By JILL CONWAY
Would you rather have a phone that could explode at any minute, or never be able to plug your headphones in again? For Apple and Android users looking for new phones, that question isn’t hypothetical.
When Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 on Aug. 19, they were
looking to make a large profit off of the device’s waterproof feature. Users would no longer need bulky, expensive cases to protect their phones from an accidental dip in
the toilet. However, Samsung’s plan to make the first waterproof phone backfired thanks to water’s opposite element — fire. A flaw in the lithium battery caused the phones to overheat and ignite, according to NPR.
Lithium batteries have a reputation of catching fire because they are highly flammable and the smallest puncture can cause the lithium to heat up and catch fire. Samsung explained the problem with the Note 7 being that if pressure was placed on the plates in the battery, it brought the positive and negative poles into contact, heating the lithium and allowing it to catch fire, according to CBS.
When the phones started to cause fires, Samsung released a recall that was asking its customers to bring back their Galaxy Note 7’s and to either exchange them for another phone or request a refund.
“Since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk, we
are asking consumers with a Galaxy Note 7 to power it down and contact the carrier or retail outlet where they purchased their device,” the message read.
Because of the recall, Samsung is reporting that overall they will lose $6 billion after the debacle is all cleared up.
Junior political science major Wyatt Floyd recently purchased the iPhone 7 after seeing what happened with the Note 7.
“I think that they’re going to have something totally new with their camera or something to keep heavy social media users interested, which is who I believe to be the vast majority of people who rush out to get new phones,” Floyd said.
Apple came out with the iPhone 7 about a month later, in September, but their efforts to make something new and improved had a similar backlash. The new iPhone 7 does not have a headphone audio jack, but it is water resistant and it has the best battery life of any iPhone so far.
Junior secondary education major Kevin Cadigan, who just got the iPhone 7, said he hasn’t noticed not having a headphone jack as much as he thought he would.
“The battery life isn’t that much better than the one on my iPhone 5s, to be honest,” Cadigan noted. “It lasts the whole day if I charge it all night but
I feel like all iPhones have done that when you first get them. What would really impress me would be seeing that last.”
Floyd, who has had the phone for about two weeks, disagrees.
“The battery life is honestly a lot more reliable,” Floyd said. “I have
had iPhones in the past that die on 20 percent battery life, but this one will last up to 30 minutes on one percent.”
He talked more about the LTE and the improvements Apple made on
its speed and camera, adding that he has no regrets about purchasing the iPhone 7.
When it comes to the new camera, Cadigan agrees it’s worth the upgrade.
“I notice a difference mostly in the pictures that I take at night, whether flash is on or off, I’m getting clear pictures with crisp focus,” Cadigan said. “No more of those fuzzy pictures of the moon.”
Jill Conway can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org