Dangers of Non-removable batteries

So have been mulling over a phone upgrade recently. My LG G4 has been getting old, starting to run a little hot and not have the newest software out there. The options I had been looking at are the Pixel 1/2, galaxy note, lg v30 or the dread jump to iPhone.

Monday morning I was trying to use my GPS and the signal kept on jumping me all over town. No worries, opened GPS Status and Toolbox, refresh A-GPS signal to boost my location accuracy and off I go. Problem is that my issue didn’t go away, but my phone didn’t get any cooler either.

Well, I reached work, decided to pop out the battery to cool down the phone faster. After popping the back halfway off, the cover popped itself off the rest of the way and the battery literally popped out into my hand. Pictures are included, boy did I get lucky. My only regret was not buying an Anker replacement battery when they still sold them haha.

Long story short, not sure I will buy a phone with an embedded battery at this point, my options will be limited, but safety seems more important since I am very hard on phones.


Yeah I’ve seen reports of some embedded battery phones pop open too, caused by the swollen battery.

Yes battery swelling is an issue with older phone batteries, but in the past year alone they have come a long way in terms of battery size/life/ safety. Personally I wouldn’t hesitate to get a phone with an imbed ed battery, why you may ask? Because I can still change the battery if I need to when the time comes. Sure it’s not without opening up the phone, but having done so to replace screens its no problem

1 Like

You were lucky.
I remember the old Iphones I repaired years ago, often the batteries were really glued in.
So it was not so easy to explant :wink: the batteries without destroying other parts. It was really surgery. But i don’t remember I found a “foamed” battery in those days.

I think that it’s a shame that there are so few options out there for flagship phones with removable batteries (especially since the LG V series and Galaxy Note series both dropped the feature), but I honestly don’t mind all that much. I used to want a removable battery so that I could extend my battery life, but my S8 typically gets me through a full day, and if it doesn’t, I have battery packs that can top it off multiple times over. If I keep the phone long enough for the battery to degrade, then I can still replace the battery myself (although the process is a little more difficult). Overall, while removable batteries are nice, I’m happy to give up a little convenience in battery replacement for the peace of mind that comes with the waterproofing that sealed flagships provide. Add to that the convenience of wireless charging, and sealed phones really do come out ahead.

1 Like

Removable battery makes so much sense, but planned obsolescence makes money and not enough consumers opt for removable batteries.

From a phone manufacturer’s perspective, users might pop in batteries that are not certified by phone manufacturers and could cause damage to the phone. The consumers would then go back to phone manufacturers for help, costing them more money.

The Sam S8 is the first phone I’ve owned that didn’t have a removable battery, initially I was a bit gutted, but I’ve not had a problem with it, so no worries.

In the past, I liked that if a phone played up/froze, I’d just hard boot … Removing battery while turned on … it was so much better than press n hold power to do a restart, which I still feel is not as good as a proper reboot.

Planned obsolescence exists, it’s true, but replacing a non-removable battery is actually not all that difficult. I had some troubles with my S7 Edge after having it for about 18 months, and I decided I would see about replacing the battery. I didn’t want to go without a phone for several days, so I decided to not send it in and see if it was possible to just do it myself. With a heat gun, some index cards, and plenty of caution, I managed to take off the back of the phone and replace the battery. I didn’t really trust the waterproofing after that, but I did replace the battery fairly easily. Other phones that are a metal unibody, like an HTC 10 or Huawei Mate 9, are even easier. It may not be an option for a hard reset or swapping on the go, but seeing as I only did it once in 18 months, the added time it takes to swap is not a huge deal for me.

1 Like

Something to keep in mind while looking at li-ion batteries for advancement is their life expectancy. While newer batteries are smaller and hold a larger charge, their life span is still only rated to be issue free for 500 or so charges. You still lose 20% capacity after 1000 charges.

The real issue though isn’t so much the longevity of the battery, but the design of the phone. In order to reduce say an iPhone 6s to an iPhone 7 and not lose usability while still adding features is to reduce bulk (aka heat sinking). You cannot yield space for components since we are still using relatively large parts compared to the newest stuff. The only way to pack more into a smaller package is to either embed everything into single parts, or to reduce “bulk”. The way many manufacturers reduce bulk is to eliminate heat dissipating metals and use the battery as a pseudo heat sink. This was what they did with my G4. The flaw is that using the battery as the heat dissipation stresses the battery and reduces the life. This is an industry issue, so it is tough to rely on a design flaw to not give me a headache down the road.

Granted, a metal framed phone may help me to avoid the heat sinking aspects of a plastic phone, but the risk is there. The battery is almost always the weakest link in a phone, and not making it readily removable is silly.

Replacing a battery myself is not a problem as you have seen. As far as making it waterproof again, you can buy the sticker glue strips that reseal it so it can retain its waterproofing

1 Like

I have an LG G4 as well and absolutely hate it. It overheats almost anytime its on a charger (anker chargers and cables) and running Waze/Google Maps and listening to spotify. I get about 30 to 60 minutes of active use and about 2 hours of standby time on it (sometimes its all day). Bluetooth sucks on it and I have to restart my phone several times of day to free up memory. The camera went from awesome to worse than my old iphone 4 camera. The GPS keeps going out at the worse time and resetting the GPS doesn’t help.

It runs hot if the phone has to think. Just the other day, I got a slight burn from how hot the metal power button was and I was just listening to Spiitfy and no other apps was running.

Sadly this was a great phone for about 8 months. After a couple of factory resets it worked good then the issues came back.

My battery isn’t damaged yet but since our phones are about the same age I’m guessing it won’t be long before mine swells or blows up. I’m constantly watching my phone for signs of danger and generally try and put it near an ac vent when driving or place on a hard cold surface to help cool it.

As to seal batteries, I don’t like the idea of a non removable battery (but it won’t stop me from getting a sealed battery phone). That means if the battery fails (and yes you can get a bad battery in these new generation of batteries) you have to deal with the cell phone carrier, manufacture, or get it repaired yourself.

I just use common sense when replacing batteries. You need to know what type of battery to get, if its a certified battery or just get a manufacture replacement, and read the many reviews about the non OEM battery you buy. I’ve never had a problem with battery replacement for any of my tech gear.

1 Like

If you are run your G4 as hard as me I would check the manufacture date of it. The top picture with the box under P/N shows manufacture date. That’s my 2nd battery (first just didn’t hold a charge) and both last about 18 months if you actually use your phone for more than a phone. (games, gps, etc.) Like I said, the design idea of using a battery as the main heat sink is a huge flaw.

1 Like

You should just get a new phone anyways. The LG G4 is not supported by LG anymore :sob::cry::cry:

A lot of the heat problems from the G4 stem from the processor - Qualcomm released its first 64-bit processors, the Snapdragon 808 and 810, quite a bit sooner than it should have. This led to some pretty serious overheating and performance issues. The LG G4, which is powered by the 808, is one of the phones that suffered as a result. I know that a new phone costs a lot, but I would maybe think about getting a new phone - Amazon has a fair number of prime-exclusive smartphones that you can get for relatively cheap, and even a modern midrange phone lige the Moto G5 Plus will have comparable (or even better) performance than the G4. I’d imagine that the lack of frustration alone would be worth the cost of upgrading!

The other problem is the design. The processor is placed directly under the battery contacts (tends to be the hottest place, compounded with the second hottest place for some real heat lol). There is a third chip that I cant remember sandwiched there as well that also tends to heat up and crack (Bootload issue). All in all I will eventually get a new one, just haven’t decided what.

1 Like

What sort of qualities are you looking for in a new phone? Smartphones are a bit of a hobby of mine, so if you’re having a hard time figuring out good options or picking between a few, I’d be happy to do a little research or give you more info on what’s out there.