Samsung Note 7 owners not all ready to give up

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Samsung Note 7 owners not all ready to give up

Despite recall, lack of retail, some sticking with phone

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Samsung Note 7 owners not all ready to give up

Jefferson Graham , USA TODAY 5:06 p.m. EDT October 10, 2016
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James Michael Sama with his new Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone(Photo: James Michel Sama)

LOS ANGELES - James Michael Sama is on his second Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and no he’s not going to give it up.

Despite problems with exploding lithium-ion batteries that won’t go away, major retailers and all four major wireless carriers discontinuing sales and Samsung altering its production schedule of the Note 7 to try and fix the issues, Sama won’t give up his phone.

“I love it,” says Sama, 31, who is a Boston area writer. “I haven’t had any issues. It doesn’t get warm, it doesn’t get hot. Call me naive, but the phone works perfectly.”

Sama is not alone. Several consumers USA TODAY spoke with Monday shared the same sentiment, while others said they were ready to give up on the phone and Samsung altogether.

“I’m just very annoyed at this entire process,” said Jordan Overton, 21, a student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. “The way this has been handled by Samsung has really got me on the edge...I’m pretty disappointed to see that it looks like the issue was never fixed.”

The Note 7 was released in August to rave reviews, as the state-of-the-art phone to beat, with a 5.7 inch screen, waterproof design, wireless charging and the ability to unlock the phone with your iris.

By the time the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models were introduced in September, some 2.5 million Note 7 phablets had been recalled, when batteries on some of the devices caught fire. Since then, at least 3 of the replaced Note’s had also overheated.

“I love the size,” says Sama, who upgraded from the Note 4, and returned his Note 7 after the recall was announced. “The camera quality is unbelievable.”

Overton says that battery saving features of the new model and iris scanner are two of his favorite features, along with extra performance. “It has never bogged down with heavy usage and can handle plenty of apps being open.”

He’s looking at returning his phone, and has no interest in stepping down to the well reviewed but slightly smaller, Galaxy S7 Edge, which has a 5.5 inch LCD screen.

“I don’t know if I can trust Samsung anymore,” Overton says. “It’s never a good feeling walking around knowing your phone could catch fire at any minute.”

Louis Porsia, a communications manager at a hospital in Colorado Springs, isn't concerned. “There’s a probability but the odds are pretty low," he says. Porsia has a wireless charger and keeps an eye on his.

As with many Note 7 users Porsia is a devoted Samsung fan. “I’ve been using Samsung phones since I’ve had cell phones and I haven’t had any issues.” Depending on what happens he still plans for a Samsung device to be his next phone. “I might just get a cheaper Samsung phone and wait for the launch of the (Galaxy) S8 or the Note 8 to come out.”

Trevor Dalton, in a Facebook comment to a USA TODAY Facebook Live broadcast on the Samsung issues, also said he would stick with his Note 7. "The phone is quick." The replacement model "works amazingly," he said.

But tell that to Louis Reyes, who told USA TODAY that his Note 7 went up in smoke and he's not happy. "I have been sleeping on a bed that smells like burnt dog hair for the last week. The replacement phone they game me is now overheating and I will only charge it in a pyrex glass cookwear as I do not need another exploding phone on my hands."

Contributing: Eli Blumenthal and Edward C. Baig.

Follow USA TODAY's Jefferson Graham on Twitter, @jeffersongraham, and listen to the daily #TalkingTech podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

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