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Top reason why Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablet battery explodes

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If you were among those ‘lucky’ people who had bought Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, I am sure you must be in perpetual fear now. You may be among those people who might be praying that their handset doesn’t end up exploding as has been the case with around three dozen ‘proud’ owners of the smartphone.

The phablet was among the most awaited smartphone from the Korean tech giant. This was because of the fact that Galaxy Note phablets have always been among the most sought after handsets in the market and among the highest selling devices from Samsung.

This phablet too was expected to do the same thing. Samsung was hoping that the launch will turn the tide in its favour against Cupertino based Apple, the makers of iPhones. But many a times things don’t really move as expected. And the same thing seems to have happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

galaxy-note-7

The smartphone or rather the phablet was released in the US and other major markets on 19 August 2016 after being showcased on August 2. The handset seems to be much more improved compared to its previous model. The phablet inherits the hardware and improvements of the Samsung Galaxy S7, including the restoration of expandable storage and IP68 water resistance, and introduces new features to the series such as a dual-sided curved display, improvements to the bundled stylus and new software features which utilize it, an iris recognition system and a USB Type-C port.

Nonetheless the heating and explosion issues have rocked Samsung and the phablet badly. The tech giant has officially recalled the phablet following reports that it can overheat and even explode. The company said it had “conducted a thorough investigation and found a battery cell issue.”

The tech giant has revealed that 35 cases of the battery explosion have been reported thus far. While it is insignificant compared to the massive number of handsets produced, experts believe that ratio of explosions is way too high under any circumstance. The Korean tech giant has produced some 2.5 million Note 7 handsets till now. “Battery failures are exceedingly rare,” says Donal Finegan, a chemical engineer at University College London. “Even though they are exceptionally rare, Any kind of fault does garner a lot of media attention and can really affect the reputation of a product that relies on the battery.”

Experts believe that Samsung will rectify the issue in a few days’ or a few week’s time. They believe that one cause of combustion is a problem with the “battery management system” that monitors the electrical current and normally tells a chip inside the phone to stop the current once a battery is fully charged. If the system or chip are faulty, a battery can enter a state of “overcharge”. “The battery can continue to charge and can become even more unstable and eventually just burst into flames itself, without any kind of external heating,” Finegan explains.

Everyone knows that smartphones don’t possess any fans like we have in our laptops and PCs. Heat must radiate out into the surroundings and if that doesn’t happen, heat is generated faster than it can be dissipated or lost. When a battery reaches about 100ºC, its materials start to break down, triggering a chemical chain reaction that produces its own heat. This accelerates the warming and leads to a snowball effect, a process called “thermal runaway”. “The snowball effect happens so fast that, within a second, the entire cell goes from being intact to being completely destroyed,” says Finegan. But will this issue impact Samsung Note 7 sales. It may not be such a big issue due to the huge improvement that the handset has come out with over previous version.

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