Seeing red: Samsung to offer software fix for tinted Galaxy S8 displays

Seeing red: Samsung to offer software fix for tinted Galaxy S8 displays

Millions of people around the world are enjoying their first days with the Galaxy S8, marveling over the screen and rocking out with the new AKG-tuned earbuds. But not everyone is singing a happy tune. For some users, the infinity display isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, with some S8 screens showing a distinct red tint.

Reports of the red menace started cropping up almost as soon as S8s began landing in customer’s hands, but Samsung initially brushed them off, blaming the color woes on shoddy calibration. The company directed affected buyers to the Display tab in Settings, where they could use the Screen Mode menu to adjust the color range, saturation, and sharpness of the screen.

Display expert Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate chimed in, agreeing with Samsung’s recommendation. “It is certainly possible that this could be due to some defective OLED panels, misadjusted displays at the factory, or software bugs,” he said, “but the user Color Balance controls are the most likely source of this issue.”

But when the complaints kept piling up, Samsung began to look closer at the problem. First it offered to swap out affected units, but now it appears the company will attempt a widespread fix via a software update. After Consumer Reports found that four of the eight phones it tested “appeared slightly more red than the other four,” Samsung admitted that there might be a problem, telling the publication, “Samsung has listened to feedback and has decided to release a software update as early as next week, which will provide customers with a further enhanced ability to adjust the color setting to their preference." Reports have suggested that the patch could arrive as early as Tuesday, April 25.

It’s unclear when the update will be landing or how quickly it will be delivered via carriers, but affected users can rest assured that they shouldn’t be seeing red for too much longer.

The impact on you at home: For most Galaxy S8 owners, there probably isn’t one. While there have been scattered reports of reddish displays, the problem doesn’t seem to be nearly as widespread as Consumer Reports’ 50 percent affected rate. However, it’s good that Samsung is getting out in front of the issue. After the Note7 debacle, Samsung can ill afford to get wrapped up in another scandal, even one as benign as tinted displays.

IDG Insider


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