[Interview] How Samsung Built the Galaxy S8 to Redefine What’s Possible in Safety
The Galaxy S8 not only opens new possibilities to do and see more with an enhanced design and best-in-class Galaxy foundation, it also redefines what’s possible in safety. This is evidenced by recent improvements in the device’s battery design at both the hardware and software levels, new and enhanced multi-layer safety measures and protocol at the product planning stage, and the company’s 8-Point Battery Safety Check.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Sangkyu Lee, Senior Vice President of the Reliability Group, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, to discuss more about the company’s endeavors to lead the way in product safety.
Q. What was your main priority in developing the Galaxy S8?
Sangkyu Lee: More so than ever before, we consistently worked to identify and incorporate features and functions that would provide real value for the consumer.
So often, manufacturers get caught up in specs in an attempt to outdo the competition. But rather than concentrating on numbers, we aimed to deliver practical value and safety.
For example, rather than focusing on short-term benefits – such as decreasing charging time by a few, insignificant minutes – we concentrated on maintaining the durability of the battery over the long term and specifically over hundreds of charging cycles. As a result, the Galaxy S8 will sustain its longevity better than previous models, offering more value to the consumer.
Q. What actions did you take to accomplish these goals?
Sangkyu Lee: First, we optimized the design of the Galaxy S8 itself around the battery, which we consider to be one of the most important components of a smartphone.
At the battery design layer, we adopted preventative measures to identify and address potential device safety vulnerabilities with improved battery safety standards. For instance, we created more space around the battery in order to accommodate a new bracket design to protect the battery against physical force, even when the smartphone is dropped. Likewise, we also adjusted the design to eliminate pressure on the electrode and prevent leakage of battery substrate.
At the software layer, we made improvements to our software protection algorithms that govern battery temperature, battery charging current and charging duration to reinforce safety.
Q. In addition to these design changes, what are some other ways Samsung is evaluating product safety?
Sangkyu Lee: In addition to the comprehensive inspection tests carried out by our battery manufacturer, Samsung has also incorporated its own assurance measures to improve product safety from the component level to the assembly and shipment of devices.
Included in our thorough 8-Point Battery Safety Check that we used to test the Galaxy S8 are enhanced tests – Durability Test, Visual Inspection, X-Ray Test, Disassembling Test and △OCT Test – as well as newly applied measures such as the Charge and Discharge Test, TVOC Test and Accelerated Usage Test.
Furthermore, we formed a battery advisory group of external advisers including academic and research experts to ensure Samsung maintains a clear and objective perspective on battery safety and innovation.
Q. Has the device received any third-party certification?
Sangkyu Lee: As a result of our extensive efforts, Samsung successfully completed all inspections that are required by global governments and national standards. We also carried out safety inspections through third-party research institutions.
Assessment results from UL and Exponent, among others, show that the Galaxy S8 battery was determined to comply with all applicable requirements.
Q. In addition to the measures you’ve discussed, are there any other ways Samsung is addressing product safety going forward?
Sangkyu Lee: We have also expanded Product Liability (PL) Analysis Centers throughout the world, which are equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and knowledgeable personnel.
The centers help to ensure that Samsung is prepared to respond to unexpected situations – should they arise – with speed and transparency. Of course, consumer cooperation is imperative, as we need to be able to quickly access and address the issue at hand to create a solution that will benefit all users.
This is just another example of how Samsung is working to continue making product safety our top priority.
Read on to learn more about Samsung’s 8-Point Battery Safety Check.
From as early as the planning stage of the Galaxy S8, Samsung Electronics implemented enhanced battery design standards and safer software protection algorithms. In particular, the company thoroughly checked the quality of the Galaxy S8 battery via an 8-point Battery Safety Check.
This inspection includes a number of enhanced tests, such as the Durability Test, Visual Inspection, X-Ray Test, Disassembling Test and △OCT (Delta Open Circuit Voltage) Test, as well as newly applied measures such as the Charge and Discharge Test, TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compound) and Accelerated Usage Test.
Samsung’s smartphone batteries first go through quality assurance tests conducted by the battery manufacturers. Batteries that pass these tests are then reviewed thoroughly in the component assembly stage at Samsung Electronics.
Following the Charge and Discharge Test, the battery’s durability is checked through extreme temperature stress, overcharging and puncture tests, among others. Next, the batteries are visually inspected and undergo the X-Ray Test, which examines the interior of the battery cell to identify abnormalities, such as the deformation of the outermost negative electrode.
In addition, batteries are disassembled to inspect their internal condition, including the position of the insulation tape, folding and damage of the separator, and the location of the welding spot of each tab.
The ΔOCV test, meanwhile, is performed to determine if there are any current leakages caused by foreign substances at the electrodes.
Safety checks continue throughout the Galaxy S8’s production process. All products are visually inspected, and go through ΔOCV and TVOC tests to once again ensure that there’s no leakage. Samples are again selected to undergo the Charge and Discharge Test.
When the Galaxy S8 is completed, the product goes through a final Charge and Discharge Test during the shipment inspection. This means that by the time the smartphone is assembled as finished product, a total of three sample Charge and Discharge Tests have been conducted.
Lastly, in the Accelerated Usage Test, smartphone functions (such as playing video or using the camera) are executed under conditions similar to those of actual consumer usage, in a condensed time frame.
Collectively, this series of checks that spans the overall battery handling process helps to ensure product quality, redefining what’s possible in product safety.