The battery inside a transparent potion box starts to fume and afterwards turns red hot. All of a sudden, it bursts into flames. When a glow has died down, all that’s left is a charred scale of a battery — specifically, a battery meant for Samsung’s new.
No, this isn’t deja vu, and Samsung’s new phone isn’t experiencing a same problems as a luckless sibling, a Galaxy Note 7. What I’m saying is a tranquil battery exam in Samsung’s bureau in Gumi, South Korea, where a association assembles 1 million phones a month. A workman practical some-more vigour in a application exam than normal, causing a battery to explode.
If a battery had truly been defective, Samsung would have returned a whole lot to a supplier, potentially as many as 15,000 units. “It really occasionally happens,” a workman in a continuance contrast lab says as we debate a trickery dual weeks before this week’s introduction of a Galaxy S8.
What we saw inside Samsung’s battery contrast center
CNET comparison contributor Shara Tibken visits Samsung domicile in South Korea to see firsthand how a association has stepped adult a battery contrast after a catastrophic Note 7 fires. She also gets an early demeanour during a new Galaxy S8.
Samsung got burnt by final year’s Galaxy Note 7, and it’s dynamic not to let that occur again. The association combined a some-more difficult battery contrast process, that it says exceeds attention standards. It also lowered a ability of a battery going into a Galaxy S8 and tweaked a chemistry so it lasts longer.
All of this bid goes into ensuring that a Galaxy S8, with a sleek, curvy 5.8-inch display, is Samsung’s safest phone ever. The stakes are high for a association to infer that it can still spin out high-quality products — if any some-more battery issues light up, a association will expected never win behind your trust. A flawless launch will assistance Samsung pierce past a Note 7 debacle, something it’s fervent to do.
“We set adult a possess customary … though we didn’t keep it,” Koh Dong-jin (better famous as D.J. Koh), control of Samsung’s mobile business, tells me from a company’s sprawling Digital City campus in Suwon, about 21 miles outward of Seoul. “It was an eye-opening experience.”
The association lowered a ability in a Galaxy S8 to 3,000 mAh and in a 6.2-inch battery life on a new phones, though pronounced they should final longer interjection to appetite government program and other tweaks.to 3,500 mAh. That’s reduction than in final year’s , that had a 3,600 mAh battery. Samsung hasn’t talked about
Samsung also done a battery longer-lasting by hundreds of recharges. After about 6 months to a year of use, a Galaxy S8 will have improved battery life than a predecessor, a association says. And it will continue to reason a assign improved after even dual years. That’s given Samsung focused on creation a battery some-more durable and means to withstand hundreds of charging cycles.
“Where many batteries reason about 80 percent of their assign after dual years, this battery should be means of 95 percent of a strange capacity,” pronounced Oh Boo-keun, clamp boss of Samsung’s mobile RD team, who oversees a division’s battery record development.
New reserve tests
Samsung, that has built scarcely 4 billion phones given 1988, was held by warn by a Note 7 problems. Like many companies in a mobile industry, Samsung had counted on a battery suppliers to control reserve tests before putting a batteries in devices. As it incited out, those suppliers didn’t locate a errors that caused a Note 7 to overheat.
Samsung is now doing many of those tests on a own, as good as conducting new tests that would assistance it locate any battery flaws.
“They can’t take any chances, so they’re arrange of double contrast and creation certain that, even on their side, they would detect any intensity problem,” pronounced Gerbrand Ceder, a highbrow of materials scholarship and engineering during a University of California, Berkeley. He’s also a member of Samsung’s new battery advisory board. “They’re doing some-more than all a right things.”
During my time on Samsung’s campus in Gumi, also called Smart City, we get to see many of Samsung’s 8 battery tests in action.
One is a continuance exam that examines a battery when it’s been overcharged, punctured by a spike or unprotected to impassioned temperatures. That application exam we saw, in that a battery exploded, is partial of a stretched continuance test. we also see a phone being baked during 130 degrees Celsius (266 degrees Fahrenheit) for 60 mins and another being exhilarated during 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) for 7 hours.
In addition, Samsung workers will visually check any battery and do an X-ray exam to check for abnormalities. They dismantle batteries to check a altogether peculiarity and use collection to check for steam of a battery components and for any change in voltage by a production process.
As we travel along a floor, there’s a consistent sound in a atmosphere from prolonged rows of phones, perched on black foam-covered shelves, charging and discharging. Refurbished Note 7 phones hook from selfie sticks above a Galaxy S8 devices, recording a tests to make certain no intensity problems are missed. In Gumi, Samsung can exam 60,000 phones for assign and discharge. When I’m there, 6,000 are being checked.
An area walled off from a rest of a open bureau building is where Samsung runs dozens of phones by a accelerated use tests, looking during all from charging and discharging to waterproofing. An Android Control Test simulates daily phone use — like personification Angry Birds or loading videos on YouTube — during a most faster shave than normal. Workers, wielding orange laser thermometers, check how prohibited a inclination are.
Overall, it takes 5 days for a phone to finish Samsung’s accelerated use tests, in partial given there’s no approach to speed adult a battery’s liberate rate. Samsung skeleton to exam a “massive number” of a inclination — adult to 100,000 units — in this approach before they’re sent to customers. By a time we visit, before Samsung has sole a singular Galaxy S8, it has tested 50,000.
Experts doubt how prolonged Samsung will be means to keep adult these tests — they’re time-consuming and costly — though for a Galaxy S8, no responsibility is too much.
“We satisfied we contingency boost a reserve of a device as good as a battery,” Koh said. “Meaningful creation should keep going where we can make a business happy continuously. But on tip of it all, keep as a tip priority patron safety.”
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