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How important is a removable battery in today's Android phones?

The debate over removable batteries in Android phones has been one that sees no end, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of what this entails, though ultimately it really comes down to your personal needs. Now it’s time for you to pick up the sharing stick and let us know what you think is important.

samsung galaxy s5 mini 5
How important are removable batteries in Android phones? / © ANDROIDPIT

I’ve always had this question in mind about whether a removable is actually necessary or not. Many users seem to agree that it’s a good thing to have. Why? Flexibility for one: unlike battery packs, a second battery doesn’t weigh much, so lugging it around is no great burden, plus you won’t be preoccupied about when you’ll get your next dose of electricity. The amount of times where I’ve said ''Sorry, my battery died!'' with my Nexus 5 is ridiculous.

This is no trivial matter either: quite often smartphone users barely make it through a day, and no one has battery life for longer than 2 (if you’re using your phone to the normal extend one likely would). Another downside is also of course that batteries start to go into retirement sooner than phones, and for those who don’t want to tinker with their phone for fear of losing their warranty, or don’t want to pay the extra bucks to bring it to a repair shop, having a battery that you can be easily replaced would be great!

Those were the pro replaceable battery arguments, but not all users are in this boat. For one, you can’t have the same great unibody like on the HTC One M8 and have a replaceable battery. Plus you have to consider what millions of iPhone users must have been thinking, as well as all those with Android phones that cannot be opened. The option of exchangeable batteries have a few disadvantages: like mentioned above, no metal unibody, and the question of water resistancy, which is rendered difficult, considering that every crack presents a risk.  (The Galaxy S5 has an exchangeable battery, but it is only water resistant, and not waterproof like the Xperia Z3.)

I’ll pass the sharing stick at this point to you: how important are exchangeable batteries in today’s smartphone?

An exchangeable battery is...
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  • A replaceable battery is the most essential feature in a phone for my use.
    I use my spare in my S5 a couple of times per week.

    Second to that is SD card support.

    Phone manufacturers need to dump uni body, quadhd, and gimmick features like heart rate monitors, ir remote control etc.
    And concentrate on function, battery life and storage.
    There is now a gap in the market.

    I would take a 720 screen of 5" or less with a battery and SD card, over a 6" quad-hd, gimmick ridden phone with a built-in battery and no expansion for storage. Anyday of the week.

    What would make me give up a swappable battery and SD card?

    A) 30 hrs continuous use battery life (screen on and Web usage, or GPS navigation for 30hrs+)
    128 GB built in memory without the exorbitant up charge. ($50 ok)

    Maybe I am alone, but I don't think so.

  • Dylan Mar 1, 2015 Link to comment

    I need SD card support and a removable battery. I don't know why anybody would ever want a "sturdy unibody". I mean, I'm gonna be putting an Otterbox on the phone anyway, so why would I care about how slim/sturdy the phone itself is?

  • Mexie Mex Nov 22, 2014 Link to comment

    I refuse to buy a phone without a removable battery! I always keep a couple of charged batteries in my wallet, and if I need it, I'm up and running again in seconds, unlike those with bulky recharge packs. I really don't understand this trend for removing useful features on new phones, if you need a changeable battery it's essential, if you don't it makes no difference if it's removable or not, so keeping it removable is best for everybody.

  • Surprising to see so many people wanting a replaceable battery. Most phones today have 2 days and more battery life, I never had a battery that was empty at the end of the day.

  • plck74 Oct 11, 2014 Link to comment

    it is easy. if not, need go to shop and pay thier service.

  • GrossDad Oct 10, 2014 Link to comment

    Removable battery and SD card expansion were my deal breakers when choosing my current phone.
    That's why I have an S4 instead of a Nexus 5 or Moto X

  • Why would anyone care about unibody? A removable battery is not really a must have for me but it's useful of you intend to use the same phone for a few years. I intend to use my nexus 5 till it dies but I highly doubt that the battery will be good enough for a few years.

  • Angus P. Oct 10, 2014 Link to comment

    having a removable battery as well as microSD is really you more flexibility..especially if you travel alot..
    it also gives the user the ability to purchase a larger battery and change when you need to.
    for external storage some people will argue that cloud storage is the future, but consider having no internet or not fast speed all the time to access cloud services, as well as privacy issues people are concerned about..

  • sinkster
    • Admin
    Oct 10, 2014 Link to comment

    I've had three smartphones with a removable battery and three without and, to be totally honest, it doesn't make any difference to me. I've never been so far away from a power source that I couldn't charge a phone at some point, or been so worried about the battery life that I needed to check every hour (not since my Xperia Arc anyway). Multi-core phones mean there is minimal battery drain while they're idle too; when my Nexus 5 is left overnight it loses between 0.5-1% battery per hour, still synced and no functionality turned off, with similar results for my old HTC One X (I can still drain the battery of any phone within 4 hours easily through downloading, streaming, gaming etc. of course!) and the Nexus takes such a short time to charge that battery packs are now redundant.

  • steven Oct 10, 2014 Link to comment

    For me, a removable battery is very important. I rely on my phone for my business and personal uses, and I always carry a spare battery with me in my pocket. in which case I'm glad I do because I've found many times where I wasn't around a wall plug or a usb port, and it's saved my life quite a few times. and really, .... it only takes about a minute to pop off the case, then the cover, then swap the batteries, then put it all back together. no harm no sweat, no problem. and the removable battery is the first item I look at when considering my purchase of a new smart phone.

  • Lee Oct 9, 2014 Link to comment

    Very Important, I always carry a fully charged spare as I might not have access to a power point.

  • I don't want to have to worry about looking after batteries. When I replaced my S3 it had just had it's third battery at 2 years old. So one of the must haves for it's replacement was a replaceable battery which the LG G3 has

  • When I switched from an iPhone 4S to a Galaxy S4 the removable battery was one of the things I wanted becuase I thought I would have a hard time conserving the battery to last me a day.

    When I had my iPhone I had a jailbreak tweak that made my phone impossible to turn off without a password and that was one of the first things I really missed from my iPhone when I started using my S4 since now everybody could turn it off and I wouldnt be able to track it anymore.

    So I voted for the "...optional, I could go either way." as long as I get removable storage Im good!

    • You are totally right, i was about to say that. If phone gets stolen battery can easily be removed and its gone, you cant track it anymore. I found a module wich only works rooted to prevent phone turning off before unlocked, but its useless for me cause i have a Note3....

    • MarcVI Oct 11, 2014 Link to comment

      It takes about 5 minutes to open an iPhone and remove the battery

      • Angus P. Oct 11, 2014 Link to comment

        @Marc, it is possible indeed...BUT not so convenient as other phones...firstly, you need some tools and then have a risk of messing up the internal wires for battery or bracket..

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