy a sealed phone. Just check the recent problem with Iphone 6 in which Apple decided to slow it down. If the phone had a removable battery, this problem would have never existed. Makers just want to make customers slaves of their whims to make more and more money without taking into account customers satisfaction.


  • Until now I changed my phone very often (they are all exactly the same, but they get "full" very quickly and for me is faster to buy a new one. Not difference beetwen them: huawey, samsumg, apple...) But now I will try to keep my battery replaceable model for years, and probably buy one or two brand new today so when mine is broken I am sure I have a removable battery new model.


  • the main reason for nonremovable batteries is keeping the phone sealed from water and dust.


    • That is weird, because the galaxy S4 active and galaxy s5 active had removable batteries and sd card slots and were water and dust resistant. The main reason for non-removable batteries today is planned obsolescence by the manufacturers.


    • Sorry David but that is not true. The real reason is forcing customers to buy a new phone instead of replacing battery when it works no more. Can you imagine that you had to buy a new car when the battery works no more? I think it is a terrible decision and perhaps one day this will change.


    • This puzzles me. Haven't they got waterproof watches with replaceable batteries for decades?


    • Sorry but with all due respect, THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The reason is to force customers to buy a new phone when the battery ends its life cycle. This has been confirmed by the manufacturers themselves. Can you imagine a USD1.200 phone like the Iphone X which has a sealed body, how much would it cost to replace the battery? Not even Bill Gates can afford it. Manufacturers are just abusing customers by forcing them to buy a new phone instead of buying an additional battery or a replacement. Can you imagine your car with a sealed hood and not being able to replace the battery?


    • Sorry but that's not true. It has been evidenced that the main reason is making people buy a new phone when battery works no more. This has been confirmed by all manufacturers. When the battery is replaceable, less phones will be sold and this industry is kept alive by selling millions and millions of phones even if people don't need to change them.


  • I will NEVER buy an Iphone X not only for the millionaires price but because it does not have a removable battery. Just a small example.


  • I have a 2016 BLU Life XL. Battery is replaceable.


  • rbbartho 11 months ago Link to comment

    A suicidal idea for manufactures to stop building with removable batteries. I am keeping my Galaxy Note4 until they revert to removable batteries. I always carry 2 spares and swap out when running low. What is one supposed to do in a remote area with no power available??


    • Brittany McGhee
      • Admin
      • Staff
      11 months ago Link to comment

      I carry power banks instead of spare batteries to swap out nowadays. It's bulkier, but it gets the job done. I'm pessimistic that removable batteries will make a strong comeback.


      • DKinMN 11 months ago Link to comment

        The problem comes when you try to keep your phone for even the two years that would make sense with most financing. The battery degrades with each charging cycle.


      • That's why manufacturers do it. This is a calculated move by the industry to leave consumers stuck and having to having to get a new phone with no other recourse when the battery life starts to degrade beyond useful limits.


    • DKinMN 11 months ago Link to comment

      Try the V20.


    • I do exactly the same


  • In 2018, Samsung Galaxy S9 will have non removable micro sim and sim card, the place where you put charger will be removed too. People will blame Apple for making Samsung moving away from removable batteries
    Anyway, I post this comment on a phone with non removable battery; it's very laggy

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