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Software Hardware

Samsung To Push Software Upgrade Which Will Cap Galaxy Note 7 Battery Charging at 60 Percent (zdnet.com) 120

As Samsung figures out how to tackle the big Note7 fiasco, it has found a temporary solution for existing users of the phone. It plans to roll out an over-the-air (OTA) update on September 20 which would limit the battery charging cap for the Note7 to 60 percent. ZDNET reports: The Over-the-Air (OTA) software upgrade will commence on September 20, 10 am in South Korea. Samsung is in talks with telcos from nine other countries where the phablet is available to deploy a similar software upgrade. Galaxy Note 7 has a battery capacity of 3,500 mAh, but the forced upgrade will enforce it to 2,100 mAh. The measure is meant to protect consumers who are still using the Note7 despite a recommendation to halt use. When the exchange starts on September 19 in South Korea, the tech giant will also offer to pay parts of the data fee.
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Samsung To Push Software Upgrade Which Will Cap Galaxy Note 7 Battery Charging at 60 Percent

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  • Overblown (Score:5, Funny)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:17PM (#52881683) Homepage Journal
    This whole exploding Note 7 issue is waaaay overblown. I am using mine right now and have had ZERO pro
    • "On the news today: 110010001000 has gone missing, along with his new smart phone.

      In other news, yet another mysterious explosion has occurred. What is causing them, and what will explode next!?"

    • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:34PM (#52881815) Homepage Journal

      Samsung steals 40% of customers' battery life

      TFTFY

      • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @06:30PM (#52882211)

        The problem is battery terminals manufactured too close together. Why does having 40% less stored energy make the problem any better?

      • Well this is a stop gap measure until you can get a replacement.
        So lowering the battery charging limit is far more ethical than having them explode on you.

        And if that lack of power is annoying... you should go and get the replacement.

  • Although I suspect that Samsung will argue that this just that Galaxy 7s will only burn 60% as hot as they would normally.

    • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:24PM (#52881729)

      They're offering customers 100% of their money back, the trouble is getting people to actually return the recalled phones.

      • by cjjjer ( 530715 ) <cjjjer@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:38PM (#52881845)
        They actually have a site that where you can start the exchange process if you want a new phone. Also Samsung has said that in certain EU countries they will be deactivating (bricking) the phones that have not been exchanged by the end of Sept.
      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        They're offering customers 100% of their money back, the trouble is getting people to actually return the recalled phones.

        How does that work if you "bought' the phone as part of a several year long contract? Will Samsung buy out your contract?

        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
          yes, you'll get your money back. I traded my wife's note7 for an s7 edge and it just changed the payment. I also got a $150 card at the store I bought it, which I got to keep, and a 256 GB SD card from Samsung, which I also kept. The s7 edge, also had a $150 gift card promotion, I got that as well.
          So, this has worked out ok for me, but the note 7 was much better then the s7 edge, so that is a bit of a disappointment.
          It also took about 3 hours to do the exchange, which is horrendous.
          • by arth1 ( 260657 )

            yes, you'll get your money back. I traded my wife's note7 for an s7 edge and it just changed the payment.

            Then you're still under contract with the phone company. The question was whether Samsung would pay off your contract, so you can be back to where you were before.

      • They're offering customers 100% of their money back, the trouble is getting people to actually return the recalled phones.

        Especially the guy with the burned-up car...

    • Can't you get 100% of your money back by returning it to the store? And Samsung also provides replacements.

    • Although I suspect that Samsung will argue that this just that Galaxy 7s will only burn 60% as hot as they would normally.

      This is what is known as a Interim Containment Action (ICA). It's merely to prevent more fires before the phones are replaced. A recall has already ordered, and anyone that owns one of these phones can return them for a full refund. [cnet.com]

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Sorry but that would be contractually unfair. Not only are people entitled to a new phone but also the cost of obtaining that new phone (time and cost of going to store), the functionality lost between replacing a phone you can not use and also the labour lost in setting up and adding data to that phone. Samsung is fully liable for all those costs as well. Those costs can be really high and Samsung is contractually liable for them in many regions (they can not legally exempt themselves from those costs tha

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          Most people aren't aware of their consumer rights, and companies take advantage of this fact on a regular basis. When i bought some hardware that was DOA a few months ago the company initially asked me to send it back at my own expense, only when i refused and asserted my rights did they organise a courier to collect (which would have cost much less because they will get preferential rates from couriers).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      On the plus side, the battery will literally last forever. Charging to 90% doubles the life of a LiPo, charging to only 50% eliminates cycle-based aging almost completely (the cells will still degrade, but just as quick as they would if you didn't use them at all). 60% will likely last very long.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

        On the plus side, the battery will literally last forever. Charging to 90% doubles the life of a LiPo, charging to only 50% eliminates cycle-based aging almost completely (the cells will still degrade, but just as quick as they would if you didn't use them at all). 60% will likely last very long.

        Normally that would be great, but I don't think extending the life of an explody phone is a positive.

  • by pushing-robot ( 1037830 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:20PM (#52881697)

    I'd love the option to set my various devices' charge/discharge limits to 90% / 10% or 80% / 20%.

    Yes, Li-Ion chemistry has improved a lot in the past decade but batteries still degrade faster at 100%.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      I thought most modern devices have moved beyond LiIon to LiPo and all Li devices should maintain their charge due to memory effects, even in modern batteries.

      • 'Lithium Polymer' is really just a packaging technology, the cells are still lithium-ion and charge and discharge the same as metal housed batteries.

        The 'memory effect' in lithium-ion is generally considered negligible, or at least far less significant than the stress caused by charging batteries to capacity.

      • LiPo didn't solve the LiIon degradation issues.
        The issues have nothing to do with memory effect.

        • LiPo didn't solve the LiIon degradation issues. The issues have nothing to do with memory effect.

          Not when you have OEMs that could care less about your long term battery life, and sacrifice everything for fast charging times.

          • Not when you have OEMs that could care less about your long term battery life, and sacrifice everything for fast charging times.

            hahahahahah

            Okay now that this is done, mobile phones and laptops are no where near the point of sacrificing battery life for charging speed. They are however at the point of melting connectors, providing power in a package the size of a small stack of 50c pieces, and at the upper limit of the USB PD1 specification.

            Please put on your thinking cap, not your tinfoil hat.

      • I thought most modern devices have moved beyond LiIon to LiPo and all Li devices should maintain their charge due to memory effects, even in modern batteries.

        Li-ion and Li-Po batteries have a MUCH reduced "memory effect", relative to earlier Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. But they DO have the effect to some degree. That 's why Apple encourages users to do a full discharge-recharge cycle at least once a month.

        • Li-ion and Li-Po batteries have a MUCH reduced "memory effect", relative to earlier Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. But they DO have the effect to some degree.

          The memory effect is a myth [wikipedia.org], but Lithium Ion batteries eventually go bad permanently if not kept charged, but not overcharged. The apparent memory effect was something caused by charging multiple-cell packs without balancing. You'd get overcharged cells which would result in reverse charging of some cells during the discharge process that was supposed to protect them from memory effect. Now we all have balance chargers for our RC cars and planes and quads, and the only thing we have to worry about is abuse

          • Li-ion and Li-Po batteries have a MUCH reduced "memory effect", relative to earlier Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. But they DO have the effect to some degree.

            The memory effect is a myth [wikipedia.org], but Lithium Ion batteries eventually go bad permanently if not kept charged, but not overcharged. The apparent memory effect was something caused by charging multiple-cell packs without balancing. You'd get overcharged cells which would result in reverse charging of some cells during the discharge process that was supposed to protect them from memory effect. Now we all have balance chargers for our RC cars and planes and quads, and the only thing we have to worry about is abuse of battery chemistry. That is to say, damaging the electrolyte by overcharging, excessive charge rate, storing an excessive charge, permitting it to become excessively discharged, or storing it too long with too much or too little charge.

            Interesting. I knew some of that, but definitely learned a thing or two.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      Didn't we see an article about exactly that a few days ago? A company talked about not allowing Lio-Ion batteries to charge to 100% to increase their longevity?

      Forcing a shutdown when the batteries are at 10% would probably help too, but there's the fact that cellphones can be used in case of emergencies so it's probably not a good idea.

      • Didn't we see an article about exactly that a few days ago? A company talked about not allowing Lio-Ion batteries to charge to 100% to increase their longevity?

        Forcing a shutdown when the batteries are at 10% would probably help too, but there's the fact that cellphones can be used in case of emergencies so it's probably not a good idea.

        IIRC, the magic number is around 85% max charge. 60% is just pure CYA.

        But then, Slamdung never could design a decent charging circuit. My work Slamdung laptop burned its batteries to a crisp in short order. Even with using its fancy "Samsung Power" (or whatever the fuck they called it) charging profile, which supposedly stops at 80%, I can get only about 10 minutes (at best!) without having to "plug in or find another power source".

      • Forcing a shutdown when the batteries are at 10% would probably help too, but there's the fact that cellphones can be used in case of emergencies so it's probably not a good idea.

        All devices which run on a rechargeable lithium battery and are more complex than a cheap vape have low voltage protection. (Even a medium-priced vape has it, too.)

    • My Lenovo laptop has an option where instead of the normal mode (if plugged in, laptop charges until 100%), you can select "Battery Longevity" mode. In this mode the laptop will start charging if batter is under 45%, and stop at 50%. So basically the battery will always be between 45 and 50%. This is supposed to greatly increase the lifespan of the battery.

      • why cant windows do something like this once a week, say 2am it should stop charging until its 40%, then charge up again. A battery constantly on trickle charge for months on end will not be good - reason for past dead batteries

    • While I agree that this would be an interesting thing, isn't this upgrade limiting the upper rather than the lower charge state?
    • I'd love the option to set my various devices' charge/discharge limits to 90% / 10% or 80% / 20%.

      Yes, Li-Ion chemistry has improved a lot in the past decade but batteries still degrade faster at 100%.

      That's why Apple has charged their Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries to around 85% for like, forever. As a result, all my various Apple gear has almost identical (and stellar) battery life as the day I got it, even my relatively ancient iPad 2, that I am typing this on. Been using it for around 4 hours continuous mail and web stuff today, and it's sitting at 91% right now.

      Apple also encourages users to do a full-discharge-recharge cycle at least once per month (my iPad sees that about once or twice a week), and

      • "Apple has charged their Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries to around 85% for like, forever"? You mean, when my iPhone6 says it's 100% charged, it's really only 85% charged? So I actually don't need to worry about overcharging it? I would love to believe this!

        • "Apple has charged their Li-Ion and Li-Po batteries to around 85% for like, forever"? You mean, when my iPhone6 says it's 100% charged, it's really only 85% charged? So I actually don't need to worry about overcharging it? I would love to believe this!

          I believe that is precisely the case. However, this Apple page [apple.com] explains it a little more clearly. So it appears that they have found that you can charge to 100% without damage, if you drastically change the charge-rate at around 80%.

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:21PM (#52881713)
    Your 60 percent of a phone has a headphone jack.
  • How about turning off TouchWiz as well.
  • by nwaack ( 3482871 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:22PM (#52881725)
    When asked why Samsung decided to embed the battery into the new phone so that the user couldn't simply change it themselves, a Samsung representative responded, "Courage."
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You know what he said when he heard about the 6 year old boy who was burned when the phone exploded? "He was holding it wrong."
    • I think the courage exhibited here is from those still willing to carry these volatile phones. My cowardly ass would have returned it right away
  • "Samsung is in talks with telcos from nine other countries where the phablet is available to deploy a similar software upgrade."
    This is a great example of just how broken Android really is. If it was Apple (and MS?), everyone would get this right away, but instead it has to be dealt with carrier by carrier, and if your carrier decides not to allow for the patch ("bandwidth!"), Samsung decides not to work with your carrier, or someone misses an email you won't be getting it at all.

    Telcos should have zero
    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:39PM (#52881851)
      That's a cellular carrier problem, not an Android problem. They insist on having control over things they shouldn't be in control of. Apple had enough clout to tell them to f- off. Other phone manufacturers did not. Google had almost enough clout to keep their paws off the Nexus phones (though until the Nexus 6, Verizon refused to allow Nexus phones on their network for this reason).

      IMHO at this point the solution is regulation to prohibit vertical integration. Phone manufacturers make the phone and only the phone. OS vendors only make the OS. App makers only make apps. Cellular networks only own tower networks. And cellular carriers only provide service (by leasing access to towers and activating phones on their network). That maximizes competition and interoperability.
      • by I4ko ( 695382 )
        And I refuse to allow Verizon on my phone for the same problem.
      • IMHO at this point the solution is regulation to prohibit vertical integration. Phone manufacturers make the phone and only the phone. OS vendors only make the OS. App makers only make apps.

        Not only is that illegal; but it flies in the face of Apple's iOS business model. And in case you haven't noticed, their's is the ONLY mobile ecosystem that DOES work, especially when it comes to handling issues like timely software fixes.

        So now what, Mr. Smarty-Pants Communist?

    • The handset makers don't really care either. None of the other Android manufacturers has the privileged position to release updates and from their perspective if you have to buy a new phone to get updated software, all the better for them.
    • "Samsung is in talks with telcos from nine other countries where the phablet is available to deploy a similar software upgrade." This is a great example of just how broken Android really is. If it was Apple (and MS?), everyone would get this right away, but instead it has to be dealt with carrier by carrier, and if your carrier decides not to allow for the patch ("bandwidth!"), Samsung decides not to work with your carrier, or someone misses an email you won't be getting it at all.

      Telcos should have zero say in when or how you update your device, or have any say in what you do with it in the first place.

      Actually, I was thinking how this proves that Android actually CAN push an update in short order... When it suits THEIR purposes.

      Samsung deserves every single lost sale because of this.

      Meanwhile, iPhone 7 orders are FOUR TIMES of the previous model [cnn.com]. Wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that, for a LOT of people, this is the last straw with Android and their shitbox... Well, EVERYTHING?

  • by npslider ( 4555045 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @05:34PM (#52881813)

    All we need to do is load up a bunch of these phones into a fleet of un-recalled Toyota's... we will have out of control racing fire bombs!

  • Isn't that the same fix Boeing used for the 787? I guess Samsung will also send every Note 7 buyer a metal fireproof container to keep the device in.

  • Samsung really ought to go into the munitions business.

    They've already had to recall one of their washing machines which set fire to dozens of houses due to a bad design fault -- now the G7 problem.

    Maybe they're not a bad company, they've just missed their calling :-)

  • by Razed By TV ( 730353 ) on Tuesday September 13, 2016 @08:46PM (#52882845)
    After the article about Sony boosting battery life ( https://hardware.slashdot.org/... [slashdot.org] ) I started looking for a way to stop my phone from charging past 80%. I was hoping to find an Xposed module that covered it, but no such luck. There don't seem to be any apps to do it, either.

    Its interesting that Samsung cobbled together something to do it. I wonder if it is hardware specific, or can be exported to other devices.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by macs4all ( 973270 )

      After the article about Sony boosting battery life ( https://hardware.slashdot.org/... [slashdot.org] ) I started looking for a way to stop my phone from charging past 80%. I was hoping to find an Xposed module that covered it, but no such luck. There don't seem to be any apps to do it, either. Its interesting that Samsung cobbled together something to do it. I wonder if it is hardware specific, or can be exported to other devices.

      Apple routinely charges all batteries in all systems to around the optimal level of 85%. Has been doing that for years. Maybe that's why all of my current Apple gear, including my 2013 MacBook Pro, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 4s, and even the relatively ancient iPad 2 I'm typing this on, have virtually the same battery life as when they were new. For example, my iPad, which sees HEAVY use every single day, still gets over 10 hours of typical email, web browsing, etc.; actually probably closer to 12 hours.

      With L

  • "Now with 40% less fire!!"
  • On the face of it, this seems like a questionable move because people are just going to complain about Samsung "stealing" their battery life.

    And personally, if people insist on using a device that has a much better than usual chance of killing them, I'd say no problem. We need to stop protecting people from their own stupidity.

    But the amount of property damage that an exploding device can cause is pretty darn high, and there's an excellent chance that the property that is damaged doesn't belong to the devi

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