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How to tell if your Galaxy Note 7 might explode

Published Sep 5th, 2016 1:13PM EDT
Galaxy Note 7 Recall Battery Explode
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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In case you haven’t heard, Samsung issued a global recall of the Galaxy Note 7. As many as 2.5 million units will be replaced in the coming weeks after Samsung identified at least 35 cases where faulty batteries could have caused explosions. The company is replacing all existing Galaxy Note 7 units free of charge, which means you should really return yours now, even if even if you do have to wait a few more weeks for a replacement.

If you’d rather live on the edge though, a new report reveals one way you could check whether your Galaxy Note 7 contains potentially faulty battery packs. Of course, we’d still advise you to just return the handset rather than pursuing your own investigation.

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Samsung halted Galaxy Note 7 sales and new launches in most markets except for China. The Galaxy Note 7 was just released in the region, and sales will continue because the units sold in China have batteries that come from a Chinese supplier, ATL.

Samsung subsidiary Samsung SDI supplied 70% of batteries for the phone and Samsung identified those batteries as posing risks, The Korea Herald explained. ATL batteries are supposedly safe, and will probably be found in all Galaxy Note 7 units going forward, including the ones that will replace older phones.

How can you tell what type of battery you have in your Galaxy Note 7? One way to do it is to crack open the device and look at the information printed on the battery. But it really isn’t easy to open up the rear shell of the phone — we’re not looking at a good old plastic Samsung handset here.

But don’t worry because Phone Arena says that it’s enough to look on the back of the handset, or head to the Phone info section of the Settings app and find the desired information.

“If it says ‘manufactured in China,’ there is a nice chance it will have ATL-packaged battery cells inside, though T-Mobile, whose model is made in China, is also taking part in the voluntary recall that the other US carriers issued as well,” Phone Arena says – emphasis ours. “If it says ‘manufactured in Korea’ or ‘in Vietnam,’ well, we’d return the unit to the vendor.”

“Nice chance” really isn’t good enough when it comes to one’s safety, so we still recommend swapping your Note 7 out for a new one, or for a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge.

Phone Arena offers the following label examples. But, again, we’d point out that you can’t be certain that only safe batteries made by ATL were used inside devices made in China. So take that Galaxy Note 7 back to the store and wait for a replacement!

Credit: Phone Arena
Credit: Phone Arena Image source: Phone Arena
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.