We heard at the end of last week that Samsung might try to address the Galaxy S8’s red screen issue with a software update. This problem has appeared on a number of handsets, in a number of regions, and there have been questions as to whether it is a software- or hardware-related problem. Today, I received the following statement on the matter from a Samsung spokesperson:
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are equipped with Super AMOLED display to provide rich and vivid colors along with high sharpness and contrast.
In the past, we have received feedback that consumers wanted the ability to customize the color setting of their Galaxy devices due to natural variations in displays, and we provided the option to do so in previous software updates.
While the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have the ability for the user to modify the color of the display, Samsung has listened to feedback and has decided to release a software update starting from this week which will provide customers with a further enhanced ability to adjust the color setting to their preference.
I find this response insulting. It suggests that Samsung doesn’t see this as a real issue — that it’s just consumers being fussy, that we just want more customization options. That is not the case, people. If you bought a TV which had a screen that was noticeably, tangibly red, you would be right to complain — a reasonable balance of colors on a TV display is a reasonable consumer expectation. That still stands even for a smartphone display.
We know that displays have inherent biases to certain colors — we will sometimes note the “coolness” or “warmth” of displays in our reviews — but it’s rarely to the extent that users would complain. This, however, is.
People are not taking to forums because Samsung didn’t give them an “enhanced ability to adjust colors” — they’re taking to forums because their phones’ displays are red.
Echoing this, The Wall Street Journal states: “[Samsung] said the screen hue nor the Wi-Fi issue were product defects, and that it was offering fixes simply for consumers’ comfort.”
The Wall Street Journal also claims that the fix for the aforementioned Wi-Fi issue will only roll out in South Korea as it seems to stem from a “fault in the wireless access point of a certain South Korean carrier.” That stands in contrast to what we’ve heard, as it has been reported that customers with Verizon and T-Mobile have also experienced it.
I’ve contacted Samsung about that last issue but I won’t weigh in on it until I hear what the situation is.