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8 common Samsung Galaxy Note 7 problems and how to fix them


Note 7

Having problems with Samsung's new phablet? Here's all you need to know about the key Galaxy Note 7 problems, and how to fix them.

Samsung's latest high-end phablet has been getting pretty much universally great reviews – including from ourselves. It's pretty stunning.

That's not to say that the Galaxy Note 7 is perfect. Oh no. There have been a few issues highlighted since its release earlier in the month.

Here are some of those problems, along with some advice on how to fix or mitigate them.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review video

Exploding Note 7

We might as well start with the big one: On September 2, 2016, Samsung announced a global recall for the Galaxy Note 7, after an investigation found that a small number of devices with battery faults were spontaneously combusting.

The good news is that you can definitely get a replacement, although it's not yet clear how long that will take. Here's a statement given to us by Samsung:

"For UK customers who already have Galaxy Note 7 devices, we will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one over the coming weeks. For more information, customers need to contact the customer service team on 0330 726 1000."

You can get a replacement regardless of when you bought the phone too.

Hit-or-miss iris scanner

The Galaxy Note 7's new iris scanner is an interesting piece of technology, but it's not wholly successful. We found it to be a little finicky to use, and some on the internet seem to be struggling to get it working reliably.

To ensure it works properly for you, there are a few things you can do. Make sure the screen isn't too grubby – particularly the bit covering the infra-red iris scanner itself, of course. It's easy for this to interfere with things, as it naturally picks up grease from your hands and face.

samsung galaxy note 7

Also, make sure you hold the phone up, still, and between 10 and 14 inches from your face.

Failing all that, you should probably try starting again with the iris scanner setup by going to Settings > Lockscreen & security > Irises > Remove Iris.

Oh, and if you wear glasses, you might want to just disable it altogether.

Scratch-prone display

Pretty soon after the Galaxy Note 7's release reports started filtering in that its Gorilla Glass 5 was more prone to scratching than previous models.

Corning has issued a statement denying this, and subsequent test videos appear to support such the company's claims.

Note 7

Other sources have claimed that the Galaxy Note 7's dual-glass displays crack a little too easily. Of course, the very fact that the phone is largely glass means that it's never going to be the most durable of phones.

Still, if you're worried about damaging your new phone, the only way around it is to buy a decent case. Fortunately, we've written a round-up to help you with that very thing.

Related: 11 best Galaxy Note 7 cases, covers and screen protectors

Light bleed issue

Some Galaxy Note 7 owners have complained of a light bleed issue – that is, bright light pouring out of a gap in the edge of the phone, where the glass meets the metal.

Note 7

The first point to note is that there probably isn't a physical gap there. Rather, it's more likely there's a painted frame on the screen that isn't quite covering everything up. Samsung also says that there's a natural effect from light reflecting off the edge of the curved display.

If this applies to your phone, we'd recommend getting in contact with Samsung about it. Providing you haven't thrown the phone around, you may well be able to have it replaced under warranty.

Google Now Launcher isn't working properly

Many people like to use Google's Now Launcher with their non-stock Android phone. It's a neat option, especially if you don't like the look of Samsung's TouchWiz skin.

However, Google Now Launcher seems to have some issues when running on the Galaxy Note 7. This conflict can cause apps to apparently disappear from the app drawer.

Note 7

The problem has to do with the Samsung's KNOX security software, but there is a way around it. First, uninstall Google Now Launcher. Next, disable KNOX by going to Settings > Lock screen and security > Secure Folder > Uninstall > Back up and Uninstall.

Now install Google Now Launcher, hit the home button, and configure the launcher as needed.

Next, reactivate the Secure Folder feature by going to Settings > Lock screen and security > Secure Folder and following the set-up instructions.

Camera not booting up

Some users are reporting that the Galaxy Note 7's otherwise excellent camera isn't booting up, and a failure message appears. This may be the phone's Smart Stay feature interfering.

note 7

Smart Stay detects when you're looking at the screen, and keeps certain elements visible while that's the case. However, it may be interfering with the camera under certain conditions.

To turn it off, go to Settings > Advanced Features, and turn off Smart Stay.

Speakers sound funny after submersion

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has an IP68 rating, which means it's largely water and dust resistant. However, water can get into the speaker holes, causing the sound to change.

If that happens, don't worry. You just need to remove the water from the speaker. Make sure the phone is dry on the outside and give it a shake and a tap to dislodge any droplets from the speaker.

Note 7

Other than that, it's just a matter of being patient and allowing it to fully dry in its own time. Rest assured that it won't damage your phone. If it does, and the issue persists, contact Samsung.

App tray troubles

Some are finding the newly reshuffled app tray to be a little confusing. It pushes the most recently installed apps to the top, which, for those who are used to simple alphabetical order, is pretty bewildering.

You can change this by hitting the little three-dot menu button in the top right and selecting A-Z.

However, the next time you install an app, you'll be back to square one. You have been warned.

We'll be adding more solutions to problems as and when they emerge so make sure to check back in the near future for our updated list.

Watch: Galaxy Note 7 vs S7 Edge – which phone is better value?

Are you experiencing any issues with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Let us know in the comments below.


August 31, 2016, 3:43 pm

Galaxy Note7 Spen
We changed the S Pen in the way it writes, the way it works and the way it thinks.
To write like a real pen because you use it to take notes, to sketch out ideas.
To work without worrying about it getting wet because you never know when inspiration might strike.
To speak multiple languages so you don't have to, and to communicate in other ways when words just aren't enough.
Available in cbuystore

Douglass Price

August 31, 2016, 4:06 pm

I upgraded from the iPhone 6 plus to the new Note 7 and all I can say is wow! This is the most elegant phone I have ever owned and it performs like a dream. Even my girlfriend who is a HUGE Apple fan said that it was way better than her 6s. Samsung really outdid themselves with this new phablet as it is amazing.

Gary K

August 31, 2016, 9:16 pm

I'm glad that it worked out for you. I switched from a Note 4 to iPhone 6S due to many issues that Samsung hasn't convinced me has been fixed in the Note 7. You don't have to continually boost the iPhone and the Battery is much better on the iPhone, from experience, but the Android system does have it's own benefits and the Note phone is a great, functional and wonderful phone just I had far too many problems with my Note 4 and all my problems disappeared when I purchased the iPhone which JUST WORKS!

Spencer Lingenfelter

August 31, 2016, 10:41 pm

I just switched from a long relationship with Apple. I love the Note 7 but my bank is not receiving anything from Android Pay when I try and set up my card. My card is saved on Google and I believe I have done everything right.

Adrian swift

September 3, 2016, 10:26 am

I'm having a few issues with the phone. But i will point out I still love the phone.
1. Screen does not always time out
2. If screen is still on and you put the note on the wireless pad it won't charge.
3. Restart the note and the iris does not work, until you go in to the iris settings and back out again.
4. Sometimes I get random apps start when i put the note on the wireless pad.

Gavin Low

September 3, 2016, 6:54 pm

I am encountering a problem. It could be I may be missing out on some understanding how it works. Hopefully someone can help.

I was tryng to charge the galaxy note 7 using a usb type C powerbank and a usb-c to usb-c cable. When first connected, the phone shows fast charging notification. Within the minute the phone stops charging and eventually the powerbank switches off. However when usng the same powerbank's other usb-A output and a usb-A to usb-C cable, the phone fast charge properly.

Not sure what could be the problem.

The powerbank is Xpower PB15Q and the usb-c to usb-c cable is also from Xpower.


September 3, 2016, 7:39 pm

I benefit about 2-3 times per day from my genitals. I would like to monetise this. Please elaborate.

Mary Ann

September 5, 2016, 12:46 am

Camera Issue: On the very first day I got my Note 7, I noticed that there is a problem with the camera. It just auto-capture photos (front and back) while I am using it. It get saved into a folder called PHOTOS. When I tried taking a photo, it gets saved into CAMERA folder. The strange thing is that it continues to take pictures until now and it does not stop. I tried to check on some settings but it does not seem to be related at all.
Is this a security breach? The pictures are just odd. Some ceilings or myself in a blurred image maybe because I was using it at that moment (using front camera) or the ground or my foot (using the back camera).
Can somebody look into this? I am not sure if I am the only one who encounters this issue. Please let me know what to do with it. I cannot just ignore because it may compromise my privacy.

Tony Hanna

September 8, 2016, 4:39 am

My S Pen no longer works the way it is supposed to. And the phone is only 3 weeks old! So devastating.
The S Pen acts as if it is touching the screen even when it is far from it. Instead of hovering over the screen, it is continuously clicked, which makes writing (or any S Pen function for that matter) impossible. I contacted Samsung and they suggested I do a hard reset. 3 WEEK OLD PHONE! I was stupid enough to follow that advise and reset my phone. Problem still exists. Not sure what happened to the S Pen. It worked fine since I got the phone, until today!!
Phone and S Pen were never dropped. They did however get wet. I'm beginning to wonder if the S Pen is not really as water resistant as it is claimed to be.


September 10, 2016, 5:32 pm

My Note 7 annoyances:
-No stock music app (weird)
-Gallery Album view shows 1 album at a time, not 2 columns like s6
-I have to press home or power button, then swipe, THEN use Iris scanner. Dumb. I can just hold home button to use fingerprint.
-Can't adjust brightness from the first pull down of notification, have to pull the whole thing down.
-Can't swipe notification bar icons left/right to see more icons, have to again pull the whole tray down.
-Something else
-Exploding batteries

lone ranger

September 11, 2016, 8:24 am

My note 7 always restarts by itself and do not turn on again.. always have to wait the batt dies n then plug in charger n switch on again.. hating this phone.. this pic attached is a sample of how my hp restarts n i have to wait.. also whatever app i use of go to the net there are always plenty of advertisements popping up.. feeling annoyed

Nick Crossland

September 18, 2016, 8:52 pm

My Exynos Note 7 suffered really bad lag issues which I seemed to have solved with a factory reset. The two remaining issues are that while I am typing it will miss out a letter every now and again. Also sometimes it will double type a letter with just one touch. I have also tried turning off all haptic feedback but the problems still exist.

robin young

September 25, 2016, 11:22 am

Hi Tim, For the gallery albums, just pinch the screen in or out while your at your list of albums. There are 3 different positions for them. 1, 2 or 3 columns.
I have a music player that came with my Note 7. It's just titled music.

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