So you have a Galaxy Note 7: What to do now

It's official: the Galaxy Note 7 is dead.

After a tumultuous week of reports that replacement Galaxy Note 7s were overheating and catching fire, and a warning from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that users should turn off and stop using their devices, Samsung on Tuesday announced that it was discontinuing the popular but problematic phone.

If you still have a Galaxy Note 7 here's a few answers to some of the questions you may have:

How can I exchange my Note 7?

All the major carriers as well as major retailers like Best Buy have stopped sales of the Note 7 and are allowing you to bring the phones in to exchange them for another phone of your choice.

If you have a Note 7 head over to your local AT&T, Best Buy, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon store and you can get rid of the phone today. Most won't even need you to bring any receipt or box, just the phone. But you can call your local store just to be safe.

AT&T will even give you a loaner phone if the phone you want, like an iPhone 7 Plus, is backordered. Not every carrier is doing this. T-Mobile told USA TODAY they were not doing a similar offer. We've reached out to Verizon and Sprint and will update this post once we hear back.

But wait! Before you leave the house, back up your phone's data, including your contacts. You can do this via several apps, including through Google in settings. Just go to Settings, then Accounts, Backup and Reset. Make sure the "backup my data" option is toggled on in the Google account section (though if you're staying with Samsung you can backup there as well) and that you're on WiFi and then you should be good to go.

What if I've already paid for the phone or am on a payment plan?

No worries. The carriers are refunding any payments you've made for the phone, regardless of whether you paid for it all upfront or are using one of the monthly payment plans. If you are on a payment plan that will be cancelled, there's no need to worry about future payments.

You can then take that money and apply it towards your new, safe device.

There’s nothing wrong with mine. What if I want to keep it?

The Note 7 was an excellent device and has inspired a lot of love from customers, as we've found out. That said, the problem around the Note 7 and its potentially exploding battery is very real. There is a reason why Samsung, the FAA, the wireless carriers and the U.S. CPSC have all said to stop using the phones.

We still don't know what's causing these phones to catch on fire, just that the problem is widespread enough to result in the drastic step of Samsung killing off the product less than two months since it went on sale. Phones, even the replacements, have been catching fire while plugged in and charging and even on the go. One caught on fire during the boarding of  a Southwest Air flight last week. And, apparently, at a Burger King in South Korea.

It can happen at anytime. Even if you're phone seems fine today it could blow up at any moment. Return it.

What are the best replacement options?

The good news is that there are plenty of good replacement options available. If you want to stick with Samsung, check out the Galaxy S7 Edge, which has many of the Note's impressive features (including water resistance, a curved display and an excellent camera). If you want to go iPhone, you're in luck too-- Apple's new iPhone 7 Plus is in stores and it too, has nice improvements.

The LG V20 and Google Pixel XL are two other strong contenders coming out over the next couple of weeks.

In short, there are many other very good alternatives to the Note 7 that theoretically won't blow up on you. So please, return your Note 7.



Copyright 2016 KING


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