Removable vs. Non Removable battery

Recently, there is an ongoing trend among the device manufacturers to opt for a non-removable battery instead of a removable one. Almost every latest high-end smartphone and tablet sports a sealed battery. The primary motive behind this battery revolution is to make the gadgets as much compact as possible and also improve the overall aesthetics. Samsung has done that with its Galaxy Note 7 device which turned out to be a tragedy.

Even though both inbuilt and changeable cells rely on the same Lithium-ion technology, they do have some differences. Here we would like to discuss in details about some of the notable dissimilarities between two of them in various aspects. Read along to be aware of the pros and cons of removable and non-removable batteries and find out which is more suitable for you.

Resale Value

Smartphones with removable batteries have significantly better resale value than similar priced phones with sealed batteries. This is mainly because the batteries are one of the most affected components after prolonged usage. In handsets with user replaceable battery cells, the buyer can quickly inspect the condition of the battery and even swap it with a new one, which requires much more effort if the battery is non-removable.

Longevity

In this aspect, both the types feature similarly. The endurance of yours’s phone’s battery mostly depends on your usage and the quality of the cell. But if you speak about the longevity of your device, then, the removable battery scores a little higher. It is primarily because, after prolonged use, the majority of Lithium-ion battery cells tend to fatten up.

If your smartphone or tablet has a sealed battery, then, you can either watch your device bulge up, which almost certainly will affect its internal components or take it to a technician to get the battery replaced. But if the battery is removable, you can simply buy a new piece from the open market and interchange it easily by yourself.

Replacement / Repair Cost

As I mentioned above, sealed batteries can only be replaced by a skilled technician whereas, anyone can replace a removable battery. Thus, replacement / repair cost is higher for the non-removable battery types.

Compactness

This is where the non-user replaceable batteries have a distinct advantage. In fact, manufacturers mostly use them to make their devices more compact. Non-removable batteries can certainly trim down unwanted bulge from a smartphone or tablet and make them much sleeker. Some of the best-looking devices in the planet sport inbuilt batteries. However, there are some exceptions too.

Usability

User replaceable batteries are much more user-friendly than the non-removable ones. If your smartphone or tablet with a removable battery hangs or becomes unresponsive, you can simply pull off the battery and reinsert it to fix the problem. This method also has a downside; sudden removal of the battery can harm the internal electrical components.

Now we come to the next plus point of removable batteries regarding usability. This is mainly concerned when you spend extended periods of time outdoors without the access to any plug point. If your device has a user replaceable battery, you can simply carry some extra batteries and slide them in when needed.

It is true that there are multiple third party solutions to this now a day like power banks and bumper cases with inbuilt battery. However, nothing is as convenient as swapping batteries. This is mainly because all the third party methods directly charge your internal battery and we all know that using a phone while charging is not at all good and it affects the device’s longevity.

Liquid Damage

We know, mishaps happen. You may manage to dip your smartphone accidentally in water. For devices with non-removable batteries, this can go very well, and it might escape without any scratch as they feature a well-constructed sealed body. But if a bit of liquid slips inside, it will pose a serious risk, and you must take your smartphone or tablet immediately to the nearest service center.

In devices with removable batteries, water enters pretty quickly, but you can try various home remedies which will cure your device most of the time. One of the best methods to recover a device with liquid damage is to remove the battery, SIM, memory card, etc. and dip all of them inside a container filled with raw rice for a few days. Although most of the latest devices come with at least IP53 or higher rating and are pretty much immune to accidental water splashes.

Safety

Finally we come to the most important part of the discussion. Safety is undoubtedly the most vital point especially in present days when we are seeing multiple devices exploding or catching fire due to battery problems. Some of the prominent of them being the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and allegedly even the Apple iPhone 7.

Truly speaking, it can’t be accurately predicted if a battery is safe or not just by taking into account if it is removable or non-removable. Still, the user replaceable batteries are presumably better constructed than the non-removable ones. This is mainly because they are made to be used mostly by untrained individual and may get exposed to dusty outdoor environments.

On the other hand, the non-removable battery cells are only handled in dust free laboratories by skilled professionals who are naturally much more aware of battery safety than the general public. Also, to pack in more and more energy into as little space as possible, modern day manufacturers are further making the batteries more and more hazardous.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Tragedy Explanation

There is one more important downside of non-removable batteries. Most contemporary smart devices come with powerful processors which tend to heat up after prolonged usage. We regularly feel this in most of our smartphones and tablets now a day. But this has a serious consequence in devices with non-removable batteries.

Like most problems, major issues in batteries do show some pre-symptoms which in most cases is in the form of excess heat production. This is typically thought to be the heat generated by the CPU. In devices with sealed battery, there is absolutely no way a general user can find out the source of the heating. However, if the battery is removable, it is much easier to find out about any anomaly in the cell.

This means that if the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 had a removable battery like its predecessors, then many of the accidents could have been easily avoided. Also, Samsung would have saved a lot of money as it could have addressed the problem just by offering battery replacements instead of replacing the entire smartphone.

Pros of non-removable batteries

  • They help to cut the thickness of a device and makes them look much sleeker.
  • As the battery can’t be removed easily, it is very beneficial when tracking a lost phone.
  • Non-removable batteries usually come with better water resistance rating.
  • Internal electrical components are less damaged as the user can’t abruptly cut off the power supply.

Pros of removable batteries

  • Smartphones and tablets with removable batteries have better resale value.
  • They have lesser replacement or repair costs and hence increases the lifetime of the device.
  • Removable batteries are arguably more user-friendly than non-removable ones.
  • They are safer.

We have outlined the main reasons for you to choose between a device with a removable battery or with a non-removable one. Please let us know about your choice below in the comment section. If you have any questions, don’t forget to mention them in your comments.

One of the recent rules in several courier companies at least in India says that you cannot send smartphones that have a non-removable battery because in the courier, the battery has to be taken out and kept out of the phone.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. It’s really hard to find a phone as per the specs requirement, let’s not add one more criteria in to that!

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