/>
X
Innovation
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

How safe -- or unsafe -- are smartphone batteries?

If you're thinking about changing the battery in your smartphone, how worried should you be about the battery exploding?

Repairing stuff has been in the news a lot lately with all the development related to Right to Repair and companies like Apple and Samsung encouraging users to take on repairs to make their devices last longer.

This has prompted questions from people who are drawn to the idea of carrying out their own repairs, but who are worried about turning the battery into a fireball on their kitchen table.

So, how safe are smartphone batteries? Or, let's turn that around, how much can they handle? 

Well, I decided to find out.

NOTE: Do not try this at home. My purpose here is to show you that if you do damage a battery, the outcome is likely not as bad as you might think.

As you can see in the video above, a battery -- in this case, a fully-charged battery -- can take a lot of abuse. I bent, punctured, then bent it some more. The battery did get warm and puff up a bit, but didn't explode or catch fire.

Afterward, off camera, I put more holes into it, but it didn't spark into life.

Don't let this make you complacent though. I've seen batteries -- especially the higher-capacity batteries found in power banks -- burst into flames or a shower of sparks after getting damaged.

Also: 7 warning signs that your smartphone or laptop battery could explode

But if you're sensible, and take sensible precautions, you should be safe.

And talking of sensible precautions, here are some safety warnings to bear in mind if you're planning to replace a smartphone battery:

  • If in doubt, don't do it!
  • Have the proper tools, such as the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit.
  • Buy a quality replacement battery.
  • Don't mess around with batteries in the midst of flammable things. 
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby, and a metal dish filled with sand to store the battery.
  • Gloves and safety glasses are highly recommended.
  • Don't deliberately pierce or damage a battery.
  • Dispose of the used battery safely. Don't throw it into the trash!
Editorial standards

Related

Are we in danger of running out of lithium for rechargeable batteries?
76749362

Are we in danger of running out of lithium for rechargeable batteries?

How to unlock the Yale Assure Lock SL when the batteries die
9V battery

How to unlock the Yale Assure Lock SL when the batteries die

Starbucks is launching something different and your options are laughter or tears
screen-shot-2022-08-08-at-4-26-57-pm.png

Starbucks is launching something different and your options are laughter or tears