There’s a new viral sensation on the internet: people sharing videos of their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones exploding and turning into a molten pool of toxic plastic materials and electronic components.
One phone has been recorded catching on fire in Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park, a very unlucky man from Florida had his new Jeep totaled by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and the same device endangered Burger King’s customers in Korea.
The Reason To Why Note 7 Explodes
Why do Galaxy Note 7 smartphones explode? Because of a small manufacturing fault in the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery they contain. For those who don’t know, Lithium-ion batteries are the most commonly used type batteries in modern electronics. These batteries power everything from laptops to smartphones, tablets, and even electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Roadster.
Compared to other types of batteries, Li-ion batteries have great power density, fast recharge times, and their cost and safety are only expected to improve with the growth of the consumer electronics market, which reached 23.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, according to Statista.
The problem is that when a Li-ion battery is charged and particles run between electrodes, heat is generated. When not properly controlled, this heat can cause something called thermal runaway. “During a thermal runaway, the high heat of the failing cell can propagate to the next cell, causing it to become thermally unstable as well. In some cases, a chain reaction occurs in which each cell disintegrates at its own timetable,” explains Battery University.
Since modern smartphones, such as the Galaxy Note 7, are, essentially, tightly sealed containers, the ever increasing heat generates so much pressure until the smartphone explodes and bursts into flames.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall
When the company first got the news, they issued a recall of 2.5 million phones and continued to ship new devices with batteries from another supplier. Unfortunately for Samsung, the replacement devices were also catching on fire, leaving them with only one choice: to kill the Galaxy Note 7 entirely.
Its shares fell more than 8 percent, and according to estimations from Strategy Analytic, a highly quantitative and fact-based sales and marketing research company, “Samsung could lose more than $10 billion because of the phone’s problems,” reports The New York Times.
Note 7 Refund and Exchange Program
So far, the future of the company is not clear. It’s inevitable that some percentage of their customers will forever lose the trust in the company, while others might see their promptly decision to recall all Galaxy Note 7 devices as a prove that the company cares about the safety of their customers more than their profits.
In either case, you should get rid of your Note 7 as soon as possible. Under the terms of the U.S. Note7 Refund and Exchange Program, you can “Exchange your current Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone and replacement of any Galaxy Note7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices, obtain a refund at your point of purchase.”
If you live in Canada, Asia, Europe, or any other part of the world, your best bet is to contact the place you got your Note 7 from and ask them for a refund. More than 60% of handsets are already returned, so it’s not like they will try to convince you to keep the smartphone.