Samsung would never want to remember the Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled due to several reports of explosions. However, the latest Galaxy Note 9 fire incident reported by the New York Post may be bringing back memories of Samsung’s worst nightmare.
How the Galaxy Note 9 fire happened
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 reportedly caught fire in a New York real estate agent’s purse. The agent, Diane Chung, filed a lawsuit over the Galaxy Note 9 fire with the Queens Supreme Court.
According to the lawsuit, the Galaxy Note 9 fire happened earlier this month when the phone suddenly became “extremely hot.” Chung then stopped using the phone but kept it in her purse. Soon she heard “a whistling and screeching sound, and she noticed thick smoke” coming out of her purse.
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After that, she emptied her purse on the floor of the elevator she was in, burning her fingers in the process, the lawsuit says. She was alone in the elevator, and the smoke made it hard for her to see. Once she reached the lobby of the building she was in and the elevator door opened, she kicked the burning phone out.
The phone kept burning until a passerby picked up the handset with a cloth and put it in a bucket of water. Chung describes the incident as “traumatic,” adding that the fire ruined other items in her purse. She is now demanding an unspecified amount of damages — and that the court stop further sales of the Galaxy Note 9.
Reminiscent of Note 7 saga
After the Galaxy Note 9 fire, a Samsung spokesperson told the New York Post, “We have not received any reports of similar incidents involving a Galaxy Note 9 device and we are investigating the matter.”
What’s interesting to note is that the Galaxy Note 9 fire happened just days after a key Samsung executive assured consumers that it was safe. Samsung’s mobile business head, D.J. Koh, said that the “battery in the Galaxy Note 9 is safer than ever.”
Koh’s emphasis on the battery’s safety came after many raised doubts about Samsung’s decision to put a bigger 4,000mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 9. At the time, Koh also assured consumers that the company’s engineers are confident in the phone’s safety and that users have nothing to worry about.
As described in Chung’s lawsuit, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 fire sounds similar to what many Galaxy Note 7 users experienced a few years ago. Samsung discontinued the device in 2016 after many reports of the phone catching fire and exploding due to a serious battery flaw. The situation was so bad that several airlines banned use of the phone during flights.
To ensure that such incidents don’t happen in the future, Samsung came up with an eight-point inspection process for the batteries, which it claims goes well beyond the industry standard.
“We’ve re-assessed every step of the smartphone manufacturing process and developed our 8-Point Battery Safety Check,” Samsung said about the process.
The company’s “8-Point Battery Safety Check” seemed to have worked, as the Note 8 launch last year went without any serious glitches, but if the report about the Galaxy Note 9 fire is true, the Korean company will have to rethink its safety process again.
Galaxy Note 9 is off to a good start otherwise
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has been well-received by buyers so far. There is no sales data available, but reports on pre-orders for the handset suggest it is off to a good start. Last month, SamMobile claimed Note 9 pre-orders were about 30% to 50% higher than those of the Galaxy S9, citing a Korean mobile carrier.
However, the report also claimed the Note 9 numbers are below the pre-order numbers for the Note 8 last year. It should be noted that pre-orders and sales are two different things. Thus, it is difficult to estimate the real response to the Note 9 until Samsung shares official shares numbers.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and is fitted with a 6.4-inch Quad HD+ (1440×2960 pixels) Super AMOLED display. The U.S. version of the handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, while the global version comes with Samsung’s Exynos 9810 SoC. Both handsets come in 6GB and 8GB RAM options and sport a dual-lens camera setup.