Apple recently recognized a serious iPhone problem with some iPhones requiring replacement hardware. And now the same fault appears to be affecting multiple generations of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones around the world.
Spotted by the always-excellent SamMobile, a large number of Galaxy smartphones are suffering from a bizarre flaw in their displays where a green tint colors everything in a swampy hue (example below). Four generations of Galaxy flagship smartphones are currently impacted as threads appear across Samsung’s US, EU, and Indian support forums and it is currently unknown whether this can be fixed with software.
06/24 Update: SamMobile reports that Samsung has now started a mass roll out of its new One UI 2.1 software “in dozens of markets”. The software is for the last two years of Galaxy flagships and brings a mass of features including new quick sharing, AR functionality, filters, emoji and more. Samsung has hidden bug fixes in these updates before (see below) so I will be keeping a close eye on whether any display fixes have been found. Samsung has also confirmed to me that it is looking into the display problem and the large increase in new cases. If you want to test your Galaxy smartphone, it is best to do so in low light with very low screen brightness – that helps to identify borderline cases.
Impacted models include the Galaxy S8, Note 8, Note 9, S9, S9 Plus, Note 10 Lite, S10 Lite, S10 Plus and all Samsung’s current flagships: the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra. Sales of these smartphones top 100M units and though the scale of the problem remains unclear it is clear from the forums that this affects Galaxy smartphones shipped all over the world.
What ties this fault to Apple’s iPhone green tint problems? Samsung makes the displays. Interestingly, Samsung did quietly acknowledge this issue in April by rolling out a fix designed to address the problem in a limited number of Galaxy S20 models. Samsung didn’t actually list the fix in the release notes, but a number of affected users reported improvements. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long and the problem now appears to be spreading.
Pressure will now increase on Samsung to come clean about what is going on here. The problem appears to be most prevalent at low brightness (just like on iPhones), and it has started to affect multiple generations – sometimes after years without issues (just like on iPhones). Given Apple approved resellers have chosen to replace displays on some affected iPhones, a software fix may not be as easy as hoped.
I have contacted Samsung about these reports and will update this post when I know more.