Get Back Your Replaceable Batteries, Thanks To The EU

The world’s tech companies must harbour a hearty dislike for the European Union because when the many cogs of its bureaucracies turn, they find themselves with little choice but to follow or risk losing access to a huge and affluent market. There are a few areas of technology that don’t have some concessions to EU rules in their manufacturing process, and if a common charging connector or right to repair weren’t enough, they’re back for another clash with the mobile phone industry. If you hanker for the days of replaceable mobile phone batteries, you’re in luck because an EU Parliament vote has approved a set of rules covering batteries among which will be a requirement for replaceable cells in portable appliances.

We expect that the phone manufacturers will drag their feet just as some of them have over charger ports, but the greater ease of maintenance, as well as extra longevity for phones, can only be a good thing. There are a few other measures in the package, and one of them caught our eye, the introduction of a battery passport for larger industrial and EV batteries. There’s little more information in the press release, but we hope that it doesn’t inhibit their exploitation by people in our community when introduced.

We look forward to seeing more replaceable battery models appear in due course, meanwhile, you can read some of our coverage of the EU’s right-to-repair measures.

Header: Andy Melton, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0.

125 thoughts on “Get Back Your Replaceable Batteries, Thanks To The EU

  1. I’m sure many people’s responses will be “but I like my super-thin phone” but honestly if the only thing this accomplishes is getting rid of manufacturers gluing down those easy-to-bend lithium ion internal batteries, I’ll be *thrilled*. I have exactly zero idea why they do this. It’s totally unnecessary.

    1. >I have exactly zero idea why they do this.

      To charge a premium for replacement service. And it’s a lot easier to sell you a new phone, if you destroyed the old one trying to replace the battery.

    2. It’s called planned obsolescence. If they didn’t glue a battery in and make it difficult to change you wouldn’t need to buy a new phone every 3 years or so.
      My last reasonable phone I had – that I could change batteries easily – I had for 8 years (3 batteries worth..) (samsung s5).

        1. The other thing being trade secrets and anything you can use to safeguard them. If every SoC was blob-free and mainlined, they’d be software supported (maybe not with the newest fancy features, but at least safe and up to date) for 5-10 years with minimal to no effort from the manufacturer.

        1. I’m not sure I buy the glue-batteries-make-phones-thinner line.

          Indeed, I’ll put up any number of replaceable-battery phones of yesteryear against anything made today for carrying comfort. (But not screen size, processor power, or camera quality…)

          My wife just got me a (used) M23 to replace my S3. It’s sooooo big and heavy, that I’m not sure it’s going to work out. I might just get a new battery for the S3. Which is a luxury of choice that not many have.

          1. >I’m not sure I buy the glue-batteries-make-phones-thinner line.

            They make the phone thinner through making it more rigid. Think of it from a mechanical standpoint. A replaceable battery means you get a large hollow inside your phone that is not structurally supporting anything.

          2. I don’t know dude, a hollow place in your phone that snap fits a replaceable cell tightly is structurally quite sound. If that adds half a millimeter to a millimeter that ain’t half bad.

          3. Geert van Dijk:
            >I don’t know dude, a hollow place in your phone that snap fits a replaceable cell tightly is structurally quite sound. If that adds half a millimeter to a millimeter that ain’t half bad.

            Then make the battery pack ridig and screw it in place. Who says it has to snap in? This just sounds like more excuses.

          4. A hollow cavity is itself not a bad structure, but the rigidity is compromised in a very thin phone because the back lid won’t be structurally supporting if the user is supposed to have access to the battery: it has to pop out. Even with screws, you have stress points at the screws – gluing the back cover on means the stresses are distributed all around the seam and it can withstand higher impacts and more bending before it breaks. Gluing the battery in improves this further and allows even thinner designs.

            The other way to solve it is as bebop said, screw the battery in place using a rigid internal skeleton structure that performs the structural function of a solid back cover – kinda like how most laptops are made. However, as with laptops, that adds both mass and a little bit of thickness to it – the thinnest and lightest models are all made using a rigid outer shell and mounting the components to that shell, which means the back cover can’t easily come off for battery replacement, and the point about screws vs. glue still holds.

          5. Think of a convertible car. If you just chop the roof off of some regular car and replace it with a tarp, you compromise the structure and the doors won’t open anymore because the floor of the car bows down – It becomes floppy like a flapjack – so you have to add more material to the bottom of the car to make it rigid again.

            Same thing for a thin phone – the sides offer negligible support against bending and twisting, and the inside is a cavity where the battery sits – though filled by the battery, the battery is not glued down, so the cavity can change shape around the battery and offers little mechanical support. You need either a rigid back plate, or to add thickness at the screen side.

            I remember, in some later Nokia phones, this issue was solved by slotting the battery in and out through the bottom of the phone where the charging connector is.

          6. > Then make the battery pack ridig and screw it in place. Who says it has to snap in?

            That is exactly what the old Caterpillar phone does.

            By the way, it is many things, but slim isn’t one of them.

          7. “They make the phone thinner through making it more rigid.”

            How does crappy glue make it more rigid? It’s not epoxy. It flexes fine. The battery is what is making it rigid, not the glue. The battery can be pinned in place by a hundred other methods.

            Have you taken apart a phone with a glued-in battery? You can get them out, with effort, isopropyl, and time. And when I put them back in, I *never* use glue again. Tape works fine to hold it in place until the phone’s snapped back together, and then the phone itself is holding it in place.

          8. >It flexes fine.

            It flexes much less than having air between the battery and the back cover. Think of plywood bending – when you stack strips of thin plywood together, you can easily bend the stack because the strips can slide against each other. Adding glue locks them in place, and with such a large surface area in between, even flexible glue will make it very rigid indeed.

            Being flexible also makes the glue into a shock absorber.

      1. This always comes up and is just wrong. It is about manufacturing speed and simplicity, and NOT providing a support and parts supply chain. The first example I can personally recall of someone taking this seriously was Steve Jobs offering a trade-in deal on Apple 1 computer boards. As the boards arrived they were run through a bandsaw and into the trash. Why? Because supporting the Apple 1 was consuming too many resources needed for the Apple II. He did not want traded-in boards to end up back in the wild.

        “Planned obsolescence” is not the goal, it is a product that requires no hardware support and as little software support as possible, no matter how long it lasts.

        1. >He did not want traded-in boards to end up back in the wild.

          Even if his company wasn’t supporting those boards any longer, second hand parts and third party repair services still compete with the products they’re trying to sell. If there’s a bunch of working Apple 1-s still floating about, people will buy less Apple II-s.

    3. phones are engineered ,ie :there is a huge mechanical engineering component in the design,so,batteries are glued in to make the whole phone stronger
      it likely that any new design for replacable batteries will
      not be tool less,and will require a significant increase in
      volume and weight,which is fine for me because I have
      big hands,lots of tools,and I never actualy carry my

      1. How does a glued in battery make it stronger versus any other retention mechanism?

        The phone’s snapped together. There’s no space for the thing to move. It’d be fine with tape or even a tacky pad.

        1. The vast majority of phone batteries are held in place with double-sided tape that is easily removed by pulling out with a tab. Why is everyone saying they’re glued in place when that is unequivocally false?

  2. I still have an aversion against the bureaucrats at EU, because of the ban of incandescent lamps. I do understand that most of them have an efficiency problem, but banning was too much. It’s sort of an incapacitation of the citizen(s). Especially, because lamps can be used for much more. They can act as fuses and charging circuits for batteries. It’s as if resistors were banned suddenly. *sigh* 😔

      1. Nope. That was a joke that didn’t last for very long.

        It’s pretty hard to sell any when there is literally none in the country. Shops aren’t allowed to sell them, so they aren’t even imported any longer.

          1. Those are called “hammer bulbs” here because some manufacturer used to put a hammer logo on them. They were supposed to be available still, and some list them, but everybody has zero stock.

    1. All the things you listed have better alternatives that don’t dump 90% of their energy as heat. Also, if you really needed to use a lamp as a resistor… Well I’ve got news for you, actual resistors exist that will do a better job. Incandescent lamps are genuinely 100% obsolete, with no reasonable use to the average consumer. Do you also pine for the days when TV’s or computers used vacuum tubes?

      Besides there’s nothing stopping you from using them, but you will have trouble buying them.

        1. And anywhere there’s real winter, they’re very effective radiative heaters. In the summers you don’t need as much light anyways.

          The irony is that renewable energy is forcing people to switch to electric heating, and new homes are now being equipped with radiating heating elements embedded in the ceiling – a heating coil backed with a reflective foil that radiates infrared through the ceiling panels. This is more efficient because it warms up the surfaces first rather than indirectly through the air – and it’s the cold surfaces that make a room feel cold.

          LEDs became so much more efficient that for general lighting they would have replaced incandescents anyways^. Room lighting was already a minority use of energy in the home anyways (about 20%), so the ban did not address a real issue, it was unnecessary, and it only removed consumer choice and killed off all the special applications where the bulbs were needed.

          *(LED development was independent of general lighting development because more efficient lights were needed elsewhere, e.g. projectors and displays.)

          1. If you replaced your incandescents with an “electric ceiling heater”, then you live in a country where it literally NEVER gets cold.
            Add an embarrassing small amount of insulation to the walls instead and enjoy saving on both cooling and heating.
            It will also give a better indoor climate since it’s not drafty or such.

          2. Of course I wasn’t saying that the light bulbs were the ONLY means of heating. Just pointing out the irony of banning incandescent bulbs because they were “inefficient”, and then promoting radiative heating because it is efficient – when the two are doing the exact same thing.

          3. Put more precisely, the ceiling elements are used to supplement more traditional underfloor heating and wall mounted radiators, so the room feels warmer because of the reflected infrared light off of the surfaces. This means you can turn the main thermostat down and lose less energy heating the room air that gets ventilated out.

          4. Besides, for the point of it, the light bulb ban does not only affect incandescent bulbs but all lights, because it applies an arbitrary efficiency standard (lm/W).

            Now, lumens are a measure of perceived light, not emitted light. For LED lights, the way to achieve more lumens per Watt is to concentrate the color spectrum around green-yellow and reduce red and intermediate blue-green light, keeping the strong blue spike to balance the color temperature. What this does is lower the CRI of the bulb, making it appear brighter but reducing color quality.

          5. @Dude – It’s been generally true that you can game lm/watt by making bluish green light, but the very highest efficiency standard bulbs I know of on the market, at between 180 and 210lm/watt depending on the version, manage CRI>90 at 3000k without looking particularly green/yellow. I don’t have a spectrum test, but I have seen various spectra and these aren’t bad. (In the EU they’re called “Philips Ultra Efficient”; they’re related to the dubai bulbs which have been around awhile, and recently the USA got something similar that is being branded as philips master or something like that. )

          6. I would mind if I couldn’t get automotive incandescent lights and other filament devices that aren’t a standard lightbulb for when I need something unusual or based on the electrical properties of a filament. I am mostly happy to use longer-lasting bulbs that don’t emit so much visible light when I need a heat lamp. If for instance I’m keeping animals warm, they will appreciate if it doesn’t feel like the sun is out 24/7 because of the light versus heat ratio.

      1. I’m 100% with Jack on this. We live in society, our environment is struggling, and we all need to accept that we need to do some sacrifices to contribute towards sustainability. E.g. trike was my fav solvent, but I accept that I needed to give it up.

        1. Central heating element (with controlled temperature) plus a ring or neopixel leds that will also give you color variations you never dreamed of. There, I solved it for you, and improved if in the process. Modern technology to the rescue!

        2. Paintings and pictures look better under 100 CRI light: desk lamps and reading lights were much better with incandescent bulbs, because printed stuff works by subtracting color from the ambient light. If you have a painting on the wall, a halogen spotlight brings out the colors while a LED spotlight makes it all muted.

          1. Only if you don’t get a good enough set of LEDs. You can get into the cri 95-98 range with photography light panels, which can be adjusted over a wide range of color temperatures. Often, an ideally 100 cri light is no better than 98 or so when tested, if there’s any mild effects skewing the color at all. 95 is usually pretty nice, and 90 is fine if there’s no problematic sharp peaks and troughs in the spectrum and no pervasive color cast (though if there is, it’s not so severe that you can’t correct for it). Due to the averaging which occurs with a dual-color light panel, if there’s a tint cast to the light, it’s usually a flattering one rather than a greenish cast like you normally expect. Overall, since you can control the color temperature with leds, you’re usually better off with them for anything balanced for a temperature in the daylight range than you would be with incandescent or halogen and severe filtering.

        3. Photography
          Easy bake ovens
          Spotlights, reading lights, desk lamps
          Bathroom lights (makeup can go horribly wrong with poor CRI lights)
          Arts and crafts (better color separation)

          1. Will the makeup go wrong with low CRI lighting if one will then be viewed in conditions with low CRI lighting? I assume the ideal would be to match the lighting at application to the lighting at viewing, no?

          2. Assuming it’s the same color spectrum, yes, it will look the same – but once you step outside or under different light bulbs, you may find that your makeup didn’t blend in the way you intended…

          3. Also, some stores found out the hard way that clothing on mannequins started looking weird and the colors of fabrics started clashing once they changed the spotlights to LEDs.

            I’ve personally noted this on the shoes I buy. They look completely different in the store than when I step out on the street.

          4. The difference is that low CRI = discontinous or ragged spectrum with gaps where you have no light, and peaks that super-emphasize some tones. The tones that fall into the gaps become indistinguishable from the adjacent tones or become muted, such that you don’t see the difference between your own skin tone and the makeup you’re applying, so you create blotches that become visible under different lighting. If you had a smooth continuous spectrum available, you wouldn’t have these missing colors popping out later.

            Or the difference between the color of your shoes and your pants. I thought I was buying blue shoes – they turned out to be grey. They simply reacted to the strong blue spectrum of the LEDs in the store.

        4. I have a bank of halogen lights to use as a dummy load. It would be difficult to make the same with high power resistors as they can’t get as hot. An electric room heater could likely be used easily…

      1. No, they outlawed the ones with clear glass as well, and those with halogen bulbs inside. It’s not the bulbs themselves that were banned, but any lights not meeting an arbitrary efficiency standard.

        1. Thanks for setting me straight.
          Must be a newer addition then, coupled with that halogen bulb ban.
          Mind you they so allow the chandelier incandescent and oven ones I notice, those are around 15-25W
          Oh and halogen car lights are allowed too it seems, those are lower voltage of course, but 55/60W are OK it seems.
          I guess you have to find your own solution to bypass it, bunched up 25W bulbs or something.
          It actually seems quite arbitrary to allow chandelier kinds, since chandeliers normally have a whole bunch of lamps so why allow them? Makes no sense really. Especially since for those the LED kinds are also available.
          I guess the EU elite and royalty asked for that exception or something…

        2. An efficiency standard is what we *want*. Banning a specific technology would be silly, stifles innovation, and can also lead to “worse” technology being mandated by old laws. I seem to remember something similar with sealed-beam car headlamps being mandated in the USA while the rest of the world had moved on to better tech.

          Whereas, with this efficiency standard, the door is open for improvements in incandescent design. If a clever scientists figures out a better filament, or a better gas, or whatever, then a more efficient incandescent globe will become available.

          Finally, it’s in line with the aim of the legislation. The EU didn’t want to “ban light bulbs,” they wanted to make lighting more energy-efficient overall. Mandating an efficiency standard is how to achieve this.

          Now, sometimes we DO ban a specific technology, if we find it to be unhealthy. Heavy metals are a good example of this, and I suspect we’ll see some rules soon about PFAS and plasticisers like BPA…

  3. Thank goodness for the EU. I wish the the US weren’t so allergic to such sensible policies. Fuck planned obscelecense and premature e-waste. I’m sick of the all the greenwashing we see from the companies that churn this shit out.

    1. There’s literally nothing worse for the environment in terms of portable devices than allowing people to purchase and swap multiple Chinese made batteries for their devices. Back in the Nokia days, people threw batteries with lower battery health in the trash, because they could just buy a clone Nokia battery on every street corner.

      This legislation is asinine, considering that today’s batteries last 3 years and replacing them costs well under $100, which is a small fee for getting three more years out of a device.

  4. don’t worry they will have eu only models and non-replaceable ones for the us. and don’t you know it the eu models will “somehow” have their imei’s banned in the us by carriers.

    1. Same in the UK. We left the EU with that fool Johnson and now we gotta pay for it ….. with phone batteries glued into our phones. Just to remind us not to follow these populist idiots.

      1. Not a huge fan of this idea actually. Phones will be bulkier or have lower battery capacity and be harder to waterproof, and for what? My previous phone was 4 years old when I lost it and the battery was still fine at that point. Truth is, for phones at least, that the lack of software updates and inadequate processing power for new apps will make them obsolete before the battery dies.

        1. My note 10+ is 3.5 years old now and it still has way more ram and CPU power than a phone needs even in 2023. It started life with a 4300mah battery and roughly 2 days of normal usage. I’m down to less than a day of light usage. That’s the only problem I have. I would gladly swap out the battery for a new one if I could. This phone still does 100% of what I need. Luckily I’ve got an external battery case with it’s own 10,000mah battery that will keep it going for about 4 days of normal usage. It’s crazy bulky, almost quadrupling the thickness, but I’ve found the bulk actually makes it easier to hold the phone. I feel a lot less likely to drop it.

          1. I’ve always used phones with replaceable batteries. The Xcover series has always had them.

            That said, the gaskets are a joke and so is the IP rating. I can find dust inside the battery compartment and I wouldn’t drop it in a puddle, knowing that the back cover will fly off on impact anyways. It’s difficult to design a replaceable back cover that won’t crack at the mounting points or bend so that the gasket becomes ineffective anyways.

        2. I’m with you, Chris. I can’t think of the last time when I had a phone long enough that the battery charge capacity was depleted significantly before it just got too slow for every day use. Yes, I suppose I could freeze time and never upgrade the OS or apps, but I like to have somewhat modern (i.e. less than 3 year old) apps.

          1. Sounds like you’re chasing the symptom “slow apps”, rather than the problem “inefficient coding”.

            Lazy developers use lots of processing power not because it is needed to complete the task, but simply because it is there.

            This is why we see many sluggish apps on new phones that aren’t flagship models.

          2. Unless you are talking heavy games, not sure where the problem is. My note2 runs lineages with android 12L. Its for the most part great. The biggest sluggishness saver was using microg over gapps. That was an unrelated choice, but help a lot. Gapps consume huge wastes of ram and background CPU.

            Does the phone show signs of its age? Absolutely. It is slowly getting time to replace it. But this phone has lasted me 12 years ..

          3. There will become a time when phones more or less “plateau” in terms of performance like PCs did, where you will no longer see significant practical improvement in adding more processing power or screen size/resolution etc.

        3. I still use an iPhone from 2016. It runs all the apps I want to run just fine. I’ve swapped out the battery once, which was a huge pain, so i’m happy about this law. I’m also hopeful that laws like this might help to change people’s perceptions of phones, because a lot of people, like you, seem to view mobiles as disposable commodities or fashion accessories.

  5. I was surprised to see the Nintendo Switch Pro controller having a common replaceable battery in it (looks like the same one as the photo above). But of course the joycons and Switch itself have some not so easy to replace batteries.

  6. manufacturers have more than one trick in the sleeve to control obsolesence of their products ,lack of security updates for older models in one of them. shutting down cloud services is another.
    So we might end up with phones that have replacable batteries , but it’s useless to do a battery swap on an outdated phone that refuses to update.
    Besides that, in the era of the replacable batteries ,there was no standard form factor, it changed with every generation of equipment, resulting in the reality that a replacement battery for a certain model was effectively an NOS battery with reduced performance due to age….not use.

    1. I mostly appreciate the efforts. Security updates for connected devices for a fixed amount of years are now also mandatory. Plus better privacy and replaceable batteries

    2. Yeah, there should probably be some thing in the regulation about who can make a replacement battery, so that a battery manufacturer can make/sell a battery to you that will work as good/better than the OEM replacement.

  7. I’m very happy with the current situation: a battery which is not user replaceable (but is replaceable by the manufacturer), but does last for years (realistically, an iPhone battery lasts for 3-4 years, at which point it’s unlikely to be your main phone), and a waterproof phone.

    I’m not looking forward as to putting my bulky phone in a ziplock bag when it rains to stop the replaceable battery from shorting and catching fire. Or the battery falling out when I drop it.

    I think requiring manufacturers or other professionals to do replacements at a reasonable price is fine. I don’t want a battery cover and catch on the back of my phone again.

    1. There are plenty of devices with replaceable batteries that dont need to he protected from the rain. Moto E for example and even some properly waterproof ones liek the Samsung S5

      1. Everyone keeps repeating that the S5 is an example of a waterproof phone with a replaceable battery, yet it’s anything but. The phone was never waterproof, rather splash proof. The back case has a flimsy gasket that you’ll find dust inside after a few months. If you can find dust in there, be assured that that phone will not survive a swim in a puddle.

    2. And re this:

      >Or the battery falling out when I drop it.

      If you drop your phone, “battery falling out” should be pretty low on your list of concerns. On the contrary, you’ll probably be happy if pats (e.g. screen) are replaceable.

      1. Except I’ve dropped my phone plenty of times, and it’s fine. Because it’s built solid and strong.

        Mobiles I had with replaceable batteries regularly dropped the battery out when dropped on carpet.

        This whole thing is a non-issue. It’s not non-replaceable batteries that is obsoleting old phones. It’s security issues, sometimes due to lack of software updates, but sometimes due to hardware issues.

        1. The reason they drop the battery out is by design. A relatively heavy battery would crack the back cover on impact, so the cover is designed to snap out of its mounts instead. This design principle was discovered all the way back with the dumb candybar phones.

        2. Not really.
          Although lack of updated software should be an issue that actually gets users attention most of them have no clue at all of all the critical security vulnerability they are walking around with. The ones that the lazy smartphone maker won’t ship even for a model they are still actively selling and has generally made deliberately hard for outsiders to patch for them. In practice most users will not even be aware their phone has extra security problems because its so obsolete, and the first time being obsolete will matter to them is when the latest AngryBirds (or whatever) app can’t be loaded because your phone isn’t compatible…

          Also it really doesn’t matter at all if the battery does make a bid for freedom when you drop it if its meant to be changeable it means you are offline for a few seconds, entirely irrelevant to everyone being not even a meaningful inconvenience. Where the modern trend of all glass screens and glued together construction means when its knocked at the wrong angle even a tiny knock makes the phone effectively a write off as the massive cracks appear (for the general public anyway, most folks won’t have the tools and skills to change the broken parts, assuming them can even get the spares).

          1. Yes it does matter. The Xcover series from Samsung was supposed to have an IP67 rating and survive immersion in water, but in reality when you drop it in a puddle or outside in the rain, the back cover goes pop, the battery comes out, blub blub, phone dead.

          2. Even in that very specific case its not likely to matter – with the battery out water ingress is rather unlikely to cause any harm until you put the battery back in without drying it out first.

            Probably won’t matter even then, fresh water doesn’t tend to kill electronics easily anyway and if you have exchangeable battery and the desire to IP rate it at the higher end of the ratings you almost certainly are not leaving the seal of the functional electronic parts entirely to the battery being present on something as small as a phone. The entire phone is probably entirely sealed even without a battery there at all as its easy enough to have contacts to interface the battery on the outside of the waterproof box that contains all the working parts.

          3. If it was clean water, you might have a point, but what happens is you get salts and dirt inside and corrosion sets in before you can get the water out.

            And getting the water out from underneath BGA chips etc. is a pain and a half. It doesn’t just dry out in any hurry once it’s drawn in by capillary action – you have to flush it out with isopropyl alcohol.

          4. >The entire phone is probably entirely sealed even without a battery there

            Don’t forget the sim card and memory card slots. Those are not usually molded in because it’s hard to assemble. In any case, you’re talking about an extra inner shell to the phone, which again adds thickness and mass.

          5. Besides – “very specific case”? The whole point of having a waterproof phone is that it will survive being handled in wet conditions, including being dropped into puddles. The reason a person buys a phone like the Xcover is because they’re going out and around with it, like going fishing – and then accidentally dropping the phone off the pier onto the beach rocks.

          6. It is a rather specific case to buy a high IP rated ‘dive computer’ phone, most phones are not that water proof and really don’t need to be. And even if you do have the need for it having the battery pop out is far from certain to change the IP rating of the rest of it anyway, nor is a little extra mass and thickness to have IP high IP rating a big deal – either you really want IP rating and the ability to drop it out of a tree and have it survive or you don’t, and if you don’t you buy whatever else suits.

            Of course if you do need the toughness guess what your device has to end up even without removable battery looking more bulky as it needs something to absorb and spread impacts around. All that assuming there even is any extra bulk for the waterproofing at all – a sheet of the thinnest plastic and a little adhesive gasket or little blast of conformal coating is for anything short of really extreme depth going to be perfectly adequate.

    3. It does not say batteries need to be user-replaceable. Just that they need to replaceable with common tools, not solvents, heatguns etc.
      Your phone can still be waterproof and slim.

      1. Solvents and heatguns … are common tools. I’ve replaced batteries in laptops with them. But I wouldn’t trust my skills to maintain a waterproof seal in a phone.

        Frankly the average consumer struggles to use a screwdriver on ikea furniture. Encouraging them to use one near a lipo pouch doesn’t seem like a great plan. And encouraging people who can’t recognise low quality or dangerous fake batteries to do replacements is an even worse plan.

    4. Battery dropping out is generally a good thing if you drop it. The fact that the battery has pushed off the casing and made a leap for freedom means energy from the drop has been used for this, rather than for say smashing your screen. It’s by no means perfect, but removing some energy from the drop may save the rest of the device at the risk of a minute’s downtime whilst phone restarts after battery re-insertion.

    5. I’m fine with phones, because I like waterproofing, and replacing a phone every 4 years seems reasonable, it’s at least a little bit balance out by how many things a phone replaces that we no longer need at all.

      It’s the random gadgets that bother me. What about my laser level, multimeter, wireless guitar transmitter, etc? Those things should be good for life.

      What I really want to see is a completely new standard for batteries that’s future proof for new chemistries. Maybe even a 4-pin thing, gnd/current source in/voltage out/1wire, so the battery can just take care of itself with it’s own charge profile, report on its own capacity, health, and temperature, be safely connected in parallel just by connecting outputs together, etc.

      And with a mechanical interface that made the difference sizes compatible. the way that you can put a micro sim in a full size slot with an adapter. Charge it with just a resistor like it’s a supercap if your thing is cheap. Put all the hard parts of a lot of designs in one mass produced place

      Just like, solve the issue once and for all. No more disposable batteries, no more 5 different sizes of battery, no more devices that don’t work if you run out.

      Maybe even add contacts on both sides, so you can have adapters to use them in legacy AA devices.

      1. >No more disposable batteries

        In general, single use batteries (alkalines) are way cheaper than rechargeable batteries, and they are generally non-toxic and perfectly recycleable. They have carbon, zinc, manganese and lye in them.

        Rechargeable batteries all have higher self-discharge rate and shorter shelf-life, they’re fire hazards when broken or neglected, and in small devices with ultra low energy demands like remotes, sensors, cordless mice and keyboards, tools like laser levels that are infrequently used, the greater manufacturing cost of the battery is wasted because it will never be recharged more than a handful of times.

        For example, I could use a NiMH battery in my wireless mouse, but I only change the batteries every 12-15 months. One Eneloop cell costs €5 and one alkaline cell costs less than 50 cents. The Eneloop holds less energy per charge (1900 mAh vs. 2500 mAh typical) and loses 15% of the charge in a year, and -30% capacity in 10 years vs. fresh alkalines with negligible self-discharge and full capacity every time. It would be false economy to use the rechargeable batteries.

        1. The biggest problem with alkalines are damaging equipment when they leak, Duracell being especially infamous for that. Of course, the best solution isn’t to ban them, it’s to make the manufacturer liable for the cost of repairing or replacing the device if the battery leaked before the use by date. (This would be hard to enforce when the manufacturer is overseas, maybe then the importer would be liable?)
          “they’re fire hazards when broken or neglected”
          Not NiMH, you’re thinking of lithium.

  8. A rock and iPhone 8 plus that I bought in 2017. It no longer carries a full days charge if I’m web serving or on the phone constantly but otherwise mostly standby it will last from early morning to late night. I don’t wish to upgrade because of the lack of fingerprint scanners in the newer iPhones. Replacement batteries for my phone were $45 through mail-off Apple (due to work l, I can’t afford to be without my phone), it’s currently $80 to be replaced at Batteries+.

    I worry about phones with replaceable batteries, how much will they cost and how long will they be “good” for. Since new phones don’t need replacement batteries, I suspect there won’t be a stock of replacement batteries until 2, 3 or even 4 years after the phone comes out. Then there’s the hassle of finding dealers that will stock replacement batteries for all phones. At year 4 or 5, replacement batteries will become unobtainium.

  9. Replaceable batteries in phones and laptops, good. But what in the hell is a battery passport? I sniff “You cannot get our scrap batteries for DIY, we need the recycling company stamp in the passport to not get a fine and getting us sus that we ditched them into the ocean”

        1. The Battery Passport is a legally binding data sheet for each individual battery assembly. It will be issued by the manufacturer, importer or reseller and states technical data, if it’s new, used or refurbished, etc.

  10. LED emit light that is very unpleasant for some to look at, myself included. Until an LED is created and available cheaply that provides a CRI *identical* to halogen bulbs, I won’t be using them for illumination. Of course, I’m in the US, so EU regulations are for those poor ‘citizens’ of that region.

    Overall, I like little to no government mandates on what technologies I can use. If I want to light my house up like Clark Griswold (movie reference), that should be for me to decide.

    As to replaceable batteries on devices, that’s great, but unless the rest of the device will have a long life, it may be less than ideal. Not sure how I feel about government mandates on private companies.

    1. “Not sure how I feel about government mandates on private companies.”

      There already are about a bazillion useless ones not made in the public’s best interest primarily because large corporations lobby for them to use against competitors. Smaller companies and businesses can’t afford to meet the requirements of complex regulations and licenses while large corporations can as it’s a small part of their expenses.

      It’s nice to see one that seems to be in the interest of consumers for a change instead of in the interests of large corporations and the governments they effectively own.

      One in the US recently: the right to repair.

    2. Well rejoice, because the spectrum of room lit by, for example, coated halogen PAR lamps, especially in a normal room not specially made to be perfectly gray, is going to be within the range achievable by the best LED light sources. 98-99CRI with no peaks and no color cast has been photography-grade lighting and I don’t know if that’s changed. 95+ CRI bulbs with no noticeable cast are reasonably available in regular shops and quite satisfactory to anyone who’s not looking to find fault with anything modern, though. With the added efficiency, you can always use a lampshade or a filter if there’s a minor problem.

  11. Isn’t it funny that companies pushed the “look how thin this smartphone is!”, and used glued batteries, and following act they made camera lenses protrude in the ugliest way (because, physics!) without blushing?
    Really, those camera “islands” (or straight lens rings) protruding from the back are the ugliest thing I’ve seen, and I honestly don’t mind a thicker phone, if it means the back lenses will be level with the back plane (which, btw, will protect them more)

    1. Indeed, and for added insult it makes the ergonomics so awful with them being that thin, and means the screens tend to be rather more crackable so you end up with folks putting huge cases on their phone so its nice to hold and hopefully won’t crack when you look at it funny. Which means the end result is actually a bulkier smartphone than most of the predecessors..

  12. What worries me is that ‘digital battery passport’
    I did a quick search and the first result was NIST being enthusiastic about introducing such.
    The next result showed it was first introduced at WEF in Davos…
    And I see lots of companies are backing it including LG and Tesla and many many more, oh and orgs like UNICEF.

    The part I particularity don’t like is the ‘user’ tracking sneaked in there, and it also applying to batteries for electric bikes and such.

    So yeah, more tracking, more control (and probably more unfair anti-China crap).
    It’s to ‘protect the Children’ don’t you know, from the evil terrorist, and all that jazz..

  13. All well and good. Really!


    The majority of “aging” smartphones etc. – at least as far as I can see it – are no longer used even though they still work perfectly.

    Simply because people buy something newer and cooler.

    A lot of people in my region really buy the newest models each and every year.

    What do you think happens to the “old”, but still working phones?

    In order to really tackle the problem of wasting resources, the EU Commission would have to change the behavior of consumers. Because this behavior seems to me to be the real root of obsolescence.

    Industry satisfies needs. But it doesn’t actually invent those needs from scratch – although many of us would like to believe it does. But it’s us. Of course not the typical “hacker” here – but we’re a minority and not representative.

    1. What I noticed that although they have the carbon accords and goals it was still reported that last year more oil was used than any year before
      And now I hear that Boeing expects the number of planes to double in the coming years.. I mean.. what??

      Oh and they also announced that they won’t make the 1.5 degree goal.. I wonder why.
      Let’s all meet in private planes at the other side of the world to discuss why things aren’t working.

      1. Oil being used isn’t a problem for carbon accords in its own right – it is how it is used as well. More plastic parts might wind up being an ecological disaster in another way, but it isn’t relevant directly to the carbon emissions goals.

        Could be the same thing on aircraft – expecting double the number, but actually as a trend towards greener, as now they are powered by hydrogen or electric. Any less energy dense fuel will take up more of the aircraft and reduce its carrying capacity. May also be gains possible by having more smaller planes that fly more directly between the many airports of the world and full more often – better to fly one aircraft direct than have to take a flight to the bigger airport that gives you the flight to the right region to potentially then get on yet another flight for your destination airport. Or equally it could just mean in that case simply that Boeing expects its market share to become better and there will be twice as many of its planes flying – doesn’t mean there will be a change in aircraft overall..

        p.s Obviously flying less would be a good thing for emissions no matter how the aircraft are powered – less energy spent flying means less total energy is needed elsewhere to cover everything else.

        p.p.s I highly doubt either of those suggestions are really that true. Just meant to point out there is a bigger more complex picture that needs considering before you can really judge.

    2. >Industry satisfies needs. But it doesn’t actually invent those needs from scratch –

      I’d argue that does go both ways – industry creates and markets (in some cases very aggressively) new stuff to create demand. “You need a ‘Ring’ doorbell as it is the only thing that stops thieves” or “you can’t stream movies if you don’t have the latest wifi/celluar connectivity” (etc) usually pushing the edge of false advertising in the process of making the product seem so good/required you can’t possibly miss out on it. But that does drum up demand as that product is so ‘essential’, and suddenly a new industry is born. (Worth noting that sometimes that also happens without the pushy marketing – the Raspberry Pi would be IMO a good example of a new product that takes off largely without marketing (as while similar things existed nothing was available to the general public at sane prices))

      It is also true it works the other way and if people are buying lots of something and turning it into the status symbol etc the industry makes more of it and competes to make the ‘best most sexy’ version of it. Usually also with pushy marketing that makes it seem like if you don’t have the model that came out yesterday you are in some way a trash person… But still the demand was already at least partially there.

  14. Make the battery slide out the bottom, and have the USB C port attached to the battery. That way you get a fresh, unworn, non-wobbly charge and data port with a battery swap.

    1. Hmm that is a cunning idea, and if you make that battery port something akin to or even a direct footprint match to the framework’s exchangeable modules it could add some extra interesting versatility to the device.

      Though obviously it would either need two module slots or some special modules so it gets power input despite having the HDMI, Audio card, ssd (etc) in one of the slot. Two slots would be my choice – then you get the benefit of live hot swapping battery as an option and can always remain battery powered even if you slot a module with no battery or even power input!

  15. I really love to live in a EU country, I am really proud. I just hope this improvements will continue because we are suffering a lot due to water shortage, very difficult for agriculture and so higher and higher prices of foods :-(

  16. Well, if you make the batteries swappable, the phone manufacturers will go back to the old standbys to make sure planned obsolescence is maintained…

    1. Make sure you must be running a “newer than” OS version whatever (Looking at you Google)
    2. Introduce some new communication protocol where the old protocols will be sunset.
    3. Some sort of evil that I haven’t even been able to guess.

    Greed is a strong motivator to whit they think, damn the environment, damn the consumer.

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