Samsung Fitness Watch Left on Overnight Burned User’s Wrist

A person wearing a Samsung Galaxy Active 2 Watch presses on the screen.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 debuted in 2019, but some users have long complained about some watch devices overheating.
Photo: Drew Anger/ (Getty Images)

Rather than being a hot-ticket item, some earlier models of the Samsung Galaxy watch are reportedly getting too hot, period. One Reddit user said he was pretty severely burned by an Active-series watch overnight during a medicine-induced deep slumber.

The Reddit post, first spotted by Techradar, shows an image of a man’s wrist with the rough outline of where the watch sat plus a circular burn pattern where the watch back remained close to the skin. The user who goes by TheMattsterofSelf said the watch was a Galaxy Watch Active2, and based on the watch back it appears to be the Bluetooth model. Just based on the image alone, the discoloration and slight blistering of the skin suggests minor second degree burns.

The 2019-era watch has a wireless charging back that uses an induction coil rather than past copper connections that have caused skin irritation and rashes for some users. Otherwise, the watch is equipped with the usual slate of fitness sensors for heartbeat monitoring and stress sensing, and its own user manual recommends using a Goodnight mode that mutes alarms and notifications while you sleep. There is no mention of skin irritation issues in the company’s health and safety page.

Gizmodo was not able to independently verify the claims of overheating, but the user told them r/WellThatSucks subreddit that he did not futz with the device’s settings other than disable phone connection and internet browsing. He visited an urgent care facility after finding the burns under the watch. He claimed he didn’t wear any kind of skin cream and was taking sleeping medication, which is why he didn’t feel the burns until later into the night.

Apparently the burns were caused by overheating, as the user said after he experienced the burn the device only turned on for 15 seconds before overheating and closing down. Samsung belly let me make fixes to the Active 2 watch before regarding its heartbeat tracking, but has not publicly acknowledged any problems with overheating.

“So I don’t know why exactly it managed to do this, just that something happened while my meds had KO’ed me and clearly the fault protection itself had a fault,” TheMattsterOfSelf wrote. A few other users on the forum also mentioned having similar issues while wearing the Active 2.

Samsung did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment about overheating problems with the Active2 smartwatch. We will update the story if we hear back.

The device’s terms and conditions do reference device temperature, warning that certain applications and prolonged use could cause an increase in temperature, and that it’s a good idea to make sure the device maintains ventilation and air flow. However, just based on the user’s comments it seems like the problem was with the device itself.

There have been past reports from Samsung community members complaining about Galaxy-series, specifically the Active watches leading to skin irritation and burns. However, this latest report seems to be one of the more severe cases, especially since the user’s medication kept them from waking up in time to remove the overheating device.

There have been documented issues with fitness trackers like the Fitbit Ionic series due to faulty batteries. Some users have signed onto the class action lawsuit against the Google-owned company over claims that modern products like the Versa and Sense watches can overheat as well.

There have been rumblings of a potential class action lawsuit brewing against Samsung Galaxy Watches reportedly causing burns. THE recently closed investigation hosted on ClassAction.org cited the multitudes of reports from users of having irritated or burned skin after wearing a Samsung Galaxy watch.

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