Poll: Thinner device or removable battery?


Ideally, manufacturers should release products with features that customers want. But some specs may be a bit impossible to feature together. There seems to be a new trend in the market – non-removable batteries. This allows manufacturers to pack things together and make devices much thinner. But is that really what we want?

Having a removable battery brings many improvements to the user experience. Batteries lose efficiency, for one, and one is usually able to just hit a carrier store and pop in the new battery when this happens. Plus, being able to chose third-party and extended batteries is something that we have grown accustomed to.

Devices like the Motorola Droid RAZR and the Droid 4 now come with a non-removable battery, ripping us out of such benefits. But Motorola decided to release the Droid RAZR Maxx, with a huge 3,300 mAh battery. This allows users to go up to multiple days without plugging in their device. And even though it is a bit thicker than the original, it is still amazingly thin.

But such is not the case for the Droid 4. Sure, it is a thin device considering it has a full slide-out keyboard. But we feel like Motorola could have given us a removable-battery by working on it a bit harder, or adding a millimeter or two.

So this raises the question – is it really worth it to make a device thinner by making it impossible to remove the battery? I know I prefer thicker, heavier devices over incredibly thin and light ones. This is the reason why I love HTC so much, its smartphones feel very solid.

But some people may prefer a thinner, lighter smartphone. If the battery is almost twice as big (like the RAZR Maxx), I wouldn’t mind a non-removable battery as much. And the device is still amazingly thin compared to the competition.

But tell us what you think. Go ahead and give us your opinion by participating in the poll, and hit the comments section to explain your reasoning.

[polldaddy poll=5958642]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Removable batteries please. Batteries wear out and need replaced over time.

  2. I prefer my phones to be AT LEAST 15mm thin. 20mm preferred.

    EDIT: I care about ergonomics of a phone.

  3. Do phones really need to be any thinner than they are? Many feel flimsy enough as it is.
    More importantly, I buy a couple of spare batteries and a battery charger which will charge them independently of the phone. I never have to plug my phone in, just swap the battery once a day or so. And always have a couple of spare charged batteries with me if I’m out and about.

    1. I second this. I have the original atrix, and its too thin without my case. Cant get a good hold on it.

    2. I think it can be a social race to superiority. Some people like being able to say that their device is thinner than everyone else’s. So they buy incredibly thin devices that give up other things. 

      I mean people love their slide-out keyboards, and those devices are much thicker. Some people focus on functionality, while others focus on status. 

      In my opinion, it is better to have a solid feeling device than a very thin/light one that will feel too “plasticky.”

      1. Who is this customer your referring to? I’ve never met a person who was bragging about their phone being the thinnest, in fact I’m the only real life person I know who gives a crap about their phone!

    3. i also second this… the SGSII is plenty thin, and has a removable battery.  Keep this form factor!

      1. ..And made of plastic. I’d rather have a metal phone that was a little thicker and it not feel like a child’s toy.

        1. I’ll take plastic over metal any day, I drop my phone too much to have a metal device.

    4. I agree.  Modern smartphones are thin enough.  Removable battery is a very important feature.  Next to removable battery is a design that makes it possible for third party to provide a thicker back with larger battery.  Some phones desperately need this.  Even better idea:  how about sacrificing a millimeter or two of thinness to provide a higher capacity battery in the first place, making such third party solutions unnecessary?

  4. I want a bigger batter that can last at least 1 1/2 days with moderate usage.

  5. Just get an Iphone guys. Android is a failure because of fragmentation. There are over 500 android models and so many versions. Developers have to develop apps individually for each model and soon they will simply stop doing it for Android.

    I know people will say that Android has 50% of the smartphone market and that is because they are cheap and the vast majority of the people on this world are poor. Here in Britain, Iphone rules. Americans please come over to Apple. 

    1. You obviously never developed for Android. Go away.

    2. My GF just got an iPhone… man, no way I could live with that.  It gets boring after a day.  plus, the screen is too small. Plus, I like selection and not being locked down by (Cr)Apple.  Nice construction quality though.. assuming the screen and back dont shatter.

    3. There are reasons why we love Android, which I am sure you have heard about. And as long as Android is so successful, developers will not leave it. 

      As for the money issue – Sure, many Android devices are affordable. But that is a great thing. Not everyone needs a top-of-the-line smartphone, or can afford it. And if you can, there are also many devices that are even more expensive than Apple products, with amazing specs and features… 

    4.  We don’t want your tiny little toy. Sorry.

    5. Cool story bro, and we should care, why exactly?

    6. Please leave now, some people are not as friendly as me when it comes the iPiecesOfSh*t

    7. 500 android models fragmentation you just have no clue to you its called choise, if you have a iphone & u want another iphone you have 5 to choose from but that is it, if you want a upto date iphone you have 1 to choose from, if you have a Android & want a new high end one you have at least 10 new android phones & you can keep all your paid apps, Choice is a good thing thats why Android & windows phone are fantastic Operating systems.

      & here in the UK Android is the number 1 mobile platform.

  6. Nomally I’d say removable because you can swap out the battery if it does. But the Razr Maxx completely solves this problem with its massive battery. So I prefer a built-in battery as long as it’s big enough.

  7. If you don’t have a removable battery, what do you do when your phone freezes and none of the buttons seem to make a difference? Not that this happens often, but when it does I like to be able to just pull the battery and get a clean reboot.

    1. I’ve never had the button combos NOT work; if they didn’t, I be worried I had a brick.

  8. If the battery can last 2 or more days, then fine, I wouldn’t need for it to be removeable.   But until then, give me the option to swap out batteries.

  9. If iPhone could do half of what my Android does, I might consider it.  But right now, it would be a step backward.  Why go back?

  10. I think the need for extended batteries is just a mindset.  If phones had 3300mAh batteries, fewer people would be in the mindset of thinking they needed an extended battery.  Hence, the skewed (imho) results of the polls.  I would think the polls would be different if 3300mAh batteries were the norm.

  11. Removable battery gets my vote.

  12. How often do you need to remove a battery to unfreeze your phone? I don’t have to that often but there are times when I do… what do you do if the battery isn’t removable?

    1. A battery pull isn’t strictly necessary, nor should it be, to recover from a frozen phone state. Most (all?) android phones can be hard-reset by holding down a certain button combo for a few seconds; often it’s volup+power, but varies by device

      1. don’t know about you, but usually I don’t want a hard reset when my phone’s broken

        1. How else are you going to revive an unresponsive device? Magic?

          1. That’s what steve said. Magic :p I never figured out button combo for vibrant. Why can’t the manufactures make the devices bigger with bigger batteries? Thin phones are annoyingly hard to hold comfortably

          2. no… I’d rather pull the battery out

      2. Ah!! I should look more into that. I really didn’t know that, and that’s my reason for having a removable battery. I really don’t care for an extended battery. I wouldn’t waste my money. I’d just get a portable charger if I REALLY need my phone to be charged. LoL!!

    2. It can be done two ways. Either a button press combo which cuts the circuit and acts as a battery pull, or they could do what some laptop manufacturers with built in batteries do… a tiny pinhole that acts as a battery pull. On a phone the button combo press is more practical.

      Really, having a built in battery is not a big deal when it comes to battery pulls, the same effect can be done by holding down button combo to cut the circuit. The bigger issue for me about built in batteries is the issue of not being able to easily replace it when it becomes defective, or to have spares around without a charger on the go.

  13. I want a smartphone to be a useful tool, not a girlfriend

  14. I like to remove my battery, i just had to do it with my D3. Batterys age and reach the end of their cycle life and dont hold voltage. With the MAXX its different but still.

  15. EVEN IF phones start coming with larger all-day batteries (3000mah+) standard, they still should be user-replaceable, imo, soley for the sake of EFFICIENCY and the ENVIRONMENT so we’re not throwing out perfectly good devices before we have to.

    I’d settle for somewhat-hard-to-replace battery (though not as hard as the iPhone’s) as a middle ground if it meant they could fit more battery in there and make the phone’s frame stronger as a result. Breaking out a tiny torx wrench — or whatever is needed beyond popping a flimsy cover off — to replace a battery that only holds a ~60% charge after a year isn’t so bad…

    1. Hmm… Are non-removable batteries built into the circuit? Lyk even if you manage to open the phone, won’t the battery be lyk weld together, and you’ll need a soldering iron to detach it?

      1. If you can figure out how to pull apart one of the new sealed phones without destroying it, I don’t think soldering two little wires is going to be that big of a deal.

      2. And if you have to use, and can’t spell the word “like” repeatedly, you likely wont be opening a sealed phone either.

      3. You did not just type that. Hello 1994!

  16. Give me my extra battery. Not all of us a near an oulet during the course of our work day….

  17. The RAZR Maxx hit the nail on the head. Motorola used the extra space they saved with the built-in battery to make it twice as big, and also make the phone easier to hold. I hope Android phones start moving in this direction for the future.

  18. Removable battery!! I can’t say never, there might be one that calls my name I can’t resist, but I don’t plan to buy one. Sounds like a downgrade to me.

    Plus the manufacturers will lose my spare battery $$. I normally carry 3 extras.

  19. I love thin phones and would never buy one that is more than 12mm thick.
    I still really love removable batteries, though. I remember bricking my dad’s Droid X and needed to SBF it but it had low battery. My own Droid X helped charge his battery. This is one case where I really need to replace batteries.

  20. 3300 removable battery please.

  21. Razr is too thin to hold onto comfortably. I vote very large removeable battery.

  22. OK with thin device so long as has reset button

  23. I prefer removable. As said batteries do wear down and need to be replaced. I think they should counter weight the phones and place as many parts on the to part of the phone and have as large of a battery as possible on the lower part. And with the buttons going to software should free up some more space. I’m sure the mic doesn’t take that much space and should still make for thinner sleek devices. They just need to come up with a better material

    1. Truth be told, phones get replaced before the battery quality drops to the point it needs to be replaced. 

  24. i like thin and heavy device. it give me a solid and high quality feeling. i wish my SGN are little bite more heavier, it feel like a plastic toy. 

    1. That was my main issue with the Nexus. I was really worried I would feel the same way. Especially coming from the solid beast that was the OG Droid. However, I actually ended up really liking the build of it. Doesn’t feel nearly as plasticky and cheap as I was expecting. It feels surprisingly solid to me, and the lightness is actually nice since it’s a big phone and I have to hold it up with my pinky on the bottom sometimes.

  25. Modern smartphones are thin enough for me; I just want a longer-lasting battery.  I don’t care if it’s removable or not.

  26. For me, the important thing here is longevity of the phone. I keep my phones until they no longer work(I just upgrade from the OG Droid, it was done for). I just got done reading some articles at batteryuniversity.com and it made me really glad I went with the Nexus over the Maxx. 

    This link shows a table of Li-Ion permanent charge loss under certain conditions. http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

    I also found this info helpful for prolonging battery health. http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/do_and_dont_battery_table

    So yeah, I’m quite glad my battery is replaceable. Completely not being able to replace a battery would not be cool. Also, I have two pockets and carrying around an extra battery is hardly noticeable, and gives me even more capacity than the Maxx.

  27. I need a removable battery …main reason I didn’t buy the galaxy nexus…..I can’t be plugged next to the wall all day ….

    1. The Galaxy Nexus does have a removable battery…


    Sorry for shouting but that is how strongly I feel about it. My next phone probably will be a bionic and it might be my last moto phone. :-(

    1. what? bionic over gNex……and the razr maxx? what?,,,,,WHAT?

  29. Thin is a fad. Give me more battery life.
    And, please make poll questions that make sense. Those are really silly.

    1. So I shouldn’t start working out then? Chunky is coming back!!!

  30. Thinner, I have chargers everywhere and my current phone lasts 10 hours anyways. Enough for me

  31. Prefer REMOVE BATTERY!!!

  32. I would rather have a replaceable battery than a super thin phone. Batteries die…

  33. I said it when I saw the RAZR announced. I was all set to buy it, but when I heard the battery wasn’t removable, I said “well it’s the Rezound for me.” In Arizona, batteries have a shorter life-span, so I want the ability to replace a dead battery then have to replace the phone. Still not sure why people out here buy the iPhone if it has a fixed battery though.

  34. Removable battery

  35. Im thinking the poll should be thinner vs larger battery instead of removeable battery.

  36. I don’t care for thin phones for thins sake; the thicker the phone the more functionality can be included; like better cameras; projector; dual screens, keyboard,…etc. a few extra ounces and another 1/2 inch is not going to make or break my day…

    1. A half inch? Now you are talking crazy.

  37. Removable battery. Once the battery doesn’t charge correctly you will need a new device and not just a new battery.

  38. Those thinner devices are difficult to hold onto IMO

  39. Removable battery

  40. A lot of ppL are saying “battery needs to be replaced”, but how often have you “replaced” your battery for being faulty? In all my cell phone years, going back to my slider Samsung phone with the keypads, =.P I never had to replace the battery .The battery was always good. I mean, the phone before the Samsung, some Kyocera had a Nickel based battery, but of course the memory effect. After that, the Lithium battiers, I never had to go to the store and buy a replacement because the battery was broke.

    So do people actually break their batteries within 1 year? BTW, I have an iPod 2G and it’s still working pretty fine. No need to replace the battery. I think all these “replace battery” is more along the lines of spare battery and battery pulls(which I just recently read in the comments aren’t necessary anymore. Phones have button combinations that do the same).

    So I’m open for anything. Just if it has built-in battery, than have a larger battery so I won’t have an urge to want a spare battery.

    1. The battery doesn’t break necessarily, as you would say, it lyk loses efficiency. After 1 year it should be about 80% of what it was new. For this reason I replace mine about every 6 months to a year.

  41. Overly thin phones are overrated. While waiting to get my GN I checked out the RAZR and it was so thin that it just did not feel comfortable in the hand. But even if it had felt good the lack of a replaceable battery would have steered me away from it.

  42. Removable battery!!

  43. If the RAZR MAXX can be thinner than an iphone by a couple millimeters and hold a 3300mah battery, I demand manufacturers start making 11mm thick 4.3″ phones with 3300mah batteries that are removable. There is no reason a 2mm addition can’t add a removable battery cover.

    Also those 4.5-4.6″ phones should maintain this thickness, but have considerably bigger batteries, maybe up to 4000mah even. Now that would be something. Logically, technologically, reasonably, this really all seems doable.

    Oh and I despise those battery humps, more people need to make backplates like HTC, so the extended batteries can add to the whole phone and not just give it more rough edges.

  44. Q: Would you prefer a thinner device over a removable battery?A: Only if it has a bigger battery.

    I assume this means I’m happy with a non-removable if it is larger or does it mean; I only want it removable if it is a bigger battery?

    1. Serious?

  45. Screen tech seems to determine thinness than removable battery. Galaxy S 2, Nexus, and MAXX were plenty in thinness due to their AMOLED displays.

  46. If the battery isn’t removeable, but it’s larger like 3300mAh, I would have no complaints.

  47. I have no problems with a non removable battery as long as it’s got at least 2500mah and the phone is fairly thin.

  48. I want a removable battery. How many times has a battery-pull been recommended or necessary to resolve a problem?

  49. Removable battery! I chose and waited for the galaxy nexus over the Razr for that reason. Batteries lose power over time, and I change out batteries due to 4G almost daily.

    For that matter, I also wish the nexus had removable memory.

  50. Im imagining a world with Droid Razr Maxx removable batteries and custom kernels that make your cellphone last for a week at a time
    I HAVE A DREAM lol

  51. 5,000mAh battery FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. I love big phones and I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny…

    1. Even the jeans she’s wearing…

  53. Thin is out.  Can we have a phone that lasts 2 days on a charge please?

  54. I sacrificed the sd card slot for a removable battery. After sorting through my options (Droid Razr and the G-Nexus) I chose the one device that would keep me happy overall. As I looked at my OG Droid and all its awsomeness, I realized that I didn’t removed the 16gb sd card from the OG droid, except for that one time that it malfunction and the phone couldn’t detect it. Came to find out that some how the sd card must had gotten damaged on one of the drops that the OG Droid suffered. I replaced it with a 8gb card and the phone would read it just fine. Out of the 8gb I was only using about 3.4gb of the entire sd card. After realizing that the OG Droid wouldn’t last an entire day with a charged battery I got myself a second battery from amazon.com for about $6 and a charger to charge the battery with. Now I had two batteries for whenever one would died and I would swap them and move on with a fully charged battery and didn’t miss a beat. Once home I would drop the drained battery onto its charger and didn’t have to have the phone plugged to the wall while the battery would be charging.  

  55. I can not believe this!  After consmers had to fight for years to get removable batteries in  devices, some *** #### manufacturer has gone back to a non removable battery device?   Thank god for Connex storage shelving.

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