3 ways Samsung can regain our trust


So, the word is out. Samsung has found the culprit in the “Explode-a-Note 2016” fiasco. I’m not going to waste time by explaining it all again. You can find out our interpretations here and here, and Samsung’s message here. The TL;DR version is that two sets of batteries had two sets of issues. I’m not sure about you, but that makes me quite nervous. If you’re not sure why, allow me to explain.

The odds were not ever in their favor

Let’s say there were 50 phones released last year. That means 50 different batteries were made, and two of them were made wrong. But those two made wrong happened to be made for the same company, oh and by the way, the same phone. There’s odds for that, I’m sure. I’m going to guess that they lie somewhere in between hitting the lottery odds and getting smothered by a non-relative with a pillow odds. That is one, unlucky as hell phone. But I digress.

We asked ourselves here at Pocketnow, what could Samsung do to prevent this from happening in the future, and indeed, one of those ideas has already been adopted. But still we had three suggestions which will help prevent future issues and hopefully win back some audiences that may have left after their phone caught on fire.

After you’re done checking, check it again

I was going to throw in a Dustin Hoffman, Outbreak clip here, but I couldn’t find it on YouTube. Consider yourselves warned.

Samsung announced an eight-point safety inspection of batteries going forward. This inspection includes charging, discharging, X-Rays, visual inspections, battering rams, Bears football games, and a whole other assortment of tests. This is an obvious first step. Go right to the source and double and triple check it to make sure nothing can go wrong. We’re glad to see Samsung is on top of this. It does beg the question that, since the battery is the most volatile component in a phone, why weren’t all of these tests in place before? Whatever, they’re in place now, so let’s run with it.

These battery tests will be crucial to Samsung’s future success as more and more technology relies on batteries. The trend in tech is to make things smaller, and more portable, and batteries are an important part of that, if not the most important part. Since battery tech isn’t progressing all that quickly, it’s more important than ever to make sure that the only part of the phone that can explode, doesn’t explode.

Galaxy Note 7 explosion reportBigger is better

Let’s drop this obsession with thin phones, shall we? Phones have been getting thinner and thinner and it seems like I write a variation on this a couple of times per year, but it’s still true! Thinner is not always better. It is true that Samsung builds very nice thin phones, but doing so at the expense of safety is obviously a no-no. Phones have gotten to the point where they’re so thin, they could stand to put on a few pounds. They’re supermodel-post-photoshop thin. That’s too thin, and it’s giving young phones out there the wrong idea about their bodies.

I might’ve taken that one too far.

But the point is that an extra couple of millimeters won’t compromise millions of phone sales. But they might compromise millions of phones sold. It’s time to add an infinitesimal amount of thickness to a phone in order to exponentially increase its safety. Bigger is better. C’mon – be the next big thing. Be all about that bass.

Listen to your customers

Finally, let’s give a nod back to your core Note customers, and let’s make that next battery removable. Every time Samsung has released a phone with a non-removable battery, people have chimed in negatively. The Galaxy Note especially is designed to be a workhorse, and quick charging is nice, but a removable and replaceable battery could be the difference between being on the go, and on the charging plate. If it’s me, I’m taking the concept to 11 and shipping a second battery in the box. You want a bold move? Let’s be bold.

But it’s not just the idea of replacing the battery that makes this attractive. Removable batteries are more durable because they have to be. On the inside of a phone, a battery doesn’t need as much padding and ability to withstand damage as a removable battery. That all changes once you take that out of the phone. A durable battery is a safer battery, and that puts minds at ease after such a controversy.

So there you have it. Those are my humble suggestions on improving safety and Samsung’s image. It wouldn’t take much to do – just a fundamental redesign of the phone, is all. But if Samsung is serious about making a safer phone and winning back hearts and minds, these three steps will be the way to do it. I’m rooting for Samsung to bounce back, and I know a lot of our readers are too. So here’s hoping Samsung follows our advice and comes back with a win.

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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs. Read more about Adam Doud!