Samsung Reportedly Considering Galaxy Note7 Recall To Replace Potentially Explosive Batteries

Galaxy Note 7 with S Pen
It seems as though things might possibly be going from bad to worse for Samsung and its new shining star: the Galaxy Note7. We reported yesterday that two Galaxy Note7 customers have witnessed their smartphones fail in spectacular fashion, as the units actually exploded while charging. Samsung confirmed that it was investigating the matter in a statement to Reuters, writing, "Shipments of the Galaxy Note7 are being delayed due to additional tests being conducted for product quality.”

Today, however, it looks as though a wide-scale recall may actual be coming for the Galaxy Note7 smartphones that have already been delivered to retailers or are already in the hands of customers. According to an unnamed Samsung official speaking with the Yonhap News Agency, the problem has been narrowed down to the Galaxy Note7’s internal [non-removable] 3,500 mAh battery.

"Products installed with the problematic battery account for less than 0.1 percent of the entire volume sold. The problem can be simply resolved by changing the battery, but we'll come up with convincing measures for our consumers," stated the official. According to the Yonhap News Agency, Samsung is also in contact with U.S. carriers, which have embraced the Galaxy Note7 with open arms and began selling the smartphone in late August.

Galaxy Note 7 battery
[Image Source: iFixit]

"Global discussions are under way about matters such as how to deal with products delivered to dealers. Results of the investigation and relevant countermeasures will be made public this weekend or early next week at the latest."

Unfortunately for Samsung, this won’t be an quick fix given that you can’t easily pop off the back panel of the Galaxy Note7 and replace the battery. As iFixit has already shown us, the Gorilla Glass back panel on the smartphone is affixed using tricky adhesives. While accessing the battery without breaking the device isn’t impossible, it will be a time consuming and expensive process for Samsung to recover all of the shipped devices, swap out the batteries, reapply the adhesives, and then ship them back to customers.

We don’t have any official timeframe for when the reported recall will take place, but the Samsung official noted that “the decision will be made in consideration of maximum consumer benefit."

During our previous testing and ongoing testing here at HotHardware, for our Galaxy Note7 review that just went live today, we did not witness any sort of anomaly like this with our eval unit. We will continue to monitor the performance of the device of course, but in the meantime you can also read our full review here


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