Report: Note 7 Batteries Tested In-House


The sometimes explosive batteries used to power Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were reportedly tested in the company's own lab.

Before selling smartphones via US carriers, a manufacturer must assess its batteries at one of 28 labs certified by mobile trade group CTIA. One of those labs belongs to Samsung.

Samsung did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment. But a spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that its internal testing labs "didn't reveal any problems in the original and replacement Galaxy Note 7 phones."

Following the proliferation of cheap cell phone batteries in the early 2000s, the CTIA, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the IEEE in 2005 created a voluntary program for battery testing. Samsung, the Journal said, has been internally verifying its batteries since 2009.

"We've certified over 1,500 batteries," Tom Sawanobori, chief technology officer at the CTIA, told the newspaper. "This is the first time we've had an issue."

Reports surfaced in August of the Note 7 overheating, burning users, and in some cases, exploding. Samsung issued a global recall of an estimated 2.5 million devices, chalking the flaw up to a manufacturing problem. It later delivered 500,000 new—allegedly safer—Note 7s to carriers and stores, distributing at least half of them. But they, too, have issues, prompting Samsung to halt production and sales of the Note 7.

Now, customers can choose to swap their Note 7 for another Samsung phone and receive up to $100 in credit, or hand in the device for a refund or a non-Samsung smartphone and get $25. A recent survey from e-commerce firm Branding Brand found that 62 percent of current Samsung device owners plan to move to another Android phone, while 30 percent say they'll switch to the iPhone; 8 percent might buy a Google Pixel.

Despite a risk of fire, though, some people are holding on to their Note 7s, using rather interesting mental gymnastics to justify the move. PCMag recommends you get rid of your device immediately. Besides the safety risk, you won't be able to take your device on an airplane.

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