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Samsung: Exploded Galaxy S10 5G 'caused by external impact'

This is not a repeat of the Galaxy Note 7.

galaxy-s10-5g-shot-on-galaxy-s10-plus-1

The Galaxy S10 5G is a slim phone with an expansive, vibrant 6.7-inch screen.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Samsung is defusing worries that its first 5G Galaxy has an exploding battery problem. 

After a report circulated Tuesday that Samsung denied reimbursing a South Korean customer whose Galaxy S10 5G exploded, the company has explained why. In a statement provided to CNET, the company says that the cause of the damage wasn't a malfunction but rather the result of "external impact." 

"After retrieving the device from the customer, Samsung has closely inspected the device and concluded that the damage was caused by external impact," a company spokesperson said. 

According to the AFP, via The Economic Times of India, a user of the 5G handset identified only by his surname, Lee, claimed his phone blew up "without reasons." 

"My phone was on the table when it started smelling burnt and smoke soon engulfed the phone," Lee told the outlet, going on add that he "had to drop it to the ground when I touched it because it was so hot." 

Images of the phone shared with the outlet show a burned-out phone with the glass on the front and back shattered. Samsung released the S10 5G in its home country on April 5.  

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All four US carriers have announced plans to carry the device, the first phone with built-in 5G available in the US. Verizon will have the phone first, launching it on May 16 for a starting price of $1,300 for the 256GB model.

Samsung, of course, is no stranger to battery controversy. Its Galaxy Note 7 phablet notably catching fire in 2016 led the company to recall millions of devices

More recently Samsung has been trying to get out of the shadow of yet another public relations black eye, dealing with the fallout related to its Galaxy Fold. The company delayed the launch of the hotly anticipated foldable phone, which unfolds from a traditional 4.6-inch phone to a larger 7.3-inch tablet, after reviewers experienced issues with the tablet screen. CNET's unit, however, did not have those issues.