Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Battery security guard
Samsung’s infamous Galaxy Note 7 has a new job: Battery security guard.
As Samsung took me and some other journalists on a tour of the company’s smartphone factory and battery testing facility in Gumi, just outside of Seoul, South Korea, we saw several parts of the company’s new eight-point battery check, created in the wake of the Note 7 debacle and subsequent recall.
One of these is the charging/discharging test, which does exactly what it says. Rows and rows of Galaxy S8 phones, each with a USB cable connected, alternately charge up and charge down, as cameras look on.
But those cameras are actually smartphones, and those smartphones at least the ones in Gumi happen to be Galaxy Note 7’s. It’s hard to tell in the pic (Samsung only allowed their own photography in the factory), but those are Note 7 phones hanging above.
When I examined one of the Notes, it said the battery was charged to 100%, which made me raise an eyebrow, since Samsung pushed out a number of updates throughout the world that limited the amount of charge the phone could store.
After Samsung US reps looked into it, they told me the Note 7’s in the factory were using a different, lower-capacity battery. That actually makes sense: Because the phones are plugged into power all the time, overall capacity is irrelevant. Perhaps a version of that modified battery may make its way into the refurbished version of the Note 7, but it’s too early to say.
It’s a apt fate for the troubled phone: The Note 7, responsible for the biggest disaster in the history of Samsung phones, now stands guard in the company’s factories against future battery problems. You can almost hear it whisper, “Don’t let this happen to you, kids.”