As promised, Samsung has officially revealed the real causes of the overheating problems of its Galaxy Note 7 phablet. According to the South Korean phone maker, there were two separate issues directly attributable to the device’s battery, which led to the handset overheating and even catching fire.
In conducting its investigation, the biggest seller of smartphone devices in the world had looked into more than 200,000 Galaxy Note 7 units and over 30,000 batteries. After countless hours of testing, the company found out particular defects in each of the two batteries it had rolled out before it was forced to permanently discontinue the production and the distribution of its latest phablet (which actually garnered impressive early reviews).
In the first batch of Galaxy Note 7 units shipped, the battery used in them had a fatal flaw in its design. It turned out that this specific flaw could cause a short circuit. Samsung then added that because of a negative electrode that was improperly positioned, the overheating issues of the Galaxy Note 7 basically exacerbated.
As for the supposedly safe replacement Galaxy Note 7 units that Samsung had deployed after issuing the first recall for the device, the tech giant found that the battery used in the next batch also had issues of its own that were different from the first batch. The numerous issues included poor welding, and there were certain units that did not have insulation tape. While the batteries placed on the replacement units were deemed safe to use, another defect came into the picture, essentially because of Samsung’s hurry to try to not disrupt the production rhythm of the phablets to meet the demand for users requiring a replacement Galaxy Note 7. Also, further testing showed that even though the 3,500 mAh battery did not come with any flaw, it did cause several other issues and even made existing ones worse.
Moving forward, Samsung is devising a new eight point safety check, especially for batteries used in upcoming Galaxy models. Part of this safety check procedure is to make sure to have every battery undergo strict durability testing, visual checking, x-ray inspection, disassembly tests, delta OCT testing, charge and discharge testing, TVOC testing, and accelerated usage testing.
By any measure, the Galaxy Note 7 was a big stumble for Samsung, but as the number one smartphone manufacturer across the globe, it is perfectly reasonable for the South Korean brand to be back at its best in the new year. On the positive side, what happened to the Galaxy Note 7 will only make Samsung more careful with its next round of phablets, and that should be good news for its fans and customers.
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