On August 24, we named the Samsung Galaxy Note7 the best phablet available—this based on our glowing August 16 review. Then Note7s starting catching on fire en masse, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an official recall, prompting us to “temporarily suspend” our recommendation. Today, with four reported cases of ostensibly safe replacement phones catching fire in the U.S. in less than a week, Samsung’s Note7 problem looks all but unsalvageable. What’s more, as The Verge reports, AT&T has stopped exchanging original Note7s for replacement phones.
As a result of recent developments, we’re now considering a permanent suspension of our buy recommendation. It’s time for Samsung to act swiftly and transparently in sharing exactly what’s wrong with its phone, and provide reassuring evidence that its fire hazard has been fixed.
If you haven’t heard the latest: Last week an alleged replacement phone caught fire on a Southwest flight, prompting an evacuation on the runway in Louisville, KY. On October 8, we learned that a Farmington, MN teenager suffered a burn when an alleged replacement Note7 went up in flames in her hand. On the same day, a man in Nicholasville, KY reported that his alleged replacement Note7 caught fire on Tuesday.