According to Statista, one of the world’s largest statistics portals, only 36% of smartphone users are satisfied with a battery life of mobile devices. Yet, a total of 89 percent of respondents agreed that battery life is an important feature on a smartphone. This means that there’s a gaping hole in the market filled with only a handful of devices. Among these are Android smartphones with a removable battery, which give you the option to keep your device operational for as many batteries you are willing to carry.
Update (May 2017): Manufactures simply do not make phones with removable batteries anymore, and a lot of it has to do with making waterproof phones. Having a compartment that can be opened by the user and exposing the battery to water would make it impossible to waterproof the phone.
With that said, the table below has a couple new devices (namely the Moto G5), and a few older devices that still stand out at the best phone with removable battery today. The Note 4 was that last in that series which Samsung made with removable battery.
Best Smartphone With Removable Battery
|Samsung||Samsung Galaxy Note 4||325|
|Motorola||Motorola Moto G5 Dual Sim||219.93|
|Samsung||Samsung Galaxy J7 LTE (2016)||199.7|
The one thing – apart from the removable battery – that makes the LG G5 very special is the LG’s attempt to create the first mass-market smartphone with modular capabilities. The idea is the users would be able to customize the device to better fit their needs with special-purpose modules. Unfortunately, the concept never really had enough time to mature, and the current form feels underutilized. There are only two modules available – a camera grip and an audiophile-grade digital-to-analog converter – and neither of them offer a completely new functionality.
So, what makes this smartphone so recommendable? The rest of it. Crammed into a 7.7 mm thick body is a powerful Snapdragon 820 chipset, one of the most cutting-edge mobile processors ever created. It delivers a significant boost in performance and battery efficiency, ensuring that you always get the smoothest experience possible. There’s also 4GB of RAM for heavy multitasking scenarios and uncompromised web browsing.
The 554 ppi, 1440 x 2560, 5.3” IPS display is a sight to behold. Scratches are held at bay with Gorilla Glass 4, and the Always-on display technology means that you don’t even have to press the power button to check if you have new messages.
To top it all off, there’s a 16MP rear camera with 3-axis optical image stabilization and 8MP front-facing camera for self-portraits. Both cameras deliver excellent image quality and will please all avoid mobile photographers. And since we are focusing batteries, we must mention that the stock battery that comes with the smartphone has a capacity of 2800 mAh, making it more than capable of getting you through an entire day of heavy use.
- Unique modular design
- Great cameras
- Expandable storage
- Removable battery
- The modular concept feels underutilized
With its metallic accents, stainless steel rails on both sides, and swappable backplate, the LG V10 looks and feels like a premium device. It should then come as a no surprise that the first-class build quality is accompanied by an equally first-class price tag. Indeed, the LG V10 is an expensive smartphone, but its high price is well justified when you take a sneak peek under the hood.
You will discover a Snapdragon 808 processor with X10 LTE for ultra-fast mobile download speeds and 4K Ultra HD capture and playback support. Alongside the CPU are 4GB of RAM, Adreno 418 GPU, and 32 or 64GB of internal storage space, which is further expandable up to 256 GB. All this goodness is powered by a removable 3,000mAh battery.
The guys over at LG always like to keep things interesting by adding one unique feature. This time, it’s a secondary display that provides you with an instant access to notifications, contacts, calendar, and time. The display is located right above the primary 5.7-inch main display with a 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution, and it’s really easy to get used to using it and very difficult to then use a smartphone without it.
If the secondary display wasn’t enough, the V10 also comes with 3 cameras: 1 rear-facing and 2 front-facing. The rear-facing camera has a resolution of 16 MP and is equipped with laser autofocus and optical image stabilization. Both front-facing cameras have a resolution of 5 MP, but each of them uses a different lens. One has a standard 80-degree angle lens, and the other one has a 120-degree wide angle lens for more spacious self-portraits.
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- Sturdy design
- Manual camera controls
- Fingerprint sensor
- Expandable memory
- Removable battery
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 was one of the first smartphones to use the Mediatek MT6795 Helio X10 chipset. This high-performance SoC (System on Chip) was designed to satisfy requirements of even the most demanding users. It supports 120Hz mobile displays, has an integrated low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video, and has no problem recording 80fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos. Unlike the previous two devices on this list, the Redmi Note 2 sports only 2GB of RAM, but that doesn’t prevent it from handling just about anything you can throw at it.
Xiaomi made a very smart choice and decided not to skimp on the display. As a result, we get one of the most stunning screens in the budget category. At 5.5 inches, the 1080 x 1920 pixels display has a pixel density of 403, making it suitable even for virtual reality and other multimedia applications. The pair of tiny built-in speakers sound better than many low-cost laptops, which is something that you’ll definitely appreciate when you find yourself watching YouTube late at night in your bed.
Like all Xiaomi smartphones, the Redmi Note 2 runs their proprietary MIUI aftermarket user interface. The latest version of the UI blends various aesthetic and functional elements from Android and iOS, to create something unique. The entire experience is surprisingly smooth, given the amount of visual polish and handy add-on features.
The only negative about this budget device is the fact that it’s not officially sold outside China and India. If you want to get your hands on it, you need to buy it from a third-party reseller, which could mean a potential warranty issues and lack of customer service. But we think the phone is worth the risk.
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- Low price
- Excellent display
- Powerful processor
- Fantastic speaker quality
- Beautiful user interface
- Removable battery
- Available only through third-party resellers
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a large smartphone. In fact, the device is so large that it would be impossible to use it with just one hand for anyone whose clenched hands don’t turn into sledgehammers. But the large size also makes the Note 4 one of the best productivity devices on the market, and the removable battery makes it one of the best Galaxy devices ever made. That’s right. The simple fact that you can throw another battery in your pocket and use it when needed is enough for many customers to purchase this 2-years old model instead of a Galaxy Note 7.
Given the lighting-fast evolution of the mobile market, this certainly wouldn’t be possible for just any regular device. But when you take a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset and place it next to Adreno 420 GPU and 3 GB RAM, you experience flawless performance in the most demanding games and applications even 2 years after the launch.
The 5.7″ Quad HD Super AMOLED display looks just as gorgeous now as it did back then. Some previous AMOLED displays from Samsung were plagued with overly vivid colors, but this one got it just right. Everything is so sharp and so bright that pictures and videos pop out and look completely faithful to the original. And because the smartphone comes with the S Pen, you can write by hand and experience the enhanced productivity and multitasking that the pen offers.
The 3220 mAh removable Li-Ion battery lasts up to 20 h hours of talk time and 82 h of uninterrupted music listening. It can then be quickly recharged with Quick Charge 2.0 technology, or you can just replace the depleted battery with a fresh one.
- Excellent photo quality
- The option to use the included stylus
- Great performance
- Fast charging speed
- Removable battery
- Hard to use with one hand
Samsung Galaxy Alpha
We know what Samsung is up to with the Galaxy Alpha. The company wanted a premium alternative for the plasticky Galaxy S5, a smartphone that was known to make squeaky noises no matter how it was held. Samsung’s solution was to add a rugged metal band all around the phone, similar to the one found on the iPhone 5S. The smartphone now really feels much sturdier, and its small 4.7” display makes it very easy to use with one hand – something that you can’t say about too many modern smartphones with monstrous displays.
Unfortunately, the display is not only small in size but also in resolution. At 720p, the desired sharpness that one associates with premium devices just isn’t there. The display still has amazing contrast, brightness, and saturation – just like all Samsung devices – but it feels slightly incomplete.
Luckily, this one negative is redeemed by the satisfying performance provided by the Exynos 5430 Octa CPU and Mali-T628 MP6 GPU. Even though the smartphone doesn’t have a microSD card slot, the 32GB of internal storage space should last you a long time.
The 12 MP, f/2.2 rear camera can record 2160p video at 30 frames per second, 1080p at 60fps, or 720p at 120fps. Needless to say that it also takes stunning pictures in all light conditions.
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- Metal construction
- Compact size
- Great camera
- Satisfying performance
- Lower quality display
The sad truth is that manufacturers are not that interested in smartphones with a removable battery. The average customer is more attracted to a very slim form-factor and alluring specifications than to what’s essentially an optional feature. Still, the 5 gems described in this article should provide you with enough options for your next device.