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How to stop your smartphone battery exploding

AndroidPIT Nexus 6 flame fire
© nextpit

It's not that uncommon to hear about a phone exploding or bursting into flames. In one instance, Galaxy S4 caught fire and burned down an entire apartment, and in another, a girl's phone battery exploded while she was sleeping. So we thought we'd share some reasons why this could happen, along with some tips to prevent your smartphone battery from exploding.

ANDROIDPIT battery 5
Stop your smartphone battery exploding with these tips. / © ANDROIDPIT

First let us make a one point clear: unless there is a serious flaw in the assembly or design of the battery, it's highly unlikely for an electronic device, be it a smartphone, tablet or clock radio, to explode. Even in the rare cases when it does happen, it is often not the fault of the battery alone.

More often than not, the incident is caused by one of two factors: either the battery or the charger is not the original product.

Lithium batteries can suffer from a problem called thermal runaway, whereby excess heat promotes more excess heat and so on. Because of this, they are equipped with a system that protects against overcharging and prevents hazardous reactions of the chemicals contained within. It is often said that the inexpensive batteries produced by unknown companies are just as reliable as manufacturer originals. This is only partly true.

androidpit exploding battery gif small
One of the best ways to avoid an exploding battery is to not hit it with a hammer. / © Guideslept C2H5OH

Because cell phone batteries are becoming thinner, there's less room available to keep the positive and negative plates in the battery apart, and an increasingly thin separator is being used. If anything gets in between these two plates, it can cause problems, especially if things haven't been designed up to the necessary standards, and you then place the battery under the stress of overcharging.

If a battery manufacturer follows all the guidelines, they can certainly produce a perfectly safe battery, but some have also been known to save money by not inserting the fuse that disconnects the circuit in the case of the battery overheating. The effects of this missing fuse can be very dangerous, especially if you have a habit of charging your smartphone all through the night... on the bedside table... 30 cm from your head.

s4 esploso
Samsung has been getting some bad press lately with battery and charger accidents. / © Sammy Hub

In general, the best way to avoid unexpected battery combustion problems are:

  • Only use the manufacturer's original battery or those from well-known replacement brands. It may be tempting to buy cheap batteries, but consider how much you pay for your phone and how much you like your apartment in one piece. You wouldn't put threadbare tires on a Ferrari.
  • Don't leave your device in hot areas, especially if it's charging. That only makes overheating problems worse. Ambient temperatures affect batteries a lot.
  • If your phone is charging or you are using functions that cause it to heat up a lot, make sure you are using it in a ventilated place (which means taking it out of its case, if you have one). This is especially important if it is charging overnight. 
  • And surprisingly, charging your battery once it hits 50 percent is actually a good thing. Li-ion batteries don't suffer from memory issues like some batteries, but they can be damaged by low voltage.

So, keep these tips in mind to keep your battery behaving the way you want it to and don't freak out about your device blowing up in the middle of the night. If that really bothers you, don't charge your device overnight – simply plug it in when you get up instead.

Have you ever had your smartphone battery explode? Let us know in the comments.

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Kris Carlon

Kris Carlon
Senior Editor

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

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  • 1
    Smartphone Galaxy Mar 1, 2019 Link to comment

    I have a 4 year old tablet and it has not blown up

  • 1
    aqsa khan Feb 13, 2017 Link to comment

    my samsung galaxy j5 battery is swollen up, what to do?

    • 1
      Smartphone Galaxy Mar 1, 2019 Link to comment

      Buy a new ba

  • ellie kolesik (pooch boss) 1
    ellie kolesik (pooch boss) Aug 4, 2016 Link to comment

    I'm getting a new phone today and it's way better however this must be said.
    I had a tracphone and it was LG brand idk lol. Anyways. So I probably should've looked up if I could've hit my phone with a hammer but I didn't and I just went at it. I hit the battery pretty good too but i'm scared. This all happened in the garage and I beat up the battery and now it's hissing and idk, like really really hot. And i'm low key kinda worried beause it sounds like it's going to explode.

  • Paul Robinson-Dow 1
    Paul Robinson-Dow Jul 30, 2016 Link to comment

    SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 ...... has been a good phone ... till this morning. Shortly after putting it on charge and climbing into bed I heard a bang and a sizzling sound with the strong smell of electrical smoke. Out of guarantee so no hope of getting a replacement from T-Mobile. We'll see what Samsung have to say.

  • 1
    Anne Gray Jul 11, 2016 Link to comment

    My S6 exploded and caught on fire this morning. The flames were 8 inches high and I was worried it would burn the house down. It was beside my bed charging, so obviously overheated, but this was extreme. I was asleep and thankfully facing the other way. The ash from the explosion went to the other side of the bed, and the bedside table is destroyed. Not good.

  • 2
    Shane Bartashevich Feb 21, 2016 Link to comment

    My S6 charger cooked my phone last night! Just glad it didn't burn down my house!

    No Name

  • Su Ki 2
    Su Ki Feb 17, 2016 Link to comment

    Samsung phones are pretty decent when it comes to cheap and cheerful copies of Apple technology. But have such poor customer service when issues arise And they do. My current issue is that the battery on my quite recently bought smartphone has begum to swell when I charged it. Have had to put it in the garden as it looks like its about to explode. Rang Samsung and as usual was told to as good as "f**k off".
    That's why for the last 18 months I have been buying other brand products. Maybe pay a little more but get good support. Samsung think we should be grateful for buying their c**p.

    No Name

  • 2
    James Smith Feb 16, 2016 Link to comment

    If you own A Samsung phone do sleep with the phone next to your head bad idea

  • 2
    James Smith Feb 16, 2016 Link to comment

    the best way to ensure your phone does and explode don't by Samsung phones

    bonnie33No Name

  • 2
    Becky lines Feb 3, 2016 Link to comment

    My samsung s6 nearly caught fire this morning whilst charging!!! There was lots of fizzing, popping and a lot of smoke. Phone is completely ruined along with my bedside cabinet. Waiting for samsung to pick the phone up as its still in warranty, it was only 7 months old. Phone was working fine, battery seemed fine and was holding charge like normal. Can't believe it happened!

    No Name

  • Yiskah Sarah 2
    Yiskah Sarah Jan 14, 2016 Link to comment

    Just had a Samsung battery in a Samsung Galaxy Nexus swell up and completely pop the back off my phone while making hissing noises. The phone wasn't plugged in. Not sure what went wrong. The battery is in the freezer now. Hoping it doesn't explode!!!

    No Name

  • Leigh Owen 2
    Leigh Owen Dec 31, 2015 Link to comment

    Samsung G4 Active 3000 mAh third party battery just burnt a hole in my carpet!

    James Smith

  • 2
    Jennifer Ortiz Dec 28, 2015 Link to comment

    Yes mine phone caught on fire today while in my hand. So scary :(

    No NameJames Smith

    • GT Ohh 14
      GT Ohh Dec 28, 2015 Link to comment

      OMG. I hope you're ok Jen. What phone was it & was it a genuine battery?

  • 1
    k p Dec 27, 2015 Link to comment

    Sir, my battery charges up fastly and discharge fastly. So i play games while charging my phone. I play clash of clans which heats my phone up to 45°c. What should i have to do. Does my battery gonna explode? Plz guide me sir.

  • 31
    Deactivated Account Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

    not just phones...
    EE power bar, didn't do EE or its customers any favours.....

  • 8
    Conrad Beckert Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

    We had an incident with an old Sony Ericsson and a gray market battery bought in South America: suddenly we heard a sound like a ping pong ball hitting the table and the phone laid face down on the floor. On the table' s marble surface- where I had charged the phone - there was a small black soot stain (like in the video) - and the accu looked blown up like a pillow - but not even very hot. That was it. No fire, no smoke, no broken windows - even the phone continued to work (though the casing got dented somehow and we had to use duct tape to put the lid back on)

  • Dwarfer66 25
    Dwarfer66 Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

    Wow, rehashing old stories AGAIN!

    James SmithDeactivated Account

    • 46
      Deactivated Account Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

      Yea it is the Holidays they always do this, they get lazy

      Dwarfer66James Smith

    • GT Ohh 14
      GT Ohh Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

      Yup Dwarfer66 it is an old article but just think how many people are new to android everyday. To them this is new & useful information. Especially to those's ppl switching from iPhones which have never really dealt with aftermarket batteries.

      Dwarfer66FrankMark G.

    • Mark G. 28
      Mark G. Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

      They rehash articles because new people are signing up every day, also not everyone would have read it the first or even second time.
      It makes perfect sense that they would re publish.

      Even if you have read it, there may be points which you have forgotten etc.....

      Dwarfer66GT Ohh

    • 2
      James Smith Feb 16, 2016 Link to comment

      I wish they would stop reporting on Samsung exploding batteries the stories are getting old. Samsung phones explode all time this is normal

  • 1
    Alf Nov 15, 2015 Link to comment

    Just had my new oem samsung s5 battery explode on me. It burst into flames like fireworks. Even my co2 fire extinguisher could not put it out. 15 minutes later and the battery is still hot to touch.

  • 2
    Satish Kumar Aug 16, 2015 Link to comment

    my smartphone xolo q1010i was lying for half an hour without use and neither on charging.It exploded was properly purchased with bill and imei no.It was only 15 months old.Special attention should be paid to safety features otherwise it is dangerous to human life.I have informed the manufacturer but they don't respond even to the feedback.Dont buy xolo and lava products.


  • 1
    Replay Creation Jun 16, 2015 Link to comment

    Battery swelling occurs due to battery overcharging. You can prevent the same using 'Full Battery Alarm Pro' Android app developed by Replay Creation, which sounds an alarm once the battery is fully charged so that charger cable can be unplugged to avoid overcharging.

    • 8
      Conrad Beckert Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

      for the paranoid who always stay put when charging :-) My Cyanogenmod 12.1 also sounds a beep when battery reached 100%. But a lithium ion battery cannot work without a circuit that stops charging when full. Otherwise they'd all explode.

      Incidents happen when there is maladjustment between the charger and the battery which is almost always caused by cheep off-size specs replacement batteries not even the Chinese would dare to produce.

      Mark G.

  • Jimmy LightspeeD 5
    Jimmy LightspeeD Feb 1, 2015 Link to comment

    Like any electrical product, make 1000's and one of em will bound to be slightly off. Imperfect. So that 1 in a batch is the main reason for those stories we hear about. The rest of the time, it's improper use/care. Just stick with reputable brand name's and you cant go wrong.

    Reed J.

  • 2
    Tom Evans Dec 30, 2014 Link to comment

    I have a Galaxy S4 and the other day I notice that the glass had partially separated. I opened the back and found that the OEM battery had significant swelling, I contacted Samsung support and was told that this is the first time they've heard of this issue. A subsequent web search on this problem indicates that Samsung's response was a total lie.

    Reed J.Alf

  • 1
    john Graham Dec 14, 2014 Link to comment

    anyone knows anything about Optimal cooling case ? they claim to solve our heating issues on Samsung phones.

  • 7
    Wallambok K D. Dec 12, 2014 Link to comment

    Does charging one's battery while switching it off prolongs the battery's life?

    • 8
      Conrad Beckert Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

      no. The circuits which control the battery's charging are independent of those controlling the phone's radio and user interface (which you btw can't switch off altogether - as you see the charging bar animation on the screen)

  • Kris Carlon 35
    Kris Carlon Aug 12, 2013 Link to comment

    Well said Bob. I think if we're spending a small fortune on a smartphone the least we can do is put a decent battery in it.

  • 5
    Bob Balser Aug 11, 2013 Link to comment

    Steer clear of cheap makes with allegedly high capacity,use phone manufacturers own brand


  • Kris Carlon 35
    Kris Carlon Aug 9, 2013 Link to comment

    Hmm, that's a real worry. i've never noticed any overheating with my phone, and I sometimes leave it charging on my bed, which is probably not a great idea, considering the blanket would add to it heating up. Maybe I should leave it on a nice neutral, cool surface when I charge! Although it sounds like there's nowhere safe. Maybe in the pool?

    Reed J.

  • con burnes 2
    con burnes Aug 8, 2013 Link to comment

    Hi Kris. No idea what caused the overheating, the phone was sat on a bookcase all night & it wasn't daylight when she got up so no sunlight through the windows. As the phone was only 6 weeks old she took it back to phones 4U. After a month they finally fixed it but there was no explanation or report from the company that repaired it. Personally I thought it was beyond repair as it was so hot.

  • Kris Carlon 35
    Kris Carlon Aug 8, 2013 Link to comment

    Hi con burnes, I have the same device amongst my smartphone aresnal, so I'm particularly interested in your comment! Do you have any idea what caused the phone to overheat if it was turned off and not plugged in? Was it sitting on a heat source of some kind? What were Motorola's findings when they replaced it?

  • 5
    Ghifari AL Mukhtar Aug 8, 2013 Link to comment

    Sealed Batteries is the most dangerous shortcut Tec Devise manufacturers & designers ever came up with. Sealed Batteries almost made Dream Liner far more expensive than the EU 's A380s in this regard.Also blighted the Air Cargo industry.
    I'll design an auto disable & a safe pan/anti-flammable kit that will actually come as actual packaging as well.Now folks leave my idea alone, its been PATENTED!

  • con burnes 2
    con burnes Aug 7, 2013 Link to comment

    My wife has a Motorola Razr i & even though it was switched off & not plugged into the charger when she got up in the morning it was on the verge of meltdown. If another hour had passed it probably would have caught fire. As it has a sealed in battery there's not much you can do when it does happens apart from drowning it. At least they repaired it for free.

  • Kris Carlon 35
    Kris Carlon Aug 7, 2013 Link to comment

    Hi chansing, don't worry if you are using an original battery - there's not much more you can do to protect yourself and your device! As for not using batteries from China - I wouldn't say it's that simple. China makes plenty of good batteries, it's just that some are cheap and nasty. As long as you're sticking with original or well-reputed replaceables you're doing all you can.

  • 1
    chansing Aug 7, 2013 Link to comment

    Hi , that mean most of the explosion are cause by the overheat, overcharge and non-ori battery ? Erm , im using the ori battery by samsung by its stated it made in china and it make me confuse. This is because many forum said that don use the battery made in china and use original battery. Im using the original battery but its made in China!! Contradiction what am i suppose to do now? IM VERY CONCERN ABOUT TIS ISSUE, Thks

  • 1
    Thomas Uphoff Aug 5, 2013 Link to comment

    F**k the samsung

  • Kay Zee 2
    Kay Zee Aug 4, 2013 Link to comment

    It is another danger that now we are facing after samsung gs4 and apple iphone's incident

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