The Galaxy S III is hot, so hot it melts

The Galaxy S III is a pretty good looking device and although some of us here at Neowin prefer the HTC One X, we commend Samsung for keeping the market full of attractive devices. We understand that some other users may simply prefer Samsung’s branding and design, but we have discovered something that could prove to be potentially hazardous to Galaxy S III owners.

Picture this: you’re sitting in your car, when suddenly your three-week old Galaxy S III spontaneously combusts, replacing the shiny glossy finish it once had with an unappealing rough patch of molten plastic – this is exactly what happened to user dillo2k10.

The damage itself was along the bottom of the device but separate to the charging port. The screen still worked surprisingly, but the reception for the device was dead. We’ve uploaded a gallery full of the images for you guys to check out.

The device has been sent into Carphone Warehouse for a complete check-up as to what caused the smartphone to explode. 

Via: Engadget
Source: Boards.ie

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65 Comments

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Most of the readers on this forum are likely fanboys of some brand or the other. I doubt however that even a miniscule percentile is involved in production quality control or familiar with terms like MTBF and infant mortality. The whole idea of robotised production line is the 100 % repetitive process - impossible for the humans. Fault like this can occur at the slightest error of soldering leading to a short circuit or a failed leaf sprung connector within a jack leading to a short circuit. Without the full investigative report on the occurance, it certainly is premature to pass judgement on the product / design / brand.

BTW one designs the quality into the product not depend only controlling it at manufacturing stage. Watch the movie "Disclosure" for what happens when you arbitrarilu change the parameters after the design has been locked down.

aSolRam said,
This is a great example of a 100% sensationalist post. This is not even "news".

There's no harm in reporting an issue like this if it means users pay a little more attention to how hot their phone is getting. Hell, I wish people actually paid more attention in general to the devices they use before they bring it to me broken asking me to fix it...

Lot of random iPhone/apple/samsung/galaxy hate going round? Pretty senseless, not much to say other than that.

Tbh those burn marks look suspicious, It appears that the burn point was external IMO. If you look at an S3 there isn't anything in the area affected, it's empty PCB. Can;t explain loss of radio connectivity because i'm not familiar with the S3 but I know that bottom corner isn't a busy place. It's far from any critical components!

Personally I look at sabotage or poor equipment/damage from other device

Auzeras said,
Lot of random iPhone/apple/samsung/galaxy hate going round? Pretty senseless, not much to say other than that.

Tbh those burn marks look suspicious, It appears that the burn point was external IMO. If you look at an S3 there isn't anything in the area affected, it's empty PCB. Can;t explain loss of radio connectivity because i'm not familiar with the S3 but I know that bottom corner isn't a busy place. It's far from any critical components!

Personally I look at sabotage or poor equipment/damage from other device

The antenna isn't critical? I guess tires on a car aren't critical either ?confused?

PS FOR ALL YOU APPLE FANBOYS about to pounce this wouldnt happen with an iPhone ,......... remember who makes the dam A5 processor u love so much SAMSUNG!!!!!!!!

gunny2k6 said,
PS FOR ALL YOU APPLE FANBOYS about to pounce this wouldnt happen with an iPhone ,......... remember who makes the dam A5 processor u love so much SAMSUNG!!!!!!!!

the processor is made by ARM and the video chip by PVR, the design is made by Apple's engineers, the production of the SoC is done by Samsung, to be exact... and they don't even use the same chips in the galaxy S3 so your comment makes literally no sense at all

gunny2k6 said,
PS FOR ALL YOU APPLE FANBOYS about to pounce this wouldnt happen with an iPhone ,......... remember who makes the dam A5 processor u love so much SAMSUNG!!!!!!!!

Of course. Who else to blame when the phone catches fire?

gunny2k6 said,
PS FOR ALL YOU APPLE FANBOYS about to pounce this wouldnt happen with an iPhone ,......... remember who makes the dam A5 processor u love so much SAMSUNG!!!!!!!!

I'm confused, wouldn't an Apple fanboy actually make this his or her very argument?

GS:ios

PERSONALY .....i have only ever left mine charging on the offical samsung charger that comes with it ....and never felt it get that hot ...my older s2 used to get hotter then the my now s3 ....

being in a car as much as this is said to be non charger port related ,...... being so close to the charge port and in a car in my mind means ...car cig port and usb charger and phone on charge .... given too much juice and boom .... the result of the above or phone laying around on a seat thats been in sun light etc and hey presto !

jbrooksuk said,
I had a HTC Desire which was so hot it burnt my hand. Immediately sold it for an iPhone.
Because the iPhone has never been known to cathc on fire randomly...

Your experience=every one else's?

KCRic said,
Because the iPhone has never been known to cathc on fire randomly...

Your experience=every one else's?


Why are you being so defensive?

KCRic said,
Because the iPhone has never been known to cathc on fire randomly...

Your experience=every one else's?

well, plastic does not have the same melting point as glass or stainless steel...

Morden said,

well, plastic does not have the same melting point as glass or stainless steel...

Well since those glass devices burned up, wouldn't that mean that had to be even hotter. Thus meaning an iPhone is more dangerous?

KCRic said,
Well since those glass devices burned up, wouldn't that mean that had to be even hotter. Thus meaning an iPhone is more dangerous?

for one the SoC is made by Samsung in both cases so it would not be the best defense to point at Apple...

for two i've never seen an iPhone 4 or 4S with MOLTEN GLASS SURFACE, i've seen however iPhones which melted the cases they were in

however i don't see the whole point: pointing out that an iPhone could/would burn down in some situation does not make right for the S3 to burst in flames

The Galaxy S III is a pretty good looking device

Are you kidding me? The thing is an ugly amorphous blob.

.Neo said,

Are you kidding me? The thing is an ugly amorphous blob.

Thanks to Apple and their lawyers

Marcin Kurek said,

Thanks to Apple and their lawyers

pretty much every company can make devices that look unique, just look Nokia or Sony (beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder) - only Samsung has the way of simply, plainly and openly copying design and UI and when they get stuffed because of it becomes apparent that they got literally NO design department, just some plastic toy factory and a few guys with less creativity than a corpse in a coffin

P.S.: sorry, left out the guy with the photoshop to do publicity shots showing almost no canvas and some material which does not look like it's actually made from recycled mineral water bottles

Edited by deleted_acc, Jun 21 2012, 5:34pm :

.Neo said,

Are you kidding me? The thing is an ugly amorphous blob.

I think beauty is very subjective, but for me personally I'd have to agree.

I wouldn't mind an S3 in a S2 case, which looks tons better.
Or in a Nexus case.
Some day I'll buy a nice ICS device to tinker with and go beyond my current solution (netbook running ICS)

GS:ios

Nashy said,
Didn't this sort of thing happen to iPhones too?
Yeah and more widespread also. If I recall, some guys car ended up burning due to his iPhone or iTouch catching on fire.

Nashy said,
Didn't this sort of thing happen to iPhones too?

Probably happens to any device model of any brand.
Not all of them are famous enough or popular to get headlines.

Some of the folks here would be surprised if they read some backpage newspaper announcements...
GS:ios

Oh this is a one time occurrence, blown out of proportion, lies... oh ****. This is not an Apple product! IT IS THE WORST DEVICE EVER!

/s

Open Minded said,
Oh this is a one time occurrence, blown out of proportion, lies... oh ****. This is not an Apple product! IT IS THE WORST DEVICE EVER!

/s

I think you got that wrong: "This is not an Apple product. It's not the worst thing ever."
You see, Samsung and HTC actually make decent things. Apple, builds sh*t, and than over prices it.

Allan® said,
I think you got that wrong: "This is not an Apple product. It's not the worst thing ever."
You see, Samsung and HTC actually make decent things. Apple, builds sh*t, and than over prices it.

Apple don't build anything. Sounds to me like you have a problem with Foxconn.

robinjam said,

Apple don't build anything. Sounds to me like you have a problem with Foxconn.


Yes, the same way Dell, HP, Sony, and every other "manufacturer" doesn't take any responsibility for the components in their systems because they outsourced the fab process. How absolutely ridiculous. Dell and Sony were responsible for their faulty batteries exploding and had to recall them. Or was that just a dream?

Allan® said,
I think you got that wrong: "This is not an Apple product. It's not the worst thing ever."
You see, Samsung and HTC actually make decent things. Apple, builds sh*t, and than over prices it.

Your face when it's Samsung parts in Apple phones.

Allan® said,
I think you got that wrong: "This is not an Apple product. It's not the worst thing ever."
You see, Samsung and HTC actually make decent things. Apple, builds sh*t, and than over prices it.

Apple builds nothing, it buys components built by Samsung, LG, Sony, Sharp, etc. and then have them assembled at Foxconn, then markets and sells the end-products with more than 300% margin.

Actually, after a closer examination of the pictures, it appears that the problem started with the charger as you can see brown scorch marks directly adjacent to the USB port. What likely happened is that the device was over-voltage on the charger which led to internal circuitry overheating, causing the plastic casing to melt and burn. I'd like to see the final report once some techs have had a chance to analyze the damage but this is not an uncommon occurrence with small electronics connected to a poor power source.

rafter109 said,
Actually, after a closer examination of the pictures, it appears that the problem started with the charger as you can see brown scorch marks directly adjacent to the USB port. What likely happened is that the device was over-voltage on the charger which led to internal circuitry overheating, causing the plastic casing to melt and burn. I'd like to see the final report once some techs have had a chance to analyze the damage but this is not an uncommon occurrence with small electronics connected to a poor power source.

While there are brown marks near the USB port, the bulk of the damage happens fairly far from the USB. You are right though that we should wait to hear from the techs

EDIT: from the forums this came from "The mount did not have a charger, and no charger was connected. It just holds the phone."

EDIT 2: One user on the forums noted that the damage happened right where the antenna embedded in the case connects to the body

Edited by Sraf, Jun 21 2012, 4:57am :

Burned, yes. Explode, hardly. OP says that the burns are separate from the charging port but it appears to me that it starts directly to one side of the charging port. Not saying that I know any more about what happened than the next guy but how about a little more consideration with your wording. We aren't the average stupid sheep that you find reading most network news, most Neowin users at least have half a brain cell. Give us a little credit.

rafter109 said,
Burned, yes. Explode, hardly. OP says that the burns are separate from the charging port but it appears to me that it starts directly to one side of the charging port. Not saying that I know any more about what happened than the next guy but how about a little more consideration with your wording. We aren't the average stupid sheep that you find reading most network news, most Neowin users at least have half a brain cell. Give us a little credit.

The problem area seems to be the antenna, or perhaps a lead to it, as the user reported that he no longer gets any reception

Sraf said,

The problem area seems to be the antenna, or perhaps a lead to it, as the user reported that he no longer gets any reception

Agreed. Furthermore Samsung phones are known for having the worst reception ever (well, not as bad as the iPhone issue from awhile back). Maybe this is a clue to what causing the issue? We'll just have to wait and see.

recursive said,

Yes, a Nokia 1100 comes to mind.

I'll take nokia 1100 over any android set anyday. It was best at its purpose, calling.

Enron said,
Or they could design an OS that doesn't require a nuclear reactor to run it.

this

windows mobile 6.5(the ancient windows phone) didn't need one,not saying android is not that good though

simrat said,

I'll take nokia 1100 over any android set anyday. It was best at its purpose,
calling.


I've Xperia x10, Galaxy SII and Nokia 1100 he he
Edit.. I missed Panasonic GD87 too I have hard time selling my sets i'd rather throw (or give) than sell .

Gaara sama said,
Look to my more like propaganda from apple,Microsoft.

Yeah! M$ and APPL€ are using some kind of laser saltellite technology to burn ANDROID SETS !1!!1
Bring your TINFOIL HATS!1!!

/s

simrat said,

Yeah! M$ and APPL€ are using some kind of laser saltellite technology to burn ANDROID SETS !1!!1
Bring your TINFOIL HATS!1!!

/s


Ssssh!
He might be right:


"I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this, [...]"
-Steve Jobs

Seems like a good old core melt haha!

GS:ios

Edited by Glassed Silver, Jun 25 2012, 9:10am :

Glassed Silver said,

Ssssh!
He might be right:


"I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this, [...]"
-Steve Jobs

Seems like a good old core melt haha!

GS:ios

Now steve is gone, maybe he will continue his war on android by haunting android users?

SR: Symbian Belle

Beyond Godlike said,

Based off the fact that this site is nothing apple fanboyism now.

Have you not seen the gazillon articles about the Surface, Windows 8, and WP8 with the megazillion of comments by people drooling over them? I think it's safe to say that Neowin is, and always has been, a big Microsoft love fest. Not saying that this is a bad thing. I mean, NeoWIN. WIN...Windows...get it?

Whilst what happened to this phone was bad, there's been no evidence of it being a concerted problem so it was probably just bad luck or a one off manufacturing error. The title of this post is troll bait if I ever saw it.

They never said it was, did they? I fail to see how reporting on a malfunctioning device is problematic. It's good to keep consumers aware of any sort of hazardous issues that could happen, especially if someone is noticing problems with their new phone and how hot it gets, as it would be bad to ignore issues like these.

Now if the device was just DOA or something, that'd be different...

dead.cell said,
They never said it was, did they? I fail to see how reporting on a malfunctioning device is problematic. It's good to keep consumers aware of any sort of hazardous issues that could happen, especially if someone is noticing problems with their new phone and how hot it gets, as it would be bad to ignore issues like these.

Now if the device was just DOA or something, that'd be different...

And as I already pointed out, this appears to be a one off manufacturing defect. Statistically you have a better chance of getting hit by a bus then you do of your phone blowing up.

Javik said,
And as I already pointed out, this appears to be a one off manufacturing defect. Statistically you have a better chance of getting hit by a bus then you do of your phone blowing up.

Maybe so, but most people don't ever expect their phone to blow up... Hence why it becomes news and gets posted. I've got friends buying this phone, I really could care less about whether the Samsung name is "tarnished" by one phone malfunctioning, if it means we are reminded that things like this are possible.

Edited by dead.cell, Jun 21 2012, 5:10pm :

Javik said,
And as I already pointed out, this appears to be a one off manufacturing defect.

WAYYYYYYY to early to say that - lets wait a few more months and see what happens