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The battery in our cheap Chinese smartphone expanded and cracked the screen

The battery in our cheap Chinese smartphone expanded and cracked the screen
The battery in our cheap Chinese smartphone expanded and cracked the screen
Everything was normal until our glass display suddenly cracked. If you're planning on getting a cheap Android from a Chinese OEM, then hopefully you won't be unlucky as we are. We're just glad that nothing caught on fire.

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We've tested hundreds of smartphones over the years from budget models all the way up to flagship offerings. Duds, although uncommon, have become inevitable as we've occasionally experienced faulty MicroSD readers, headphone jacks, SIM slots, and audio static just to name a few. Our latest smartphone failure is probably the most serious one yet.

After almost three years of use, the battery in our Leagoo Alfa 1 smartphone suddenly decided to expand to the point where even the screen cracked from the amplifying pressure. We immediately popped open the removable plastic back cover only to find gaps around the edges of the ballooned battery pack as shown below.

It's worth noting that we had never exposed the smartphone to any hazardous or abnormal conditions that may have caused the battery to swell. Funnily enough, the smartphone would still power on after reinserting the battery.

Not that we recommend such an action, of course.

Faulty batteries have been the cause of numerous product recalls over the years ranging from smartphones all the way up to laptops. Fujitsu laptops, Nvidia tablets, HP PCs, and the infamous Galaxy Note 7 are just a handful of recent victims necessitating costly recalls.

We removed the ballooned battery which fortunately showed no signs of smoke or fire
We removed the ballooned battery which fortunately showed no signs of smoke or fire
At 3000 mAh, its capacity is relatively small for a 5.5-inch Android
At 3000 mAh, its capacity is relatively small for a 5.5-inch Android
Unintended gaps are clearly visible from the top...
Unintended gaps are clearly visible from the top...
... as well as the bottom
... as well as the bottom
The smartphone can still power on like normal (not recommended)
The smartphone can still power on like normal (not recommended)
We had no idea that something was wrong until we saw the screen suddenly crack
We had no idea that something was wrong until we saw the screen suddenly crack

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > The battery in our cheap Chinese smartphone expanded and cracked the screen
Allen Ngo, 2019-02- 8 (Update: 2019-02- 8)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.