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Samsung Geeks | June 22, 2017

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Why Don’t Samsung Phones Have Removable Batteries?

Why Don’t Samsung Phones Have Removable Batteries?

| On 14, Jan 2017

Gone are the days when you could easily replace the battery in your Samsung. But why don’t Samsung phones have removable batteries? Is there a practical reason, or is it all about making more money for Samsung?

Not so long ago, we were all used to a very different structure of mobile phone. Remember dropping yours, and seeing about eight separate pieces go flying in different directions? You can still get hold of Samsung phones with removable batteries, but the design of most modern phones is different: SIMs are inserted via a slot or tray on the phone’s side, phone backs are no longer removable, and nor are the batteries inside.

Back in the day, if your phone battery burnt out, you could order another and replace it, simple as that. Nowadays, things aren’t so simple.

Why Don’t Samsung Phones Have Removable Batteries?

The main reason Samsung have given for removing modular battery compartments from their S7 phones is to improve water resistance.

“We didn’t do the removable battery because we really wanted the water resistance and the battery was a pain to seal. So we just put a much bigger battery” explains Samsung PR manager Philip Berne in a recent interview with iDigitalTimes.

Samsung initially stopped including removable batteries in their flagship Galaxy S series back in June 2015 with the release of the S6. The increased water resistance proved to be popular with fans, but for many a water resistant phone wasn’t worth it at the expense of removable batteries. Customers complained that the battery-life of the S6 just didn’t last long enough without being able to easily replace the battery with a spare.

So with the release of the S7, Samsung replaced the 2550 mAh Li-lon battery in the S6 with a larger, 3000 mAh battery. Which gave it a talk-time of 22h , video playback of 16 hours and music play-time of 62 hours. It also included wireless charging capabilities for those that needed more battery power when on-the-go.

Sealed battery compartments allow for sleeker design

Another reason Samsung phones don’t include removable batteries is that it allows for a sleeker, thinner design.

A removable smartphone battery needs to be designed in a regular shape with a solid case to protect it from damage. An internal battery, however, allows for much more flexible design. It can be formed in unconventional shapes to take-up free space within the phone’s case, using the phone itself as protection.

For many Samsung fans, sleek design and quality metal casing far outweigh the practical reasons for including removable batteries within smartphones.

Are Samsung just trying to make more money by not giving us removable batteries?

As much as technology companies insist that the lack of removable batteries is to ensure quality design, it’s hard to believe that their reasons aren’t entirely without commercial ambition.

We live in a disposable society, and appliances we buy are designed to be expendable. Planned obsolescence is a ‘thing’, whether we like it or not. If we were able to replace batteries ourselves once they stopped performing well, you might sensibly decide against splashing out another few hundred on a new phone.

But with sealed smartphones it’s easier just to buy a new phone than replace the battery. And with increasingly impressive models released each year people are quick to forget about their glitchy battery and enjoy the latest technology available.

This, of course, means considerably higher sales and profits for smartphone manufacturers, Samsung included. However, recent events have suggested that Samsung may have been able to avoid expenses if their phones included removable batteries.

Should Samsung Reconsider Removable Batteries?

After the whole Note 7 situation of last summer, Samsung may well be reconsidering their stance on batteries. A faulty batch of batteries were blamed for the spontaneous combustion of a bunch of brand new Note 7s last year. Unfortunately the fault  was found to be widespread and difficult to fix, prompting the complete withdrawal of the model from sale.

If the Note 7s had user-replaceable batteries, a much simpler solution could have potentially been found, saving Samsung millions and millions of dollars on returns and refunds.

It would seem Twitter-users would agree. Many outspoken Samsung fans are calling for Samsung to bring back modular battery compartments:

Screenshot of tweet: "Samsung, you ned to return to removable batteries! That would be a slam-dunk win!"
Screenshot of Tweet: "I like phones with removable batteries only, especially with the fiascos with iPhone & Samsung phones"

Screenshot of Tweet: "I love my Samsung Note 7... [wish you still had removable batteries... oh well]
Screenshot of Tweet: "Can you neg a corporation? Because I'm thinking of ways to try to get Samsung to go back to removable batteries"

Screenshot of Tweet: "Samsung should move back to removable batteries for their phones. My Note 4 with the extended 7000mah battery was the (pun intended) bomb"

Will the Galaxy S8 Have a Removable Battery?

The Galaxy S8 is due for release in the next month or two. After Note 7 had to be taken off sale, no doubt Samsung and their users alike are rooting for the launch to go smoothly and put Samsung back on top.

Alas, thus far there have been no reports or even rumours of a removable battery in the Galaxy S8. It is rumoured, however, that Samsung are procuring batteries for future phones from LG, who are well-known for including removable batteries in their models. Could this be an indication that Samsung are reconsidering removable batteries for the Galaxy S8?

Users are increasingly looking for a removable battery phone, so even if it doesn’t make it into the final draft of the S8, it is entirely possible that a later model will make a return.

The practicality of easily accessed and removable SIM cards is commonplace now. Fingers crossed that Samsung will take note of customer comments, as they tend to do, and keep it in the bank for future designs.

We want to know, are you fussed about removable batteries for the Galaxy S8? Or would you rather have sleek design and waterproof casing? 

 

  • Wayne

    Removable batteries also allow one to easily replace the battery once a year to keep original performance. This is the primary reason I will not buy a phone with a non-removable battery, no matter how big the sealed battery may be.

  • Jolyon

    I have found that often I have to rush out or am at a place where I cannot charge my battery easily. I found the ability to swap batteries quickly so I can continue using the phone strsight away, to be invaluable.
    The best thing is that the used battery can be charging while I am still using my phone, so effectively my phone never has to be on charge.

  • Matt Savigear

    I’m desperate to find a decent phone with a removable battery (given my Xperia is now failing after less than two years). The last bastion of this (LG) have given up with their latest release – an S8 with a replaceable battery would be an immediate purchase for me.

    • Heathen Samm

      I have a Samsung s5, with removable battery. The only issue I have is that with every software patch/update many programs wind up moving from the micro-SD card back to internal storage. And the AT&T bloatware takes up space but can’t be deleted. Why would anyone choose a proprietary app, then have to move data because you changed carriers? I have issue with anyone who says that batteries can last more than an hour or two when playing games. Whether it’s simple games, like Toy Blast, or Lego Avengers & YouTube, like my nephew uses, the batteries don’t last that long. A family member has the s7, and it takes about an hour to recharge. Recently I went to the Women’s March. I took many pictures. I also had to make some phone calls and deal with a phone robot. The battery died. If I hadn’t had a replacement battery I would have been wandering the street looking for a samaritan who would lend their phone. But then again all my numbers are on my phone so that wouldn’t have helped. I’m keeping the s5 until Samsung comes out with removable batteries again.

  • Mike Pientka

    My last 3 smartphone upgrades were driven by the non-removable battery degrading to 1/4 its original charge life. Two years ago I bought my Note 4 specifically because of the removable battery and micro SD slot. I added a 200Gb micro SD card and 10,000 mAh Zero Lemon aftermarket battery. Absolutely love this setup. Some will say waterproofing electronics AND replaceable battery are exclusive design goals, but my 20-year old battery-powered diving watch shows me otherwise. As much as I love my Samsung Note 4, I will switch to another manufacturer to get a removeable battery.

  • Fish

    I still have the S5, bacause of the replacable battery. When Samsung goes back to replaceable battery, it will be an immediate purchase.

    • Michael Hinchey

      Can’t agree more.

  • Joan

    I purchased the Galaxy S5 mainly for the removable battery. I hope the S8 will have this, as well.

  • Alan Rumpelstiltskin

    I will NOT buy a phone without a removable battery.

  • Mike Nilsen

    I absolutely will not buy another samsung galaxy phone both of my s6 & s7 edges are the last purchase of smart phones without removable batteries.
    I will only buy a new phone now
    that has a revocable battery are you listening samsung.

  • Viggo

    I still have the note 3. My next phone will also have an exchangeable battery.

  • maaen

    Never buy any phone from anywhere if it does not allow access to the removable battery in an instant…NEVER MEANS EXACTLY THAT..
    Even if you were to buy into new iterations every year ….the older model must not be killed off…it can serve a lot of useful purposes. …and also be a secondary phone if needed
    Infact all governments of all countries should make embedded batteries illegal in all phones and even tablets and computers and tooth brushes etc etc….

    • Heathen Samm

      try the s5, it’s a good little phone. It even survived a couple of drops without problems (without a safety case). The only reason I would consider upgrading was the VR gear. But the headset is heavy in the front, so if you have any neck muscle/vertebrae problems, the headset will make them hurt worse. And the non-removable battery is a deal killer.

      • maaen

        I was waiting to go for G6 and then news came through that LG were going for a sealed up battery setup in G6…very upseting news when I read about it….
        So I decided to carry on with my Note 4 and 3 for yet another year…maybe two even…..
        But I sometimes think of buying a pre-owned G5 in order to try out the camera…
        On the subject of VR….
        you know I do not feel ready to experience the wonderful world of VR …I find the headset concept a bit wierd…I like the lightweight helmet concept more interesting or else someone will develope a much better headset concept in some future time….the whole idea of a weighty contraption in front of my eyes being held in place by a strap around my head feels psychologically uncomfortable to my sensibilities….and so I do not feel ready even for a demo…

  • Walt Crosland

    I will not upgrade to a Samsung that does not have a removable battery.

  • Robin Rohrig Phillips

    I would like to have a removable battery. I will not buy a phone without a removable battery. Our family of 4 use the Galaxy S5 phones because of this feature. Please bring it back. I would like to update my technology.

  • Matt Spicka

    Using a Note 4 and I so badly want the S8 plus. But what is holding me back is the removable battery. I have 5 batteries for my Note and charge and replace at will… I think I will wait for the next great phone with a replaceable battery. It is one of the best features a phone can have.

    Ps… I don’t swim or ever drop my phone in water.

  • Thomas Gibbons

    I will not buy another samsung product until they come out with a removable battery model period!!! I keep my S5 in pristine condition for that very reason.. If or when this one dies and there isn’t a removable option I will switch 2 a competitor.. Samsung will lose a lot of loyal customers if they continue this route. I HOPE YOU ARE LISTENING SAMSUNG!!! That being said if or when they come up with a model with a removable battery it will be an immediate purchase.

  • James Kayvanfar

    I had a phone w built in battery in the past and have wowed to never again buy another phone w built in battery. I have had 2 Galaxy S5 Active phones and like the fact that I can change the batteries. The phones are very sturdy.
    While I would like to upgrade my phone, I am waiting for one with a removable battery. As someone else already said, the idea that you cannot make the phone case waterproof if you have a removable battery is absurd. You can make anything waterproof and still have it open up. Look at all the diving gears (cameras, etc.)

  • st7276

    I use my LG G4 for navigating in the backcountry. I can run the phone down from 100% to zero in about 5 hours. I carry anywhere from 2-4 extra batteries with me depending on how long I am away. Not sure what I will do when this phone dies. Connecting to an external battery pack via USB is not a good option when bushwacking through the woods. I suppose I will need to use a GPS device, but they are heavy, less accurate, and have an inferior user interface compared to a smartphone. I also like the LG G4 because for about $10-15, I can get a fresh battery whenever I want.

  • Lina Mathilde

    I hate that the newer models dont have removable batteriet. Makes me wanna buy the s5 instead.

  • terry

    When i camp ore do a rd trip i have 6 batteries spare and my charger so im never short on power .
    I have the note 4 but wont buy another one unless it has removable batteries and all six of my family think the same.

  • Matthew

    ditto i will not buy a phone w/o removable battery … waterproof is worthless … batteries only last for 2 years & replacing phone frequently is too expensive … in addition i always have to purchase extended size batteries because my phone is my pc so using all day w/stock battery means recharging 3x/day vs extended battery charge once per day