Motorola Droid 2 Explodes On Man's Face

Posted: Dec 3 2010, 1:43pm CST | by , in Mobile Phones


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Motorola Droid 2 Explodes On Man's Face

So, uh, beware of that.

Droid 2 owners may want to take it easy on their smartphones for the next couple of days. News has just broken that a man in North Texas had a Droid 2 explode in mid-call. Aron Embry heard a "pop" and then felt blood on his face.

The phone's display appeared to burst outward. It remained functional after the explosion and the only signs of damage were shattered glass near the speaker. Embry required four stitches for the injury, but he has been assured that there will be no hearing loss.

Motorola had this to say: "Motorola’s priority is, and always has been the safety of our customers, and all Motorola products are designed, manufactured and tested to meet or exceed international and local standards for consumer safety. We will reach out to the consumer and investigate this thoroughly."

Some doubts have already popped up over the alleged Droid 2-splosion. First off, the man's report and the image itself makes it look as if the explosion came from the speaker area. There may be some precedent for a device 'popping' like this, but I haven't found it.

Li-Ion batteries have a well-known tendency to overheat, sometimes they even catch on fire. The manufacturing process leaves tiny little metal slivers in the flammable, lithium-rich liquid housed in such batteries. Frequent use can move those shards, sometimes causing one to pierce the separator that keeps the anodes and cathodes from touching.

When this happens, you get one of three results. A spark and a fire, a rapid temperature rise followed by an explosion, or a battery meltdown. We saw quite a bit of this last year with that rash of exploding iPhones.

But, of course, Mr. Embry states that there was no damage to his battery. So this issue is probably caused by another defect entirely. Moto should have an answer for us in the near future. Until they make a statement, my advice is to limit your phone use and keep your calls short. Glass-to-the-face isn't the kind of thing you want to risk.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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