Samsung batteries seem to have a serious problem

Samsung batteries seem to have a serious problem

If we compare the technical data relating to the battery capacity and the charging speed of Samsung smartphones we can see how, when compared with some competitors, they are not among the most capacious or the fastest to recharge. The company seems to have been burned (literally) by what happened with the Galaxy Note7 in 2016, a smartphone that was withdrawn from the market due to battery problems.

It seems that now the Korean company has between hands a new case of problems related to the longevity and safety of their batteries, at least according to what reported by YouTuber Arun Rupesh Maini, alias Mrwhosetheboss.

Initially without thinking too much about it, these things can eventually happen to smartphones that have a “certain age”, he ordered a replacement Note8. Before the replacement was even delivered, two other Samsung smartphones exhibited the same problem. Maini's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S10 both had an open back shell and a swollen battery.

I've just found out that 3 of my Samsung phones' batteries have blown up because of the recent UK heatwave

Not a single other brand has

- Arun Maini (@Mrwhosetheboss) July 27, 2022

Obviously worried by the fact that swollen lithium batteries are a real safety hazard, the youtuber has checked and double-checked all his other smartphones also from other brands such as Apple, Oppo, Asus and Google, also because at the time the UK was hit by an anomalous heat wave that could have caused these swellings. No other product has met the same fate or shown early signs of abating.

How has Samsung handled the situation?

In July Maini posted a tweet in which he reported as three of his Samsung smartphones were damaged due to swollen batteries and Samsung contacted the influencer immediately. The Korean company has insisted on withdrawing the three devices and investigating the incident, after all, after the media hype of the Note7 case it makes sense that the company takes these kinds of reports seriously.

A strange series of unfortunate events or something more?

As Maini tells in his video, however, it was the tweet of another influential person in the tech world, the youtuber Matt Ansini of the ThisIs channel, to bring to mind what happened in July. Ansini tweeted that every single Samsung smartphone older than 3 years in his office was destroyed by the same battery problem that mysteriously swelled.

An unfortunate fact… every 3+ year old Samsung phone we had in storage at the office had their batteries expand like this… every single one

I just pulled out my S7 out of my desk drawer at home and it too has expanded

- (@matt_ansini) September 16, 2022

Later, Maini double-checked his other Samsung devices and found that three other smartphones had swelled. The problem became much more serious when he discovered that his Galaxy Z Fold2, the company's flagship foldable smartphone launched in 2020, had also met the same fate.

The youtuber then contacted his colleague and friend Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD. Brownlee revealed that every now and then he too finds a bloated device or two in his drawers and "every single time it's a Samsung phone, never another brand".

Zach Nelson of the JerryRigEverything channel confirmed he noticed it firsthand, but he was pretty convinced it happened to him because of the mistreatment he subjects smartphones to for endurance tests.

Why do smartphone batteries swell?

Zach, who has a considerable technical background and is familiar with the operation and composition of batteries, explained the reason that causes the batteries to swell in this way.

He assumed that the problem could concern the battery electrolyte. The electrolyte is the liquid that allows the ions to move inside the battery, making it stable. The liquid decomposes over time and releases a gas which causes the cell to swell.

"If the electrolyte is gone, I think it is much more likely that overheating and damage to the battery will occur if it is recharged or if you try to use it again," said Zach in video.

Zach then punctured the swollen batteries, but there was no explosion thanks to the protection systems present. However, he stated that he would feel "very nervous" about recharging a device with a swollen battery. He added that if the electrolyte has evaporated inside the battery, it could become "very hot and very fast" if you try to recharge it.

How long should smartphone batteries last?

After checking his Samsung devices several times, Maini noticed that his Galaxy S20 FE, delivered just 18 months ago, also suffered the same fate.

Samsung smartphone batteries, as visible on the adhesive surrounding the lithium-ion cells, they are technically certified to be safe for a duration of at least 5 years, so what's going on is something that needs serious attention.

E we are not talking about battery capacity, no manufacturer guarantees that for 5 years the battery is in excellent condition and at its maximum capacity. We are talking about the fact that the battery should not pose a safety concern if kept under normal conditions for at least 5 years.

“I have a Samsung smartphone, should I worry?”

No, not necessarily. The problem has been mainly noticed by users who are keeping a large number of products in stock for a long time and are not using them constantly.

If you are using your smartphone and you are not noticing any anomalies, there is no it's nothing you should worry about. If you have old Samsung smartphones in a drawer that you are keeping in case of need, it is better to check their conditions just to be safe.

If you have a smartphone with a swollen battery in your hands (regardless of the brand) stop using it immediately and take it to the nearest authorized service center. A lithium battery that bursts or catches fire is not a problem to be underestimated at all and your health is really at stake, even more so when it comes to batteries of devices as personal and always close to us as smartphones!

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