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Samsung to try and fix Galaxy S8 red screen problem with update, might not work

A Samsung spokesperson has said that a software update will roll out next week to try and address the red-tinted Galaxy S8 screen problem.

Published onApril 21, 2017

We reported on a peculiar problem affecting South Korean Galaxy S8s a few days ago, whereby some of the device displays had a noticeably red tint.

Since the story broke, a number of interesting theories about the cause of the issue have been voiced. A Samsung official suggested it is just a matter of color calibration that can be adjusted manually, while The Investor received three other explanations from experts — all of which indicated that the issue is hardware rather than software-based.

Whatever the reason for the issue is, it’s serious enough that Samsung is trying to fix it with a software update. According to news from The Korea Herald earlier today, a Samsung spokesperson said: “Because there are some complaints about the red-tinted screens, we decided to upgrade the software next week for all Galaxy S8 clients.”

This would “expand the color range so that users can make the red color even lower,” The Korea Herald said. That could be speculation on The Korea Herald‘s part, but if it’s accurate, it seems like it wouldn’t be a very elegant solution from Samsung. It’s not so much fixing the problem as reducing its effects, but since it only pertains to screen color, maybe that’s enough to satisfy the end-user (I mean, who cares if there is an underlying problem if you don’t notice it, right?).

Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus review: Almost to Infinity

Meanwhile, a professor at Seoul National University told The Korea Herald that the problem “Does not appear to come from hardware,” but others disagree. Reportedly, adjusting color settings hasn’t corrected the issue for consumers so far, and The Investor quotes a “plant employee” (it’s not clear if that’s at Samsung or elsewhere) as saying: “It would be difficult to correct the problem with a software.”

Further, a “professor” (of some description) told The Investor: “I doubt software update can be a silver bullet to the problem. However, some experts I talked to believe a software update would be enough to balance out the reddish display to the extent that consumers are satisfied.”

There’s a lot of conjecture here, but it doesn’t look too good for Samsung, particularly as this follows only months after the Note 7 debacle, and in spite of claims of improved quality assurance checks. That said, it could be quickly resolved and forgotten about.

So far, these complaints are only arriving from Korea [Update: Images are starting to appear from apparent US Galaxy S8 owners with the same problem on this XDA Developers thread, which would confirm that the issue isn’t limited to Korea handsets. Thanks for the heads up @PieTriesYT.]

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is on sale today in the US, so do get in touch if you see the issue on your device. Contact us here or @scottadamgordon.