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The best smartphones with replaceable batteries you can buy in 2019

Update: Best budget option added
The best smartphones with replaceable batteries you can buy in 2019

Smartphones with removable batteries are a contentious topic. Many readers want this feature to return to flagship devices, but it is not on Android anymore and it doesn't look like it will be making a return in the future. But never fear, here is a list of the best smartphones of the moment with removable batteries, now including the Moto G5.

Nokia 1

This budget Nokia is the cheapest smartphone that can still do a solid job. It runs Android and, crucially, has a removable battery. When it launched in early 2018, it was sold for 99 euros on the continent. Today, you can pick up a new Nokia 1 for as little as $59.99 in the US or £59.99 in the UK.

Sure, it's only got a 4.5-inch low-resolution display, just a single GB of RAM, and only 8 GB of internal storage, but its Android Go software means that you don't really need much power to get your daily tasks done. You can always expand the storage with a MicroSD card too.

AndroidPIT nokia 1 5412
The best option for those on a tight budget. / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

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 Android Nougat. While a lot of phones are moving away from removable batteries and even headphone jacks, the V20 has kept both, despite also having a USB Type-C port.

The LG V20 offers a high definition (1440 x 1560) 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 recent Samsung phones. Besides, you can now get it at quite the 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 it 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.

androidpit samsung galaxy note 4 21
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. 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 device still packs enough power for everyday use.

While the design of the Galaxy S5 is a bit homely, it is about as ergonomic as it gets. Even if you do manage to drop it, it probably will be just fine 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).

androidpit samsung galaxy s5 02
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 a little extra, an excellent price-performance ratio, a good display and a good camera (in 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 Jul 20, 2017

    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 Jul 26, 2017

    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 a Note 4 and a Note 8 and love both but yes, it is sooo absurd not to have swappable batteries which is why I have kept my 4. However, to my knowledge, Samsung won't update the software anymore. This stopped years ago. I was with AT&T and now with consumer Cellular which uses AT&T's towers. Any ideas about keeping the software up to date on the Note 4? Thanks. rich@energyrich.com


  • Simply can't accept that any device rocking "just a single GB of RAM, and only 8 GB of internal storage" is competent to run any current Android, which has been pushing 6GB to 7GB and more internal storage and eating more than half a GB of RAM since Marshmallow, and trying to use performance draining microSD "adoptable" storage for apps will completely exhaust the RAM and strangle the lousy processor. Basically, Android "Go" is nothing but the OS plus a Chrome website with a shortcut on the home screen, and a scam on buyers. Low end consumers are much better off paying less than the price of that crummy Nokia 1 for even three year old devices, with a rock bottom 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 5" screen and a microSD card, and those choices abound. (Set aside my aging ZTE Android L, compare the Moto E4 with Android N at U$100, and other choices abound. I'd tell Nokia where to "Go" with that phone.)


  • Mark
    • Admin
    9 months ago Link to comment

    I have the LG V20 and the Note 4. I have said many times I think the Note 4 is still the best phone ever produced. Plus it has longevity, durability and it will still run most apps. I like my V20 but the Note 4 is still my daily phone.


  • 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.


    • Siggy 5 months ago Link to comment

      Having a replaceable battery is BETTER for preventing water damage because you can remove the battery and dry the phone without any electricity being involved at all. On sealed phones, you cannot do this.

      Maybe the seals will hold and the water won't penetrate but, if it does, the phone is toast.

      Water damage is usually not instantaneous... it takes time for any short circuits to occur and to get hot enough to do any damage. I can remove the back of my Galaxy Note 4 and the battery in a second or two. This doesn't guarantee that the phone will remain undamaged but it makes it very likely.


  • 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.


  • 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??


    • 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.


      • 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.


    • 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


  • 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.


  • Galaxy Note 4, rooted with Custom Note 7 ROM.. Perfect ..


  •   31
    Deactivated Account Jun 27, 2017 Link to comment

    that's a very short list..
    so any current decent device is basically considered throwaway after a few years, probably just as well.
    amazing coincidence that the lifespan of your average smartphone battery lasts a little bit longer than the average software support..

    but.. I've got plenty of choice, I can get a flagship with 6/8 GB of ram so I'm ok for future proofing and the glass back is gonna be great for at least ... oh yeah I forgot, the average future of a OEM supported device is about 3yrs if you're lucky,
    like the battery.


    • vperl Jun 27, 2017 Link to comment

      Your spot on.... Would love to see battery size increase by double, to minimum of 4500.
      USB-C is fine for fast charging if you have time and a active plug. Travel, it can be no fun.


      •   31
        Deactivated Account Jun 27, 2017 Link to comment

        yes currently making do with a miserly 2300mAh in my 2nd gen Moto X.. 4000mAh would totally change the way I use it.
        lesson learnt, next device I buy for mobile use will have at least 3500mAh and unfortunately no choice whatsoever with regards to removable battery.


      • vperl Jun 27, 2017 Link to comment

        For some reason unbeknownst to anybody I would not mind a little thicker phone with plenty of extra power in it than a little skinny phone that has half as long life as you need it. I'm beginning to think the reason why is because just like you said every three years or sooner you got to get a new phone. Having a phone with a lifespan of three years is like buying a brand new car every three years just because you have to change the tires


      • Buy and extra battery for that slim phone, then your covered. Yes it can be a hassle to take a extra batt around but they are small and it's completely worth it when you actually NEED it.


  • A good decent phone with removable battery Motorola Moto G5


  • Beware of LG G4 serial # models that begin with 504-509, they are prone to boot-looping (infinite loop to LG start logo screen), otherwise other LG G4 models past the 509 seem to be still doing well. I was an owner of an LG G4 and after 1 year and 8 months, the LG G4 randomly froze on me one day and began boot-looping ever since.

    I have bought a Nexus 6P since then and have never looked back.


    • i'm laughing because this happened to me 3 times in the past 2 years with my lg g4. verizon seems to know about the problem because they sent me replacements with no questions asked.
      makes me hesitant to get an lg again, but that g5 and v20 is looking really good.


  • You forgot Samsung J7 2016 (Chinatel) with 3 gb RAM. Best buy currently.


  • Just remove that S5 from that list.

    I bought a used galaxy S5 2 month ago, first 3 days was woking fine but at day 4 I noticed that the screen is not resonding after I turn it off and on many times and sometimes does not work at all only sounds and black dead screen. I tried to fix it for days but no luck and huge number of people had the same issue.

    I replaced it with another one ( S5 ) and used it a little and found that the screen flickers on low brightness, I tried to fix it again and read tons of threads on the net ( flashed it, Factory reset, taking off the battery and hold power button I even smashed ! ) but no luck !!

    Then I went back to my little monster S4, after a month I figured that the screen of the S5 is easy to get damaged from the phone falls and it get worse by time to reach higher brightness levels until it completely start to be dead like my first S5

    So if you think about buying this crap, run away !


    • Bad luck.
      That I what you have. Did you buy a second hand one? Twice?
      If do you do not know what the previous owner did (like rooting and over clock cpu wich is in many cases unnecessary and harmful for hardware) with the phone.
      Even when they were new I can not understand all flaws you describe.
      S5 has several models with different specs.
      I have the S5 Plus (SM-G901F kccat6) and I do not recognizable ANY of your troubles.
      Sadly enough Samsung says S5 would not be " compattible" (?? !! ) with Android Nougat so in Stock Rom it will stay on Marshmallow.
      How strange it is Samsung talking about the phone being incompatible to Nougat since on XDA-DEVELOPERS Forum there are 2 developers who have succesfully made their own version Nougat.
      There are just a few minor bugs wich I expect will be solved in a few weeks.
      Anyway. On Marshmallow the S5 performs great an reliable and I do not recognizable your story.
      I asked 3 friends who have different models than I have from S5 and they do not have the troubles you describe.


  • I can vouch for Galaxy Note 4. They are even better than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.


    • yeah but recently that what happen to the most of them
      us.community.samsung.com/t5/Galaxy-Note-Phones/galaxy-note-4-could-not-do-normal-boot-mmc-read-failed-error/td-p/84750/page/5


  • Aren't phones with built in batteries a fire hazard because the batteries can overheat like the Galaxy Note 7?


  • Yep have my note 4 great phone and an LG g5 that's excelled all I need


  • Let me make it easy for you. Samsung Note 4 & S5, LG G3, G4, G5 V10. Done.


  • My family and I have and still love 2 S5s and my Note 4, a friend and his son inlaw both have V10s. I am curious about the V20. I wish that someone else would compete with a stylus.


  • i disagree, samsung s5 was one big peace of shit. S6 was good phone, but with removable battery. i will say good phone is lg g4 and lg v10


  • where the hell is the v10?


  • I have the LG V10 and it's the best phone I ever had. When I got it it also came with a extra battery and a 200 gb card. I don't understand why it's not on this list.


  • Bought the S5 (SM-G900F) last year in January. Don't have any regrets about my choice. Device is extremely fast, no lag in any games I play, battery lasts forever (yesterday replaced it as old was starting to lose charge and shut down when it said it had juice left), rooted with lots of xposed modules enabled + greenify. My advice to anyone having lag or short lasting battery life is to immediately install the Greenify app on his rooted phone. Did wonders for me, phone fast as ever, battery lasts forever ( ͡o ͜ʖ ͡o)


    • why you are a lier. samsung s5 isn't fast in gameplay. it gets extremely hot when you play a games


      • Did you have Greenify installed on your S5? Did you run 10 apps at once and expect flawless gameplay? I'm just sharing my own experience, and i said it doesn't lag in the games i play, not that it can run anything ...


      • Acusing anybody for being a liar is inmature and shamelessly rude. How dare you! (@ Mr Maders G)

        She is sharing her own expirience wich differs from yours. So what? That makes her a liar? Are you crazy?
        And maybe you installed b.s. apps running on background on yours causing overheating.
        Just giving an example for reasons possible your phone performs bad an hers (and mine) perform great.
        It would be nice to show some respect to other people here, instead the bad behaviour you are showing. Shame on you.


    • if you think about buying this crap, run away !! Read my full comment to know why.


    • Hi Moni

      I totally agree with you.
      It is a good phone, for personal reasons I rooted it also and with Xposed and greenify for start the party is getting better and better.
      I have model SM-G901F wich differs in CPU with yours but that's minor specs.


  • The Note 4 is definitely the best. Still going to rule for another 2 or 3yrs...


    • You really have to have one and learn to use it to get incredible usefulness out of the NOTE4. The Iphone is a great phone, but the Note 4 is the MOST flexible, useful phone ever made...And don't give me that CRAP about wireless charging. You have to put it down while charging, wireless or not...Wireless charging my ass...Just pop in another battery, up to 10,000 mha.!!!


    • I have two Note 4 phones now ...one is 3 years old and the othe is 9 months old, bought from a previous owner...I love both of them and I guess I will carry on using them for as long as poss...
      I could never see myself buying a phone with a trapped battery...I charge batteries in their Samsung made external battery chargers...and now look at the marketing executives touting their new phones with embedded batteries...makes me sick that they have to follow the other manufacturers into this set of "UNETHICAL" way of selling their wares.


  • I dropped my phone in the swimming pool. Retrieved it soon as possible, tried to dry it out with blow dryer???did I ruin it? I placed it in a bag of rice also.... Is it possible to get my picture off even though it is not working??? thanks, Sharon


    • Sad to hear your phone got wet.
      I can not say if you ruined it with blow dryer but it is not the smartest thing to do since if the hot air can destroy hardware soldering etc.
      If you drop any phone in water pull as quick as you can the battery if removable, take off removable parts and dry as good as you can with soft cotton cloth or towel paper. than place it in a bag of rice for at least 24 hours.
      Put back battery and hope for the best.
      If that not works you could win advice at the local phone repairshop.
      good luck and peace ✌


  • Mark
    • Admin
    Aug 28, 2016 Link to comment

    Currently I agree the Note 4 is the best phone with a removable battery. It is still one of the best phones on the market today. Yes you can get phones with better bench marks. For over all functionality nothing beats the Note 4. I think that will change with the new LG V20, due out soon.


  • You will enjoy the LG G4 until it boot loops on you. Been there... Done that. Do your research on it first.


  • The LG G4 is probably the best phone overall. It's 3,000 mah battery delivers great all day battery life & is easily removable. The 5.5 inch screen is a little smaller than the Galaxy Note 4's which makes it a bit easier to handle.


  • S5 Plus (sm-G901F) still does the job! Root it, install xposed-v84.0-alt-sdk23-arm-custom-build-by-wanam-20160504.zip from XDA, search for Project Skynet or just use Greenify-app (root) and do not worry for your battery any more. :-)

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