While it's hard to say how common this issue is, it's something to watch out for if you're planning on buying a Galaxy S8 this week.
The AMOLED edge-to-edge curved display on Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 has been widely praised as one of the phone’s crowning features — but unfortunately, it seems some models may not be living up to expectations. According to a Korea Herald report, some customers in the region are complaining about a red tint to the panel that cannot be corrected by changing the color balance in the settings.
Samsung initially responded to the report by saying the phenomenon was “not a quality problem,” and could “be adjusted with the phone itself.” However, several days later, a spokesperson from the company confirmed to the Korea Herald that it will release an update, coming at the end of April, intended to relieve users’ concerns — although it steadfastly continued to downplay the possible defect, calling it a non-issue.
“We will upgrade the software because of some dissatisfied customers although there is no problem in the phone itself,” Samsung told the publication — which makes the fix either a tacit admission of guilt or an attempt to minimize a potential public relations roadblock as the company launches its biggest product of the year. Either way, it’s something customers will surely appreciate.
All the update does, according to the Korea Herald, is allow for a greater range of color in the display settings, so that users can turn down the red effect further than was previously possible. Based on an image in the article, both the standard Galaxy S8 and the larger Plus variant have been affected.
Some have speculated the cause might be the unique construction of the display. While typical LCD screens in smartphones utilize three equally sized subpixels — red, green, and blue — the Galaxy S8’s AMOLED panel features an unconventional layout where small, oval-shaped green pixels sit between much larger, diamond-shaped red and blue pixels. This results in twice as many green sub-pixels as the rest, which, according to industry personnel not identified in the article, initially created a green shift.
Samsung reportedly attempted to correct for this by dialing up the intensity of the red sub-pixels, and in the process, may have made them too strong.
This claim comes several weeks after experts at DisplayMate awarded the Galaxy S8’s panel the highest grade they’ve ever given to a smartphone screen. The review noted the inclusion of a user-adjustable white point setting, and commended the device for its very accurate standard color gamut.
We should also note that a teardown of the Galaxy S8 Plus from the DIY specialists over at iFixit called the handset “essentially unchanged” from the Galaxy Note 7, at least when it comes to internal design. Rather, it would appear that Samsung is attempting to avoid a repeat of last year’s spontaneously combustible debacle by way of more thorough pre-release testing of its new flagship.
All the same, it is being reported that the battery voltage, capacity, and “design tolerances” are “virtually identical” between the new phone and the ill-fated old one. Moreover, iFixit apparently tore down a Plus that had a cell from “the same manufacturer as some Note 7 batteries.”
Article originally published on 04-18-2017 by Adam Ismail. Lulu Chang contributed to this report. Updated on 04-21-2017 by Adam Ismail: Added Samsung’s announcement of a software update.