Is your smartphone battery running out in just a couple of hours? If you find yourself reaching for the charger multiple times a day, it might be time to replace your battery. Even with the days of removable batteries behind us, there are still are a lot of options. In this guide we will show you how and how much it costs to install a new battery on your phone.
If you’ve owned your smartphone for more than two years, you might have noticed its battery life is just not the same. The lifespan of a battery is typically defined by how many charge cycles it will last. A charge cycle is a period where a battery’s whole capacity is used, then it is charged back to full (companies like Apple define it as using 50 percent, then charging it back to full, then using 50 percent again). After 500 charge cycles, most lithium-ion batteries’ performance starts to degrade, regardless of how you use the device. It is one of the main reasons you should consider cell phone battery replacement on an aging device.
Common signs you need to replace your smartphone battery
Of course, the most obvious sign you might need a cell phone battery replacement is drastically reduced battery life. If your phone barely makes it past the 10-hour mark, and you don’t do anything too intensive like streaming or playing games, consider replacement.
Random shut offs are also a common symptom. If your smartphone turns off at 30 percent or even 50 percent, the health of your battery has likely deteriorated significantly. Boot loops are also a common sign. If you have an older smartphone that restarts constantly after hitting a certain battery threshold, this is usually due to an aging lithium-ion battery.
The easiest way to recognize the source of the issue is to note when the problem occurs. If you have a newer device and it boot loops after an update or when closing apps, it is most likely a software issue.
If your case is not that extreme, you still might want to check your battery’s health. We recommend using AccuBattery. It compares the design capacity of your battery to its estimated current capacity, showing you how much has been lost overtime. Just charge your phone after installing it and the app will do the rest.
AccuBattery also offers plenty of other features such as measuring charging speed, how much power apps use, how long your device will last on standby, and much more. If the capacity results are not great, it might be time for a battery replacement. The good news is you can do this even if you have a smartphone with a non-removable battery!
How to replace your smartphone battery
Replacing your smartphone battery used to be as easy as turning off your phone, removing the old battery, and putting the new one in. If your smartphone still has a removable battery, that’s all you need to do.
Most current Android smartphones come with non-removable batteries, so the task has gotten more difficult. It’s by no means impossible, but it’s no small feat either.
If you want to go the DIY route, you will have to take your smartphone apart, detaching the screen and other parts before getting to the battery. Since most parts are glued together, you would also have to remove and then reapply adhesive. Do not attempt this if you do not have the right tools. The basic ones you need are a suction handle, flat opening tool, tweezers, heat gun to melt adhesive, and a screwdriver. Replacement adhesive is also a must.
Don’t use just any tools lying around in your house — you can damage your phone.
Unfortunately, buying an official battery from an OEM is almost impossible, so we advise you stick to proven battery retailers with good ratings for repair kits and batteries, like iFixit. They also provide detailed battery replacement guides on their website.
If you already have the necessary tools and have found the appropriate tutorial for your smartphone model, it’s important to first have your battery below 25 percent. Charged lithium-ion batteries can catch fire or explode if accidentally punctured. If your battery is swollen when you open your device, you shouldn’t proceed with the replacement, especially if you are inexperienced. Take the phone to an authorized repair shop instead.
Even if that’s not the case, you have to be careful. Take the Samsung Galaxy S7 for example. Battery replacement can be quite difficult thanks to plenty of adhesive, all of which will need to be reapplied. You will also have to disconnect and reconnect the loudspeaker assembly. If you are not careful when doing so, you might need to take your phone apart once again to reconnect it. Other phones require you to disconnect even more parts. DIY battery replacements also usually void waterproofing.
So, if you feel like you don’t have the patience or skill, it’s best to take or mail your smartphone to an authorized service center. For most manufacturers battery replacement costs under $100 out of warranty, and the process takes around five to seven business days when you mail in your cell phone.
Here are links for popular Android manufacturers (and Apple) that will point you to the nearest authorized service center or give you instructions how to mail in your device for a battery replacement:
- Walk in and mail in.
- Optional: Can also call 1-800-SAMSUNG to mail in the U.S.
- You will need to email or live chat with HTC support, who can then point you to authorized centers or assist you in mailing your phone. You can do so here.
- LG offers official replacement batteries on its website for removable battery phone models, which you can find here.
- For smartphones with non-removable batteries, you can find an official service center or mail your device in.
- Motorola offers official DIY repair kits on iFixit.
- You can also request a repair or battery replacement here.
- Walk in and make an appointment at any Apple Store
- Mail in.
When is battery replacement not worth it?
If you’ve grown attached to your smartphone and just can’t stand current devices, it makes sense to try to prolong its lifespan, but whether replacing the battery is worth can depend. If you have an older flagship device you would like to continue using for a while, it can be a good investment. If you have a lower-end device, the price and hassle might outweigh the benefits. Most battery replacements at authorized service centers are relatively cheap, but so are new budget phones with updated specs and software.
The Moto G Play, for example, costs only $199. This is why the better and more convenient option for some is to simply buy a new smartphone, but at the end of the day it’s down to personal preference.
Cell phone battery replacement is not nearly as easy as it used to be, but hopefully now you know there’s hope for your expensive flagship even after years of use.
What is your opinion on smartphone batteries nowadays? Have you attempted a DIY battery replacement before? Share your experiences with us in the comment