The political landscape may be the proverbial dumpster fire right now, but this weekend also brought terrible news for Samsung: Replacement Galaxy Note 7s still have a propensity to catch fire and are extremely dangerous.
Samsung has temporarily halted production of the Galaxy Note 7, according to Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, and US carriers have already stopped selling the replacement Galaxy Note 7s. “While the [CPSC] investigation is underway, Verizon is suspending the exchange of replacement Note 7 smartphones,” a spokeswoman told our sister site PCMag in an emailed statement. “Any Verizon customer concerned about the safety of their replacement Note 7 can take it back to the original point of purchase to exchange it for another smartphone. Verizon online customers may also exchange their replacement Note 7 smartphones at Verizon stores.”
T-Mobile has also suspended sales of the Galaxy Note 7: “While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices. Customers can still bring their recalled Note 7 or the new replacement Note 7, along with accessories they purchased from T-Mobile, to a T-Mobile store for a full refund and choose from any device in T-Mobile’s inventory. We’ll waive any restocking charges, and customers who purchased during pre-order can keep the free Netflix subscription and Gear Fit or SD card they received.”
The trouble started in August, when the first example of a Galaxy Note 7 overheating first made the news. Since then, we’ve heard many reports of Galaxy Note 7s overheating, catching fire, and even exploding. At the time, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urged “all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device.” Samsung initially moved to recall over two million phones. Shortly thereafter, the company began shipping hundreds of thousands of replacement versions that supposedly didn’t have the manufacturing defect in its battery that led to the overheating issues.
But we’ve now heard of at least five separate incidents where replacement models have also overheated and caught fire. Effectively, the Galaxy Note 7 is now dead as a phone model. Samsung needs to recall all Galaxy Note 7s ever produced and end its production for good. Samsung is not moving fast enough to emphasize no one should buy these phones — even if the phone has the telltale sticker and green battery icon on the top right corner of the screen to indicate it’s a “replacement” version.
Seriously, I can’t emphasize this enough: If you have any Galaxy Note 7, even one that’s already a replacement version that supposedly doesn’t have the defect, you need to power it down, take it or send it back to where you bought it, and exchange it for a different model phone entirely. Off the top of my head, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, the Motorola Z Force, and the HTC 10 are three solid replacements. For less money, either the OnePlus 3 or a closeout sale on the Nexus 6P would also be excellent choices. The impressive Google Pixel XL just launched, but won’t ship for 5-6 weeks at the time of this writing and you need a new phone now. PCMag has reviewed all of the recent high-end Android models and can direct you in more detail.
If you have any additional and/or different experiences with exchanging Galaxy Note 7s to report, please let us know in the comments.