With the LG V30 launch, removable batteries are now officially dead
Let’s start off by saying that I strongly believe that the LG V30 is one of the best phones of the year. To be honest, a vast majority of people don’t really need or care about a removable back.
When Apple launched the very first iPhone, it was ridiculed all around for housing a non-removable battery. 10 years later, it’s virtually impossible to find a flagship phone of any major brand that has a removable battery. LG was the last holdout of a design seemingly forgotten, but now that the LG V30 is also going forward with a sealed design, there does not exist a single flagship phone from a major manufacturer that includes a removable back. Admit it, we’re going to miss that.
Won’t deny, the former flagship LG V20 had its issues, but in an old school Android kind of sense, it was a power user’s dream smartphone. It was 2016’s only major phone to have a removable back, an easily accessible Micro SD slot just above the battery, and it even retained the IR blaster. While most people thought these were for the most part unnecessary features, a small group thought they were some of its unique selling points.
For someone who often writes entire articles on his phone, the V20 could easily upload photos from my phone using the microSD slot without having to use those SIM eject tools or my the sluggish Wi-Fi transfer. And when my battery died right in the middle of CES, I was able to pop in a fully charged replacement in just a matter of seconds. Using a power bank wasn’t an option because I don’t like a cable hanging from my phone with a huge battery pack in my pocket while constantly moving around. Replacing the battery was quite simply the most convenient yet elegant solution. One can imagine Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 global fiasco would have been far less problematic if you could just replace the batteries yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my peace with the fact that new technologies and trends eventually replace the old, and removable backs have long fought their inevitable extinction. While some part of me was hopeful that LG V30 or a smartphone by any other company would challenge its engineers to try to keep the removable back while still making the devices sleeker, I never really expected it to happen.
Bottom line is, I’m happy Android phones are getting sleeker, but I’m a little saddened by their increasing similarity in general. Android is THE preferred OS for those who like having options and customizability, and a removable back is no longer one of them. 10 years from now, someone will be writing a similar article about headphone jacks. With how that’s already becoming an accepted reality, I reckon it won’t even take 10 years.