Samsung masterfully weathered the exploding Galaxy Note 7 disaster and launched itself back to the top with the excellent Galaxy S8 and Note 8 smartphones, but it may have another battery-related problem to deal with.
Several users on Samsung’s own community forums and Android Central’s vocal forums have reported over the last few months that their Note 8 phones stop working and accepting a charge once the battery’s been drained down to 0 percent.
One user said his father had four Note 8 phones fail on him within a one month period. Another user observed the same battery problem on his Galaxy S8 and then again on his Note 8.
Many of these users have reportedly received replacements (albeit refurbished ones, which TBH is standard practice and even Apple does the same) after relaying the problem to their carrier or Samsung support.
While battery problems should always be taken seriously, the affected devices may simply have been defective or isolated incidences.
The fan blog SamMobile was the first to curate these Note 8 battery incidents and call attention to them. Mashable has reached out to Samsung for comment, but the company declined to comment at the time of publishing.
We did a little digging of our own, and it would appear that this battery issue isn’t new or unique to the Galaxy Note 8.
Though experts recommend not letting devices with lithium-ion batteries fully drain too frequently — you should try to keep the battery between 40 and 70 percent before recharging it — many of these batteries are regulated and controlled by software.
In other words, the batteries are not charging up and the phones appear to be “bricked” (dead) because they need a quick jump start just like a dead car battery.
An Android Central user by the name of “jhimmel” explains it well and provides a solution that could re-jigger your phone:
“It’s called Stack Charging. Some devices need a tiny amount of current to run the charging control. You get a few seconds of charging before the charge control system kicks in, so plugging in and unplugging about 30 seconds apart builds up enough of a charge for the phone to take over. I have done this before, more than once, to revive a seemingly dead device. Sometimes it took 20 minutes of plugging and unplugging – but it did work.”
A quick search online reveals customers have been experiencing the same battery-discharge-bricking problems for years. Here’s one from 2013 from a person who had the exact issue on his BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
If you’re noticing the same problem on your own Note 8 (we haven’t seen it on our review unit), try stack charging it using the method outlined above. And then if that doesn’t work, take it up with Samsung.
Battery problems are bound to pop up and there are lemons that come off the assembly line. Just be glad that the batteries aren’t catching fire and burning cars down. It could always be so much worse.