Gone are the times when smartphones came with batteries that could easily be removed by users. As phones nowadays come with non-removable batteries, you may wonder what happens if you try removing a non-removable battery from a device.
Even if you are able to remove a non-removable battery, you may not be able to put it back into place properly unless you are an expert or professional in this area and you have special tools. Doing so may damage the inner circuitry and other components, as well as void the available phone warranty.
In this article, we discuss why companies make in-built battery smartphones and what it costs to replace a non-removable battery for your phone.
Can non-removable batteries be removed?
Non-removable batteries are so-called because they are built-in into smartphones and can’t be removed easily by consumers.
They can be removed using special tools under skilled direction. The process involves different steps such as:
- applying heat to loosen up the binding glue
- opening and removing the back casing
- revealing the device’s flex cables.
Different tools such as precision screwdrivers and pry tools are needed for this delicate process.
Can you replace a non-removable battery?
Yes, the non-removable battery in a smartphone can be replaced. After following the above steps, the old battery can be removed as follows:
- Look for the ribbon cable that connects the battery to the phone’s board and unclip it.
- As the battery is glued to its compartment, pull it gently to remove it
- Insert the new battery into the compartment
- Connect its ribbon cable to the board by clipping
- Place the flex cables
- Close the device’s back casing and power it on
The phone can then be powered on again.
The above process should be performed by experienced persons only as there is a risk of doing damage to the other phone components including the screen.
if you are a novice, chances are you may damage the connections as the inner part of the back cover supports internal wiring. You may also damage the battery and not be able to put the back cover on correctly.
If you decide to do the replacement process yourself, opening the phone will usually void the warranty.
It’s also possible that the phone may develop a fault after the replacement and may not work properly.
To minimize the risks, it’s preferable to let the tasks be carried out by technicians at the authorized service center of your smartphone distributor.
Why do phones not have removable batteries?
Today smartphone companies have made the shift to provide phones with non-removable batteries. Almost all the new models coming out have batteries that you can’t easily remove.
There are some important reasons for this trend:
Thinner, lightweight, and modern design
Smartphones with space-consuming removable batteries needed a back panel that often made the design of the phone thicker and less appealing.
Nowadays, companies are releasing thinner, lightweight, and stylish models, which have been made possible by having non-removable batteries.
These companies are making a sealed unibody design for phones that account for a comfortable holding experience in line with customer demands.
Use of premium materials
By having a built-in battery, manufacturers are able to produce phones using premium materials that make the device more attractive to hold and use.
For example, more phones are coming with glass and metal designs as opposed to having a plastic back cover for removable battery phones.
High capacity batteries
With the advent of built-in batteries, phones today have higher battery capacities that typically start at 4000 mAh and go all the way up to 7000 mAh.
This was not the case with devices with removable batteries as the latter had capacities of between 2000 mAh and 3000 mAh max.
Dust and waterproofing capabilities
By not providing phones with removable batteries, manufacturers can add dustproof/waterproof capabilities to smartphone models to minimize damage due to dust and water.
Smartphones available today have fewer removable parts – mainly the SIM and memory cards , but not the battery. This has made it possible for companies to make the phones comply with dust and waterproofing certifications like IP67 and IP68.
These certifications mean that devices can withstand immersion in a body of water in different depths (1 meter for IP67 and 1.5 meters for IP68) for 30 minutes. Both these certifications also mean the devices are resistant to dust.
Dust and waterproofing capabilities in smartphones are demanded features among consumers.
How long do non-removable batteries last?
Smartphones use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that degrade with time. These batteries, whether removable or non-removable, usually last for 300-500 recharge cycles from fully charged to fully discharged and back to fully recharged.
Taking iPhones as an example, their non-removable batteries retain 80% of capacity at 500 charge cycles under normal conditions (according to Apple).
This also generally applies to other smartphones with non-removable batteries. After 2500 cycles, however, they are no longer usable.
Therefore, if you charge a non-removable battery device every day, it will last for 2 years or 3 years maximum. This is the lifespan of an average non-removable lithium-ion battery in a smartphone.
After this period, you will see a significant drop in battery performance, and you may be forced to replace the battery or invest in a new phone.
This also depends on your phone usage and the number of times the battery goes through a recharge: the more the usage and recharges, the faster it will degrade.
What to do if a phone with a non-removable battery falls into the water?
You will find many phones from the likes of Samsung, Apple, and other manufacturers with waterproofing certifications such as IP68. The advantage they have is that they can survive water spills and can withstand water immersion up to different depths at different times.
If you have a smartphone without these certifications and it fell into the water, here’s what you can do and avoid to save it:
- Turn off the phone instantly if it’s powered on and the screen is working. This will help to prevent any short-circuiting inside the phone.
- If the phone is powered off, don’t turn it on. Don’t try to charge the phone.
- Take out the SIM tray and gently shake the phone to bring out water from the openings.
- Use a dry lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe your phone and remove as much water as possible. Also, remove and dry the SIM and memory cards (if any) with another cloth.
- Let your phone air dry by placing it near a table fan.
- Give at least 50 hours to let the phone dry completely and don’t use it this time.
- Don’t put your phone in rice as experts believe it can accelerate corrosion in the device and cause rust.
Cost of changing a non-removable battery
There are two ways of changing the non-removable battery: you can do it yourself if you are an expert or take it to a repair shop or authorized service center.
Doing it yourself
If you decide to do it yourself, you need to make sure that the replacement battery for the phone model is available which you can get for around $5-20 usually. Along with this, you need specialized tools (such as screwdrivers) which can cost $1 to 20.
You can also get the battery and tools in a kit, which might cost around $40-50.
Going to a phone repair shop or service center
A repair shop may charge you around $40-50 in total including the price of the battery and labor.
If you take your phone to the company’s service center, you can have the battery replaced for free if the phone is under warranty – and if there is no other damage to the phone.
You may be charged a fee for a battery replacement if the phone is out of warranty, and this may vary from one company to another and based on the model.
For instance, in the US Apple charges $69 for recent iPhone models (such as iPhone 12 series) and $49 for older models (such as iPhone 8 series).
Which is better, removable or non-removable battery?
Today non-removable batteries are an obvious choice for smartphone companies. It’s now rare to find a new smartphone model that comes with a removable battery, typically only in keypad phones.
While both removable and non-removable batteries have their pros. , most people now use devices with non-removable batteries.
Pros of removable batteries:
- Easy replacement
- Rapid solution to the hanging problem in a smartphone by removing the battery
- Less damage if the phone is dropped in water accidentally and the battery is removed and dried
Pros of non-removable batteries include:
- Sleek, slim, and lightweight phone designs
- Easily traceable in case of theft
- Less prone to dust
- More efficient waterproofing capabilities