Most of the smartphone companies don’t provide removable batteries now. Almost all of them seal the batteries that you can’t remove on your own. A smartphone with removable battery no more seems to be real now.
Earlier, it was better. You didn’t have to buy a power bank. Just carry a spare battery and insert it whenever your phone drains out. Not anymore!
[Also Read: Battery Saving Tips]
Everything was going well. We could even force remove the battery whenever the phone stopped responding. It was an easy reset option.
So, what was the reason that phone companies had to shift towards non-removable batteries?
7 factors why phone companies don’t provide a removable battery
1] Shape and Size
Earlier, removable batteries were in a rectangular shape. That never gave the companies the flexibility to make batteries of variable sizes.
Since smartphone brands are manufacturing non-removable batteries according to the design and requirement, it is no more a necessity to build rectangular batteries.
This improves the overall design of the battery.
Smartphones became slimmer due to non-removable batteries. Glued batteries can be thinner in size making the whole phone thin.
If the phone batteries were removable then they have to follow fixed protocols. This is because they need to manufacture spare batteries in the same designs.
This gives an opportunity for fishy third-party companies to replicate original batteries. It is still possible to replicate the original batteries. But users cannot do it by themselves. It added a technical barrier.
As smartphones are getting thinner and more compact, it is important to fit all the components in a fixed amount of space. So, non-removable batteries highly help in compact designs.
A removable battery needs to have some space to allow users to remove by inserting a finger. That space unnecessarily consumes some precious slot that could have adjusted some other component.
Your dual camera, sensors, antenna, SIM card slots, and many other things need to be in place. So, this extra space is extracted from the battery space which is saved.
3] Premium Phones
Premium phones come with features like water resistance and dust resistance. To make this possible, it is important to fit the battery in a lesser space. If we use a removable battery then it is impossible to seal it with a water-proof coating.
Also, every brand has become a design-smart now. Have you heard the story of Steve Jobs about the first iPod?
If not, I have mentioned that story in one of my posts featuring Apple – Why Apple is expensive?
In flagship smartphones, every minute space matters. We are in the age where we use 7nm processors and they are extremely tiny.
4] Battery Capacity
There was a time when all the smartphones had a battery of around 2000 mAh.
Old feature phones didn’t even cross 1000 mAh because that was sufficient for them. Just to state an interesting fact, an all-time favorite Nokia 3310 had a battery of 1000 mAh and that used to last for weeks.
Now, it is not the case. A typical phone has a battery of more than 4000 mAh now. Some Samsung phones have started providing a massive battery of 7000 mAh and that is no less than a power bank.
Additionally, removing and inserting the battery, again and again, damages battery ports. It affects battery life as well. Providing non-removable batteries led users to hold patience while booting the phone. It is safer than removing the battery frequently.
If you had a habit of removing the battery frequently then you might be getting better performance now.
5] Drop Damage
Remember the time when you dropped your phone and it got split into 3 parts – the main body, outer covering, and the battery.
It no more happens with the non-removable batteries. Now it gets worse – your display cracks!
A removable battery easily comes out from the device when it falls on the ground. This makes the whole smartphone vulnerable to dust and particles.
Dropping and exposing parts can result in a high impact on the motherboard, circuit, and other connected components. This can damage power-sensitive components instantly.
6] Increasing Sales
A typical mobile phone battery lasts for 2 years with good usage and optimization. After that, battery performance starts degrading. A consumer used to buy another battery and continued using the same phone for a few more years.
The usage pattern has changed now. With the most affordable smartphones, a battery can cost 10-20% of the original price of a new smartphone. This calculation provokes users to replace the whole smartphone rather than repairing an old device.
Replacing a battery is still possible but you can’t use a random battery. Most probably, you need to use the original one. For obvious reasons, authorized stores become the first priority to change the battery and users end up the idea because of the costs. Official stores charge more.
Phone companies take advantage of this fact and boost their sales.
Consumers used to replace their phone batteries by themselves. So, where would the old batteries go? Obviously, in the household dustbin or randomly disposed of somewhere.
Brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and Nokia are working to collect e-waste from the users and dispose of them safely. However, that is not a sufficient measure. Not all brands are doing it and not every person follows these measures.
Some brands are even removing the essential charger from the box (ouch!) in the name of saving the environment. But anyway, let’s talk about it later.
Replacing removable batteries can play a major part because people are forced to visit the stores to replace their batteries. The store owners can dispose of the waste batteries safely.
On the other hand, decreasing the frequency of replacing batteries decrease e-waste as well. Earlier, people just replaced the batteries when they felt a slight under-performance. But not anymore!
European Nations recently proposed to bring back the removable batteries.
According to the EU report, “Value is lost when fully or partially functional products are discarded because they are not repairable, the battery cannot be replaced, the software is no longer supported, or materials incorporated in devices are not recovered.”
This can be a good step for users but I don’t think there is any need of forcing this law. Let’s wait and see how it works.
Overall, a removable battery is not coming anytime soon on your smartphone. That is for the betterment of the overall device.
If your smartphone battery is not sufficient to last for a day then it is always good to keep a power bank handy.
I have listed some great options for you: Powerbanks under Rs 1000