Mobile phones with removable battery have become a sort of relic for the past couple of years, but they haven’t disappeared just yet. Here’s why removable batteries in smartphones have faded away, but there are a few you can buy right now, and you can find them down below.

For most of the millennials out there, the earliest memory of wireless communication comes from those chunky cellphones that are parents carried around. As the tech behind mobile phones developed even further, we moved up the food chain with powerful multimedia devices that would allow us to listen to music, play games, and even browse the internet, even if it was within certain limitations. However, the process of setting things up was the usual – remove the back housing, pop out the battery, slide in the SIM card, put the battery back in place, and you’re set to start using your new mobile phone.

However, the general design of mobile devices has undergone a significant change, with the polymer plastic casing dropped out of fashion and replaced with metal and glass. The moment was started with the very first Apple iPhone, and it took a while for Android OS devices to catch on to the trend. It is safe to say that today, you can barely find any mobile phones out there that offer the ability to swap out the battery and replace it with the ease and comfort that we once took for granted.

Phones with removable battery are going away

Over the past decade, the design technology behind mobile phones has undergone a radical shift, with the available screen size ratio increased to an all-time high and the chassis getting slimmer and slimmer with each variant. The number of camera modules has quadrupled in some cases, and the materials traditionally used to carve out the body of the smartphone have been replaced as well.

Improved design – One of the biggest changes made in terms of the design has been the industry standard of non-removable batteries, and it has been taken up seriously by every major manufacturer out there. Since mobile phones have become a status symbol of sorts, using premium materials such as tempered glass for cosmetic beauty, and metal chassis for durability, which sandwiched together, leave no room for a removable battery.

Maximizing the space – Unless you’re a geek who spends researching the insides of smartphones, you wouldn’t know the intricate tech that goes into maximizing the performance of your phone, while still keeping it pocket-friendly. Cramming new hardware into the chassis of the device can take some serious planning, and by eliminating moving parts such as removable battery, it becomes easier for manufacturers to compartmentalize the space available.

Water-resistance – The horrid problem of water damage has troubled the consumer market for years, but with a smartphone that has all of its vulnerable parts sealed shut, you don’t have to worry too much about the moisture making its way to the connectors, frying the circuit board. The IP resistance rating that we enjoy is made possible due to the trade-off of having a non-removable battery.

Unconventional battery shapes – Although the majority of mobile devices still come with a standard rectangular lithium-ion battery, there are certain devices out there that are now encapsulated with batteries that are oddly shaped. For instance, some smartphones now come with two separate battery packs placed on top of each other for space-saving and increasing the capacity, and creating a removable battery for such a design would be impractical on a commercial scale.

Good for business – At the end of the day, the reason Apple made sure that you cannot swap out the battery is to deter users from inspecting the phone from the inside. Since every smartphone manufacturer is out there to make money, it is in their best interest to have their customers reach out to them for repairs and replacements of batteries, making is a monetarily beneficial change to the design.

Best Android phones with removable battery to buy now

Considering the list of reasons above that all point towards the fading away of removable battery technology from mobile phones, the first isn’t over yet. While we may have made peace with the fact that smartphones are now going to be a combination of glass and metal, this handful of budget Android devices still offers a back housing that can be removed to access the battery.

Motorola Moto E6 Plus

The newest addition to the mid-tier E-series from Motorola is the Moto E6 Plus, which is possibly the newest smartphone on the market with a swappable battery. Priced for the budget with a Mediatek processor, the Moto E6 Plus takes a step back with the Micro-USB connector, but still packs plenty of megapixels with a dual-camera setup on the back. Available in Graphite and Cherry color schemes for you to choose from, the smartphone comes with some premium features such as a fingerprint reader and splash protection against water and moisture, despite the removable housing cover.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.2-inch IPS LCD display
  • Processor – Mediatek MT6267 Helio P22
  • RAM – 2GB/4GB
  • Storage – 32GB/64GB expandable up to 512GB
  • Camera – 13MP+2MP rear + 8MP front
  • Battery – 3,000mAh
  • Software – Android 9 Pie

Get the Motorola Moto E6 Plus

Nokia 2.2

The Finnish tech giant may not enjoy the strong market share that it once did, but under its revival as a budget Android smartphone manufacturer, the release of Nokia 2.2 is a welcomed one. Running Android Pie 9 based on Android One for a pure and unfiltered Google-style user interface, you get a Mediatek processor with plenty of RAM power to keep things humming smoothly. Available in Steel and Black color variants, the gigantic display on a small body frame, along with a multi-camera setup on the rear makes the Nokia 2.2 among the most modern phones with removable battery pack.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.71-inch IPS LCD display
  • Processor – Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22
  • RAM – 2GB/3GB
  • Storage – 16GB/32GB expandable up to 400GB
  • Camera – 13MP rear + 5MP front
  • Battery – 3,000mAh
  • Software – Android 9 Pie (Android One)

Get the Nokia 2.2

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4S

Even before Samsung chose to glue its glass and aluminum Galaxy devices shut, the South Korean tech giant had found a way to make its Galaxy S5 water and dust resistant. The same technology has now been brought over to the Galaxy Xcover 4S budget phone takes not only offer water resistance but a removable back cover as well. Packing a powerful punch with Samsung’s very own Exynos processor, the Galaxy Xcover 4S is the only smartphone on the list to boast a USB Type-C connector, on par to the modern standards, but with only a single camera on the rear, in comparison to most that offer at least two lenses.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.0-inch PLS TFT display
  • Processor – Samsung Exynos 7885
  • RAM – 3GB
  • Storage – 32GB expandable up to 1TB
  • Camera – 16MP rear + 5MP front
  • Battery – 2,800mAh
  • Software – Android 9 Pie

Get the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4S

LG Tribute Empire

There may not be any outstanding feature on the budget LG Tribute Empire that would warrant its presence on the list, but the fact that it is the cheapest smartphone that you can buy right now with a removable battery forces us to do so. Offering plenty of hardware prowess for very little money, the LG Tribute Empire runs the older, yet stable and supported version of Android 8.1 Oreo, alongside a decent display screen, but with none of the edge-to-edge bezel-less display that most modern devices come with these days.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.0-inch IPS LCD display
  • Processor – Mediatek MT6750
  • RAM – 2GB
  • Storage – 16GB expandable up to 32GB
  • Camera – 8MP rear + 5MP front
  • Battery – 2,500mAh
  • Software – Android 8.1 Oreo

Get the LG Tribute Empire

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

Samsung may have moved on from the pebble design after the Galaxy S7 and S& Edge a few years ago, but the spirit is alive with the Galaxy J7 Prime, which itself has a few years under its belt now. When it comes to performance quality, this is among the only phones with removable battery that offers Samsung’s revered AMOLED display for vibrant colors and deep blacks. Additionally, the combination of an Exynos processor and plenty of RAM makes the user experience buttery smooth, all thanks to the updated Android 8.0 Oreo that the devices run right out of the box.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.5-inch SAMOLED display
  • Processor – Samsung Exynos 7885
  • RAM – 4GB
  • Storage – 32GB expandable up to 256GB
  • Camera – 13MP rear + 5MP front
  • Battery – 3,000mAh
  • Software – Android 8.0 Oreo

Get the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

Nokia 1 Plus

Obsessed with capturing the entire budget smartphone market with devices that offer a surprising amount of value in terms of quality and performance, the Nokia 1 Plus is the brand’s attempt to bring the best of Android at a fraction of the price. Although the specs sheet isn’t impressive enough with the very basic hardware, the inclusion of the light and zippy Android 9 Pie Go Edition ensures that enjoy what the latest version of Android has to offer. All thanks to the 16:9 display screen ratio, you get a 5.45-inch display screen on a much smaller device, making it ideal for visual entertainment.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.45-inch IPS LCD display
  • Processor – Mediatek MT6739WW
  • RAM – 1GB
  • Storage – 8GB/16GB expandable up to 128GB
  • Camera – 8MP rear + 5MP front
  • Battery – 2,500mAh
  • Software – Android 9 Pie Go Edition

Get the Nokia 1 Plus

Motorola Moto E5 Play

A predecessor to the newest name among the phones with removable battery on the list, Motorola Moto E5 Play is the lighter version in its series, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and Android 8.0 Oreo version. While it may be a year older now, the near-stock Android OS experience, hardware capabilities to run most apps and games without a hiccup, and a front flash for lightened selfies make it an ideal multimedia phone. The addition of splash resistance, decent battery capacity, and fast charging gives the Motorola Moto E5 Play the upper edge.

Specs:

  • Display screen – 5.2-inch IPS LCD display
  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
  • RAM – 2GB
  • Storage – 16GB expandable up to 256GB
  • Camera – 8MP rear + 5MP front
  • Battery – 2,800mAh
  • Software – Android 8.0 Oreo

Get the Motorola Moto E5 Play

Final Words

There are several elements in mobile technology that seemed irreplaceable during its heyday but have now become relics of the past. From the universally acclaimed Symbian OS of the Nokia empire to the 3.5mm headphone jack that seems to be going away with every new Android flagship that is released, even the core hardware features of mobile devices can be dropped to usher in something better. A mobile phone with removable battery once offered the convenience of swapping out the battery pack, but with the improvement of battery life and fast charging technology, there isn’t much of a reason to have the feature in the first place.

However, there are some surviving Android phones that continue to offer the option of a removable battery, although most of them belong to the budget phone category. So, go ahead and grab your mobile phone with removable battery right now from the list offered above, and for any questions that you may have, reach out to us in the comments section right down below.

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool

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