As replacement Galaxy Note 7 units become available in the US, UK, and Korea, this is how you can identify them

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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 has moved from being a reliable source of income for the Korean handset maker to being a potentially hugely expensive mistake, both in terms of actually financial cost and public relations, resulting in the tainting of the Galaxy moniker, a noticeable drop in Samsung’s share price, and the US President of Samsung making a public apology for the recall. It’s been almost 3 weeks since the drama began, and good to its word, Samsung has begun the slow process of replacing Galaxy Note 7 units in the US, the UK, and South Korea. Join us after the break for more details on the Galaxy Note 7 Exchange Program and how the new, safe version can be identified. 

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Let’s deal with the replacement units first. In the US there have been reports that Best Buy have replacement handsets available for its customers. According to a Reddit user who received an email from the US retailer, exchange units are issued on a first come, first serve, basis. The exchange program is still in its infancy, so there’s no telling just how many units the stores will have on hand. As a result, it’s probably best to phone your local store to check on stock to avoid disappointment.

With Samsung promising that customers would get their hands on a safe Galaxy Note 7 from September 21st, it’s expected that other retailers and carriers will begin swapping units out sooner than later. If you are in any doubt, check with the Samsung+ app or visit Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Recall website with your unit’s IMEI or serial number to see whether its one of the affected units and call the relevant retailer or carrier to check when and where you can exchange your handset. If you have any questions about your Galaxy Note 7, call Samsung US directly at 1-844-365-6197 for further help or get in touch with your carrier via the numbers below.

  • AT&T: 1-800-331-0500
  • Best Buy: 1-888-237-8289
  • Sprint: 1-888-211-4727
  • T-Mobile: 1-844-275-9309
  • U.S.Cellular: 1-888-944-9400
  • Verizon: 1-800-922-0204

In Samsung’s home territory, South Korea, the exchange program is officially in progress, with the country’s 3 big carriers taking a full part in getting the process. SK Telekom and KT customers should visit the store that they purchased the Galaxy Note 7 from to obtain an exchange unit, while LG Uplus customers have no restrictions and can source a replacement handset from whichever store is convenient to them. This is after Samsung issued a software update limiting the Note 7’s battery capacity to 60% in an attempt to avoid further incidents of exploding batteries.

Over in the UK, the exchange program has also begun today, and since sales of the Galaxy Note 7 were halted before its official September 2nd launch date, there are a smaller number of pre-ordered faulty units to deal with. Retailers and network providers should have already contacted affected customers by now, but if they haven’t, Samsung says that you should contact them directly in order to arrange the exchange. Carphone Warehouse customers should brace themselves because the retailer has said that it will only have replacement stock around October 21st, just over a month from now.

Any questions should be directed to Samsung’s customer service department on 0330 7261000 or you can contact the carriers directly via the numbers below.

  • Carphone Warehouse: 0370 111 6565
  • EE: 150 from your Mobile
  • Vodafone: 191 from your Mobile
  • Three: 0800 358 04045
  • O2: Pay monthly – 202 from Mobile; PAYG – 4445 from O2 Mobile

How do I know my new Galaxy Note 7 is safe?

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It’s all well and good getting an exchange unit, but how do you prove to the airline or university campus that this is the new, safe Galaxy Note 7 and as such, there is no danger of it exploding? Well, Samsung has decided to first place a black square on its packaging label that indicates it is from the new, safe batch of stock, as seen in the image above.

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Other signs come courtesy of a software update, after which the Galaxy Note 7 will sport a green battery icon on the status bar, on the Always On Display, and finally on its On/Off, Reboot menu as well, as the above image shows.

It’s great that Samsung thought of this, but am I the only one who thinks that the signs should be more noticeable, with the handset’s body being tweaked, or maybe even calling the replacement unit the Galaxy Note 7S, with the S possibly standing for Safe? I think there should be an indication that it’s the safe replacement model which doesn’t need the handset to be powered on or for the customer to carry around the retail packaging everywhere as proof. Also, Samsung should make a statement that affected units will not receive firmware updates, in order to speed up the seemingly slow process of Galaxy Note 7 owners taking part in the global recall. What do you think?

Regardless of where you are, or where you bought the Galaxy Note 7, it should be powered down and not in use. There are more than enough incidents of the handset exploding and burning things making the headlines globally to prove the risk to both people and property. Unless you’ve spent the last 3 weeks meditating in a cave in Siberia with zero internet access, there really is no excuse to still be using your Galaxy Note 7. Power it down, and get in touch with the relevant company to organize an exchange unit. ASAP.

Source: Samsung, Reddit, ZDNet, Samsung UK


About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 around in his pockets. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).