Samsung explains the Galaxy S5’s “Camera Failed” issue

by: Rob TriggsApril 28, 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5 127 camera blue heart rate monitor

Last Friday, Samsung and Verizon officially acknowledged the “camera failed” issue that has been affecting a small number of Galaxy S5 customers. Although Samsung has said that it will replace any handsets that succumb to the fault, it doesn’t look like there’s much the company can do to advise users about avoiding the problem.

Samsung has narrowed down the cause for the camera fault, which turns out to result from the camera’s ROM experiencing a loss of data. The ROM is the camera’s internal memory, which stores important data for the camera module’s auto focus feature, as well as the CMOS image sensor. If the information stored in the memory becomes damaged or erased the camera unit ceases to work, resulting in the camera failed message that some users have been experiencing. Unfortunately, the damage is permanent as the data or memory cannot be replaced.

Usually memory like this is difficult to damage, but it is possible that interfering electronic signals or even ultraviolet rays could cause the data to become corrupt or erased. Whilst the exact trigger for the fault has not been pinned down yet, experts expect that something in Samsung’s new camera’s design is to blame, although this might not be directly related to the ROM. Clearly then, a full diagnosis of the fault is proving difficult, leaving Samsung with little choice but to replace afflicted handsets until it knows whether anything can be done to prevent further customers from experiencing the issue.

Perhaps most worryingly for customers, as well as for the company, this is that Samsung currently does not have a figure for the number of handsets affected. It is quite likely that a limited number of consumers across a range of carriers will continue to report the problem in the future.

If your Galaxy S5 is displaying the dreaded “camera failed” fault, Samsung has asked that customers call 1-888-987-4357 for help, or visit their carrier to arrange an exchange.

  • Ash B

    This happened to my galaxy s3 after the 4.1.2 update

  • The-Sailor-Man

    So, NSA pressed Verizon too hard to collect camera information? Right?

  • NexusKoolaid

    Ultraviolet rays can damage the memory? Maybe if the phone used EPROMs (a type of ROM with a topside window allowing for UV erasure), but the phone more than likely uses EEPROMS that have no UV window.

  • Chad Migliore

    Just talked to the samsung number listed above and you have to mail you phone in and wait 9 to 11 days samsung has lost me as a customer

    • mobilemann

      sucks dude.

    • Mr. Reasonable

      Complaining about them replacing your phone free of charge is insane at best. Who gives a shit if you have to wait two weeks, or four weeks, it makes no difference. If you dont have a backup phone to use its your own damn fault. Leave your worthless, whining, sniveling, self-centered comments to yourself. And, FYI, Samsungs has no idea who you are and doesnt care what you do with your business…… and neither do we.

  • mark frazier

    Ka funny i picked up and old samsung s2 epic i belives its called on the sprint network . It seems too have a camera failer problem well dicumented by others as well as the annoying menu key pop up when signal service needs a power boost. Love samsung products for the lay out but truly concidering an htc seeing theyve seem too got the heavy battery expenditures under control this year
    Shame seems profits before careful design may put a leader on the benches in a few years from now sure there not owned by an american car company lol

  • Jibin

    Got a note 3 that does this sometimes, a restart fixes it though…hmmm

  • Leon Tseng

    Les sons de téléphone bons, sais pas zopo un zp1000 mieux que cela ? ZOPO zp1000:

  • Atlas

    I’d like to know what’s the percentage of phones affected by this issue.

  • Reynold_37

    I put my phone into UPS mode and the problem was gone afterwards.

  • Cosco

    I have the problem, the funny thing is that samsung pretend to repair my device but they need at least 2 weeks, 2 weeks and they do not lend me one while they try to repair, so, the article does not reflect the true about the exchange, I just have 30 days with my device and several trips to the sprint store where they want to exchange it but for one that is refurbish, Incredible the lack of support of Samsung to resolve the issue with a high end device.

  • leibwss

    I have an S6 Edge. it too has the “server error occurred. Restart Camera”. I spoke to Verizon tech support and nothing resolved the problem. Going to safe mode caused most of my apps’ shortcuts to disappear. Verizon acknowledged the camera problem and said they will replace the phone.