Report: Samsung's aggressive battery design led to the Galaxy Note 7 explosions

Report: Samsung's aggressive battery design led to the Galaxy Note 7 explosions
According to a new report, Samsung's aggressive design for the battery employed by the Galaxy Note 7 might have been the culprit behind the multiple explosions that led the company to pull the phablet from the market. The way the cell was designed, a pair of polymer layers drenched in electrolytes was used to separate a positive layer made of lithium cobalt oxide, and a negative layer made of graphite. Should those two layers meet, the electrolytes would heat up causing an explosion.

As the report points out, compressing the battery would force the positive and negative layers to squeeze together. Samsung itself said that it might have been too aggressive with the design. In addition, there is a normal amount of swelling that takes place. Some of it comes from the pressure on the battery created through pushing on the back cover (for example, by putting the phone in one's back pocket and then sitting on a chair).

In order to make the phone thin, the batteries were designed to be carry as much capacity as possible, while keeping to a svelte footprint. The report stated that if the phablet had not been recalled, the body of Galaxy Note 7 units throughout the world would probably have separated.

Samsung was taking a risk by shipping a battery that left very little wiggle room for problems. And yes, this should have been spotted in tests. However, Samsung broke protocol by handling the testing itself.


Samsung did shoot itself in the foot. By one calculation, the company will tally more than $5 billion in lost revenue and other costs associated with the recall of the Galaxy Note 7.


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source: Instrumental

Related phones

Galaxy Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh

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133 Comments

1. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Even corporations learn from their mistakes. And luckily nobody was killed.

2. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Amen to that. Was a huge failure but at least no one died.

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Samsung should be ashamed of themselves. I think they ended up hurting themselves in the long run.

23. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yes they should, and yes they did, but the brand will live on. The Note 8 is coming next year. Lesson learned, just like Apple with antenna and bendgate, just a different issue. It could've been far worse, but thankfully it wasn't, they acted, and yes they could've acted sooner and better, but they acted. They're still acting, as trolls troll these articles. Sending out updates to cripple charging, and even killing the network access. They should be ashamed, but they should also come back strong, and continue to be the best handset maker, and tech company out there. I'm with them, just like I was with Apple, when they were messing up, only not owning up to it. When I felt Apple received unfair criticism, I spoke up for them, and I'm doing it for Samsung. Even the best make mistakes, and the best made a mistake with the Note, 7, but unlike Apple, they owned it. 2017 approaches, and the best will only get better. Samsung is kicking ass right now, cause they take chances, sometimes chances work, and sometimes they comeback to bite you in the ass.

29. meanestgenius

Posts: 21611; Member since: May 28, 2014

Once again, another well thought out, level headed, neutral post from you darkk, an Android and iOS user. I wish more people that claim to be a multi-OS user was as fair and level-headed as you, as opposed to just trolling these articles looking for green thumbs and taking unnecessary potshots. Samsung has definitely owned up to their mistake, and they have been staying on top the issue ever since. And while they should be ashamed, they are to be commended for grabbing the "bull by the horns" and tackling this situation both quickly and aggressively. I look for forward to seeing Samsung release the Note 8, which will surely be a beast of a handset.

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx bro. People are trolling the hell outta them, but it's not like they're resting on the issue. They took one on the chin, and have done nothing but respond ever since. The way they've handled it, makes me more comfortable with them is my brand of choice, cause they took the blame, and went at the issue head on. I'm looking forward to 2017, and will be rolling with the Samster. The usual big 3 Apple trolls will do their usual thing, but Samsung deserves respect on how they've handled this.

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 21611; Member since: May 28, 2014

Anytime, darrk. I tell it how it is, and you should be commended on being one of the more civil, mature commenters on this site. Samsung has acted diligently and with transparency on this issue. They're not hiding anything, and have accepted full responsibility for what has happened, unlike other OEM's that have blamed the user for what was obviously an issue on said OEM's part. And yes, I know the usual trolling suspects will do what they do best, which is trolling, of course. I'm just happy about the way Samsung has handled this, as absolute professionals.

34. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What's your next phone bro? What do you have your eye on?

35. meanestgenius

Posts: 21611; Member since: May 28, 2014

I've got my eye on the BlackBerry Mercury. I love the physical keyboard handsets. To a BlackBerry user, the physical keyboard is to them what the S-Penn is to Note users. I may pick up the DTEK60 in the meantime, while I wait for the Mercury. The one thing that's been holding me back is the lack of a pkb. I prefer my 'Berry's with 'em. I've also been looking at the Huawei Mate 9. Huawei has been intriguing me as of late. What about you? What are you looking at for your next handset?

38. darkkjedii

Posts: 30903; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Note 8 for sure, not sure about the next iPhone anymore I'm rapidly losing interest in it, and the Next Pixel will be on my radar. I think the next iphone will have a nice design, but Apple doesn't want to add anything that processor heavy. It's all about features, and versatility.

49. Mxyzptlk unregistered

There's a reason for everything. Sure, I take a lot of shots at Samsung, but I have the experience to back it up. I've had many Samsung phones and they were good phones overall, but they were never great phones except for the Note 4. But even it has begun to feel the pain of TouchWiz. The magic word here is TouchWiz. Seems like every Samsung phone I've owned has slowed down over time. Every one. And that's something that can easily be proven. Yes Apple has their problems but so does Samsung. And I'm pretty sure you know who is busting at the chops with a rebuttal since I took that potshot, but I don't hate everything from Samsung. I do like the gear S3 and I love their 4K TVs.

64. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

This news is BS. LOL Some blog(the source) is looking for publicity. This same possibility was mention from day FIRST. Many times. That's the first thing that could come to the child mind even. No one confirmed that this could be the reason...not Samsung neither any lab. So they go on for other tests. BTW no one Note7 ''exploded'' after the ban. Right?

66. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Antenna gate was a slight lose of reception and might result in a few droped calls completely different then having a phone blow up on you. I had an iphone 4 and wouldnt have realized about that if someone hadnt told me. These are in no way comparable. Rather have my phone drop a call versus it blow up. Imo

68. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Antennagate was a loss of double the signal other phones lost from covering the antenna with your hand, but it happened with as little as the touch of a pinky. The overall effect isn't the point, the action taken by the manufacturer is. One took immediate action, one blamed the user and to this day hasn't admitted the design flaw. Any phone can burn. Only one ever could lose signal with a pinky touch.

83. Mxyzptlk unregistered

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=samsung+phones+signal+problems I just educated you. No need to thank me.

119. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I had the iphone 4. I had to cover up that spot firmly to achieve lost reception. It didnt bother me at all. Apple gave out free bumpers which is a fine response to such a minor complaint. Any phone can burn but not as easily as the note. Thats a huge deal. Samsungs response was nice but that doesnt excuse that huge freakin deal.

26. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Yes. Good riddance!

65. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

See 64

13. Nopers unregistered

Yeah a couple of injuries, lots of property damage that Samsung will not compensate but sure

28. aikoo

Posts: 129; Member since: Feb 27, 2016

Yeah, if I recalled a phone and you didn't listen I wouldn't compensate you either. You took a chance and you gotta pay for it. As for those who did lose property prior to the recall, Samsung did compensate them.

58. nodes

Posts: 1154; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

the "safe" one explodes too.

14. Nopers unregistered

Yeah a couple of injuries, lots of property damage that Samsung will not compensate but sure

3. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 664; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

I think the galaxy note looks very ugly from wIthin. Even though it's a top notch phone (apart from the battery), it looks like junk electronics from the inside.

5. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

The circuit boards are terrible looking, but at least the phones perform. The only ones that make the internal circuits look good are Sony first and then Apple. The new pixel phones look really nice with a black pcb with good arrangements of components as well.

70. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

OMG How do you think it should look? Fancy, pink, champagne gold?? Samsung make the best tech design. Period! Go educate yourself, but not some hairdresser's courses.

7. k9luvr

Posts: 122; Member since: Oct 17, 2016

Can anyone explain what the pics included at the bottom of the article have to do with the story? Looks like they don't understand battery technology.

9. Clars123

Posts: 1076; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

I believe the point was there was very minimal room for the batteries to expand during thermal expansion..and Samsung wasn't ready to have a smaller battery or a bigger phone

8. Clars123

Posts: 1076; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

So essentially..trying to cram too much into too little space?

75. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

BS Every battery get swollen soon or later. And it will not help if the margin is 0.5mm instead of less. On my Note 1, 3, .... the battery were with almost no margin, and yes they got swollen with the years, the original and second not original ...and were even hard to remove ...but guess what... no fire. I don't say that those guys from the source ''news'' are ignorant, but they are or: Searching for publicity, or: Paid for this nonsense.

10. Supraman21

Posts: 467; Member since: Jun 09, 2010

I'd totally take Note with out the pen. Look at all that room the pen takes up that could be replaced with a larger battery.

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