Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phones are catching fire too; 2 fires in the last week

Smartphone purchasing decisions likely include new features, but whether or not a phone is prone to catching fire should not be a feature.

Unless you are a complete fanboy devoted to a particular brand, then considering which specific features various phones offer are part of the decision-making process when buying a new smartphone; the fact that the phone is not prone to catching fire should not be a feature.

Worrying reports are starting to trickle in about more Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phones catching fire. There have been two such reports within the last week, several within the last few months, and even one about the S7 catching fire.

An unnamed source, who works for a “big U.S. wireless carrier,” contacted PhoneArena after a customer brought in a Galaxy S7 Edge which had “exploded.” The owner claimed the phone was left charging overnight using the OEM charger. The tip included two photos of the melted phone. Adding insult to injury, the owner of the charred S7 Edge only had it for two weeks after he traded in his Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Two days earlier, Canadian Elisha Loewen posted pictures of his melted Galaxy S7 Edge after it “burst into flames” as he was driving. Something smelled like it was burning, but he originally thought it was his engine. He wrote, “Then I notice smoke coming from my console under my radio where I keep my phone. I picked it up and it was extremely hot, then threw it out the car window. I pulled over and covered it in snow to snuff the flame.”

Samsung wanted pictures and the four he posted show extensive damage. Loewen wrote, “I just want a refund so I can buy a phone that’s not a Samsung.”

  • In September, a Galaxy S7 Edge owner in the Philippines posted pictures on Facebook after her phone caught fire while her daughter was allegedly using it.
  • Android Headlines noted that another S7 Edge fire had occurred in China after the phone was left to charge overnight.
  • PhoneArena reported on yet another S7 Edge fire that occurred in September while the owner left the phone charging overnight via the original charger.
  • Also in September, a fire chief in Painseville, Ohio, blamed a charging S7 Edge as the most likely cause of a house fire.
  • Earlier this year, a Galaxy S7 Edge reportedly caught fire in a man’s pocket and caused third-degree burns. (Warning, some of images are intense and show the burns.)

It’s not only the S7 Edge; in September, a teacher from Essex had her Galaxy S7 catch fire while she was in a busy restaurant.

According to an October 13 report, a survey of 1,000 Samsung smartphone owners found that 40 percent said they will not buy another Samsung phone. Now there are two reports of Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge fires within the last week and several within the last few months.

Samsung was already worried, taking a big hit after the Galaxy Note 7 fire fiascos; today Samsung announced a Galaxy Upgrade Program for South Korean customers. Users would only need to pay half the price of a Galaxy S7 device and could then exchange it for the upcoming S8 or Note 8.

iPhone 7s have caught fire too

It’s not just Samsung phones either. Last week, surfer Mat Jones in Australia claimed to have left his week-old iPhone 7 wrapped in clothes inside his locked car while he was surfing. His car was “spewing smoke” when he returned because his iPhone had caught fire. The car was “destroyed” since portions of the front seats and dashboard were charred and melted. Apple is investigating the claim.

Back in August, an Australian man fell off his bike and hit the ground where his iPhone was in his pocket, causing it to “explode.” The fall caused minor injuries, but the iPhone exploding in his pocket caused burns which were extensive enough to require a skin graft. However, that’s not the same thing as a battery spontaneously combusting.

If those fires were a result of the iPhone getting too hot while stored in a locked car or because the phone hit the ground in the just wrong way, that doesn’t explain the iPhone 7 Plus fire allegation made in September. The phone hadn’t even been used and was still in the shipping package at the time.

If phone fire reports keep coming in at this rate, people might actually start making smartphone purchasing decisions based on how likely it is the phone will catch fire. That buying guide scenario would be really messed up.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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