Some Galaxy S7 owners report the camera lens is shattering without impact

samsung galaxy s7 shattered camera glass edge
Samsung Community Forums
Dozens of Samsung Galaxy S7 owners have reported shattered camera lenses on their phones without any actual impact occurring, potentially indicating a weird flaw in the device. But Samsung tells Digital Trends that the incidents are few and far between, and the company stands behind the quality of the very popular smartphone.

As for why the weird incident is happening, nobody knows — and a law firm says it is investigating the issue.

Consumerist reported on one such incident on December 28, but a search on Google returns several results as far back as March (see here and here), shortly after the device launched. Samsung’s own user forums have several posts from affected customers as well. The result in most cases is the same, according to user reports: The company claims that the lens can only break under physical stress, and charges the customer for the repair, a $70 fix.

“We stand behind the quality of the millions of Samsung phones in the U.S. The reported incidents are extremely rare and isolated among the very large number of devices currently in the market,” a spokesman told Digital Trends. “That said, Samsung takes customer satisfaction seriously. We encourage anyone with any product question to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG.”

That may not be good enough for Seattle-based law firm Keller Rohrbach, which said in December 2016 that it was investigating complaints of the issue happening across the S7, S7 Edge, and S7 Active devices, but stopped short of saying it planned to sue. A statement asked affected users to contact the firm to discuss “potential legal claims.”

“Despite receiving numerous customer complaints about this apparent defect, Samsung has consistently denied any responsibility, instead blaming its customers and refusing to repair or refund the devices even while still under warranty,” the company wrote on its website. Digital Trends has reached out to the firm for an update on its investigation.

A legal case may have some merit, if the company were refusing legitimate warranty claims, as the law firm wrote. Worse yet, the lens has shattered again after the repair, according to some posted accounts. What’s causing this to happen still doesn’t have a clear explanation — it may be as simple as user negligence, or it may indicate a larger problem.

One possible explanation could be some kind of external stress on the glass. The glass typically breaks as if it was shot through by a bullet. While completely anecdotal, many of the breakage incidents occur while the phone is in a protective case.

Could the tight fit of the case be putting some type of additional stress on the chassis, which in turn is being transmitted to the glass (perhaps the glass is placed a bit too snug in the chassis itself)? Since we don’t have much to go on, it’s all speculation at this point.

Updated 4/12/2017 by Jeremy Kaplan: Added a statement from Samsung.

Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Computing

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen is back with new design, internals and S Pen

Samsung's new Notebook 9 Pen looks to be an ideal Windows 2-in-1 for creators. New features include a modern design, an updated S Pen in the box, and the latest eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

The Galaxy A8s is Samsung's first with a hole-punch camera cutout

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.