Samsung is preparing to finally reveal the Galaxy S8, the phone it hopes will help it put the fiery disaster that was the Galaxy Note 7 behind it. But just a day before the big reveal, a Samsung Experience Store in Singapore caught fire. Although it wasn’t a big fire, some might feel this is just a bad omen.
Samsung store catches fire
According to Channel News Asia, the fire broke out at 1:25 a.m. local time at the Samsung Experience Store in AMK Hub in Singapore. The shopping mall’s general manager told the media outlet that the fire started in the store’s storage area and was quickly extinguished by the sprinkler. No one was injured, but mall management shut down the area for safety purposes and so it could be cleaned.
Samsung issued a statement saying the same thing and adding that it is assessing the property damage and working with authorities as they investigate the cause of the fire.
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Refurbished Galaxy Note 7s to go on sale in some markets
The timing of the fire is particularly unfortunate, partly because the company said on Monday that it plans to start selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7 phones soon. All of the Galaxy Note 7s were recalled after a string of fires and explosions involving the device’s battery. The refurbished models will have smaller batteries so that they supposedly won’t catch fire.
Samsung clarified that it won’t sell the refurbished phones in all markets, just those where the regulatory authorities allow it. It’s unknown if Singapore is one of the places where the refurbished phones will be sold.
Galaxy S8 Unpacked event set for tomorrow
The timing of the fire is also unfortunate because it comes only a day ahead of the company’s next Unpacked event, at which it reportedly plans to unveil the Galaxy S8. Samsung is planning simultaneous events in New York City and London on Wednesday and intends to live-stream them on its Galaxy website starting at 11 a.m. Eastern/ 4 p.m. British.
There have been plenty of rumors about the Galaxy S8 for months, but perhaps the most important aspect is how the Korean electronics giant will keep the phone from catching fire like the Note 7 did. The company said earlier this year that it has implemented an eight-point battery safety check, and then it reminded consumers of this plan last week. The new checks include visual inspections, tests for durability, x-rays, charge and discharge tests, a disassemble test, tests for “accelerated use” and voltage, and checks for chemical compound leaks.
Aside from greater safety, other highly-anticipated features in the Galaxy S8 are two size options (5.8 inches and 6.2 inches) with curved displays on both of them, no Home button, a bezel-less design, Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant, iris scanning, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.