Your guide

The Nokia 1 Plus is one of a few smartphones with a removable battery.

Back in the modern smartphone’s formative years, it was pretty easy to find a device with a removable battery. But the trend towards unibody, sealed designs means you’ll actually struggle to find a phone with this feature today. It’s a pity because a removable design means you can easily swap out batteries — be it so you don’t have to charge your phone or if the other one has degraded. In any event, we’ve searched high and low to bring you the best phones with a removable battery.

Best phones with a removable battery:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best phones with a removable battery regularly when new devices launch.

1. Motorola Moto E6 Plus

motorola moto e6 plus

The Moto E6 Plus is one of the latest phones with a removable battery, delivering a 3,000mAh battery underneath its plastic cover. Otherwise, it’s a relatively capable phone for $140 to $160.

You’re getting a lightweight Helio P22 chipset, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and a 6.1-inch 720p display. It’s not powerful at all, but it’ll certainly handle basic tasks just fine. There’s also a 4GB/64GB option if you need more grunt.

Motorola’s budget handset offers a dual rear camera setup (13MP+2MP) for bokeh effects, while an 8MP camera handles selfies. Other noteworthy features include a rear fingerprint scanner, dual SIM support, and splash resistance.

In case you can’t get the E6 Plus in your market, the other two options you can go with are the Moto E6 or E6 Play. They are similar phones, but both offer a bit less than the Plus model.

Motorola Moto E6 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, HD+
  • Chipset: Helio P22
  • RAM: 2/4GB
  • Storage: 32/64GB
  • Rear cameras: 13 and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

2. Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4S

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4S

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4S is an iterative update to the Xcover 4, which launched in 2017. Like its predecessor, the Xcover 4S is sold as a “rugged” smartphone for folks who work or play in areas where a delicate smartphone would be impractical.

Essentially, the phone looks a lot like Samsung Galaxy flagships of yesteryear, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5. But it’s clear we don’t have a flagship when looking at the spec sheet. You’ve got a small HD screen, mid-range Exynos 7885 chipset, a single 16MP rear camera, a 5MP selfie shooter, and a relatively small 2,800mAh battery.

Fortunately, you’ve also got a microSD slot and IP68 rating. So while this isn’t the fastest phone or a camera powerhouse by any stretch, it covers the basics well and should handle a dunk in water.

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4S specs:

  • Display: 5-inch, HD
  • Chipset: Exynos 7885
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 32GB
  • Rear camera: 16MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2,800mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

3. Nokia 2.2

The Nokia 2.2 from various angles.

The Nokia 2.2 is one of the better smartphones with a removable battery announced this year. It stands out from the Moto E6 Plus by packing Android One support, which means it’s guaranteed to get two major Android updates.

HMD’s phone packs a quad-core Helio A22 chipset versus the more powerful octa-core P22 in the E6 Plus. Still, it should handle messaging, browsing, and other lightweight tasks just fine. Just don’t expect graphically advanced games and 4K recording.

Don’t hold your breath for anything spectacular when looking at the rest of the spec sheet either. There’s 2GB or 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of expandable storage, and a 3,000mAh battery. And yes, the removable nature of the latter means you can just swap batteries when your phone is low on juice. All in all, it’s a pretty decent deal for $140.

Nokia 2.2 specs:

  • Display: 5.7-inch, HD+
  • Chipset: Mediatek Helio A22
  • RAM: 2/3GB
  • Storage: 16/32GB
  • Rear camera: 13MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

4. LG Tribute Empire

LG Tribute Empire

The LG Tribute Empire probably won’t make any other list, but lands here almost by default due to its support for removable batteries.

LG’s budget phone offers an ageing MT6750 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and Android Oreo. And knowing LG, this phone won’t be updated to Android Pie or Android 10. The addition of an 8MP rear camera and 5MP selfie snapper means you’ve got all the ingredients for your average low-end device.

The LG Tribute Empire is available via Boost Mobile for $50, though, which is a pretty good price compared to the likes of the Nokia 1 Plus.

LG Tribute Empire specs:

  • Display: 5-inch, HD
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6750
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Rear camera: 8MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2,500mAh
  • Software: Android 8.1 Oreo

5. Nokia 1 Plus

Nokia 1 Plus

Thought the Nokia 2.2 and Moto E6 Plus were low-end devices? Well, the Nokia 1 Plus goes even lower, offering Android Go in lieu of the regular flavor of Android.

The cutbacks don’t end there, as you should also brace yourself for a low-end MediaTek SoC, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. Don’t expect to play Fortnite or PUBG on this device then.

You can expect similarly low-end camera and display specs, while a 2,500mAh battery powers the device. It might not be one of the best smartphones with a removable battery from a pure specification perspective, but earns its place thanks to the affirdable price tag. Still, if you need more RAM and internal storage, the similarly priced LG Tribute Empire or Alcatel 1V might be for you instead.

Nokia 1 Plus specs:

  • Display: 5.5-inch, qHD
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6739WW
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Rear camera: 8MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2,500mAh
  • Software: Android Go (Pie Edition)

6. Alcatel 1V

Alcatel 1VAlcatel

Another super-cheap phone makes the list in the Alcatel 1V, serving as more proof that you won’t find removable batteries on higher-end devices. Nevertheless, you’ll be paying around $90 for Alcatel’s low-end device.

Read: TCL Plex hands-on — TCL’s global debut looks promising

You’re getting decent specs at this price, featuring an octa-core Unisoc chipset (eight Cortex-A55 cores), 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of expandable storage. Other notable features include an 8MP or 5MP rear camera, a 5MP front-facing snapper, Android Go, a Google Assistant button, and a 2,460mAh battery. Fortunately, Alcatel also offers 2GB and 3GB RAM options if you need a little more grunt.

Alcatel 1V specs:

  • Display: 5.5-inch, qHD
  • Chipset: Unisoc SC9863A
  • RAM: 1/2/3GB
  • Storage: 16GB
  • Rear camera: 8 or 5MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2,460mAh
  • Software: Android Go (Pie Edition)

7. Samsung Galaxy A2 Core

A render of the Galaxy A2 Core.

The Galaxy A2 Core is one of the cheapest and least powerful Samsung Android phones you can get, but it’s also one of the few that still have a removable battery. It’s an Android Go device, which means it comes with a stripped-down version of Google’s OS that’s designed to run better on phones with weaker internals.

With that in mind, you can’t expect much processing power from the Galaxy A2 Core, but the phone can still handle day-to-day tasks like writing emails, checking social media, and so on. The display comes in at 5 inches, while the front and rear cameras both have 5MP sensors. You can check out the rest of the specs below.

Samsung Galaxy A2 Core specs:

  • Display: 5-inch, HD
  • Chipset: Exynos 7870
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 8/16GB
  • Rear camera: 5MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2,600mAh
  • Software: Android Go (Oreo Edition)

It’s time to move on from removable batteries

Samsung galaxy phone removable battery

As the list above makes clear, if having a removable battery is an essential aspect of your smartphone purchase decision, you’re going to have a tough time finding a modern phone to use. At this point, the easiest thing to do is simply accept that and start looking for other ways to keep your phone from running out of juice.

Luckily, there are plenty of options for that now. The most obvious solution is to buy a portable battery pack to top-off your phone’s battery when you see it’s dropping down. We have a whole list of terrific battery pack options here.

Obviously, waiting for your device to charge won’t be as fast as swapping out the battery. However, many modern phones have fast-charging capabilities, so charging your battery isn’t nearly as slow as it used to be.

Read more: How fast charging really works

Similarly, you could also invest in a phone with wireless charging. If you did that, you could dock the phone or lay it on a mat while you are at your desk and it will charge as if it were plugged in. This will give your phone little bursts of juice throughout the day and hopefully prevent you from running dry.

Another option is battery phone cases, which are protective smartphone cases with an extra battery built-in. Depending on the make and model of your smartphone, there might be dozens of different cases for you to try out which could literally double the amount of juice you can get out of one charge.

Finally, many manufacturers include battery optimization features within their version of Android. OnePlus and Samsung both have very flexible battery optimization settings in OxygenOS and One UI, respectively, that could help you prolong your battery life. Of course, you’d need to sacrifice some features for this to work.

Unfortunately, these are the things you’re going to need to do going forward as the idea of a removable smartphone battery slowly fades away.

More posts about charging