Non Removable Battery Advantages and Disadvantages for Mobile Phones

Removable phone battery

You are probably well aware of the fact that many phone comes with a non-removable battery, which the phone doesn’t offer a away for you to  replace the battery and use a spare battery. The fact is that most people don’t carry nor they want to carry a second battery with them. I agree that having an option to do so is a good.  Some say that by removing the battery we are actually reducing the life span of the device due to dust entering the battery chamber and damage the phone and changing batteries reduce its lifespan.

I’ve read many negative opinions about the HTC One from people complaining about not having the option to replace the battery. Is it a big issue or not – in this article I want to present to you some of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and you’ll decide whether you are convinced or not.

Removable battery gives you convenience and in fact some people do carry an extra battery with them. There are options to extend the battery capacity even double it with a battery case. For example, you can use the Mophie Juice Pack for the HTC One ($99.95)  that doubles the battery life of the HTC One. As you know, the HTC One doesn’t have a removable battery and many people complained about it.  The disadvantage is that the cover thickens the phone profile. It’s not too bad though and a hard case with integrated rechargeable battery might be your best bet here.

Take a look at the next image and see the difference in size for yourself:

HTC One Mophie JuicePack

HTC One Mophie JuicePack – Before & After

You can see that the battery case adds to the overall size of the phone quote a lot, but you get twice the battery life  (HTC One battery life) and I think that for some people that’s more important than aesthetics. The great thing is that you can still continue to charge and sync your phone via USB and the lens and LED flash visibility are not compromised in any way.

The you the truth, I never liked the flimsy back covers of my phone. I didn’t like when I drop the phone the cover detaches from the phone and I need to attach it again.  I also think that in some cases this helps protect the phone, especially if you dropped the phone accidentally in the sand or where there are lots of dust and other particles which can actually damage your phone if they get inside it.

No doubt that a unibody phone design looks better and I think that many people love it. A slick aluminum zero-gap aluminum phone looks and feels great in the hands. You’l have less parts that can break when you drop the phone, less gaps for dust to enter the phone itself.

Non-removable battery / Phones with non-removable battery advantages:

  • Less parts that can break
  • Phone manufacturer can make their phone slimmer
  • Battery door can break
  • Less gaps from which dust can get into the device
  • By removing the device you let dust and humid inside your phone that can damage it, especially if left open for a long period of time
  • Zero-gap unibody design looks slick and more solid
  • In some phones that also means lack of micro SD card slot too (HTC One doesn’t have a microSD card slot)
  • There is always an option to purchase a battery cover, but that adds bulkiness to the phone and doesn’t come cheap (Samsung Galaxy S4 battery costs between $10-15 depends on the brand and capacity)

It seems that most people aren’t convinced with that, and for them the cons outweigh the pros. The two most concerns are:

  • What happens a year when my battery performance is degraded and I want to replace it with a better one? (does the phone manufacturer can replace that battery?)
  • What happens when my phone freezes? With a removable battery I can just take the battery out and put it back (hard reset?)
  • Not having the option to use a spare battery, which is also the cheapest option out there

Some people the first thing that they do is to purchase a spare battery. Those battery are cheap so people don’t mind buying a second battery. In case that the first one is out, you can easily put the second battery and continue using your phone. Great when you are on the move and far away from a place where you can charge your phone. It’s worth mentioning that with phones with removable battery you also have the option to use an extended large-capacity battery with a dedicated cover. For example, you can purchase the Hyperion Samsung Galaxy S4 5200 mAh extended battery + black back cover for only $17.99 on Amazon. A cheap and effective solution to extend your phone’s battery life.

The advantages of having a removable battery/cover?

  • Easy to replace the battery with a newer on when the battery performance decreases
  • Can buy a spare second battery and use it when the first one it out of power
  • Most of those phones do offer a microSD card slot


Some people are carrying a battery bank with them so the can charger their phone on the go. Take the  EasyAcc 12000mAh 2 USB external battery pack charger power bank . It’s a universal power pack comes with either two or four USB ports, so you can charge even several devices at the same time. It’s compatible with the Apple iPad Mini, iPad 4 2 2, Android tablets, iPhone 5/4S/4/3Gs, Samsung Galaxy S4 / S3, S2, Blackberry devices, cameras, MP4 players, you name it. For a price of around $40, you just can’t go wrong.  According to the manufacturer, it will supply about 600%~%700 of iPhone 4 battery life and 200%~250 of Google Nexus 7 battery life. It’s the perfect companion for a long flight, when traveling on a bus or whenever you need that extra power to last all day long on heavy multimedia and wireless usage.

So you can see that there are very affordable options out there.  The most easiest, more convenient and cost effective option is to have a phone with a removable battery/cover. All you have to do is to buy a cheap spare battery and get it over with. For most people this will be more than enough. People don’t like buying a phone and be worries about what happens in the future. They want to rest assured that they phone’s battery will continue to operate at high capacity and offer optimal performance even after a few months after purchasing the device.

Even more than that, at some point in time you might consider selling your phone in second hand website. Having a non-removable battery might make those phones less attractive for buyers that are searching to buy a second hand phone. Regarding the HTC One, I still didn’t find an official answer whether it’s possible to send the phone to the official lab for battery replacement or not. If you have that information, please comment below.

Remember, batteries wear out long before anything else on the phone. Some people don’t replace their phone every year and can hold it for even 3 to 4 years. For many people it’s easier to just get a phone with a removable battery and not worry about all this nonsense. Other people don’t mind or even prefer having a phone with a non-removable battery as they will upgrade to a newer model anyway after a year.

I also think that for businessmen, having a spare battery is the best option. When it comes to business, there are crucial times that you just can’t offer to be unavailable. I don’t know how it will effect the HTC One for people who use their phone for business, but that’s something to consider too I think.

Everyone of us makes its own choice. I think that most people prefer having a removable battery even with all those cons that I’ve mentioned. I personally have a phone with a removable battery that fell dozen of times, got dust in it and even after a mild abuse is still working perfectly fine and battery life is still in its best. So for me that’s some kind of evidence that maybe this all non-removable battery advantages just doesn’t stick (at least from my own experience).

Which one you prefer? – share your opinion by commenting below.


{ 20 comments… add one }

  • AJ June 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Thank you for bringing up the comment on being able to reset the phone by removing the battery. Out of all the removable vs non-removable battery debates I have seen, this gets left out the most. I prefer the HTC One body over the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, I’ve had a Droid 1 and HTC Evo with removable batteries. I also have a Nook Color and Ipod without removable batteries. All 4 devices have frozen at some point or another. The Droid and Evo were easy minute fixes by removing the battery. The Nook and Ipod I had to either wait for the battery to die, or plug it into a computer hoping that would fix it. That alone is a bigger advantage over being able to change batteries.

    Reply edit
  • Jim August 2, 2013 at 10:26 am

    New Sony Honami & Nokia Lumia 1020 does not allow replaceable batteries either. If I were to get them 2 years down the road I need to get some repair shop to replace them for which will cost money. I usually don’t replace my phone often. I only replace them every 4 years or so. I agree with above comment if the phone jams without hard reset button I am screwed.

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  • sana August 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    thanks for such useful information.

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  • JOE MURICA August 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    What you fail to mention is the ability to remove the phone’s power source to ensure it is not sending or receiving data without your consent – especially in the context of remote monitoring.

    If we have to accept the fact that we don’t know what code is executing on our phones it seems our only recourse is to ensure that we have control over whether or not the phone has a source of power.

    The inability to remove the battery puts restrictions on that last remaining liberty.

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  • Tony August 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I will not purchase a phone that doesn’t have a removable battery or doesn’t have expandable memory storage. I really love being able to just pop in another
    battery at a moments notice in my samsung galaxy. It’s extremely convenient, & Lightweight. I can watch or talk all day without being tethered to a wall plug or external battery bank. I charge any extra drained batteries at home in a 600ma battery wall charger at night. Easy as pie. I found that having the extra micro SD card has really saved the day when my phone started running jittery and slow. I just transferred apps from my internal storage to my SD card and freed up some internal storage therefor allowing my phone to run as smooth as it was before I started installing apps on it. It also makes it easy when making pics at your local Kodak Kiosk. Just pull the card out, put it in kiosk and make some pictures, again, easy as pie. Although I really liked the HTC One’s design, The lack of these features keeps me from trying it. Also, when I reviewed it on (, they tear down phones and give repair reviews, they said it was the most UNREPAIRABLE phone they had ever taken apart! The case of the HTC ONE is glued together and it is impossible to separate the front from the back without damaging the phone casing. It has to be replaced it you try to open the phone for repairs. That was enough for me. No way I was going to purchase a basically impossible to repair phone with no removable battery and no removable micro SD card. Thats exactly why I wont buy an Iphone either. I’ll stick with my plastic Galaxy phones, there dependable, and well thought out functionality for the user.

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  • koko August 15, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I thought I would never buy a mobile with non-removable battery but life is full of surprises and I ended up having Sony Acro S the best phone I ever had ;) )

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  • Ashroft August 16, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Nice points about the disadvantages of Non-removable batteries.It boosts my confidence in buying phones with a removable battery.Gonna buy an Xperia L this weekend.Thanks!

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  • Sachin September 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I agree,, i had a htc desire and had it powered with Mugen once the original died. Now I have moved on and looking forward to buy note 3.

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  • Alex September 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Having converted my entire family from apple devices to android we all vastly prefer the ability to remove the battery with software malfunctions, add in SD cards for more memory, and I frequently switch between my main battery and spare battery on the wall socket I always have charged.

    Until we have a different type of battery chemistry that is significantly better than Lithium ion or Lithium Polymer, exchanging batteries is a fact of life for heavy phones users.

    Even if a day comes where we can efficiently have sealed cases, they still need to include a ‘hard off’ button that can physically break the circuit between the phone and the battery. If all sealed cases incorporated this feature I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this while waiting for my Tab 10.1 to die so I can finally restart it and boot back up.

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  • John September 24, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I won’t buy a phone unless it has a removable battery. The main reason is the life of the battery, not the run time. I have a one year old iPod Touch 5th gen and the battery is already deteriorating. I would like to buy a new battery for, say $30, and just pop it in and toss the old battery. The manufacturer wants me to give up my iPod for a few days, mail it in, and pay $75 to replace the battery. This is way too inconvenient and costly. I can’t imagine doing that with a phone and being without a cell phone for a few days.

    It may also be nice to have a second battery to extend run time but that isn’t my primary reason for wanting a user replaceable battery.

    Reply edit
  • Tony November 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    There is a hard reset option without removing the battery in all non removable batteries phones, u just need to check the manual that comes with ur phone. For example, mine which is an XT910, hard reset combination is vol up + vol down + power off at the same time for abt 5 seconds

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  • Mir rokon November 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Non removal battery is a problem for budget customers. In case the is damaged you have no solution.
    I love lumia 720, 1020, 625 but those have non removal battery,
    thats why i fell insecure over the those phones though i like these phones. Why Nokia use non removal battery i don’t know.
    This a my great complain against Nokia.

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    • adrian December 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      ask also nokia why the use windows…. I think it may have to do with the IOS I think the windows IOS required phone manufacturers to not have removable memory card and battery… But not sure 100% Its those brainless people that destroy companies.. As you can see how popular windows IOS is and where nokia went listening to microsoft..

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  • Suranjith November 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Article is really helpful to me.I also prefer buying a phone with removable battery.

    Reply edit
  • adrian December 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    as of right now only one manufacturer thinks outside the box (samsung) Don’t understand Sony and other companies… :( how can I use a smart phone if the battery don’t even last one day… Would never buy a phone without a emplacement battery… I have 3 batteries now, 2nd battery always with me and 1 at home charging… Regarding the dust… never see any dust inside the bay when changing the battery… In compare when I opened my I phone 4, found a lot of dust inside, it was easy to open the back cover.. but very hard to remove the old battery because do the heat it kind of glowed itself over the 2 years of use to the body…

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  • James May 31, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    And, if ever your phone has become immersed in water, it is very good to be able to remove the battery.
    If you fail to do so the phone will destroy itself in no time at all. The current flowing in the electronics will eat away the tracks and compoments.
    Just ask my wife!
    Once the battery is removed, shake out as much water as possible out of the phone and leave in a warm place, battery compartment upwards, for a week or so, before reconnecting the battery.
    Please note by warm I mean someware you could keep your hand for more than 30 seconds. Do not use a microwave oven! Near a radiator or a sunny window is ideal.
    Well worth a try if it ever happens to you.

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  • Omkar June 3, 2014 at 5:22 am

    one of the greatest drawback of removable battery is when the phone is stolen it can be easily switched off by removing battery. And the end of all tracking features. Though we have a lot of option of tracking a stolen phone but those are of no use when the phone is switched off.
    So I’ll definitely prefer a phone with non-removable battery. So that I can use the tracking feature and shout command.

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  • Mahesh June 5, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Thanks for such a useful information.Actually i’m Thinking to buy HtcDesire 816 but now i won’t.

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  • Frank Bawden July 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    When the days comes that a mobile phone never runs out of power, that is the day to stop making removable batteries. Come on wake up, when it no longer charges are you going to throw away your phone and buy another one, when your car’s battery dies are you going to get rid of the car, why not? It’s a case of common sense, when it will not charge any more put in a new one and it will save you a fortune over the years. I will never buy a phone that will not take a removable battery.

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  • Antonio Diniz July 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Very interesting and informative. Gives a good insight to make a proper choice in buying a mobile with replacement battery or one which has no option to replace the battery. However I am now fully convinced that I should own a mobile in which the battery can be replaced. It both safe and convenient!!

    Reply edit

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