Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.

Juha Saarinen: Hand back your flaming Samsung Galaxy Note 7 now

Let's be honest: the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is an unmitigated disaster for the Korean electronics giant.

It's a great device as we found when we reviewed it, but that's neither here nor there if there's a risk of your Note 7 exploding. You don't want that kind of hot phone in your pocket.

After the first explosion scare, Samsung issued a worldwide recall of the Note 7s it believed were affected. That wasn't the end of the saga though.

Unfortunately for Samsung, some of the replacement devices too have a battery problem and can explode or catch fire. Although the number of devices combusting are small so far - there have been media reports of six Note 7s going up in smoke since last week - it's not worth the risk, and you should return the smartphone.

If you're reading this and happen to have a Note 7, original or replaced, turn off the power now and take it back to where you bought it as soon as possible.

Don't leave it at home or work, even when the device is powered off. It needs to go back to Samsung.

Samsung is said to have suspended the production of the Galaxy Note 7, and is telling its resellers and telco partners to stop selling the devices, and not to swap out original smartphones for replacements.

There's zero chance of the Galaxy Note 7 model surviving this catastrophe and they're likely to drop in value like bricks which is another reason you want to return them, and get a refund.

Who'd want a $1500 device that might catch fire? Even if Samsung says your particular Note 7 is fine, good luck trying to convince other people that there is no chance of the pricey phone going up in flames.

Travelling with a Note 7, you're likely to get hassled at airports too. Trying to explain to airport security that your smartphone is safe and can come with you on the flight is not what anyone wants to do before take-off.

In fact, there's every chance that the 7 device will be the last in the Note product line.

Samsung could try to be staunch and release a Note 8, of course. That would "note" be such a good idea though, as the first thing Samsung would have to do is reassure that the new Note won't catch fire like its predecessor.

The Galaxy Note 7 fires have highlighted that while generally safe, the powerful lithium-ion batteries that are pretty much found everywhere nowadays can go wrong and in rare cases be dangerous.

No device vendor is immune, not even Apple. United States media reported two cases of iPhone 6 Plus devices catching fire, one while charging, the other while in a person's pocket.

I can tell you now that the first vendor that comes up with a viable replacement for lithium-ion batteries will have a colossal marketing advantage over other manufacturers.

- NZ Herald

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Juha Saarinen is a tech blogger for nzherald.co.nz.

Juha Saarinen is a technology journalist and writer living in Auckland. Apart from contributing to the New Zealand Herald over the years, he has written for the Guardian, Wired, PC World, Computerworld and ITnews Australia, covering networking, hardware, software, enterprise IT as well as the business and social aspects of computing. A firm believer in the principle that trying stuff out makes you understand things better, he spends way too much time wondering why things just don’t work.

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