Samsung will disable all US Galaxy Note 7 phone functionalities, Verizon models not included

Samsung today announced that it's planning to roll out a software update for Galaxy Note 7 handsets that are still in the wild in the US. The update will be released starting December 19, preventing Note 7 phones from being charged, and eliminating "their ability to work as mobile devices." However, not all Note 7 units will become useless bricks (albeit good looking bricks).

In response to Samsung's announcement, Verizon said that it won't be pushing any update to render its Note 7 phones useless. Thus, if you bought a Galaxy Note 7 from Verizon and still have it, you'll be able to use it just like before.

Verizon says that "a vast majority" of Note 7 buyers already replaced the device with other handsets, so there are probably not too many units still in use right now. Samsung also said that "more than 93 percent of all recalled Galaxy Note 7 devices" in the US have been returned.

A similar Note 7 software update will be released in Canada (after already being rolled out in Australia). With this move, Samsung basically wants everyone to exchange their Galaxy Note 7 - although, as you can see, not all carriers are willing to participate.

Do you still use a Galaxy Note 7? If yes, what do you think about the upcoming update?

sources: Samsung, Verizon

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



1. phonehome

Posts: 812; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Verizon model not included because Verizon wants to be in control of everything and dictate terms (they must sure hate Apple). Sure glad not giving Greedy Red my hard earned $$.

4. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Agreed there. Verizon said: "We do not want to make it impossible to contact family, first responders or medical professionals in an emergency situation." That's a copout excuse and senseless. If people need to contact anyone, they can simply get another phone - even a low-end one - to do just that. Heck, there are Phone booths too! The Note7 is a recalled device, so Verizon should be obligated by the law to execute Samsung's request of blocking all Verizon Note7s in the US from accessing the cellular network.

14. MagicPotato57

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 09, 2016

And you can still make calls from Google Voice.

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No it is not an excuse. Suppose they diable your phone, and you happen to get into a bad accident out in the middle of know-where, which in the USA is a lot of places assuming you live here. I am sure this update won';t block 9/11 calls. But lets assume it could. if you are stranded..then what? Its not a cop out. You need to wake up and stop thinking every corporation is like apple, only making stupid moves for money.

35. Marslander

Posts: 160; Member since: Jan 08, 2015

The recall has been active for 2 months now. Plenty of time for people to get refunds or trade-ins. No excuses.

52. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

They dont need an excuse. Maybe they just dont want too. Ever thought of that? After exchanging 3 Notes in a 2 week period, I get sick and tired of doing backup and restores. I need my time for other things. I still have my Note 5. I can simply move my simcard which I did do until I got my Gear S3. Now that I have a working Samsung Pay, I am using my Note 7 again, since Sp is gimped and doesnt work. I don't need an excuse. The recall is voluntary. Even if it is mandatory, there is no "law" that says I have to turn mine in. Even if there what. I'm only trying to hold mine, at least until the S8 comes. Or maybe when the next Note comes assuming Samsung is going to make another Note.

36. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

@TechieXP1969 Quote: "I am sure this update won';t block 9/11 calls. But lets assume it could. if you are stranded..then what?" If you're stranded in such a situation, then it's your fault, since you're already aware that using a recalled device can backfire at any moment, like suddenly being locked out of a carrier's cellular network during an emergency. Why not just use a safe smartphone as a primary (daily-driver) device for such emergencies, rather than an unsafe phone which could as well get you stranded by causing a fire incident somewhere?

51. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No it is not.The is FCC has mandated that if a phone line is present in a dwelling, it must be able to make 911 calls even if there is no service. This also goes for cell phones. This is a mandate in the USA. If you buy a phone, even if it has no SIM card inside, you can still dial 911. The law requires that working phones or lines but have 911 service. Even pay phones in the old days, you can dial 911 without using money. What smartphone is safe? Are you saying just because a model of phone may not have exploded somehow that makes it safer than another? They all have batteries. Which means any phone could explode. Just because the Note 7 exploded or caught fire, does mean its any more safe or messed up as another. How many fires have happened since the last recall? NONE! Like I have said. I understand the recall and I am in 100% agreement with it. That doesn't mean I have to give up my phone if I don't want to.

64. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Quote: "The is FCC has mandated that if a phone line is present in a dwelling, it must beable to make 911 calls even if there is no service." Yeah, you might still be able to dial an emegency line (911), but there's also an inconvenience of losing access to the cellular network when in an urgent situation like needing to make a business phone call or anything similar. Quote: "What smartphone is safe? Are you saying just because a model of phone may not have exploded somehow that makes it safer than another? They all have batteries. Which means any phone could explode." Then why has your Galaxy S3 or Surface Pro 4 not exploded yet, since you say they have a batteries, so they could also explode too? Quote: "Just because the Note 7 exploded or caught fire, does mean its any more safe or messed up as another." That's FALSE. The Note7 which caught fire is less safe and more messed-up than a phone which hasn't proven to be a threat of a fire hazard... That is simple logic!!!

38. bobby84

Posts: 595; Member since: May 13, 2016

Yes the update will because it would stop the phone from charging. making it useless

53. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I have Package Installer Pro installed. It blocks OTA updates. And even though the dev updated it, so that it couldn't, I simply side-loaded an older version. The beauty of freedom!

65. tuminatr

Posts: 1164; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

so true and how is it illegal for them to not push a software update

20. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Also, the article says, they are only blocking it from making mobile calls...or network calls. That doesn't prevent the device from working on WiFi for other things besides calls. I have Package Installer Pro installed on my phone. So it can't get any OTA updates.

26. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2482; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I have a question. I know you are still holding out in keeping your Note 7 because you don't believe it will ever pose a threat to explode, but without OTA updates aren't you exposing yourself to security threats by continuing to use the device without receiving monthly Android security updates? Also, you won't be getting any official Samsung Android update, which means you are either stuck on the Android software it shipped with or you use a custom ROM which I don't know how they support the S-Pen fully which is pretty much the main difference between it and the S7 Edge. I guess my point is: why keep a device which will become harder and harder to continue to use and update? At some point, you will lose the functionalities that set the Note 7 apart from just a regular S7 Edge.

54. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No. Not any more than anyone else. For one I usually dont sideload apps. I made one exception this time. I purchase Package Install Pro which blocks OTA updates. The dev released a newer version which I installed. But he didnt put in the info, that it wont block OTA updates. So I ended up getting the update which lowered the battery charging to 60%. I simply downloaded the firmware for the phone and ODIN it back to where t was with the green battery icon. The original Note 7 firmware is blocked. The green battery one was not. So I can now charge back to 100%. First off, Samsung rarely release security updates for the phones, unless its something major. That's the whole point of me having a way to block rogue apps. Just because you may use your phone to view uestionable untrusted sites, doesnt mean everyone does. I recall lots of Windows virus and malware I never got, even without having updated patches and service packs. Yet I never had an infection because I only visit reputable trusted sites. I don't go to porn sites. I don't go to repositories to download apps. I don't download from untrusted or verified sources, not even by accident. So where exactly am I going to get a threat from. The fact is, your phone with an update is no more safe than mine. After all, you cant be protected from an unknown threat anymore than I will be. You can only be protected against known threats. Even though Android has lots of security issues, have you ever read of anyone ever getting a phone hacked? As long as you dont download BS, it likely wont happen. Just because you may have the latest firmware, doesnt mean you are any more safe. I have the latest Android 6.1 firmware. Last I checked, it hasnt gotten any updates for security issues. So Im no more vulnerable than anyone else. I only use my phone on secure networks....period. If I can get on a secure WiFI, then I use the carriers network. At home. Even though I have Comcast, I do not use their modem. I use my own and it is using the highest level of protection from the outside. Has your phone ever been hacked? If it was, how would you even know? Even with patches your computer is still vulnerable to unknown threats. I don't use Vanilla Android. So monthly security updates don't even happen. Unless some special threat happens, carriers rarely push updates. Also ether are other ways to install security patches. You do know that right? I mean, you do know how to use commend-lines. Right? You are aware that when OEM's release security patches, there are other ways to retrieve them and install them. You are aware of that...right?

55. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016


56. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Here let me help you a bit. In the case of the Note 7, it is obvious Samsung wont be releasing any security patches. However, security patches are not restricted to a model, it is restricted to a firmware. All you need to do is use another phone to download the patch. Once its installed, you can use the Android SDK to extract the full image of the ROM from the phone. Once you do that, you can extract the image and pull the patch out of it. Once you do, you can use a command-line tool even in Windows and install the patch. You dont need ot be rooted, you don't need anything other than motor skills. and the name of the patch. There are also places online to safely download security updates and install them.

66. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2482; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

First of all, I don't think I deserved the snarky attitude for merely asking a legitimate question. Secondly, I was aware that was indeed possible but you're just proving my point: you are having to jump through extra steps in order to keep your phone. And I just don't see the reason except for being stubborn. The Note 7 is going to most likely be largely overshadowed by next years Note 8 anyways. Samsung has a lot to prove to consumers so that's a big hint that they are going to pour a lot of resources into that. I just don't see why having a S7 Edge in the meantime is not seen as a viable option. I mean really and truly the only main difference is the S-Pen and slight reduction in screen size. I'm not trying to give you a hard time or call you out. I was asking a question but if you're just going to give this snobby attitude in return then don't bother to comment. It's not necessary that I will want a response at that point.

23. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Totally agree on everything but this. "Heck, there are Phone booths too!" Where we live I haven't seen one of those in a long time. LOL

59. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

There are a few here in certain places. We still have them in some train stations. They are rare. Rare isn't equal to non-existent. Until a few years ago, we still had them in subway stations because of not having phone signals in the tunnels. Now that they have ran the needed cables for signal, most have been removed. But not all. There are some at many Metra Stations here.

30. lyndon420

Posts: 6868; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

"Hello Note 7 has caught fire and is in the process of burning my house down. Can you send help...oh...wait a minute...". I guess any further issues will result in a lawsuit against least Samsung tried to get them all off the street. I think Samsung was in the right to push out this update.

33. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

^^ I second that, bruh lyndon420!

57. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

So you are saying that VZW not allowing Samsung to do it, must mean VZW isn't going to do it?

77. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

"they can simply get another phone" For real? You do understand that when you return your Note 7 and choose "another phone" your locked into that phone for 2 years in most cases? That is a major part of the problem - many of us came off of good phones to go to Note 7, now we are supposed to get something we don't want because of the Note 7 issues? For me personally, there are NO phones that interest me right now, so I'm not about to pick some random phone that is available. I was fortunate that I could go back to my Note 4 when I returned my note 7. Not everyone has that option. Also, quite a few Note 7 users are trying to get Google Pixel phones, which are on back order. THIS could very well be the reason behind Verizon not implementing Samsung's request. Pixel XLs aren't due to be available until early January. I would be MAD AS HELL if my Note 7 was disabled when I can't even get the Pixel XL. Finally - people need to quit being so dramatic about the Note 7. The explosion incidents occured at such a small percentage, that there really is a minute chance of anything happening with them. Should they be returned? YES. Should people see one in public and run away screaming and crying? NO. Enough of the drama.

2. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Figure out, how much the ppl love this device. Bet on, that this is not because of the Samsung's logo.

3. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

People travel on holidays Verizon. F you for endangering me and many familys on flights. F you for screwing me over when you did. Your network is out of control. You will never get a dime for me again. F you for changing bloat to your own crap. Your over rated anyways. I get better down load speeds then my co workers do using your crap fest network. Who do you think you are anyways?

7. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Calm down man. LOL Note7s ''exploded'' before the ban, not after the ban. Right?

10. tedkord

Posts: 17456; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They're not allowed in flights. Your family is in no danger.

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You are a pathetic ignorant moron. The phone is already banned from flights....Stupid!

27. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1185; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

Guess you can't go on planes now, huh? LOL

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