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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.