TCL Launches a Smartphone with a Removable Battery


The TCL Ion X smartphone on a colorful purple background.

Device repairability is a hot topic among frustrated phone users, farmers, and the government. Still, we’ve seen very little progress from phonemakers, who seem uninterested in making consumer-friendly products. But TCL is coming out of the woodwork with something unexpected—a phone with a removable battery.

Available exclusively at Metro by T-Mobile, the TCL Ion X features a 3,000mAh removable battery, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot. It’s like a phone from the early 2010s. We’re excited to see a company go in this direction, especially in the budget market, where customers are sure to appreciate such a friendly design.

Unfortunately, the Ion X’s specs are pretty old-school, too. It runs on the Mediatek Helio G25, a budget chipset that doesn’t score well in benchmarks. The eMMC storage is capped at a measly 32GB, although there’s 3GB of RAM, which isn’t too bad. Also, the Ion X lacks 5G connectivity, and its 6-inch screen has an awkward 720×1440 resolution (basically, it’s an extra-tall 720p display).

On the one hand, these specs may be perfect for adults, seniors, and children who only perform simple tasks on their phone. But my concern is that, with these specs, nobody will get any use out of the removable battery. Smartphone batteries take a few years to wear out, but this device isn’t equipped to last for all that long.

We also don’t have any information on software support. The Ion X runs an unspecified version of Android, presumably Android 11 or Android 12 (which came out in 2021). Based on how similar phones are treated by their manufacturers, I doubt that the Ion X will receive many software or security updates.

Anyway, the TCL Ion X is available at Metro for $119. You can get it for free when you open a new line at Metro (or move an existing number to the carrier’s service.)

TCL Ion X Smartphone

Available today at Meto by T-Mobile, the TCL Ion X features a removable 3,000mAh battery. It comes at the low price of just $119.

Source: TCL via XDA Developers

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