Unless you really have zero interest in technology, or you’ve been on a retreat in the back of beyond, you will no doubt have heard about Samsung’s latest issues with their newest device, the Galaxy Note 7.
With impressive pre-sales and a long awaited launch, these phones have proved to be a little too hot to handle, with the tech giant having to recall 2.5 million devices last week. Reports indicated that there had been 35 individual cases of phones exploding, which is lead to the u-turn on the scheduled release date.
The South Korean company say they have identified a potential problem with the battery, which can overheat and cause the devices to explode. So serious was the potential for damage that US authorities had warned airline passengers not to use or charge their phones whilst on board. Other airlines and aviation authorities have since follower suit.
So, what’s the actual problem?
The battery used for the Note 7 is, like many other devices, lithium-ion. Not to get too technical but these batteries contain a cathode and anode which are separated by an electrolyte (organic liquid) and a porous material (called the separator).
The lithium travels between the cathode and the anode through the liquid via the separator.
If the battery charges too quickly this generates heat, which causes lithium to form around the anode. This in turn can cause the entire battery to short circuit, which can lead to a fire or even an explosion.
Most batteries are designed with a management system to ensure that they do not charge too quickly, and are therefore less likely to overheat and cause problems. This is why you may experience frustration when your battery does not seem to charge immediately – as annoying as it is, it’s a lot less inconvenient than a fire.
What to look out for
While it is Samsung that is currently in the spotlight, and suffering as a result (latest reports indicate their share price has fallen by 6%, which is a two-month low) potentially any device can suffer battery problems. So, what should you look out for?
As with many things there can be signs that a battery is experiencing problems. Sometimes a battery will swell and bulge before it simply fails completely. This is because the internal cells rupture and break. However, the bulge may not always happen.
While all devices can get warm with use, and certainly whilst charging, if it is hotter than usual this can also indicate there is an internal problem. If you have any concerns about your phone, or any other device, speak to whoever you bought the device from, or who you have a contract with for advice.
Remember, the Diamond Solutions team are always here to help with any of your telecom needs – so give us a bell if you need support.