Gear VR Users Beware: The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Might Explode [UPDATE]

by David Jagneaux • September 1st, 2016

UPDATE (9/1/16 @ 6pm PST): Samsung is issuing a full worldwide recall of the Galaxy Note 7 due to the issues, according to Yonhap News Agency. According to the report this issue only effects 0.1% of the phones in the wild, but was extensive enough to warrant a full recall. We will update this post with further information as needed. 

Imagine the situation: you’re using your Gear VR — otherwise known as a wondrous portal to another world — and having a great time. Maybe you’re knee-deep in the creepy catacombs of Dreadhalls, or you’re in the middle of a dogfight in Anshar Wars 2 with your buddy on the other side of the world. You might even be hanging out with friends in Oculus Social, watching videos, just enjoying your life.

When all of a sudden your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catches fire and explodes in your face. The plastic shatters on the Gear VR headset, leaking battery acid into your eyeballs, and burning the skin from your face. It’s terrifying to think about, right? Unfortunately, something like that isn’t completely outside the realm of possibility it seems.

According to Gizmodo and Reuters, the reports have started coming in that some phones are indeed exploding and Samsung is thankfully listening. This week, Samsung declared that shipments were being delayed for additional quality testing, but many phones have already shipped in some countries, including the U.S.

Based on incident reports, it sounds like the exploding scenario is most likely occurring while the phones have been charging and could have to do with the USB-C port itself, or an offbrand cord, on some devices. While most people don’t charge their phones while using the Gear VR — at least I’d assume not, it’d defeat the point of wireless mobile VR — battery packs do exist that are designed to prolong the life of your phone while using the headset.

Regardless of whether you have a new Note 7, or an older phone, or any piece of electronics really, it should be noted that using officially provided charging cables and accessories is always the safest bet. While the majority of people using a Note 7 may not be VR enthusiasts, a large number may use the device with a Gear VR headset — especially since they pair together quite nicely — so users should beware.

Until Samsung issues an official statement on the topic of exploding phones, or possibly a recall of some kind, you might be advised to keep your Note 7 away from your face, at least for a little while.

Featured Image: KKJ.CN via Gizmodo

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