SOUTH Korean smartphone manufacturer Samsung will release a ‘fan edition’ of last year’s recalled Note 7 in its home country. The device will make use of old Note 7 parts, but have the batteries replaced.
Last year, Samsung’s flagship phablet device, the Galaxy Note 7, had to be recalled and eventually cancelled after a fault in battery design led to the smartphones catching fire.
There were several horror stories about the device, including burning a six-year-old boy’s hands, a family car catching fire, and damages to a hotel room.
By the time the company cancelled the device, 2.5 million units had been sold in the countries it was launched. By January, the company said it had successfully recalled more than 93% of all Note 7 devices in the US.
In February, Greenpeace interrupted the Samsung event at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, demanding to know how the company planned to dispose of the millions of recalled Note 7s.
It said electronic waste is harmful to the planet, and if the tech giant gets rid of the recalled devices in a sustainable way, it could pave the way and allow other companies to follow suit.
In a statement released yesterday, Samsung said the limited edition ‘Galaxy Note Fan Edition’ or ‘Galaxy Note FE’ will be available to South Korean customers from 7 July.
The new device will make use of unopened Galaxy Note 7s and unused parts. It will receive a software upgrade and feature the same operating system bloatware as the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The FE will also have Samsung’s virtual personal assistant Bixby integrated into the phone’s design.
“The launch of the Galaxy Note FE is also meaningful in that it is an eco-friendly project that minimises waste of resources by utilising Galaxy Note 7 parts,” the company said.
The batteries in the devices have been replaced.
Samsung said: “The Galaxy Note FE’s 3 200mAh battery is further enhanced with multiple safety designs and a rigorous eight-point battery safety test.”
The company said it has 400 000 units to sell in South Korea and sales in other countries will be decided later.