Phones with replaceable battery, expandable memory and more are difficult to find now. But not impossible.
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 life. 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.
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 phone 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.
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.
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.
Specs: 6.3 inch 1080p screen, 3905mAh battery, 8gb RAM, 256gb storage (expandable), Android 11, 5G, Octa Core up to 2.2GHz CPU.
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.
|Samsung Galaxy Xcover 6 Pro||Fairphone 4||Nokia C21|
|Operating System||Android 12||Android 12||Android 11 Go|
|Processor (CPU)||Octa core 1.8-2.4GHz||Octa core up to 2.2GHz||Octa core 1.6GHz|
That’s my roundup of the best phones with replaceable battery. I’ll keep it updated as new devices are released. More tech posts here.