Battery starts swelling on a Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Battery starts swelling on a Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Thanks to the second recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, stories about the phablet exploding have pretty much slowed to a crawl. But that doesn't mean that we won't hear about battery issues with other phones. A few iPhones have exploded, and a man is suing Samsung for the second and third degree burns he suffered when his Samsung Galaxy S7 edge exploded in his pants pocket.

Today, one of our loyal Phone Arena readers sent us pictures showing how the battery inside his Samsung Galaxy Note 5 swelled up enough to open the casing on the phone. Keep in mind that the Galaxy Note 5 was just last year's model since Samsung skipped the Galaxy Note 6 and went straight to the Galaxy Note 7 when naming this year's device. 

Our source had owned his Galaxy Note 5 for about a year. About a week ago, he noticed a change in the behavior of the battery inside the phone. It started to drain quickly, while at the same time it would take longer for the cell to charge up. His first thought was that the charger was failing him, until the phone started shutting down at 15%, 25%, 60% and 90% progressively. When he plugged the Galaxy Note 5 into the charger, it would show that the phone had 0% charge.

Thinking that the problem had to do with software, he quickly changed his mind when he noticed that the case on his phone started to rise. Taking off the case, he quickly noticed that the battery was swelling. At that point, he stopped charging the unit, fearful that it would explode like the Galaxy Note 7 did. While the particular phone is under warranty, it was purchased from Amazon. According to our source, that means that the warranty is only available in Saudi Arabia. Thus, he will be paying out of pocket to replace the defective battery.

This is not the first Samsung model that he says that he has had problems with as his letter to us mentions an issue he had with the Samsung Galaxy S4. He says that the Galaxy Note 5 will be his last Samsung phone ever. That comment would align him with the 40% of Samsung owners surveyed who recently said that they would never buy a Samsung handset again.    

You can check out the images of the defective battery on our reader's Galaxy Note 5 by clicking on the slideshow below. While the swelling isn't tremendous, it still is an indication that there is a problem with the battery and that the phone should not be used since a major malfunction is possible. Keep in mind that before the Galaxy Note 7 units started exploding, they had a perfectly normal appearance before catching on fire.

Thanks for the tip!

Related phones

Galaxy Note 5
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3000 mAh(22h 3G talk time)



1. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

And there you have it - a compelling reason to go back to removable batteries. You can change it every year, and no need to go and wait at a service center.

3. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I was just thinking the same thing, It would benefit both customer and company, if a battery defect was present in a device it would be much more easy to replace them if they were the sole problem and fix the issue. Oh well maybe someone will learn from this year's battery issues.

12. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Definitely! My friend has a Note 4, and keeps fast charging daily. After a year, his battery starts acting up and just buys a fresh one. Simple. You can inspect the battery for swelling every 3 to 4 months, or you can cycle multiple batteries every two weeks or so. I got an extended 10,000 mAh to answer my heavy usage, and it's usually 40% at the end of the day. Charges up in 4 hours - all while I sleep. It sure is thick at 20mm, but I don't have to carry a separate powerbank.

10. Harambe unregistered

It takes less than an hour to get the battery replaced in a service center. Not a long time if you are going to do this less than once a year. Also there is a fact that you need to go out and purchase the battery anyway even for a phone with removable battery.

15. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

1. Better battery cycling and thereby longer life. 2. Seconds to get a full charge back than wait 2 hours to charge. 3. No need to carry the charger or a heavier power bank. 4. You have a choice of a third party extended battery, even trippling the capacity. 5. Safer to charge on a cradle than on the device as about 10% of batteries have chances to be unstabe. 6. Reduces the chances of theft while charging outside the house. 7. An extra battery is smaller and thinner to carry inside your pocket. 8. When your battery finally gives up, you just buy a new one. 9. No need to pay for more expensive internal battery and wait for hpurs to have it installed. Sometimes you even have to go back since they have to order the part. 10. Your device becomes practically wireless without the need to plug in via the micro USB most of the time if you just charge the spent battery via the battery cradle.

22. Harambe unregistered

I charge my phone once every 2 days. Most of those concerns are pointless to me. I would much prefer a nicer unibody rather than the issues of flimsy back cover from yesteryear. Now to your points: 1. As I said, you can get the battery replaced from a unibody too in 1 hour. 2. I never have that issue since fast charge became a norm. 3. No you don't unless you are going somewhere for more than a day, in which case you are carrying a lot of stuff with you anyway. 4. You are making this point on an article which shows exploding or swelling batteries. Not to mention that mophie cases work for non-removable batteries as well. 5. Nothing is safer. It can explode on a cradle as much as it can in a phone. 6. Really dude! That's scraping the bottom of the barrel. 7. Rewording of point 3. This is not school where you get more marks for writing more points. 8. Same for non-removable batteries. 9. Removable battery costs approx. 20$ while non-removable replacement costs about 25$. It's not much more expensive. Also as I said it's done once a year. 10. This is valid. This is all coming from a person who used an S4 for 2 years with 2 batteries. And I don't miss it at all. The only time I used the second battery was when I went to trips, and battery banks solved that issue. Removable batteries take a lot more engineering to make and make it hard to fit the same density of components, making the phone bigger and thicker unless it's a phablet. I've got nothing against removable batteries if a company provides them and doesn't sacrifice on anything, especially price. But I won't use it and hence don't want to give up compactness, thinness, any feature or price to achieve that. And we both know that's not possible.

28. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I used the Note7 for 45 days. I'm coming from using a Note 3 with a 10,000mAh extended battery. I can use up to 4 GB of data, and up to 10 hours of screen on time, and still have some left at the end of the day. Extended our regular batteries give DIRECT power to the device, whereas a power pack or powerbank gives only 60% of juice capacity it carries because of the power transfer loss. You wait only for booting up after swapping batteries. That's 90 SECONDS versus 90 MINUTES to regain 100% power. With a removable battery system, you get more benefits, and more options.

27. emmawilliam834

Posts: 241; Member since: Feb 09, 2016

According to news reports on Oct. 20, the Korean tech giant is talking with LG Chem for possible partnership in a move to diversify its battery suppliers other than Samsung SDI and China’s ATL. However, shortly after replacement units with ATL cells started making their way into the hands of consumers, reports started to surface claiming that they were exploding too.

38. Rocket

Posts: 705; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Yup, removable batteries FGW!!

42. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

That's why I love the lumia 950xl. Honestly it doesn't look fabulous. But I compared it to the matte black iphone 7 plus and it has a similar look. Just doesn't feel as premium. And really you look at the screen all day so that should be the best experience it can possibly be.

2. Subie

Posts: 2428; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

The guy purchased his phone from Amazon and the warranty is only available in Saudi Arabia...

5. ashrafalhujaili

Posts: 73; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

I was about to comment on that I think they wanted to say that the warranty is only valid in the US while the man lives in Saudi Arabia

7. Subie

Posts: 2428; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Oh ya you could be right about that. It could also be that it was purchased on amazon from a foreign seller.

37. ashrafalhujaili

Posts: 73; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

Amazon doesn't support third party sellers from Saudi Arabia yet

4. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

So one of the millions of Note 5 units sold more than 14 months ago, is behaving awkwardly, and who knows with what accessories it was used with during those 14 months, and PA didn't believe that they have anothet story to take a shot at Samsung? No one hates Samsung as much as I do at the moment after my Note 7 return fiasco and the way they handled it, but this is another cheap attempt by PA to tarnish Samsung's reputation.

8. AlikMalix unregistered

I was about to say that too. It's uncommon (but does happen) that unused devices with rechargeable batteries may swell up when put again into service after a prolonged period of time. I bet that's the case here. There was the case of this old iPhone 3G that was on the shelf for a year or something and then the battery swelled up.

35. Cicero

Posts: 1149; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

I am the one that have rhe problem with shelved iPhone 3GS which start "inflated" suddenly. Without charging it from a long time. It happens on the battery tech sometimes.

29. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

People need to say the same about the iPhone 6 that exploded. That even older at over two years!

43. cheetah2k

Posts: 2300; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

The phone is getting old. He probably let it over discharge Battery swelling is normal after long periods of being discharged. Lithium battery technology, while safe, isn't 100% fool proof. I've seen plenty of iPhone 4s, 5s, and 6,s do the same thing. case closed, nothing to see here

6. TA700

Posts: 83; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

That's a problem with all sealed batteries, I had to open my wife's previous iPhone to check for swelling since the screen lifted a little.


Posts: 121; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

without a doubt this site is mercenary of a specific brand!

24. thegeneral7010

Posts: 437; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

No, but your mind may be.


Posts: 121; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

my mind is mine, but this site is not yours or mine.

11. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

There is no way in hell I would buy a phone from Amazon or Ebay. For me it's worth paying the extra $150 to $200 at a carrier or best buy.

13. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I would rather buy from b&h and get 2 year protection for extra 100.

14. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

swapping battery is way to go,learn from LG..Sammy,.

41. Shadocx4

Posts: 134; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

I have a Sony Xperia Z3 and never needed a battery swapping s**t. Are you a LG fanboy ? When will LG make a waterproof phone?

16. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Fast charging will help it puff up.. my note 4 batter lasted like a year and half and started to shut off at 15% and random reboot when it's low.. when I charge it back up from 0% and boots up it says like 35% in less then 2 mins lol.. Using my note 4 as I type this lol.. But yeah life span of phone battery don't last much now days we always on it. Time for removable battery till new battery tech comes out.. But yeah fast charging not good in the long run.. I saw a guy at the rc track blast his lipo 4500 mah at 40amps and puffed we had to put it in a metal bucket lol..

17. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 300; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Stupid article. It's no big deal, maybe he's been using different chargers from time to time, and yes battery swells up that way. and the device is quite old.

19. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree with what you said , all but the part about it being old. A year old is not quite old.

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