What I saw inside Samsung's battery testing centerCNET senior reporter Shara Tibken visits Samsung headquarters in South Korea to see firsthand how the company has stepped up its battery testing after the disastrous Note 7 fires. She also gets an early look at the new Galaxy S8.
[MUSIC] I went to Korea in the middle of March to see the new Galaxy S8 and to also get a glimpse and how to Samsung has change its testing processes. [MUSIC] We set most of our time in a town called Suwon this is what Samsung called Digital City and our headquarters It's actually the size of a small city. There are about 34,000 employees. It's about the size of 250 soccer fields. So basically it's this massive campus where they do all of the research for their new products. Our second day we flew to Gumi which was about an hour on the helicopter. In Gumi, this is where Samsung's newest devices are assembled. It has eight other sites around the world including in Vietnam. But this is kind of the heart of where their products have always been put together. With the Galaxy S8, they're also doing new testing to make sure that the battery is safe. Like puncturing it with a nail, putting it in machines that simulate really high temperature, so over 150 degrees Farenheit. They also started some new tests. One of the most interesting ones we saw was what they call accelerated usage test. This is basically trying to simulate what you actually do with your phone but at a much sped up process. Samsung also had these huge shelves set up with different rows of batteries, different phones plugged in to test to make sure that the battery charging and discharging works properly. They have the ability to test 60,000 phones in Goomie. While we were there they had 6,000 actually being tested in terms of charge and discharge. With accelerated usage tests, those tests take five days per device, so it's a really thorough program. [MUSIC] I was one of the first people outside Samsung to actually get to see the Galaxy S8. So for Samsung this is kind of the device, they code-named it The Dream to show employees that technology that they dream of can actually come in a product even if it takes five or six years. There's the curve display which they call the Infinity Display, they got rid of the physical Home button and went with a digital one They have a new artificial intelligence assistant called Bixby. Show me gallery photos from Melbourne. [MUSIC] Okay, I found 26 pictures. With. It's not about questions like who's Martin Luther King Jr or what's the weather. It's a new interface for your phone. So you're not just gonna see [UNKNOWN] in phones, you're gonna see it in washing machine, refrigerators. [MUSIC] In the US, most people know Samsung for its TVs and its phone When you go to Korea, it's not just electronics. They manufacture clothing, they build boats, they have an advertising business. In Korea, Samsung makes up more than 20% of the economy. So, there's just this huge behemoth that you run into at every Point. Right now, they have some problems in Korea, though. Their Vice Chairman, Jay Y. Lee, who was actually slated to take over the company, has been arrested and charged with bribery and embezzlement. Samsung is still really apologetic for what happened with the Note 7, but I think they're also very optimistic about the S8. This is the device for them. That this is Going to really show their position on design, on software, and they think that now they finally have a program phone that will help their different devices talk to each other better. For Samsung this is just a huge huge deal. [MUSIC]