The 7th iteration of the Galaxy Note series has been a fiery fiasco for Samsung, with phones catching fire all over the globe. The PR nightmare didn’t end there with even the replacement units bursting into flames. Samsung eventually recalled and discontinued all Note 7 units globally. Now, months after the whole issue, Samsung has finally revealed what went wrong with the ill-fated phablet.
Samsung conducted elaborate tests with over 200 thousand devices. The tests covered key vulnerable features such as water resistance, wireless charging, fast charging, USB Type C, the iris scanner as well as the software. None of these showed any flaws during their internal testing. This forced them to closely examine the production process and also take help from 3rd party investigators like UL, Exponent and TUV Rheinland AG.
Design Flaw in First and Second Batch
What they found was a critical design flaw with the battery in the top corner of the first batch which resulted in the positive and negative electrodes coming into contact with each other causing a short circuit. That is the plain jane version of it. For more details read on.
Positive and negative electrodes are separated by a protective layer which prevents them from coming in contact with each other. If this layer is damaged or absent, then the electrodes come in contact with each other causing a short circuit. This was the issue with the second batch of units.
The replacement units had “abnormally high welding bars that were formed during the ultra sonic welding procedure to attach the positive tab. Due to these high-welding bars, penetration of the insulation tape and the separator resulted in direct contact with the negative electrode which resulted in a short circuit. They also found that several batteries were missing the insulation tape altogether.
Samsung as well as the 3rd party investigators have given rather complex explanations for their testing procedures. Those who are feeling nerdy can head over to Samsung’s blog post which has all the info you ever need about the same including links to all the research.
Now that all the mystery is settled, we can finally bid adieu to the Note 7. Samsung has promised that they are adopting harsher testing and preventive measures to ensure such a thing doesn’t happen in the next iteration of the phablet series. Are you looking forward to the next one in the Note series? Or are you put off by this hot fiery mess?