TCL's latest Android phone has a removable battery, and you can buy it now

TCL Ion X display
(Image credit: TCL)

What you need to know

  • TCL has launched a new budget Android phone, the Ion X.
  • The device is powered by a MediaTek chipset and has a removable 3,000mAh battery.
  • The TCL Ion X is available to purchase through Metro by T-Mobile starting January 26.

One of the "features" smartphone users often say they miss is the removable battery. It's increasingly rare to find one on a smartphone, but TCL's latest entry brings it back for the masses.

The new TCL Ion X is a budget Android smartphone headed to Metro by T-Mobile. While its specs aren't anything to run home about, the headlining feature is the removable 3,000mAh battery. It may not sound like a particularly large battery, especially when compared to many of the best cheap Android phones, but the ability to swap it out can come in handy.

Given the tendency for batteries to degrade over time, this could be a helpful feature that may keep your phone running, and could also be helpful in case you aren't around a charger and have a spare with you. This was one of my favorite aspects of the rather flawed LG G5 during a time when removable batteries were being pushed out in favor of water resistance. It's also a notable feature on the more recent Fairphone 4.

Additionally, TCL has features like Smart Manager to help users monitor their battery's health.

TCL Ion X smart manager

(Image credit: TCL)

Aside from the removable battery, the TCL Ion X has pretty meager specs. It's powered by a MediaTek Helio G25 coupled with 3GB of RAM, has a 6-inch HD+ display, a 13MP camera, and 32GB of expandable storage. The phone runs android 12 out of the box, and there is no 5G. However, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack for those of you that still like to jack in to listen to your tunes.

Despite the fairly large top and bottom bezels, it's not a terrible-looking phone. Its textured back is also a nice touch. That said, there's no doubt from its looks that it's a budget phone.

TCL Ion X camera

(Image credit: TCL)

The TCL Iox X is available at Metro by T-Mobile for a rather affordable $119. If you can get past its shortcomings, this may be a decent option for anyone longing for the nostalgic convenience of swapping your battery out.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.