Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

More Galaxy Note 7 Woes

It’s been a really bad week for Samsung. They voluntarily recalled the Galaxy Note 7 following some concerns over a few cases of the device exploding or catching fire while charging. They would exchange all Galaxy Note 7 devices for new ones, or allow customers to swap to the Galaxy S 7 or Galaxy S 7 Edge. But it wasn’t enough.

The new Galaxy Note 7 wouldn’t be ready right away. So if you opted to stay with the Galaxy Note 7, what do you do with the one in your hands right now?

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was took issue with Samsung’s recall, because Samsung did not formally recall the product in the proper manner. Basically, the US CPSC was mad because Samsung did not work with them to handle the recall programme. They’re both working together now, and have formally recalled the Galaxy Note 7 in the US.

Here’s the Samsung statement and the US CPSC statement.

They are both now officially instructing Galaxy Note 7 users to immediately power down and stop using their devices.

It’s a really bad time for Samsung. Their voluntary recall happened a couple of days before Apple was due to announce their new iPhone 7 devices. Now shortly after the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were revealed, the Galaxy Note 7 is formally recalled with a “stop using immediately” instruction.

Even before the latest statement from the US CPSC and Samsung, several airlines had already banned the use of Galaxy Note 7 inflight. Australian airlines, and our Singapore Airlines, are among those that took that safety precaution.

It had seemed an obvious question from the start. If the batteries are bad enough to deserve a global recall, then what do you do with the device in your hands while waiting for the exchange?

I had more questions. Surely the battery in the Galaxy Note 7 is not first-of-its-kind. Who makes those batteries, and which are phones use those batteries? Which other Samsung phones might be at risk? Which other devices, from other manufacturers, might be using batteries from the same supplier?

Those faulty batteries came from Samsung’s own subsidiary, Samsung SDI. I suppose this puts Samsung in a fix. The problem came from within themselves. Samsung SDI supplies 70% of the batteries used in the 2.5 million or so Galaxy Note 7 devices. The other 30% come from Chinese battery manufacturer  ATL. The ATL batteries are fine. (Ah, so don’t say Chinese made stuff are bad.)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is honestly a really nice phone to use. That’s coming from a Nexus user. The S Pen, which has been around for some years, feels very natural to use. It’s actually a workable replacement of a real paper notebook. Pity the Galaxy Note 7 is hit by battery problems.

So now that the word’s out, whatever you eventually choose to do, know that Samsung’s officially position is to power off and top using the Galaxy Note 7.

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