Happy Note 7 Awareness Month, readers! At least, that’s what it feels like October has turned into. Samsung has been on a pretty wild ride since September regarding its newest flagship and the explosive issues that come with it. Since we first saw coverage of the issue, Samsung seemed to have taken the initial steps to get the situation under control by issuing a recall, followed by the “discovery” of what was causing the issue, followed by a mandatory recall, followed by a very quick turnaround for replacement models. Unfortunately, it would appear that the story doesn't end there.
Replacement models for original Note 7 devices became available through carriers only recently, but already carriers are being forced to turn around and offer replacements for the replacements, as even the replacement “safe” Note 7 devices are overheating and causing burns and damages. As of right now, Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile allow Note 7 users to exchange their device for any other phone amid new investigations. AT&T has completely stopped selling the Note 7 altogether, and I suspect that other carriers will follow as the Note 7 has become quite the safety risk whether you have an original or a replacement.
At this point, nobody can recommend purchasing a Note 7 in good conscience. It may seem like only a few are affected, but you never know who or when these things will happen.
At the beginning of all of this, I was pleased with Samsung’s quick response and admission of the issue. In fact, I even started to view them more favorably. However, with this new wave of issues coming with the Note 7, I’m not sure how I feel about them. I get that they wanted to rush the fix of the Note 7 so that they could still compete with the iPhone 7 and now Google’s Pixel, but in hindsight this wasn’t an issue that should have been rushed to fix.
The problems don’t stop with the Note 7, either. Samsung skipped the Note 6 moniker in order to line up the Note with the rest of its flagships, the S7 and S7 Edge, which would have been a good move if not for this whole debacle. Instead, the closeness in branding between the Galaxy Note 7 to Galaxy S7 ends up adding insult to injury because the names are simply too close for laypeople. As a Galaxy S7 owner, I’ve been questioned about the explosive nature of my phone twice already. Both times I was asked if my phone was the “exploding Galaxy 7”. They were easy to explain the situation to, but I’m sure they won’t be the last people that will confuse the two. God forbid if I decide to get on a plane while still carrying this device.
It really is a shame what has happened here. Samsung is the only manufacturer that took the outdated stylus in smartphones and made something out of it with the S Pen. To this day, no other company has been able to compete with that level of productivity. Unfortunately, at this point it goes without saying that the Galaxy Note 7 is a total flop and should be avoided.
This is a huge blow to Samsung in a lot of ways, and I think if this had been any other Android manufacturer they would never recover. I’m not even sure that Samsung will recover reputation-wise given that they’re now on strike two of something that shouldn’t have even had a strike one.
In the end, my official recommendation is: If you need a Note device for the S Pen, go for a past generation Note. If you wanted the Note 7 for the specs but could do without the S Pen, consider the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, or any other flagship for that matter. Be forewarned that if you choose a past Note or a Galaxy S7, people may still discriminate you for using a Samsung phone at all because most people aren’t able to tell the difference between models. I hate to say that because the S7 and S7 Edge have nothing to do with this, but it's something I've already experienced.
Readers, what are your thoughts on this ongoing issue with the Note 7? Has this issue affected your view of Samsung in general, or do you consider this a forgivable mishap? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!