Phones with replaceable battery, expandable memory, and headphone jacks are difficult to find now. But not impossible.
Last updated: 6th July 2023
As phones have gotten more advanced in recent years, manufacturers have taken the opportunity to also make them less consumer-friendly. Good features like removable battery, 3.5mm headphone jack, expandable MicroSD memory, and chargers included in the box – all gone.
Let’s focus on the battery. It’s important for it to be removable for 2 reasons. First, so you can extend the phone’s lifespan. Battery manufacturers say that after about 400 cycles a phone battery’s capacity will degrade by 20%. So when the battery gets worse, you want to be able to replace just the battery, not the whole phone. This makes it cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Second, for privacy reasons. It’s nice to be able to completely force your phone to shut off – especially in this age of always-on microphones and surveillance.
Here are the 3 best phones with replaceable batteries available to buy now.
Top 4 Phones with Replaceable Battery
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 6 Pro – £539 – 2022
The Samsung Xcover 6 Pro is a rough and rugged phone released in July 2022. It has IP68 water and dust resistance (water-resistant in up to 1.5 meters of fresh water for up to 30 minutes and protected from dust, dirt, and sand). This is the most advanced phone of the 3, and of course, has Samsung’s usual smooth user experience – no lagging or stuttering.
The Xcover 6 Pro is the best phone here on paper. It’s newer, with strong hardware backed by a brilliant manufacturer. It’s aimed at people with outdoor jobs whose phones might take a knock. But even with a desk job, who doesn’t like their phone to work in the rain?
Specs: 6.6-inch 1080p 120Hz screen, 4050mAh battery, 6gb RAM, 128gb storage (expandable), Android 12, 5G, Octa Core 1.8-2.4GHz CPU.
|Samsung Galaxy Xcover 6 Pro|
|Operating System||Android 12|
|Processor (CPU)||Octa core 1.8-2.4GHz|
Fairphone 4 – £569 – 2021
Fairphone is a fairly new company, started in 2013 in Amsterdam. Its phones focus on 2 priorities – environmental impact and pro-consumer features. The business is Fairtrade certified, and electronic waste neutral. As you can see, they manufacture more than just phones with replaceable battery.
More importantly, Fairphone 4 offers a 5-year warranty, expandable memory, and an iFixit score of 10/10. That means the phone is considered very easy to break open and fix, DIY-style. You can buy new cameras, speakers, and other parts directly from Fairphone. In short, Fairphone is smartphones’ version of Framework laptops – which is a very good thing.
The downside here is Fairphone 4’s value. Because they’re not produced on the scale of Samsung, the handsets are rather pricey for the performance they offer. Samsung, Nokia, Xiaomi, and many more offer cheaper phones with better hardware.
The Fairphone 4 is 2 years old now, and rumours suggest that a sequel is in the pipeline. The unofficially suggested release date is 29th September 2023. So, it could be worth either waiting for a discount on the Fairphone 4, or holding out for the next model. Although, with a 5-year warranty, the Fairphone 4 is by no means obsolete.
Specs: 6.3-inch 1080p screen, 3905mAh battery, 8gb RAM, 256gb storage (expandable), Android 11, 5G, Octa Core up to 2.2GHz CPU.
|Operating System||Android 12|
|Processor (CPU)||Octa core up to 2.2GHz|
Nokia C21 – £109.99 – 2022
Nokia’s C-series is focused on being budget-friendly. Big screens, big batteries, small price. The C21 has vanilla/stock Android Go installed, which is made for lower-end phones and has minimal bloatware. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
It’s the weakest phone here – on paper. But that doesn’t mean it’s without its place. Nokia serves the low-end market quite well. The C21 Plus appeals to anyone with a smaller budget, as a basic work phone, or as a backup or daily driver that won’t break your heart if something happens to it while uninsured.
Specs: 6.5-inch 720p screen, 3000mAh battery, 2gb RAM, 32gb storage (expandable), Android 11 Go, 4G, Octa Core 1.6GHz CPU.
|Operating System||Android 11 Go|
|Processor (CPU)||Octa core 1.6GHz|
Nokia G22 & Nokia G42 5G – 2023
The Nokia G22 and G42 5G aren’t strictly phones with replaceable battery, but they’re still worth mentioning to you. Both phones have something called QuickFix repairability. That means it’s been designed to be relatively easy for you to replace a screen, battery, or charging port yourself, from home.
Spare parts are available on iFixit, and it’ll take around 20 minutes for you to pull the phone’s back off and replace the battery yourself.
Nokia G22 Specs: 6.52-inch 720p screen, 5050mAh battery, 4gb RAM, 128gb storage (expandable), Android 12, 4G, Quad-core up to 1.6GHz CPU.
Nokia G42 5G Specs: 6.56-inch 720p screen, 5000mAh battery, 6gb RAM, 128gb storage (expandable), Android 13, 5G, Octa-core up to 2.2GHz CPU.
|Nokia G22||Nokia G42 5G|
|Operating System||Android 12||Android 13|
|Processor (CPU)||Quad-core up to 1.6GHz||Octa core up to 2.2GHz|
That’s my roundup of the best phones with replaceable batteries. I’ll keep it updated as new devices are released. More tech posts here.