If you have an old Samsung flagship lying around and notice that its battery has started to swell, you are not alone. One YouTuber has discovered that this behavior afflicts previous-generation handsets launched by the Korean giant, and it is a cause of concern. Here is what is happening.
Older Smartphone Models Manufactured by Other Brands Currently Do Not Have Any ‘Swollen Battery Issues
The Galaxy Note 8 belonging to U.K.-based YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss had a swollen battery, and the cell had expanded to the point where the rear glass panel separated itself from the rest of the chassis. Arun Maini, the brains behind the video, thought that it was an isolated issue at first and it could have happened to anyone, so he decided to order himself a new phone.
By the time the new model arrived, two more Samsung-branded smartphones had suffered from the exact same problem; the Galaxy S6 from 2015, followed by the Galaxy S10 that launched in 2019. Arun attempted to conclude the culprit and, after careful consideration, believed that since the U.K. went through a heatwave, the spike in ambient temperature could have caused this. However, why did this heatwave affect Samsung smartphones only, while the batteries in other devices from different companies retained their original shape?
It is possible the batteries in Samsung’s phones were susceptible to this change in temperature, but why?
Samsung Responds to Swelling Batteries Conundrum, and Not in a Positive Light
Shortly after, the YouTuber tweeted his discovery, only to be met with emails from the company representative who was adamant that the affected devices are shipped to Samsung for closer inspection. The emails were exchanged on August 1, and it has been more than 50 days since Arun received a positive development or response from the technology behemoth.
He only decided to make a video when he noticed that others experienced the same issue and from Samsung’s smartphones only. What is interesting to note is that foldable handsets such as the Galaxy Z Fold 2 are also included in this long list. That is shocking to hear because customers who pay top dollar for these handsets will be livid to see such a condition after a couple of years of use.
Mrwhosetheboss decided to confirm these cases with another famous tech YouTuber, MKBHD, who also says that apart from Samsung, no other phone from any other company appears to exhibit this behavior. After the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it was assumed that Samsung would go the extra mile to ensure that history does not repeat itself. While exploding smartphones rarely materialize, this new controversy is sure to land Samsung in hot waters.
So Why Is This Happening?
Connecting with another YouTuber, Zach from JerryRigEverything, Arun found out that the battery’s electrolytes are decomposing and releasing a gaseous substance. This issue appears to be a problem with Samsung’s quality control when it should not because the label on the batteries running in each smartphone clearly states that the cell will work flawlessly for five years without showing signs of any mutations, swelling, or any physical alterations.
iFixit’s article on swollen smartphone batteries has text published in bold that this can result in a violent explosion and cause irreparable harm to the owner or their property. We have yet to hear Samsung’s take on things and whether or not this may worsen the batteries as time goes on. If you currently own any Galaxy handset, and if you have noticed that the sandwiched area has started to expand, it might be prudent to pick another phone as a backup, at least for the time being.
You can check out more details from Arun in the video below.