9 common problems with the Samsung Galaxy S8, and how to fix them

Galaxy S8 problems

There’s little doubt that the eye-catching curves, raw power, and tempting features of the Samsung Galaxy S8 have proved popular. It’s an excellent smartphone, but it’s also expensive, meaning you have every right to expect it to work properly out of the box. Sadly, however, technical hitches are a reality for every device. We’ve been listening to user feedback and we’ve put together a list of common Galaxy S8 problems, with advice on how to work around or fix them.

One problem you definitely don’t want to have, though, is a dent in the frame or a crack in that gorgeous, curved screen. That’s why investing in one of the best Galaxy S8 cases or S8 Plus cases is a smart move.

Annoyance: Wi-Fi calling notifications for Verizon customers

In late June, Verizon customers began reporting constant notifications to set up Wi-Fi calling. This started after the latest security update for the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Solution:

  • The latest security update does include a notification for Wi-Fi calling requesting an address for E911. You’ll need to enter your address here to stop the notifications.

Glitch: App icon badges not working

A few people found that the app icon badges indicating a new message or another notification in an app stopped working for them. There’s a thread in the Android Central forum about it. Luckily, the fix should be fairly easy.

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Notifications and make sure App Icon Badges is enabled. If it is, then scroll down and check the individual apps to ensure the ones you want to receive notifications from aren’t toggled off.
  • Try going to Settings > Apps > Menu (three dots at top right) > Special access > Notification access > Samsung Experience Home and make sure it’s toggled on.
  • If you’re using a different launcher then it might not support app icon badges. If you use Nova launcher, then install TeslaUnread to go with it.

Problem: Battery life is poor

Quite a few S8 owners have been complaining about poor battery life in the XDA Developers forum, especially after receiving the update to Android 8.0 Oreo. There are a few different things you can try to alleviate this issue.

Workarounds:

  • If you head into Settings > Device maintenance > Battery, then you can toggle on power saving mode, though it will limit performance and disable some functions.
  • You should also look in Settings > Device maintenance > Battery for power-hungry apps and consider uninstalling them.
  • If you go to Settings > Display you can set a lower resolution and screen brightness to save some battery.
  • You might consider snagging one of the best portable battery chargers to carry around with you.
  • Open the Phone app and tap the Menu (three dots at the top right) then Settings and scroll down to Wi-Fi Calling. Toggle it off and see if that helps.
  • If you’re using a MicroSD card then try removing it and test to see if the battery life improves. If it does, then back up the contents, reformat the card, and test it back in the phone — it may have been a corrupt file or issue on the card.
  • You could try limiting background data via Settings > Connections > Data usage > Data saver.

Potential fixes:

  • Try wiping the cache partition. Start by turning your S8 or S8 Plus off. Hold down the Volume up and Bixby keys, then press and hold the Power button, too. When you see the Android logo on screen, you can let go. The Android recovery menu will load and you can use the Volume down button to highlight wipe cache partition and then press the Power button to select it. Highlight yes with Volume down and then Power to select again. When it’s done, press Power to select Reboot system now.
  • Your last resort is a factory reset which will wipe the phone completely. This means you’ll have to set up everything up again from scratch. Back up anything you want to keep first, then go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset, then tap Reset device, and finally Erase everything. When the S8 reboots set it up as new, don’t restore a previous backup.

Issue: Lag on the home screen

All of Samsung’s devices — including the Galaxy S8 — come with a custom user interface on top of Android, which Samsung has dubbed “Experience” (it used to be called TouchWiz). Users have reported that even when running on powerful S8 hardware, the UI can occasionally produce some lag, especially when using the home launcher. If you’ve been experiencing issues such as these on your device, Samsung has just delivered a fix that might do the trick.

Potential solution:

  • Update the TouchWiz home app to version 6.1.09.2 or later, which can be done via Google Play. The update is specifically designed to alleviate the stuttering that occurs when swiping up and down to open and close the app drawer. It’s also said to improve the ability to read icon text against a white wallpaper.

Workaround:

  • You could always try a different launcher. We have a list of the best Android launchers to give you some ideas.

Problem: Random reboots

We have seen several reports from S8 and S8 Plus owners suffering from a random reboot problem. There’s a big thread at the Samsung forum on this topic. For many people, the S8 or S8 Plus is restarting itself seemingly at random. This can be infrequent or it can happen multiple times a day. There are a few things worth trying to see if you can solve this problem.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure that your software is up to date, you should be prompted to update as soon as new software is available if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, but you can also look in Settings > Software update > Download updates manually.
  • We recommend wiping your cache partition first, as this will not delete any of your personal data. To give it a try, turn your S8 or S8 Plus off. Hold down the Volume up and Bixby keys, then press and hold the Power button, too. When you see the Android logo on screen, you can let go. The Android recovery menu will load and you can use the Volume down button to highlight wipe cache partition and then press the Power button to select it. Highlight yes with Volume down and then Power to select again. When it’s done, press Power to select Reboot system now.
  • If you have a MicroSD card in your Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, then try removing it. Test to see if the reboot issue is resolved. You might want to back up the contents of your card and then reformat it before trying it in your S8 again.
  • Safe mode allows you to run the device without third-party apps, so you can test whether an app might be causing your reboots. To try it, turn your S8 off, and then press and hold the Power key until you see the Samsung logo, then let go of Power and press and hold the Volume down key. Keep holding it until the phone starts up fully and you should see safe mode in the bottom left corner. If the reboots are gone, then it’s a case of working out which apps are the problem ones. You can uninstall one by one or try a factory reset.
  • Although it hasn’t worked for everyone, a factory reset does seem to have worked for some people. If you want to try it, then back up everything first and turn your S8 or S8 Plus off. Press and hold the Volume up and Bixby keys, then press and hold the Power button as well. You can let go when you feel the phone vibrate. Use the Volume down button to highlight the wipe data/factory reset option and the Power button to select it, then highlight yes with Volume down and select with Power. When it’s done, highlight Reboot system now and use Power to select it. We recommend setting the phone up as new to test if the reboot issue is resolved. Do not restore any backups. If it seems to be working, then you can try restoring a little at a time. Maybe start with contacts, and then move on if no reboot problem returns. It may be best to install your apps manually, rather than restoring them.
  • If you have factory reset your S8 or S8 Plus, avoided restoring any backups, and reboots still persist, then we’d suggest contacting Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer and asking about a replacement handset.

Issue: Wireless charging paused or not working

Quite a few people have run into wireless charging issues with their Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, as discussed in the XDA Developers forum. Some are getting a message about wireless charging being paused, some can’t get the fast charging to work, some are finding that the phone gets very hot, and others are having trouble getting wireless charging working at all.

Potential solutions:

  • If you are using a Galaxy S8 case, then try removing it and test to see if that makes a difference. Wireless charging will work just fine with some cases, but it will often make the phone a lot warmer.
  • It’s also worth experimenting with the positioning of your S8 or S8 Plus. Even if you opt for one of the best wireless chargers, you may find it works better if you turn your phone sideways or move it around to get a better connection.
  • Try changing the cable and wall charger that you’re using. The wireless fast charging apparently does not work with many third-party accessories. If you use a Samsung fast wireless charging pad with the cable and wall charger that came with your S8, then it should work.
  • If your third-party wireless charger keeps pausing and won’t fast charge, then try changing the wall charger or power adapter that you’re using with it. You should be able to get it to work at normal wireless charging speeds by switching out the fast wireless charging adapter and using a standard one instead.
  • If you’re using a power strip, try plugging directly into the wall instead. It’s also worth testing with more than one wall outlet, just to rule that out.

Annoyance: Red-tinted display

There were some reports, initially from South Korea, about the S8 and S8 Plus having red-tinted displays. It seems to be a problem for a lot of people in this long thread at XDA Developers forum. Some have faint red at the edges, others report a pink tinge on everything white. It may be more noticeable if you view the screen at an angle.

Potential solutions:

  • Samsung released a patch to address this issue. If you don’t have it yet, then check in Settings > Software update > Download updates manually.
  • You can adjust the color balance yourself by going to Settings > Display > Color balance.
  • Some people report that they’re much happier after exchanging their S8 or S8 Plus for a new handset. There are sometimes manufacturing differences with different batches of handsets. If it’s really bothering you, then it might be worth contacting Samsung, your carrier, or your retailer and asking for a replacement.

Glitch: Wi-Fi disconnecting or slowing down

A few people are struggling to get Wi-Fi working properly on some networks with their S8 or S8 Plus, as evidenced by threads at XDA Developers and Android Central. It may connect and run at a good speed initially, but after a while, it disconnects or slows down inexplicably.

Potential solutions:

  • Always start with a simple reboot of your router and your phone.
  • Go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced and make sure that Smart network switch is turned off. If it’s already off, just try toggling it on and off again.
  • Check in Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced and make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always.
  • Go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced > Manage networks, tap on the problem network and then Forget. Reboot your S8 and router, then set the connection up again from scratch.
  • Some people report success after going to Settings > Connections > Location > Improve accuracy and turning Bluetooth scanning off.
  • Try changing your Wi-Fi channel via the admin page for your router. Refer to your router’s manufacturer or your ISP for instructions.
  • Make sure that your router firmware is up to date and that MAC filtering is off, or that you have added the MAC address of your S8. Refer to your router’s manufacturer or your ISP for instructions. You can find your S8 MAC address listed in Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced.

Problem: Edge lighting not working

If you’ve been looking for notifications to light up the edges of your S8 or S8 Plus display, but the edge lighting hasn’t been working, then you’re not alone. There’s a thread at XDA Developers discussing this very problem. Some people aren’t getting edge lighting, some only get it when the S8 is face down, and some say it works face up or down.

Potential solutions:

  • Go to Settings > Display > Edge Screen > Edge lighting and make sure it’s set to Always, then tap Manage notifications and make sure the apps you want to get notifications from are toggled on. It’s worth noting, some third-party apps won’t work with the edge lighting.
  • Go to Settings > Display and make sure that Keep screen turned off is toggled off. Even if it is off, try toggling it on and off again.
Product Review

From Wi-Fi to door locks, Samsung makes one box to connect your whole home

A collaboration with Plume ensures that Samsung SmartThings Wifi is quicker than its predecessor, but a lack of wired connectivity and fragmented controls means it’s not for everyone.
Mobile

Master your iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with our favorite tips and tricks

If you're one of the lucky folks that managed to snag an iPhone XS or XS Max, you may be wondering how to use your new phone in a post-home button world. Here are a few of our favorite iPhone XS tips and tricks to get you started.
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Mobile

Google Maps is available on Apple CarPlay with iOS 12

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The new OS comes along with tons of new capabilities from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts, here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

How to buy the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR in the U.K.

The new iPhone range is here, and it consists of three models: The iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. You can buy the iPhone XS and XS Max in the United Kingdom now, so here's our guide on where to buy one.
Mobile

Audio company Bragi is suing OnePlus over the word 'dash'

Despite taking steps to change to "Warp Charge," OnePlus is being sued by audio company Bragi over the phone manufacturer's continued use of the word "dash" in the Dash Charging used in OnePlus phones.
Product Review

Don't let the bigger iPhones woo you away: The XS is still a masterpiece

Apple’s next smartphone is here -- the iPhone XS. We think it’s the perfect size for an iPhone, and it manages to impress with astounding performance, and sizable camera improvements.
Mobile

The best weather apps for Android will keep you dry no matter where you go

You may not be able to change the weather, but you can at least be prepared for it. Check out our guide to the best weather apps for Android, so you'll always know what to expect when you step out the front door.
Mobile

Android 9.0 Pie is finally rolling out to the OnePlus 6

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Keep the iPhone XS display crack-free with these screen protectors

Apple might have proclaimed the iPhone XS's glass as being its most durable ever, but that's not going to stop you from wincing if you drop your phone. Stay protected with the best iPhone XS screen protectors.
Mobile

Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro: Clash of the titans

Anyone seeking a great new smartphone with plenty of money to spend has two amazing options, but which is better for you? We pit the Apple iPhone XS Max vs. Huawei P20 Pro in various categories to help you choose.
Product Review

With its epic screen, Apple's iPhone XS Max is a phone you can live inside

The iPhone XS Max is here. Should you get the massive 6.5-inch iPhone from Apple? Or should you pick the smaller iPhone XS? We’ve been putting the Max through its paces to find out in our review.
Mobile

Hateful software kills our enthusiasm for newcomer Realme’s $155 Android phone

Realme is a new smartphone brand with an interesting start to life, as it closely mirrors that of OnePlus, a brand we admire. The Realme 2 is its second phone, and we've given it a try to see if it's a winner.
Mobile

BlackBerry Key2 LE vs. BlackBerry Key2: Which productivity titan reigns supreme?

The Blackberry Key2 LE has many of the same features as its more expensive competitor, the BlackBerry Key2, yet comes in at $250 less. Which one should you choose? Here's how the BlackBerry Key2 LE and BlackBerry Key2 compare.