"Whatever the reason for the batteries exploding, if you have a Samsung Galaxy Note7, you should send it back immediately"The one news that has set the tech world on fire, quite literally if we must add, is the fact that a few Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones have burst into flames. Incidents across the globe have held the Galaxy Note7 responsible for a burning jeep, causing damage to a hotel room, and even setting a house on fire... among other incidents. Unfortunately for Samsung, the whole issue has raised its ugly head at the time when Apple has just launched the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
If just like us, you were wondering what is happening with the Galaxy Note7 and the reasons behind the battery issue, don't worry... we have you covered. Keep reading.
Image credit: Crushader / RedditThe situation is so dire that even the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India, have both, banned the use of the Galaxy Note7 inside flights citing it as a risk. In fact, airlines from India like Spicejet and Indigo are advising Galaxy Note7 users to keep their phones at home when flying.
Image credit: Fox10Phoenix
Now, the 3,500Ah battery is of the Lithium ion (Li-ion) kind, used by most smartphones out there. Let's take a small trip down memory lane back to when you were in class 9th. Li-ion batteries, like most batteries (including your AA batteries inside television remotes) consist of three parts: the anode, the cathode, and the electrolyte chemical (generally a liquid chemical). Does cathode-anode electrolysis ring a bell? Well, Li-ion batteries also work on the same principle.
The anode and cathode are the electric terminals or electrodes; the anode holds negatively charged ions and the cathode holds positively charged ions. In the Note7's 3,500mAh Li-ion battery, the cathode and anode are technically inside the electrolyte itself but they are separated by a small plastic strip - or the insulation tape in this case. How does the battery work? When the phone is being charged, the charge is pushed from the cathode to the anode using the ions that work as carriers for the charge.
The batteries explode when the insulation tape, plastic strip, or separator is ruptured and a short circuit occurs. This is a huge fire hazard. Now, let's put two and two together. Essentially, when Samsung mentioned that anode-to-cathode came into contact due to a rare manufacturing defect. It means that the insulation tape ruptured because it was defective.
It should be noted that these Li-ion battery explosions are not limited to smartphones in general or the Note7 in particular. In fact, a Li-ion battery malfunction actually set the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on fire.
What is Samsung's solution for the exploding batteries?
Apart from returning the Note7 to the company, Samsung also issued a firmware update to all the Note7 phones in Korea which limited the batteries from charging only up to 60 percent of its maximum capacity.
What is our analysis on Samsung's actions post the reports?
Well honestly, we are glad that Samsung has taken swift action and acknowledged that the Galaxy Note7's battery is actually flawed. Having said that, we are unsure if the company will be able to convince the buyers to buy the next batch of Galaxy Note7 smartphones with different batteries, especially considering Apple has just launched the iPhone 7.
We might just be right with that assessment, because if you have noticed Samsung's advertisement strategies lately you will see that the company has been pushing the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge with a renewed vigour through whatever medium possible; newspapers, YouTube, hoardings...you name it. Moreover, there are rumours doing the rounds that Samsung might just prepone the launch of the Galaxy S8 a little earlier to ensure that people forget about the Galaxy Note7's exploding batteries debacle soon.
All said and done, note that battery failures are extremely rare and they typically have a failure rate of one in tens of millions. Which is why the Note7 fiasco should be taken seriously and therefore the safest thing to do right now is to return to the Galaxy Note7 to Samsung. Right now!
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