See the aftermath of this guy’s Galaxy S3 exploding


The world can never get enough of the exploding cell phone story. Whether it’s legit and leaves real cause for concern, or a fabricated story designed to falsely sue phone manufacturers (we’re looking at you, exploding DROID 2 guy), we’re always amazed by these accounts. That’s why the story of one Reddit user’s Galaxy S3 exploding caught our attention quite effortlessly.

According to the poster, doing his bidding as username vizionx1208 on Reddit, the phone woke him up in the middle of the night when it made a loud noise and a weird squeaking sound. Smoke began rising from the spot where his phone lay as a feint smell of burnt plastic began filling the air. He turned the lights on only to find this:

gs3 burnt

That’s the battery plastic battery door that sits on the back of the device, and it looks like someone took a blowtorch to it (we’re not saying this particular guy did that, but that’s what we’d liken the scene to). To make matters worse, the Galaxy S3 got so hot that it began burning a hole into the mattress’s pillow top.

The poster goes on to describe the scene of plastic “kind of shooting out” the device, which my mind immediately envisioned to look something like an overactive volcano spewing lava everywhere. The scene probably wasn’t that intense, but it was enough to reportedly burn a small part of his finger. Ouch. Oh, and the battery swelled up like a bag being filled with liquid, though it luckily didn’t explode and create an even bigger problem.

Some OEMs’ first reaction to such cases is to wonder whether or not any software modifications have been made to the device. Unfortunately for Samsung, the user is claiming that the device was completely stock firmware, being devoid of any aftermarket modifications. It wasn’t even rooted. The next step? To see if Samsung will do anything about it. The user says he has contacted Samsung’s liability department, but could only catch the voicemail as of the time of this writing.

gs3 burnt finger

Take a look at some more photos of this disaster over at the guy’s imgur album, and pray that something like this doesn’t eventually happen to you. I know I’m praying my devices don’t ever do this: I tend to keep them in my bed as I sleep, and by the time I wake up in the morning I usually find myself laying on it in some way.

[via Reddit, thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

doubleTwist update to bring Holo UI

Previous article

Pebble smart watch pre-orderers will soon be receiving shipments

Next article

You may also like


  1. So I hear Samsungs phones are a real blast to have

    1. I think this is Microsoft who use this in FUD

    2. They often get scorching reviews. Samsung has been on fire for a while now.

      The first time I saw the Galaxy S3, it set my heart aflame. It ignited my passion.

      1. Way to blow up the puns.

        1. no pun intended , sike

      2. Laughing so hard my sides are burning…

        :::Checks to make sure phone is not in pocket:::

    3. I heard this was a common problem with the GS3, but since the GS4 no one could extinguish between the two..

  2. Just to add, the Redditor had stock everything (non-rooted, stock battery, stock charger, etc), and he also added pictures of the lithium ion battery after the fire (which definitely shows that it was a lithium fire. It’ll be interesting to hear if OP did anything to sabotage it or if it was really a malfunction with the S3.

  3. Why do you people sleep with your phone on your bed? Mine is always on my nightstand. And before i had a bed frame and nightstand, it just sat on the floor next to my mattress.

    1. lol that’s what you took away from this story? O.o

      1. After all the comments, and Quentyn’s own admission?

        Yeah, I’m trying to figure out why putting a plugged-in electrical device against the combustible fabric one is wrapped in while unconscious is even remotely “okay”, let alone this common.

        Do people really love their phones so much that the bedside table or dresser is too far away?

    2. I know I’ve almost had my phone cook itself. I plugged it in to charge and then shoved it under my pillow. The next morning my phone was as hot as a pistol! I think it got hot while charging and it was insulated by the mattress and my pillow and the heat just built up like crazy. I wonder if that’s what happened to this guy? Maybe he had it under his pillow or under the sheets but still plugged in to charge? :-

      1. That’s what I’m thinking. My GNex gets fairly warm while it’s charging on the table in the A/C, I can only imagine how hot it would get on top of a pillow top, under a pillow, with a head putting pressure down on it.

        1. Hmm… This could explain why the HTC One charges slow. For people that do this. I sleep with my phone next to me. I don’t move in my sleep enough for my phone to move out of place.

      2. that happened to me with my HTC Sensation. i was taking a nap, and it somehow slipped in between the cushions when it was charging. When i woke up it was HOT and i had a wait a while for it to turn back on again.

        1. Yeah, when it happened to my HTC Dinc, I instantly unplugged it, popped open the case, and yanked out the molten hot battery. Then I set everything out to cool off for a few hours. I was surprised there wasn’t any real permanent damage!

      3. I know some of those sleep cycle apps require you to put the phone between the mattress and the sheet so it can monitor. Other than that, I dont know why a night stand wouldnt work for most people.

        1. Yep, that’s what I was using when I almost cooked my phone to death, I was using “Sleep as Android” (which I highly recommend and have been using for a few months now).

          The reason you need to put your phone in the bed with you and not just on the nightstand is because the app uses the phone’s accelerometer to detect when you rustle around in bed and therefore is able to detect when you’re deep asleep. It couldn’t do that if it were sitting on your nightstand because your nightstand doesn’t move around when you roll over in bed (let’s hope =P).

          The other reason why I would do something so crazy as to put the phone under my pillow (in airplane mode OF COURSE), is because I have a rather small bed and if I put the phone on the edge of my mattress, I often knock it onto the floor while I sleep.

    3. I was thinking the same thing. On the rare occasion that I need to charge the phone over night I usually plug it in and put it in my closet with the door open, but the closet is not facing my bed or I would put it on my computer desk across the room.

  4. The last time this happened, wasn’t it microwaved?

    I’m guessing fake battery – he might not even know.

    1. My mom’s E4GT was shipped with the Epic 4G battery. For over a year she was using the 1500mA battery instead of the 1800mA battery. I can see that being a cause.

      1. Nope. Underspec batteries shouldn’t be an issue, especially as it pertains to a potential explosion. Otherwise, people who buy replacement batteries from, say, Batteries Plus may have more of these issues considering they’re known for selling lower mAh batteries to customers, than the phone requires.

  5. This may have nothing to do with Samsung. I had this happen to one of my phones in college because the plug i was using had malfunction or was not to code and was putting to many amps into the outlet. It blew up the phone and started it on fire after about 3 hours of being plugged in. It looks like a like a power surge. If this was a phone issue you would be seeing it happen everywhere. Either way I hope Samsung does whats right and at least sends this guy a new phone.

    1. Hmm… that’s something to consider, but doesn’t the charger itself have a capacitor to prevent things like that from happening? Maybe that failed in the charger, not to mention the phone being on his mattress which just adds to the heat.

    2. That doesn’t seem to accurate. I plugged my phone into my battery charger one time while the battery charger was charging. My phone got a warning saying Voltage Too High or something and stopped charging.

      if the outlet was pushing too much amps… eh…? Actually, too much amps doesn’t make sense. The adapter converts the amps to the phone’s.

      I’m guessing it was pushing too much voltage to the plug. In the US outlets are set to 120 Volts. So if the outlet was pushing out more, then yea, that could cause an issue.

      If that were the case, then that isn’t Samsung’s fault and they are not at liberty to send them a device because of faulty wiring on your part. (Not necessarily you who did the wiring, but yea)

  6. Was the battery being charged? What condition was the battery? What version of Android was the phone on and what apps was on the phone? Did the guy purchase the phone new or refurbished? I think a more thorough investigation is called for to be on the safe side.

  7. I notice that the cover is burnt on the opposite side from the phone. The phone looks more cooked on the right, while the cover is more toasted in the inside left. Not stating anything nefarious, just observing that it looks like the cover was off and laying upside down on the phone when it cooked. Maybe this isn’t the first time the phone heated up?

  8. I also read that the guy actually lost about $200 worth of ruined bedsheets and a foam matress.

  9. It’s Samsungs latest Security measure. Blow that shiz up.

  10. i can tell half ogf these comments are gonna be hilarious

  11. Why is there water on the battery cover near the power lead? I know if my phone caught fire the last thing I would do is put water on it! I suspect a drink has been spilt. :-

    1. Well honestly most people don’t think that logical in fire situation. Especially after you just wake up to a crazy sound and then see a fire. Grease fires are a perfect example.

      1. I was thinking more upon the lines of the glass of water was toppled over by the charging lead so as to cause a short. I am keeping my mind open though. :-)

    2. There have been multiple discussions about this.

      In case of Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer battery fire, water is the FAA and Military spec extinguishing agent. It’s a chemical fire, not electrical, and the containers need to be cooled to prevent expansion/explosion.

    3. On Reddit he actually said he threw a cup of water on it in panic.

      1. Maybe he was high, and threw the water BEFORE it caught fire?

  12. My samsung S3 was so warm one morning that i couldn’t touch it.. Was charge over night on my nightstand.. It was the battery that had a fault. so this could happen

  13. It clearly didn’t explode as evidenced by the fact it’s in 1 piece. What we have here is a smoldering battery.

  14. When it’s a competitor phone from a certain iHater’s company, it’s on the news, class-action lawsuits are being discussed, and folks here demand the offending iProduct be taken off the market until it can prove beyond doubt that it will never happen again.

    But when it happens to an Android phone, barely a peep. Interesting. I guess folks that would care, don’t.

    1. Probably because there is a difference between a wide spread and traceable event(it was traced back to a battery supplier) vs a claim on one especially after recent false reports such as the microwave incident.

    2. This guy is a fraud, just like the last guy, that put his phone into microwave.

  15. Yeah all I can think about was the guy who said “My phone was sitting in my car and burst into flames!” Only to find out he had stuck it in a microwave.

  16. Look at Samsung trying to kill people

  17. As someone else said, the burn marks on the phone and back cover do not line up. They are on opposite sides of the phone. I call bs.

    1. Oh damn! You are exactly right! This is BS for sure.

  18. It looks like external applied heat. Does not look like a short that happened from the inside. Remember that other guy that made the same claim, then came clean saying he stuck it in a microwave??? I call BS. I want a photo of the circuitry, i’ll be able to tell if it was internal or external.

    1. Take a look at the battery. It’s swollen, it obviously got very hot, and there looks to have been some leakage. Now look at the phone battery compartment. Looks pretty clean to me apart from the blowout damage at the corner.

      I second your BS call.

  19. i remember the last time this happened… will wait for the forensics.

  20. Another reason as to why I never charge my devices over night.

  21. leave it charging too long? I know a few of my phones get really hot if I forget to unplug it while charging, especially overnight (not just android phones for the trolls)

    1. O_o phones today have a resistor that stops the charging, when 100% is reached. You must hail from 1994.

      1. Then explain why the hell my Nexus 4, LG Optimus L9, Galaxy S3, LG Motion, Nokia Lumia 521 –not exactly 1994 tech–get hot when the the phones are plugged in at idle(obviously stuff is processing in the background but shouldnt be enough to heat up the processor and such)

        1. You are lying about how many devices you own.

          1. haters gonna hate

          2. Pic, or it didn’t happen. I call your BS. Line up all your “devices” with screens on, showing date and time. If you can’t accomplish that in 5 minutes, you’re a fraud. If you CAN accomplish this, then i redact my previous statements.

          3. what is this Elementary school? Are we gonna trade lunches now?

          4. Yep, as I suspected, you’re a fraud. Typical misdirection to boot. YOU FAIL! LMFAO!

          5. Nice try though

          6. Well, it would have been believable if you said 2 devices, MAYBE 3. But the list you provided was highly unlikely.

          7. How so? the most expensive and the one out the longest is the S3 out for a year now, the L9 $200, Nokia Lumia 521 $129, Nexus 4 $299, LG Motion 4G $150 as low as $99 no contract prices, bought throughout the year not exactly breaking the bank

          8. Look, no one opens 5 phone lines for personal use. You have already proved you lied, since you weren’t able to attach photo. In an adult world, proof is mandatory.

          9. thats the joys of prepaid! I have a collection of devices, if I said I had both a PS3 and an Xbox 360(which I used to until I got fed up with the red rings of death back in the day) same difference

          10. Again, misdirection and avoidance. You are a habitual liar.

          11. if you say so, I really dont care what a 16 year old jealous kid thinks

          12. If i took a picture it still wouldnt be good enough for you because with all these phones one will be missing from the picture because imagine that I dont have a digital camera, my my a shocker!

          13. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t respond as much as you did. Like I said in the beginning, post a picture, and I will believe you. Otherwise, you’re a fraud. Nothing else to say…..

          14. theres plenty left to say

          15. Still waiting on that picture…..notice how you haven’t even mentioned it? This is classic habitual liar’s behavior.

          16. how do you post pictures on here smart ass? still wont be good enough for the kid anyway

          17. you can add a link, or click on the photo icon in Disqus comment box. Just like everybody else does…..

          18. damn im blind I never noticed the picture icon on here……theres Lumia 521, Nexus 4, L9, taken with the shitty camera of the Motion, oh well couldnt find the Galaxy in my drawer. Wont be good enough for you but oh well

          19. Well, this is certainly a start. If the GS3 was in there, I would have believed you 100%. A for effort :D

          20. Like I said I couldn’t find the S3 but its around here somewhere…….time to fire up Lookout and hopefully enough juice to sound the siren


        2. Xperia X10, Caso G’zOne, Galaxy Note, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, Nexus 7: none of them get hot when still connected after being fully charged. The app Battery Mix actually shows them cooling down as soon as they hit 100% charge.

  22. Is this going to be like the guy who claimed his Galaxy S3 blew up when they first came out, when in fact the muppet had microwaved it?

  23. Looks like he farted on it

  24. My S3 gets unbelievably hot as well. I have no aftermarket parts and all original firmware. This is kinda scary.

  25. This situation is a bit suspicious but I own a GS3 and can tell you that when I charge it, it does get hot- something I find concerning. Soon as I unplug it from the charger it cools down. Is this normal? Is this something I should be concerned about?

    I do have one question about this….why would anyone literally sleep with their phone and not keep it on a bedside table?

  26. Easier ways to get an upgrade. Asurion will send you an identical GS3. I bet you this is just like Droid 2 dude.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Handsets