Imagine, you get your shiny new Samsung handset home, later you discover it has developed a dangerous and fiery fault. One that, not only puts you in danger but the future of the Koren giant’s reputation. This scenario is one that D.J. Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile division, along with his colleagues has worked hard to prevent. Thanks to the Note 7 debacle, the company realized that it needed a more stringent testing regime. One that would prevent any possibility of a future Galaxy S8 fire from happening.
No Galaxy S8 Fire
In its mega-factory in Gumi, South Korea, Samsung more than 1-million handsets per month. And it’s there that the company is conducting new, and improved rigorous testing on its S8 handset. This testing includes exposing batteries (the route cause of the Note 7 problem) to stresses not usually encountered by batteries.
According to Shara Tibken, a writer for Cnet, she was privy to one such test, which she describes as follows:
“The battery inside the clear glass case starts to smoke and then turns red hot. All of a sudden, it bursts into flames. When the fire has died down, all that’s left is the charred husk of a battery — specifically, a battery meant for Samsung’s new Galaxy S8.”
What was this test trying to accomplish?
This was a pressure test, aimed at seeing what would be required to cause a Galaxy S8 fire and explosion. However, seeing as this meant applying considerably more pressure than a battery would ever encounter you needn’t worry. Although, if the battery had been destroyed at a much weaker level of pressure (details not known) Samsung would have return the whole batch to its supplier.
Apparently, this kind of pressure testing is undertaken on a regular basis along with other rigorous forms.
Samsung Learning From The Past
What 2016’s Note 7 debacle showed the world, was Samsung’s testing procedures and those of its suppliers weren’t up to scratch. It has now embarked upon a set of tests that far exceed those that are required by industry standards. In fact, testing is so stringent that every battery that will go inside of an S8 will be tested, but, that’s not all that is being done.
As you may be aware, the chemicals contained in the battery have been altered. It was found during the investigation into the Note 7’s explosiveness that this was in part at fault. As such more has been done to ensure no Galaxy S8 fire can be attributed to the chemicals being used. Additionally, the battery capacity has been reduced compared to the S7 Edge. That device had a 3600mAh battery installed; however, D.J. Koh believes this new S8 battery will offer longer life between charges. As well as benefitting from a longer lifespan overall thanks to software, which is an improvement beyond the Note 7.
Accelerated Usage Testing
It appears that for the most part, Samsung is now conducting most testing itself. Preferring to discover faults and then report them back to suppliers, this, in theory, puts the control back into its hands. Never again will it allow such a fault to slip past it, due to relying on others to do what is necessary.
As such at the mega-factory we mentioned earlier, there’s a secretive area which is cordoned off from the others. There, the company conducts what are called Accelerated Usage Tests, aimed at looking for faults that could build up over time during use. Now, as you can imagine this kind of testing could take a very long time if conducted like how you use your phone. So, instead, these tests happen at a much faster pace.
Meaning that everyday things like charging, browsing the web using Facebook, waterproofing, heating, and more are undertaken. All of which look for potential problem areas which could lead to a Galaxy S8 fire or some unthought of issues. Apparently, Samsung plans to test more than 100,000 Galaxy S8’s before a single unit passes into a consumer’s hand. It’s a testing procedure which is unparalleled in the company’s history, one that takes five days to complete per handset. Which, should mean that the S8 and the S8 Plus are Samsung’s safest smartphones ever.