Beleaguered Samsung now fending off reports of Galaxy S7 Edge phones catching fire

It's unlikely that the phone has a major defect given how long it's been on the market, but these latest incidents compound what's already been a major headache for Samsung.

The smoke still hasn’t cleared from Samsung’s Note7 debacle, and along comes new reports that Galaxy S7 Edge phones are also catching fire.

There are two recent incidents to go on. PhoneArena says someone from a “big U.S. wireless carrier” contacted the site about a Galaxy S7 Edge that exploded while charging overnight using the official charger.

Another S7 Edge user in Canada posted pictures of his phone, which he said “burst into flames” while driving. He said he tossed the phone out the window of his car and then covered it with snow to extinguish it.

These follow two other reports from earlier in the year: in September a Painesville, Ohio man blamed an S7 Edge as the cause of his house fire. And another individual said the phone caught fire in his pocket and caused third-degree burns.

In a statement to PhoneArena, Samsung wouldn’t comment specifically on whether or not there was a wider problem with the S7 line.

“We are unable to comment on this specific incident until we obtain and thoroughly examine the phone. Customer safety remains our highest priority and we want to work with any customer who has experienced an issue with a Samsung product in order to investigate the matter and support them.”

While the timing isn’t great for Samsung, it's worth exercising caution before proclaiming that the Galaxy S7 Edge has some sort of systemic problem. All devices with lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to overheating. Last week Australian surfer Mat Jones said his iPhone 7 began “spewing smoke” when it was left inside his car. The reason the Note7 was recalled was because a large number of incidents were reported shortly after the phone’s release. We’ve had very few reports from the S7 Edge, iPhone 7, and other phones. We can’t say for sure there’s no problem, but the evidence doesn’t support any widescale defect at this time.

The impact on you: If you have an S7 or S7 Edge, there’s no need to panic. Samsung is under a microscope right now given the issues with the Note7, which means any incident is going to get a lot of attention. However, it’s worth keeping an eye out for other reports or to see if Samsung conducts an investigation and weighs in on the matter.

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