Samsung has recalled and halted sales of the just-launched Galaxy Note 7 due to concerns over reported battery explosions.
Here's what you need to know about the recall, including how to determine if your phone is faulty, with details on how to exchange or return your unit as soon as possible. We will update this piece with more information over time.
Why did Samsung recall the Note 7?
Samsung has confirmed that it is in the process of recalling Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices it has sold and suspects of being dangerously faulty. It also stopped sales after it found potential issues with the smartphone's battery.
Keep in mind earlier reports had claimed that phones were catching fire and exploding, and low-quality battery cells tend to overheat or fail when used heavily.
Recalling the new phone, which was already on sale in the US and supposed to go on sale in the UK fully on 2 September, is likely to cost Samsung dearly.
Do you have a faulty Note 7?
Samsung set up a page where consumers can go to see if they own a faulty unit eligible for exchange. This process requires them to enter the IMEI (serial number) of their device.
Should you ignore the Note 7 recall?
Although Samsung is recalling every phone it has sold, not every phone is at risk.
Still, from a safety perspective, you should not take a chance. Plus, Samsung has already released instructions on how to return or exchange your potentially faulty phone; you have a couple options available, and you'll get a little something for your trouble.
Is the Note 7 recall official?
Yes. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a formal recall of American versions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on Thursday.
The agency, which is tasked with promoting the safety of consumer products, developing uniform safety standards, and conducting research into product-related illness and injury, has made Samsung's recall official by publishing a report that not only confirmed the full number of incidents reported and that the lithium-ion battery in the Note 7 can overheat and catch fire, but also that it posed a serious burn hazard to consumers.
According to the CPSC, Samsung has "received 92 reports of the batteries overheating in the US, including 26 reports of burns and 55 reports of property damage, including fires in cars and a garage". As of 1 September, Samsung has only acknowledged 35 of these reported incidents. Still, the CPSC is concerned enough to issue a formal recall, in which it is asking US consumers to return more than 1 million purchased units.
This recall only involves Note 7 units sold before 15 September. In a statement following the CPSC's recall on Thursday, Samsung said replacement devices will be shipped to customers from 21 September.
The recall isn't quite so heavy-handed in the UK, mainly due to the fact that far fewer handsets made their way into British hands before the cease of sale.
Samsung UK itself issued a recall and exchange programme on Monday 19 September.
How do you exchange/return your Note 7?
You have two immediate options: you can return the Note 7 to the carrier or retailer at which the device was originally purchased, or you can contact Samsung directly to initiate a mail exchange by calling 1-800-SAMSUNG (in the US) or 0330 7261000 (in the UK).
Further instructions for each method are below.
Samsung is giving Note 7 owners the option to exchange their recalled model for a new unit that won't have any battery issues. Customers will receive a $25 gift card or bill credit for their inconvenience. If you want a different device, you can exchange the Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, complete with a refund for the difference in price. If you choose that option, you can also exchange your accessories.
US carriers and retailers
- Best Buy: You can return the device to a Best Buy store for a full refund. You will also have the option to replace it with a new Note 7 (when the fixed units become available).
- Verizon: Verizon is waiving the restocking fee for any customers who purchased a Galaxy Note 7 and want to return or exchange it.
- AT&T: AT&T will let you return your Note 7 to the store for another smartphone. It will also refund any accessories purchased directly from it.
- T-Mobile: You can return your Note 7 to a T-Mobile store for a full refund of the purchase price and any accessories you may have bought. You'll have the option to buy another phone or receive a new Note 7 (when the fixed units become available). T-Mobile is waiving its restocking fee, too.
- Sprint: Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure posted a statement on Twitter detailing Sprint's plan. You should visit your local Sprint store to return your Note 7. The carrier will give you a "similar device" to use until Samsung resumes sales of the Note 7.
UK carriers and retailers
Samsung stopped sales before the Note 7 actually released in the UK, but British networks had promotional deals that allowed pre-order customers to get their devices early.
Customers in the UK who did manage to get their hands on one of the phones should have been contacted by the provider or operator they purchased it from with instructions on how to replace it.
Those who are yet to be contacted are urged to contact the operator or provider themselves.
In the meantime, while you are waiting for your replacement phone, Samsung is issuing a software upgrade in Europe that limits the battery to receive 60 per cent of a full charge. This should greatly reduce the possibility of any overheating issues.
Replacement phones will be sent out from 19 September.
Samsung also has this dedicated page about its Note 7 exchange programme.