Samsung 8-Point Battery Safety Check To Ensure Galaxy Note 8 Won’t Suffer The Same Fiery Fate As Note 7
Samsung most certainly isn't the only manufacturer that has dealt with battery issues leading to overheating and fire; notebooks from major manufacturers (featuring Sony-manufactured batteries) had the same issues as have other smartphone makers. Samsung is only the most recent and as such it wants the world to know what it is done to prevent fires this time around. The cause of the battery fires the first time around were due to manufacturing errors that could have been prevented such as batteries that had been smashed and some that were missing insulation tape. Some even had sharp sections that punched through the battery leading to short circuits.
To prevent these sorts of manufacturing errors from happening again on any product, Samsung built a quartet of battery testing facilities and has put 700 engineers inside for testing components. The smartphone maker also hired three different independent firms to test phones and batteries after the Note 7 debacle to figure out that it was actually the batteries, not the phones that cause the fire issues. To prevent that going forward, Samsung has an 8-point inspection process for its batteries that the manufacturer says is "well above and beyond the industry standard."
With the new testing process, the battery is drained, then charged to capacity limits while being checked for leaks. Samsung then hits the battery packs with X-rays, used to peer inside the battery to look for any potential issues. Then it takes the battery apart and monitors the battery for voltage changes. These tests are performed twice, once by Samsung and again by the battery maker.
The image above shows the complete process that includes everything from visual inspection to overcharging, puncturing the battery with a nail, and exposure to extreme temperatures. Samsung says that every batch of batteries produced is tested in this manner. With each batch of batteries, a single failure dooms the entire batch and they are thrown out. Samsung reportedly destroys as much as 3 percent of its entire monthly battery shipments because of a failure at some point in the 8-point check process.
This is the same process used when the Galaxy S8 line was launched, and for the launch of the Note 8, Samsung added an additional process. The batteries are now tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Other features to protect the battery includes more space around the battery and so-called guardrails around the battery for additional protection. Samsung is using smaller batteries in the Note 8 than it used with the Note 7 and even the Galaxy S8+. All of these precautions are designed to keep users safe and prevent additional battery-related fires.
Samsung Mobile Chief Koh Dong-jin explained why the battery is smaller, "There are some reasons why we can reduce the battery capacity. One of them is the 10-nanometer processor that has enhanced the phone’s power efficiency by 30 percent. Users are also allowed to adjust their battery use based on their smartphone use patterns, which increases battery efficiency overall. Now I can guarantee battery safety."
If you missed the Note 8 launch earlier this week, we have all the details on the Note 8. We also spent some hands on time with the Galaxy Note 8 at the launch event. Samsung is also offering a big $35 discount on the Note 8 for folks who previously [briefly] owned the Note 7.