An Android 10 update that started rolling out last week to the Samsung Galaxy A70 may be bricking the device. That’s based on widespread reports stemming chiefly out of the Netherlands. But users may want to hold off updating their devices for the time being anyway. In order to fix broken devices, users need to take their phone to a Samsung service center.
That’s because the problem appears to be that Samsung utilized two different battery managing PCBs in production. One of the two PCBs is causing problems and it isn’t immediately clear how many batches were released with the faulty hardware. It also isn’t immediately apparent where those devices ended up. So the problem may extend beyond the initial region reporting issues.
Phones experiencing the issues are completely unable to boot up after installing the update. The built-in battery management, reports claim, doesn’t register that the battery is charged or charging.
Making matters worse, Samsung has reportedly not acknowledged that its Galaxy A70 handset is having trouble with Android 10. As a result, the update continues to roll out, presumably impacting more devices with errors as it does.
There aren’t presently any exact figures regarding the number of devices affected or just how widespread the problem could become. Samsung’s inaction here could result in an unnecessary number of users facing the prospect of buying a new phone.
That’s because, as noted above, the second issue at hand is that a fix requires a trip to Samsung’s repair centers. That’s because the device needs to be taken apart and the faulty PCB replaced with one that isn’t. Now, that’s already an inconvenience. Global circumstances concerning store closures and widespread government-driven orders for residents to stay home are going to make matters worse.
For users who have already installed the update or who inadvertently install it with bad hardware still installed, that means either ignoring self-isolation and distancing measures. Conversely, they’ll otherwise need to wait until those are lifted. So users who are already impacted may be waiting for a fix for quite some time.
If Samsung doesn’t stop the update or offer another solution, the company stands to lose far more than a few customers. The company has already faced down a number of reputation-harming situations over the years. A significant number of its problems have been directly related to hardware and explicitly to battery problems.
The most recent of those missteps centered around the Galaxy Note 7. Since then, Samsung has been forced on the defensive on multiple occasions amid fears that the incident would repeat. Regardless of the legitimacy of subsequent battery problems, it has yet to live the debacle down. Any further mishaps will almost certainly only damage its reputation further, paving the way for competing companies to take market share.
One possible solution for Samsung would be to allow users to send their phones in, rather than risking a trip to a Samsung service center. But the company will need to address the continued rollout as well.