Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Replacement Units Violate Android Compatibility Rules, New Green Battery Icon in Conflict with Android CDD


Samsung's new batch of Galaxy Note 7 units has now made their way to most retail locations. As a way for customers to distinguish the replacement units from those of the old batch, which included the ones that exploded because of battery cell issues, Samsung placed a black square on the same white space at the bottom of the box where the IMEI is located.

To further distinguish the new units, the South Korean phone maker also updated the replacement Note 7's UI, which was rid of the white battery icon and now sports a new green one.

"To help users easily understand if they have a new device and use their new Galaxy Note7 with confidence, the company has introduced a Green battery icon that has been included in three specific software changes," says Samsung in a press release, which specified that the new green battery icon will be visible on the Status Bar and the Power Off prompt screen, as well as the Always On Display screen.

But although Samsung's plan seems like a sensible one, it may be in violation of the Android Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), which lays out the rules that manufacturers must follow in order for their devices to be Android compatible and continue using the platform. First raised by Ars Technica, Samsung's announced green battery icon is directly in conflict with a section of the CDD that mandates device manufacturers to use white system status icons.

"To enable a consistent developer experience in this configuration, it is important the status bar icon style is maintained across different device implementations. Therefore, Android device implementations MUST use white for system status icons (such as signal strength and battery level) and notifications issued by the system," states an excerpt from section 3.8.6 Themes of the CDD.

Both Samsung and Google are yet to release statements regarding the battery icon conflict.

Note 7 owners can check whether their devices are safe or should be exchanged using Samsung's IMEI tool. With Samsung's exchange program, qualified Note 7 owners are not limited to just exchanging their device for a new one. They also have the option to get a refund for the amount they paid for the device. Moreover, Note 7 owners also have the option of trading their handhelds for other Samsung Products such as the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Samsung will reimburse the difference in price.

Units sold from August 2016 until Sept. 15, 2016 are qualified for the exchange program. The exchange program has been approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Samsung produced 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units and have sold 400,000 prior to the global recall that it issued last Sept. 2. As of Sept. 15, Samsung has replaced 130,000 Note 7 units.

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