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How to trade in your Galaxy Note 7 for one that won’t explode

Published Sep 5th, 2016 9:58AM EDT
Galaxy Note 7 Recall
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

In no uncertain terms, we called the Galaxy Note 7 the best Android smartphone that has ever existed in our in-depth review. As a matter of fact, we called it the best phablet, period, since Apple’s Plus-size iPhone models have no special features at all that take advantage of that extra screen real estate. Sadly, some new Galaxy Note 7 handsets shipped with a feature that wasn’t advertised on the box: they had a battery problem that caused them to explode while charging. You can see photos of the aftermath right here.

Samsung announced on Friday that it was issuing a global recall for all Note 7 devices that had been sold to date. The unprecedented move was unavoidable since there’s no way to tell exactly how many phones might be affected by the issue. Samsung didn’t announce any procedural details at the time, but over the weekend it explained exactly what customers can do to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones.

MUST READ: OK, so there is one big problem with the iPhone 7’s lack of a headphone jack

We already gave you all the background you need in an earlier post. Long story short, reports of exploding Galaxy note 7 phones began to pop up online, so Samsung launched an investigation. The company determined that there was a serious problem with the battery packs in some devices, but unfortunately there’s simply no way to tell which devices might be affected.

As a result, Samsung had no choice but to recall every Galaxy Note 7 that had been shipped so far — which is somewhere between 1 million and 2.5 million phones.

Samsung didn’t initially announce exactly how the recall would work, but the company has now detailed the procedure and it’s about as painless as it can be, all things considered. Consumers in the United States have a few different options, and they’ll also get a little something for their troubles.

Here’s how it works:

First of all, who should you even contact in order to get your potentially defective Galaxy Note 7 swapped out? You have two options, the first being the retailer from which you purchased the Note 7 originally. If you’d prefer it, you can contact Samsung directly instead by calling 1-800-SAMSUNG.

From there, you’ll have a few different options. You can exchange your Note 7 for a new model that doesn’t have a potentially defective battery pack, though it’s not clear exactly how long it’ll take to get your new Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has already resolved the issue though, and updated models should start shipping as soon as this week.

If you’d rather steer clear of the Note 7 all together, you can choose instead to replace your phone with either a Galaxy S7 or a Galaxy S7 edge. In you go this route, Samsung will also refund you for any Note 7 accessories you might have already purchased.

Finally, whether you opt for a new Note 7 or an S7 model, Samsung will give you a $25 gift card as a “gesture of appreciation,” in an effort to say sorry we almost blew you up.

Which option should you choose? In all seriousness, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are both fantastic phones, but the Galaxy Note 7 is in a league of its own. Even if it takes a little longer to wait for an updated model, we would definitely recommend going that route.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.