I don't think I'll ever understand the point of non-removable batteries

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from Kansas City, MO
Published: September 26, 2013

Everything that does anything in this world requires some source of energy in order to make it do the things they do. Animals require food and water, fire needs heat and electronics need electric currents. Where do you get electric currents? From a lot of places, actually, but for this particular topic we're going to look at batteries. In fact, we can skip the scientific mumbo jumbo and skip right to the point: non-removable batteries still really irk me. The more I think about it, the more I don't like it.

I've never been able to justify why a manufacturer would want to produce a device with a non-removable battery over a removable one. I've always been able to just kind of wave off the issue, but lately I've been thinking a little too much about it and it's starting to really bug me. What is the true reason behind making batteries non-removable? Surely it's not because the company behind the design just wants to be a jerk, right? I mean, there has to be a good reason for it. So, I decided to look into the issue a little bit. I decided to find out just why some manufacturers decided to go for a non-removable battery.

I found a few of reasons why a non-removable battery was better than a removable one, such as: thinness, design, and a more solid build. All of these things do seem to be evident in most phones with non-removable batteries, but as far as I can tell these are really the only benefits for making them non-removable. And the only one that really benefits everybody is having a solid build. I can admit that one of the most annoying issues with a removable battery is a flimsy door, but at least a removable battery has so much more to offer in terms of convenience than a non-removable does.

Don't get me wrong. I like beautiful designs as much as the next person, but being beautiful and thin won't do me any good whenever my phone freezes up and the button sequence for a soft reset don't work. And yes, technically non-removable batteries have a way of being removed somehow, but boy would it be awfully nice to not have to have an engineering degree just to get the back door of my smartphone open! But instead I decided to go with the thin and beautiful design, so now I have the thinnest, most beautiful brick on the block while I wait for it to die. Faaaantastic.

I know it's overexaggerating, but seriously. Besides thinness and design, what does having a non-removable battery have to offer? Even if you're somebody like me who doesn't even need a portable charger or a reason to tote around a second battery, there does come a point in time where your battery loses the amount of charge it's able to hold at one time simply because it's gone through so many charge cycles. Nothing lasts forever. When I first got my iPhone 4S I was so happy because the battery life was phenomenal, especially compared to my EVO. By the time I was eligible for an upgrade again, I couldn't wait to get rid of it because it was always on the charger. When I got my HTC One, I was so happy because the battery life was phenomenal. I have no doubt in my mind that it won't be long before I have the same issue that I had with my iPhone and several other smartphones before that. The only difference between my iPhone and other phones like my HTC EVO 4G, my EVO 3D, or my Samsung Vibrant was that I could have just as easily go to the store and get a new battery for it. Voila, all better. But not with the iPhone. 

Smartphone, do you take this wall charger to be your lawfully wedded wife?
Smartphone: I do.
And do you, wall charger, take smartphone to be your lawfully wedded husband?
Wall charger: I do.

I now pronounce you stuck forever.

There are a couple of things I would change about my HTC One, and the non-removable battery is definitely one of them. Admittedly, there has been a time or two between flashing new ROMs and mods where things could have been ten times quicker if I would have had the option to just pull the battery out. And although making it through the day isn't an issue right now, I imagine it won't be long before the battery starts giving way.

I know it seems like a petty thing to complain about, but really. It just doesn't seem like the end justifies the means in most cases.

But there is always room for debate. With that being said, readers, how do you feel about removable or non-removable batteries? Are they a deal-breaker for you, or do you not really care either way? Do you prefer one over the other? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image via Wow Techy, Extreme Tech