The Samsung Galaxy S9 has been hailed as having the best smartphone display available today. The phone’s overall design and functionality is an evolutionary improvement over the S8, though its camera has been highly praised. One unwanted feature, however, is mucking things up for folks — the appearance of dead zones on the touch screen that don’t respond to user input.
It’s not clear why this problem is happening, but it’s not isolated to any particular point on the device. Various users have reported dead zones at all points on the device, including some that have an entire horizontal stripe across the panel that doesn’t work properly.
This video hows the problem in action and was created by Reddit user bobdurfob. He writes:
I think this might be a digitizer issue. I’ve had two S9+ with the same issue where a region of the screen will stop being responsive. For the first one I had it was the middle left of the screen. It would also spaz out and have phantom taps all over the screen for a second or two. For the replacement one I have it’s the bottom third left side. It’s infuriating. Here I’m trying to just trace my finger in an up to down motion on the screen. You can see it stutter on the bottom third.
Samsung’s new phone has only been on sale for a week. The company is aware of the issues and has stated: “We are looking into a limited number of reports of Galaxy S9/S9+ touchscreen responsiveness issues. We are working with affected customers and investigating.”
Some customers have reported that a factory reset can be helpful or that turning up the touch-screen sensitivity can resolve the issue, but we’d shy away from either fix. If Samsung sold you a phone that doesn’t work perfectly out of the box, and the issue isn’t a matter of personal preference or a setting that the company has changed to a new default behavior that you want to switch, don’t keep the product. We’ve already seen how touch-screen mistakes can come back to bite people — Apple’s “Touch Disease” destroyed iPhone 6 handsets because the company removed components from its smartphone design, leading to long-term failure. Hardware that arrives failing out of the box shouldn’t be tolerated, regardless of whether the fault was in the software image or the underlying hardware.
Hopefully Samsung we’ll resolve the problem before it becomes a major concern. At least the company can take comfort in the fact that these devices don’t literally ignite and catch fire. Touch-screen failures are annoying, but they don’t burn down anyone’s house.
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