Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has been a complete and utter disaster, and that’s putting things mildly. We reviewed the new smartphone just over one month ago and in our Galaxy Note 7 review, we called it the greatest Android phone of all time and the greatest phablet ever, Plus-size iPhones included. Then, it blew up. Literally. A critical battery flaw in a seemingly small number of Note 7 handsets caused some units to spontaneously combust. Exploding Note 7 units destroyed people’s cars, caused injuries to children and even burned down one family’s house.
The company was forced to issue an unprecedented global recall, with roughly 2.5 million units having been shipped to distributors and retailers — if you still have your original Galaxy Note 7, you need to return or exchange it immediately and this post will tell you how. With the recall underway, Samsung’s latest flagship wasn’t expected to go back on sale until sometime late next month. As it turns out, however, the phone is available to purchase again in the US beginning today.
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The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved the sale of Samsung’s new and improved Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US, and they’re now available for sale at carrier retail stores. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint have all confirmed that the Samsung phablet is being sold again in stores, and AT&T told The Verge that it too will begin selling the phone again soon.
Samsung said that it had shipped 500,000 safe Galaxy Note 7 handsets to the US, though it is currently unclear how many potentially faulty units were initially sold before sales of the phone were halted earlier this month. Consumers who purchased the original phones have been very slow to return or exchange them, however, which could help explain why the Note 7 is back on sale much sooner than expected.
Again, if you purchased a Galaxy Note 7, it is imperative that you read this post for instructions on how to exchange or return it. Samsung and its partners are giving customers several options; they can return the phones for a full refund and a $25 gift card, they can exchange a Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or an S7 edge (and a $25 gift card), or they can swap them for a safe Note 7 (and a $25 gift card). Is that enough to take away the sting as Samsung looks to put this entire unfortunate debacle behind it? Only time will tell.