Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires due to battery faults

Investigation reveals cause of exploding phones


The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was originally recalled in September

Samsung has concluded that battery faults caused its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones to explode last year.

Back in September, we reported on news that Samsung had suspended sales of the Note 7, following reports from customers that their mobiles had caught fire and exploded. The electronics group offered to recall and replace handsets for any owners that got in touch. 

At the time, the Note 7 had not been launched in the UK, so British consumers were mostly unaffected by the recall.

Weeks after its initial decision to recall the Note 7, Samsung permanently ceased production of the phone after replacement units deemed safe also ended up catching fire. The Note 7 is no longer available to buy as a result.

Following a lengthy investigation, Samsung has confirmed that overheating was indeed caused by battery faults from parts provided by two separate suppliers.

What was the issue and what happens now?

Faulty phones from the first recall placed too much stress on the upper-right corner of the battery. Samsung says that the negative electrodes were being ‘deflected’, which shouldn’t have been the case. This strain on the battery led to short circuiting.

Some Note 7 models from the second recall had batteries with sharp protrusions, which ended up piercing the insulation tape inside the phones. On top of that, Samsung says that a number of its Note 7s didn’t have any insulation tape inside at all.

Samsung has now implemented a new eight-point battery safety check to help prevent similar issues from popping up in the future.

DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business for Samsung, said: ‘Today, more than ever, we are committed to earning the trust of our customers through innovation that redefines what is possible in safety, and as a gateway to unlimited possibilities and incredible new experiences.’

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 alternatives to consider

The Galaxy Note 7 is no longer an option, but there are still plenty of large-screen phones to consider. One of those is the Sony Xperia XA Ultra, which features a monster 6-inch touchscreen and a 21.5-megapixel rear-facing camera. It has NFC technology under the hood, so you can use it to make wireless payments with Android Pay. Head over to our Sony Xpera XA Ultra review to see if this is a Best Buy mobile.

If you don’t mind grabbing a Samsung phone with a smaller display, consider the Samsung Galaxy S7. It has a 5.1-inch screen and comes with a micro-SD card slot, which means you can increase the storage if you’re running out. The phone also has an IP (waterproof) rating of 68, which means it can survive a dip in up to 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes. See just how durable the mobile is in our full Samsung Galaxy S7 review.

More on this…

Back to top