You heard how the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 caught fire. Maybe you even experienced it yourself.
And now, a year and two massive recalls later, you're wondering: Is the new Note 8 any safer? Well, I've got good news and bad news.
The reality: Despite Samsung's massive investment in safety and quality control, outlined below, there's always a small chance that lithium-ion batteries from any manufacturer could go up in smoke.
Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere, from laptops and phones to power tools and even some greeting cards, and it takes only one small flaw or defect for their inherent chemical reaction to spark out of control.
The good news: On average, you've got a far greater chance of being struck by lightning than of seeing a battery catastrophically fail. And Samsung's new batteries are likely to be even safer.
As we explained last January in a delightful video featuring a creme-filled chocolate cake roll, the reason Samsung's batteries failed was a series of preventable manufacturing errors.
Some of the original batteries weren't quite constructed properly and got a little bit squished, while some of the replacements were missing insulation tape and/or had sharp metal bits that punched through. Either way, the positive and negative sides of the battery were allowed to touch and -- zap! -- they short-circuited, igniting the flammable liquid that lives inside every lithium-ion battery cell.
To figure that out in the first place, and make sure it never happened again, Samsung spared no expense. It built four new testing facilities, staffed them with a team of 700 engineers and hired three independent testing firms that spent four months testing more than 200,000 phones and an additional 30,000 batteries before releasing their conclusions that bad batteries, not phones, were the problem.
Then the company created a new eight-point inspection process for its batteries that, Samsung claims, goes "well above and beyond the industry standard." Batteries are now drained dry, pushed to their limits and checked for leaks, not to mention bombarded with X-rays, disassembled and monitored for voltage changes by both Samsung and the battery supplier.Read More...
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