Life Tech Samsung relaunches Note 7, hopefully minus the explosions

Samsung relaunches Note 7, hopefully minus the explosions

Samsung note 7
Samsung has relaunched the Galaxy Note 7 as the Galaxy Note Fan Edition. Photo: Samsung
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Samsung will attempt to put its troublesome 2016 behind it with the relaunch of its flammable flagship phone, the Galaxy Note 7.

The South Korean tech giant was plagued by controversy last year after cases of spontaneous combustion forced a worldwide recall of the smartphone, costing it billions.

Now, after months of rumours, it has confirmed the release of a refurbished version, the Galaxy Note Fan Edition (FE).

The Note FE goes on sale on Friday exclusively in Samsung’s home country of South Korea for three-quarters of the original asking price –700,000 won ($A611).

The supply will be limited to 400,000 units but the company said it would determine at a later date if it produces more to sell overseas.

According to Samsung, the Note FE has “perfect safety” despite it being almost exactly the same as the explosion-prone Note 7 – with a few minor improvements.

Samsung removed the unsafe 3500 mAh battery and replaced it with a smaller 3200 mAh battery that has been “enhanced with multiple safety designs and went through rigorous 8-point battery inspection”.

It also updated its software to the Android 7.0 Nougat – the same software in its new Galaxy S8 – and Bixby AI virtual assistant, Samsung’s Siri equivalent.

The Note FE will feature the same 5.7-inch Quad HD display and 12-megapixel camera that won so much praise when the phone first launched.

The original Note 7 proved to be one of the darkest moments in Samsung’s history, costing the company a reported $US5.3 billion ($A7 billion) in operating profit.

Samsung released the Note 7 on August 19, 2016, but within a month of its launch the first reports of exploding phones had surfaced.

On September 2, sales of the phone were suspended in Australia over battery issues that caused the phone to catch fire. A recall was announced three days later.

Customers were issued with replacement phones later that month, but on October 11 sales were permanently halted over continued reports of phones catching fire.

Samsung Note 7
A replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 reportedly filled a US plane with smoke last year. Photo: Twitter

Note 7s were also banned by air safety authorities around the world.

Samsung revealed in January this year an investigation into the Note 7 found two separate faults with the lithium ion battery were responsible for the explosions.

Samsung Mobile chief DJ Koh told a press conference at the time that a design flaw had caused the first batch of phones to short circuit, while a welding defect during manufacturing damaged the replacements.

It built a standalone testing lab and gathered more than 700 researchers and engineers to test 200,000 devices and 30,000 batteries to find the the issue.

It had sold more than three million Note 7s worldwide.

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