It was not one of the company’s finest moments, and as a result Samsung was left out of pocket to the tune of more than $5bn.
Several months later in January 2017 it emerged – following a lengthy investigation – that it was the phone’s battery itself at fault, and nothing to do with the hardware or software of the phone.
It said: “A short circuit within the battery may occur when there is damage to the separator that allows the positive and negative electrodes to meet within the jellyroll.
“Based on a detailed analysis of the affected batteries, both Battery A from the first recall and Battery B from the second recall, we identified separate factors that originated in and were specific to the two different batteries.”
However, potentially putting its owners life at risk apparently wasn’t enough to stop Note 7 owners wanting to continue using the device, and the company spent many months trying to pry it from their hands.
Booths were set up in airports to prevent people attempting to board a plane with the potential fire hazard, software updates were rolled out that prevented the Note 7 charging beyond 30 percent, and the company tried everything it could think of to take the Note 7 out of circulation.
But for those who were insistent on continuing to use the Galaxy Note 7, it will come as good news that Samsung promises a Fandom edition known as the Galaxy Note 7 FE will be available in South Korea from 7 July. It will feature different components to the original, and thus will be much safer to use.
That phone has just popped up on GFXBench, but surprisingly with a full-HD rather than Quad-HD resolution.
Samsung will also from June sell refurbished versions of the some 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 handsets it recalled as the Note 7s, but with smaller 3,000- 3,200mAh batteries inside and a 3- to 5 percent price reduction. These phone will not be available in the US, and are instead tipped primarily for emerging markets in India, Vietnam and Africa.
ETNews has reported that the Note 7s will also go on sale in South Korea under three mobile operators in June. It will see a $250 price reduction and a smaller battery.
The Note 7s has just received FCC certification, meaning a launch is imminent.
Samsung has said only that: “The product details including the name, technical specification and price range will be announced when the device is available. Samsung will not be offering refurbished Galaxy Note 7 devices for rent or sale in the US.”
Logistically speaking, there is no real issue with selling the refurbished handsets. But there is the issue of consumer trust – will you ever trust Samsung or the Note 7 again?
The Note 7 should have gone on sale on 2 September 2016, but Samsung instead took the decision to halt sales and eventually discontinue the phone when faced with a battery cell issue.
What started as 35 confirmed cases of exploding handsets is now thought to be closer to 100. You can see some images of Note 7 explosions below.
If you still own and are using a Note 7, it’s important that you take steps to get it replaced rather than continue to use it.
Despite rumours to the contrary, Samsung will NOT remotely disable affected phones that are not returned.
If you have a Galaxy Note 7 in your possession, switch it off and do not charge it. Ideally, take out your SIM card and use another phone in the meantime if you have a spare.
If you have photos or other documents on the device which you’d like to retrieve, you’ll have to do this at your own risk.
If you’ve not been contacted by Samsung or the retailer you bought it from then don’t wait around, contact it about a refund – which you are entitled to since the Note 7 is a faulty product.
Some networks may offer you an alternative smartphone instead of a refund, so ask for a refund if that’s what you’d prefer.
Head to this Samsung page if you have a Note 7 which needs replacing or contact the retailer you purchased it from for a full refund.
Alternatively, you can contact Samsung’s customer support on 0330 726 1000, Carphone Warehouse on 0370 111 6565, Vodafone on 0333 304 0191, Three on 0800 358 04045, O2 on 0333 234 1457, and EE by calling 150 from their mobile (not the Note 7, of course).
Also follow these links for more information from Samsung, EE, Three and Carphone Warehouse.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 availability
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was announced at a Samsung Unpacked event on 2 August 2016, available to pre-order on 16 August, and expected to go on sale on 2 September at £699, with early purchases shipped out on 30 August. Also see: Best smartphones 2016
Samsung has not yet confirmed when or where the refurbished Note 7 will go on sale, only that it won’t be available in the US. Rumours suggest it will go on sale in emerging markets in India, Vietnam and Africa this June, with a 3- to 5 percent price reduction over the original.
It said: “Regarding the Galaxy Note 7 devices as refurbished phones or rental phones, applicability is dependent upon consultations with regulatory authorities and carriers as well as due consideration of local demand. The markets and release dates will be determined accordingly.”
What are the Note 7 features and specifications?
The Galaxy Note 7 was an incredibly well-specified phone, though you should note that some of the following specifications will have been stripped down in the refurbished handsets that eventually go on sale – and it won’t necessarily be only the battery that is swapped out for a smaller-capacity model. Read our Galaxy Note 7 review.
• Octa-core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.6GHz Quad) 64-bit, 14nm processor
• 4GB RAM
• 64GB UFS 2.0 storage
• MicroSD support up to 256GB
• 5.7in dual-edge Quad-HD (2560×1440, 518ppi) SuperAMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 5
• Enhanced water-resistant S Pen
• Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
• Dual Pixel 12Mp rear camera with OIS and f/1.7 aperture
• 5Mp f/1.7 selfie camera
• LTE Cat.9 4G
• Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
• Bluetooth 4.2 LE
• NFC, MST
• GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
• Fingerprint sensor
• Iris scanner
• Barometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall, HRM, Proximity, RGB Light sensors
• 3,500mAh non-removable battery
• Fast charging for both wired and wireless (WPC/PMA)
What does the Note 7 look like?
What happened to the Galaxy Note 6?
Samsung is thought to have skipped the Galaxy Note 6 in order to bring the naming of its flagship phablet in line with that of its flagship smartphone family, the S series. Since it announced the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge earlier in 2016, it made sense that it would also bring out the Note 7 in 2016. Samsung has copied more than the name, however. Having dropped the Edge+ model from its S series, the Note 7 featured a dual-edge screen.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017.
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