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News  Android
Note 7 battery explodes on camera!

Samsung issues recall due to battery problems

Samsung's worst marketing nightmare came true this week when it had to issue a recall for its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

Reports from the US and South Korea were coming in of the phone catching fire, or even exploding, during or soon after charging. They admitted the issues were fixed by replacing the battery but wanted to take no chances with customer safety issues.

The Note 7 was launched with great fanfare in 10 countries, but it was difficult to work out exactly which phones were affected because different companies supplied the batteries. Samsung said it would take two weeks to get new versions to customers, but urged them to return their current handsets as soon as possible.

Runaway heat problems

Lithium ion batteries are widely used nowadays in place of the older Nickel Cadmium ones which suffered from the memory effect, where they progressively held less charge each time they were topped up.

Fire

Flagship

The Note 7 was launched on 19 August and the problem is particularly difficult for Samsung because Apple is expected to launch a new iPhone in September.

The phone was generally well received, but the branding has been tarnished with this issue now and its long-term effect remains to be seen. The knock-on from this can be very damaging - consumers won't care if it is claimed to be safe now, they just associate "Note 7" with exploding phones. For example, the FAA is considering an outright ban on taking them on aircraft.