The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra deliver everything we’ve come to expect from the flagship series. High-end specifications and features, beautiful displays, fantastic cameras, and an even better S Pen make for one of the best smartphones you can get in 2020. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and Samsung’s latest have their fair share of issues as well. Here’s a roundup of some common Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra problems and how to fix them!
Editor’s note: Not every Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will have these issues. In fact, you’ll likely not run into any of them.
Problem #1: Green tint issue
The OLED lottery strikes once again. Most flagships nowadays come with OLED screens, and a handful of them will inevitably have a display tint issue. The Galaxy Note 20 phones are experiencing said issue. Owners have been complaining that the displays of their devices are tinting green.
The issue is usually caused by lowering the brightness of the display beyond a certain threshold. It’s most noticeable when the screen is displaying something with a gray background. The issue was reported by owners of both the Exynos and Snapdragon variants.
There is usually a software fix for this, and Samsung will hopefully roll that out soon. Keeping the brightness at a higher level, for now, will have to do. If you’re finding an issue with the display no matter what the brightness levels and color modes are, your only option is to pick up a replacement.
Problem #2: Edge lighting doesn’t work properly
Some users find that the edge lighting feature doesn’t work properly. The edge of the screen doesn’t light up as expected when a notification comes in even with all the settings enabled.
- First, make sure that the proper settings are enabled. Go to Settings, search for Edge Lighting, and select Choose Apps. Only the Messages app is selected by default. Go through the list and pick the apps you want to receive notifications for.
- Some users are seeing this issue because of using a microSD card from an older device. A folder or directory from the older phone is carried over and is creating a conflict with the settings of the new phone. You’ll have to format the microSD card for this issue to go away, but make sure to save everything from it first.
- Others are seeing this problem because they’ve turned off animations in the Developer Options. If you’ve done so, set the animations to at least 0.5x.
- Until a software update is available to fix this issue, a third-party app might help. Try Edge Lighting+ in the Samsung Good Lock Suite or AODNotify that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Problem #3: Random reboots
A few users are facing a problem with their phones randomly restarting. In some cases, this seems to happen only when the person is using swipe gestures.
- If swipe gestures are causing the problem, you might need to change what each swipe does. Samsung has an app available that will let you customize and control how swipe gestures work. Download the One Hand Operation Plus app from the Google Play Store to get started.
- An app might be causing this problem. Boot the phone into Safe Mode (you can find the instructions on how to do so below) and check if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, the cause is a rogue app. Uninstall the most recently updated or installed apps and see if the phone works as expected.
Problem #4: Ghost vibrations
Some users are seeing ghost vibrations. The buzz is a short burst, similar to what you get when the S Pen is removed. A restart fixes the problem for only a few hours.
- There are a couple of settings you can adjust to see if the problem goes away. Go to Settings > Display > Edge screen > Edge panels > Handle settings and turn off Vibrate when handle is touched.
- Go to Settings > Sound and vibration > System sound/vibration control and turn off touch interactions.
- A case might be causing the problem as well. Some users find that the issue goes away when the case is removed.
- The main culprit though might be because of an issue with restoration. Doing a factory reset and setting the phone up manually instead of restoring from a previous account helps fix quite a few problems that users are facing with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra.
Problem #5: Issues with swipe gestures
Quite a few users are facing problems with swipe gestures, particularly with third-party launchers.
- Go to Settings > Display > Navigation bar > More options to find and enable swipe gestures. You might find “More options” greyed out. This is likely because the third-party launcher you are using doesn’t support swipe navigation. In this case, your only option is to switch back to Samsung’s default launcher or find one that supports this feature.
- Luckily, Samsung has an app available that will let you customize and control how swipe gestures work. Download the One Hand Operation Plus app from the Google Play Store to get started. This might help you set things up so that everything works smoothly with third-party launchers as well.
Problem #6: Washed out screen
A few Galaxy Note 20 Ultra owners are coming across a washed-out home screen.
- This problem seems to occur when Dark Mode is enabled on the device. Until a software fix is available, one option is to switch to the light option.
- The issue is likely related to a wallpaper setting. Long press on the screen, select Wallpaper, and disable the “Apply Dark Mode to wallpaper” setting. The washed-out screen should now go away.
Problem #7 – S Pen issues
The S Pen is one of the biggest selling points of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series, and the stylus has gotten better with every iteration. However, users have come across a variety of issues with the accessory.
- S Pen sensitivity problem: Some users are reporting that they need to use extra pressure to make sure that the S Pen registers on the screen. Lightly tapping the tip of the S Pen on a flat surface at an angle seems to help. Make sure that you don’t tap it too hard as that might cause it to break. That said, you should get a replacement stylus.
- S Pen not working on certain areas of the screen: This issue seems to be caused if you have a case with a magnet, like a lot of wallet cases. Simply removing the case, while not ideal, fixes it, and the S Pen works as expected.
- The on-screen pointer is off the marker: When using the S Pen, some users find that the pointer on the display is a few mm off position. Dial *#2663# and do tap on WACOM FW UPDATE to make sure the firmware is up to date. This is a useful step to remember if you come across any other Galaxy Note 20 S Pen problems as well.
Problem #8 – Issues with the fingerprint scanner
The under-display fingerprint scanner works well for the most part, but some have faced problems with it on the Galaxy Note 20 devices.
- A screen protector might be causing these problems, particularly if it is of the tempered glass variety.
- A few people have faced issues with the fingerprint scanner after the Android 11 update. You will have to go to Settings > Biometrics and security > Fingerprints, tap on each fingerprint that is listed, and tap on Remove. Go back to the previous page and register your fingerprints again. It’s also a good idea to register the same fingerprint twice.
Problems where the only option is to wait for an update or get a replacement
A hardware issue will require a replacement. Most Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra problems are software-related though. If a workaround isn’t available, an upcoming software update will likely address it.
- “Camera failed” error: This is an error that comes up for a few users every time they open the camera app. A software update might fix this issue. It’s probably a hardware problem though, and since the camera is unusable, you’ll be better off getting a replacement.
- Phone not switching to LTE: The phone automatically switches between 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G. However, some users are finding that the network doesn’t switch automatically but seems to disconnect instead. Only a reboot fixes the problem.
- Overheating: There have been a few reports of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra overheating, and this seems to affect the Exynos version in particular.
- “Black screen of death:” Quite a few users are facing an issue where the screen is completely blank, even though everything works on the phone when connected to DeX or when you cast the screen on a TV. Some users find that running multiple soft reboots, and gently tapping or pressing across various points on the screen seems to work. It’s a hardware issue and your best bet is to pick up a replacement if available.
- Android Auto problems: Users aren’t able to connect their phones in the car using Android Auto after the Android 11 update. You should update the phone and the Android Auto app to the latest version. This is a known problem and a software fix will be available soon.
Guide — How to soft reset, hard reset, boot into Safe Mode, and wipe cache partition
Except for the hard reset, these are the first troubleshooting steps to go through if you come across any Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra problems and bugs.
- If the screen is responsive:
- Press and hold the power and volume down buttons, then tap Power off twice.
- You can also swipe down to open the notification panel, tap the Power icon next to the Settings cog, and tap Power off.
- If the screen is unresponsive:
- Press and hold the power and volume buttons for about 10 seconds.
- Turn the phone off.
- Press and hold the volume up and power buttons.
- Release both buttons when the green Android logo appears.
- Press the volume down button to toggle the selection to Wipe data/factory reset.
- Press the power button to select Wipe data/factory reset.
- Press the volume down button to toggle the selection to Yes – delete all user data setting.
- Press the power button to select Yes – delete all user data.
- Once the reset finished, press the power button to select Reboot system now.
Boot into Safe Mode
- Turn the phone off.
- Press and hold the power button past the Note 20 name appearing on the screen.
- Once Samsung appears, release the power button and immediately press and hold the volume down button.
- Continue to hold down the volume down button until the phone finishes restarting.
- Let go of the volume down button when you see Safe mode on the bottom left corner of the screen.
Wipe cache partition
- Turn the phone off.
- Press and hold the volume up and power buttons.
- When the Android logo appears, release the volume up and power buttons.
- You will see an Installing system update message for anywhere between 30 and 60 seconds.
- In the system recovery menu options, press the volume down button to toggle the selection to wipe cache partition.
- Press the power button to select wipe cache partition.
- Once again, press the volume down button to get to toggle the selection to yes.
- Use the power button to select yes.
- Press the power button to restart the device once the Reboot system now option appears.
Looking for help with other problems? If your problems and bugs aren’t specific to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, check out our roundups for Android OS problems and fixes. We also have some useful tips and tricks to get the most out of your phone’s battery.