Samsung’s ongoing love-hate relationship with the Galaxy Note 7 seems to be reaching a close as the South Korean tech giant is apparently ready to give the controversial smartphone a second lease of life with only the most minor of changes.
After reports initially emerged that the refurbished phones were going to be sold, contrasting reports said that the phones weren’t going to be sold. Then they were going to be sold again, and then there was radio silence. It was a real Ross and Rachel scenario. A couple months of no news later – which is an eternity in the tumultuous lifecycle of Samsung’s infamous smartphone – we find ourselves with the clearest indication that the company has made its mind up and is ready to ship the phones out, according to a new report from ET News (via Android Headlines).
What’s more is that the phone is apparently going to be called the Galaxy Note FE – with the ‘FE’ standing for Fandom Edition. With all the exploding phone controversy it’s easy to forget that the Galaxy Note 7 was actually a very well received phone, with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Essentially, Samsung is framing the FE as being for people who wanted to keep a hold of their Note 7 but were unable to because of the global recall, rather than being a cut-price phone for people who don’t want to splash out for the latest flagship Galaxy S8.
So what is the difference that’ll stop the phone from, say, catching on fire? Well, there’s apparently only one difference – battery. A faulty connection was identified by Samsung as being the cause of the Note 7’s explosions, and that’s partly down to the fact that they crammed a 3,500 mAh into the slim chassis. To cure this ail, Samsung is erring on the side of caution by putting in a smaller 3,200 mAh battery. While it’ll mean less time between charges, the smaller battery should make the phone safe from exploding which seems like a fair trade.
Asides from that everything else in the phone is the same as before with a 5.7-inch QHD (2560 x 1440) Super AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable internal storage. There’s no idea of a release right now, but the report says that it’ll likely launch first in China at 3,599 Yuan ($521, £409) with a wider release to follow.