Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 exchange program for potentially dangerous phones is currently underway in the U.S., Europe, and the Philippines, among other countries. Early reports are encouraging for the South Korean electronics giant, with estimates that, around the world, over one million customers are now using new and safe Note 7 units.
We’ve covered the to-dos of the replacement process, as well as gave context to why the explosions have occurred. But we haven’t drilled down to tell you how to identify whether a brand-new Galaxy Note 7 unit is at risk. (As a rule, if you bought your device prior to the recall, then you probably have to return it; if it is no longer charging to full, or if you constantly see a notification telling you to return your phone as soon as possible, then do so.)
So how do you know if a Note 7 is safe or in need of returning to a store or a Samsung service location?
There are three ways, either one will suffice. But just to err on the side of caution, we recommend ticking all three boxes, especially since boxes can easily be altered and changing the color of system icons can be done by installing third-party software.
- Boxes of safe units have a black dot on them. Check out the image below to get an idea of what that black dot looks like.
- New Galaxy Note 7s also have a green battery icon on their status bar and on their always-on and power-off screens.
- Finally, you can run the IMEI or serial number against Samsung’s database. Do note that each country has their own IMEI checker (those who live in the U.S. should use this site, for example; users in the Philippines should proceed here instead). You can find a Note 7’s IMEI number on the retail packaging, by looking at the bottom part of the device’s rear panel, by going to Settings > About Device > Status and tapping IMEI Information, or by launching the phone’s dialer and keying in *#06#.