I don't care about swappable batteries anymore

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: July 3, 2014

I feel like asking for better batteries is the equivalent of just staring at a wall, and telling that wall to make better batteries. It's easy to admit that our batteries probably last longer than they ever have before, but just making them bigger isn't really solving anything. Not in a realistic way. Considering there are people out there that still complain about battery life, even in 2014, should tell us all something.

But it's honestly just something we're supposed to live with. Use workarounds. Figure it out for ourselves. Which is fine for the most part, because most of the options out there aren't too terrible, and some of them come with real bonuses. The simple argument, the one I get all the time, is that every phone manufacturer should either offer swappable batteries, or an easy way to replace them if something does happen, even if you can't do it yourself.

That's understandable. That's probably even a small concession that manufacturers could make without too much of a hassle. At least I'd like to think that's the case. Manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola and others usually offer a back cover you can take off, and batteries are pretty easy to find. So owning a couple of them, just in case, isn't really that big of a deal. An easy workaround.

And if you have an issue with a device that doesn't have a user replaceable battery? Well, there's usually an easy way to get a new battery, even if it means you have to get a new phone. That's a bit of a stretch when it comes to "easy workaround," but at least it's an option that exists, I guess. Better than nothing, right?

I used to carry more than one battery around with me, just in case. Never really thought about it back then, because it was just something I had to do, especially when traveling. Plus, it was easy, so I never really considered it a big deal.

I've realized recently that I don't care about swappable batteries anymore.

Samsung has an advertisement right now that pokes fun at the iPhone and its users, calling them "wall huggers," as they desperately search for a wall sockets to plug their device in and charge it. Because their batteries are terrible, apparently. In the ad, Samsung does a good job of not outright saying that the Galaxy S5's battery is actually better, per se, but that it features things like Ultra power saving mode to make your battery go a full day with only 10% remaining. Or, you can swap the battery.

I honestly haven't thought about a swappable battery as one of my main reasons for picking a device in a long time. I used to think it was really important. Now, though, I think I've just been beaten down into submission by the lifespan of current batteries. I just use it for as long as I can, then charge it when I need to. This is the reality that I have to work with, because I'm still waiting for batteries to get better. I'll be waiting a long time, probably, but that's just how it is.

Of course, there are accessories to make it easier to bear. I know a popular accessory is the Mophie juice pack, which adds a battery to your case and gives you plenty of extra battery life, especially if you're in a pinch. It may not be better than just having batteries that last longer, but's also arguably easier than popping off a back panel, switching batteries, and then putting the back cover back on. (Not that that's hard, mind you.)

How do you feel about swappable batteries? Is this something you absolutely need, or have you learned to live with the one battery you have? Do you use accessories to eek out more juice? Do you avoid devices that don't let you switch batteries?