(Updated – More Failures) First US Note7 Explosion Confirms Potential Danger of North American Devices
Update – It looks like more failures are being reported today. Fire officials in South Carolina are looking into a house fire that started in the garage where the owner had a Note7 charging. Fortunately, there were no injuries and no one was home at the time. Details on this situation are still scarce but it further solidifies the fact that there is no certainty that your device will not fail in like manner. If you have the option or ability to exchange or discontinue use of a Note7, I highly recommend it. This comes on the heels of the FAA potentially banning the Note7 from US flights as reported by Gizmodo.
As the Note7 drama continues to unfold from late last week, today marks the first known US based failure, and the first with injuries. Posted to Reddit late Tuesday night, user brodesto posted images from a friends failed unit. The user, who has been a redditor for 5 years with considerable Karma, goes on to say that his friend was using the device, thought to be a T-Mobile unit, when it “exploded” and sustained minor injuries.
The Samsung Galaxy Note7 was recalled for all 2.5 million units (China aside) early Friday due to defective batteries causing explosions. Going into overdrive Samsung worked with all US carriers and international official sales partners to withhold sales until the faulty units could be identified or replaced. They then quickly implemented replacement and exchange methods for units, but only on a volunteer basis. Up until today though, no US devices had failed leading some (including myself) to believe that this failure could be localized to Exynos or Korean built models. However, Reddit user DradisBacon did some detective work into the iFixIt teardown and noted that Chinese built phones can also carry Samsung SDI batteries, removing some of those theories. It is thought that Samsung SDI, a Note7 battery manufacturer, manufactured the failing batteries but that those batteries were only used in Korean build phones. Today, news came out that it is in fact the supplier of over 70% of Note7 batteries in production.
So what should you do? This news is especially troubling as defective units are more widespread dispelling many theories. Being a Note7 owner currently, it is making me consider switching to my OnePlus 3 until T-Mobile can supply me with a new unit. If you have a backup phone you should seriously consider doing the same. The US based explosion may not have been charging at the time of failure, which could make any phone a ticking time bomb at any time, and not just while charging.
If you purchased your phone from a US carrier, check with them to see what their current replacement plan is. Some carriers are allowing loaners to be supplied until new devices arrive. If you do choose to continue using your phone try and remove any possible overheating situations such as prolonged gaming, GPS usage in a car or charging through Fast Charging. You can disable Fast Charging by going into Settings/Device Management/Advanced Options. Most importantly be safe, and you may want to invest in a fire extinguisher.
We will update this article as we have more information available.
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Source – Reddit.com