Seven Must Know Facts about the Samsung Note 7 Recall

I am a declared Apple Fanboy, but even I initially loved the Galaxy Note 7.  And I was not alone. Early reviews of the device were VERY positive, to say the least.  After all, the phone/tablet hybrid Android device with a highly functional, fully integrated S-Pen (stylus) combined design and performance into one powerful package. *slurps back drool*

But then, the first reports came in.  Then a few more.  And within weeks of its triumphant launch, the highly anticipated phablet sales were no more.

So, what went wrong and what do you need to know.  Here’s a primer (so you can impress your friends).

1. What is wrong with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7?

In brief, they can blow up, literally.  Due to a potential malfunction related to the charging of the Lithium-ion batteries which power the handset, the device may over charge, over heat and then combust into flames.  This may occur even when the phone is off when charging.

2. How many Note 7’s had a problem?  How much damage can a Note 7 cause?

Though no one knows exactly how many handsets were faulty, we do know that as many as 36 devices burned, exploded or otherwise combusted while charging.  The reported damage ranged from mild to severe burns to the body and property damage (including one garage).  In short, depending on when and where a faulty handset is changing, the damage can be extensive.

The Wall Street Journal

3. How do I know if my Note 7 is faulty, and if yes, what should I do?

At this point, it is better to assume that your brand new Note 7 may be faulty.  Immediately switch off (power down the device) and don’t turn it on again.  Then, return your Note 7 to the retailer for a replacement.

Replacement units have black sticker on the bar code portion of the box.  There are changes to the display on the new units too.  Per Samsung: The new green battery icon will be visible on: 1) the Status Bar; 2) the Always On Display screen; and 3) the Power Off prompt screen, which can be accessed by long-pressing the power key.

4. Were there reports of Note 7 spontaneous combustion in Jamaica?

The Note was introduced in ten countries at launch, Jamaica was not one.  So the device was not available from authorized dealers locally.   Fortunately, there have also been no local reports of damage.

5. What is Samsung doing about the problem?

The South Korean manufacturer issued an unprecedented recall of all 2.5 million handsets globally.  Hardware and software changes were effected and for those who have not participated in the recall, Samsung is attempting to use software updates to cap charging at 60%.

6. Are the new Note 7’s now safe?

The jury is still out.  Sadly, there have been reports of the “safe” Note 7’s experiencing the same problems in China and South Korea.  Be safe and wait for the ashes to settle, so to speak.

7. Has there been anything like this before?

Lithium-ion batteries are great, but they can present problems with overheating, especially in devices without a cooling fan like a phone or hover board.  Last Christmas, airlines banned the self-propelled, self-balancing scooter board after numerous reports of fires and explosions.

Bonus: Are other Samsung devices safe?

Yes.  No.  Chances are, yes.  Though there has been the errant report or two of problems with the flagship Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, there is nothing to suggest that other Samsung devices suffer the same glitch as the Note.

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