If You Have A Galaxy Note 7, You Should Turn It Off NOW
Samsung has issued a recall of all Galaxy Note 7 phones, terminated the product line, and advised owners to power down their devices immediately. Seriously. Like, right now. If you have one of these phones in your pocket, Samsung wants you to take it out and shut it off, before your pants catch on fire.
Released just this past August, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was supposed to be great competition for Apple's latest iPhone. However, the phone has a teeny design flaw: it tends to burst into flames.
Exploding batteries have been a problem since the product launched, prompting Samsung to recall 2.5 million phones in September. Customers who returned their phones were provided with replacement phones...that still exploded a lot.
Samsung blamed the Galaxy Note 7's exploding problems on defective lithium ion batteries, which power almost every device these days. The problem is lithium is highly reactive. Poke a hole in a lithium ion battery and it'll catch on fire. Overcharging one can also cause it to combust, which is why all those "hoverboards" were exploding around Christmas last year. However, phones have sophisticated sensors and electronics in them to prevent overcharging, so that isn't what's happening with the Galaxy Note 7, according to Samsung.
Samsung has blamed the Galaxy Note 7's problem on a manufacturing defect which allowed the battery's negatively-charged anode to touch its positively-charged cathode, which are normally kept apart by a separator inside the phone's battery because the two don't play nice together when they touch.
If you're into science fiction, think of it like matter and antimatter colliding. Or, if you're not into sci-fi, imagine a pair of Democrat and Republican families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner together. Normally, Aunt Susie is there to sit between everyone and keep the peace, but in Samsung's case, she got into the peach schnapps early and crazy Uncle Eddie took her seat. Things got messy.
If you have a Galaxy Note 7, contact the store you bought it from immediately and see about replacing it with something that might not explode in your pocket and lead to embarrassing conversations at work when your pants start smoking.
But I really would turn the phone off now -- especially if you're doing something crazy like boarding a plane. Some poor sap's phone caught on fire just before takeoff the other day, and his flight was cancelled. Everybody was probably pretty upset with that guy.
Don't be that guy.