Many people thought Samsung might opt for a dramatically different design for its Galaxy S8-series smartphones, after the blowback from its notorious Note 7 smartphone, which had to be recalled due to a major battery fault.
However, it seems the South Korean tech giant is very confident that it was a manufacturing quality assurance issue because, as a handset teardown from our friends at iFixit shows that Samsung has changed virtually nothing for its new premium handset.
Samsung’s Note 7 wound up being recalled at great cost last year. This followed multiple reports of its battery catching fire, leading to scenarios like the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines flight after a passenger’s Note 7 emitted a thick grey-green smoke and burned a hole in the plane’s carpet.
Samsung eventually pinned the blame on two separate problems with the handsets’ lithum-ion batteries: one problem affecting the first units the company released, and a second issue affecting the replacement units Samsung rushed out.
The first problem related to the original battery casing being too small, which caused the phone to dangerously short circuit. The second battery replacement, after Samsung recalled more than 2.5 million of the handsets, then had an issue caused by punctures in a component separating the positive and negative electrodes, along with faulty insulation.
iFixit‘s teardown of the new Galaxy S8-series handset notes that the S8+ features a 13.48 Wh (3500 mAh at 3.85 V) battery, giving it the exact same capacity as the Note 7, and a little less than the S7 edge’s 13.86 Wh. The design surrounding the battery (meaning its position, spacing and reinforcement) is also very similar to the Note 7.
Originally, some reports about the exploding Note 7 claimed that the reason was due to the the handset’s failure to give the battery enough room to expand into: a conclusion Samsung evidently disagrees with.
Finally, the company has glued the battery down. As iFixit notes, “gluing the battery down didn’t make the Note7 explode … but [it does] render them a whole lot harder to replace, making any potential mistake a lot more permanent (and expensive).”
We hope that Samsung’s confidence will pay off!