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No Longer A Self-Destruct Weapon: Samsung Releases the Galaxy Note 7 Fan Edition.

27 July 2017 | Jonathan So

After its 2016 blunder, will Samsung be able to redeem itself with an awesome comeback with the Galaxy Note 7 Fan Edition?

2016 was a year that Samsung would probably like to erase from its history, as it was when the infamous Galaxy Note 7 smartphone fiasco happened. In September 2016, it was found that a manufacturing defect had caused some of the Galaxy Note 7 batteries to overheat, resulting in fires and explosions. This caused Samsung to suspend sales for the smartphone and announce a recall for the device.

Because of the mass recall, Samsung suffered many devastating consequences. Its business in Q3 of 2016 was heavily affected, with an estimated drop of 33% in operating profits (at least US$17 billion) compared to the previous quarter. Moreover, the incident caused the company to become a laughing stock and a thousand internet memes were launched, highlighting the phone’s explosive capabilities.

Rising from the Dead

It seems that the Galaxy Note 7 is coming back to life as Samsung has now reconfirmed that it plans to reuse the phone parts from the recalled phone to create refurbished versions of the handset, called the Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition. Initial rumours suggested that the new smartphones will be launched as the Galaxy Note 7R with the “R” signifying the word “Reboot”. However, the Note Fan Edition seems to be a better name as Samsung would surely want to avoid using the “Note 7” moniker anymore.

Samsung has started selling the Galaxy Note FE in its home market on 7 July 2017. To date, the Note FE seems to be popular amongst South Korean smartphone consumers. Its early performance seems promising as The Korean Times reported that Korean retailers expect to sell their stock of 400,000 Note FE units by the end of the month. In fact, sales figures in its home country have been so impressive that several retailers managed to go through its entire stock of black onyx and coral blue coloured units two days after the phone’s launch.

Several Korean retailers have cleared their black onyx and coral blue units two days after launch

However, according to The Korean Herald, Samsung is considering whether to release the smartphone in foreign markets, though it seems that the company will be forced to if sales figures continue to rise. It remains unclear which markets are Samsung is targeting though.

Specifications of the Galaxy Note FE

Most of the refurbished phone’s specifications are the same as its 2016 version, with the only difference being a slightly faster processor and a smaller 3,200mAh battery. That means that the smartphone consists of key features such as an Exynos 8890 chipset with 4GB RAM, Super AMOLED touchscreen, Android Nougat OS (the phone should be eligible for the upcoming Android O update) IP68 certified water resistance, 64GB memory, and a 12MP rear camera.

In terms of the software, the Galaxy Note FE is the first Note model to be shipped with Bixby, Samsung’s AI-assisted personal helper right out of the box. The smartphone will also come with the latest version of the Samsung Experience skin.

The Galaxy Note FE is the first Note model to be shipped with Samsung's Bixby assistant

Currently, the Galaxy Note FE is marketed at a price that is more affordable than the Note 7 when the latter was launched, although it is still priced higher compared to other one-year-old devices. Hopefully, the Note FE will come to Malaysia with a bang – the good type, this time around.

The question remains: If the Note FE makes its appearance in Malaysia, will you purchase it?

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