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Samsung clears the air on red tinted Galaxy S8 displays

Bad news for people hoping something would go wrong with the Galaxy S8 launch and Samsung would immediately implode, those reports of Galaxy S8 displays with reddish tints to them aren't nearly enough. Not only are these displays extremely rare outside of South Korea, but Samsung says they can be fixed with a simple re-calibration using tools already on the phone and are not an actual defect.

The color balance setting in the S8 will fix this issue, but not before breathless talk of recall came from the Korea Herald.

Industry watchers, however, agree that the display is not safety related, and there is no reason to conduct a recall of the Galaxy S8 smartphones.

As amusing as it is going to be watching every potential issue with this phone return the conversation to the Note 7 recall, this particular issue was never going to be that serious. Every phone release has a couple units that make it off the line with defects which can only be fixed by replacement, and this wasn't even one of those situations.

This red tint thing couldn't be more of a non-issue, and will likely become one of those things where someone leaves an S8 on the table and a friend uses color balance to give its owner a fright the next time the phone is turned on. Not saying you should behave that way, but don't be shocked if there's a YouTube video with this prank in the not-so-distant future.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

  • The red tint comes from the flames building up behind the screen.
  • That's actually pretty funny. Lol
  • They'd be all-white, though. Because when an OLED heats up, the pixels usually turn white and not recover, though some go black and recover.
  • I bet you're fun at parties.
  • Actually, I'm not. I'm always the boring guy who drinks all the beer.
  • My hero
  • Surprisingly the S8 panel does recover in JerryRigEverything's test this time. First time.
  • Let's put it in your living room and watch
  • Why is AC so apologetic to Samsung when other manufacturers gets a red flag with those kind of issues?
  • Probably because it's not an issue. I never thought of AC being Samsung fanboys anyway.
  • What issue? The fact that Samsung allows you to change the color balance of the screen and some people have been freaking out when their phone is set to warm instead of natural? OMG! My Pixel XL screen changes brightness all by itself! Defect! Recall! #GoogleManufacturingSucks ...or I could turn off the Adaptive Brightness control.
  • You can't change the color balance in any mode except "Adaptive Display". The most color accurate mode, "Basic", does not allow changes, and neither do any other modes.
  • You're right. AC probably should have demanded a global recall of all S8's that haven't been officially launched yet, so that Samsung Headquarters could run the simple color calibration tool built into the phone that customers could have easily ran themselves in ten seconds.
  • Hey remember that time people lost their minds because the Nexus 6 turned pink-ish when it was on the lowest possible brightness setting, and even though it was literally a feature and not a bug some owners got Google's support people to perform a warranty exchange because bloggers acted like it was this big scandal? I'm not a fan of getting people excited over nothing, just because outrage gets more clicks.
  • But Russel all you do is click bait... /Sarcasm
  • Money
  • I guess the Samsung haters will simply have to make videos and GIFs of fake problems. Or they can still complain about the inability to remap the Bixby button. "If Samsung won't let me remap the extra button on the phone, I'm going to buy a phone without an extra button!"
  • But ... But ... How am I supposed to whine and complain if there isn't a real problem??? So disappointing.
  • There is a real problem..
  • Nope. No problem
  • I do believe that when the display is set to any other mode except "Adaptive Display" you cannot actually control the color balance, which would make this a problem. This is especially true since the "Basic" mode is actually the most color accurate and does not allow adjusting any color balance settings. In addition, Samsung has already indicated that devices with this issue can be brought back for a replacement. Recall worthy? Definitely not, but certainly an issue that warrants replacement. This AC blog post appears to have involved a limited amount of research.
  • Every time, real or imagined, Samsung is running scared. They have to have no negative press on this one. This minor mis-calibration , is going to be blown out of proportion. Damm, don't we have enough news about this phone now? Seems like every phone tech website, has half of it filled with samsung s8 news!
  • what do you want? speculation articles about android 9? Nexus 6P revisited? Polls on what to call the next version of android? More iOS vs Android: "let us help validate your purchase" articles?
  • I love you
  • Hahaha too real.
  • I seem to recall Android Central bashing the HTC 10 because some panels had a slight pinkish tint that was the result of an adhesive used to bind the panel. It went away after a few days or weeks of use. But, AC was sure to mention that as a negative in their review. No, it is beyond clear that Android Central is operating as part of Samsung's advertising department at this time. Hey, I guess they have to make their money in some way, but they should be clear about it.
  • Nope. I wrote our HTC 10 review, and I complained about the screen being dark (it is) and having bad auto-brightness (it did), but nothing to do with color balance.
  • I think they hate my phone so they must work for Samsung....
  • Even before this news came out. The first thing I thought when i saw the best buy demos were that the screens were very red.
  • It's been witnessed in several youtube video comparisons as well.
  • Your BLUE LIGHT FILTER IS ON!!!!!!! Shut Off the Blue Light Filter and then the Screen Will go Back the Normal Colors. Go find it in the Settings and SHUT IT OFF!!!!!!! And Stop with the Nonsense!!!!
  • It's only an issue in korea so far because they're the only ones with the phones. And they are all saying the calibration settings don't fix it. Nice try by samsung to try and brush this to the side, but everyone is watching and it won't work this year.
  • LOL... Haters perched and waiting.
  • doesn't matter who its from, if I got a shiny new device and it had a red tinted display i'd be pretty hot. And you remember last year when samsung tried telling everyone the fires were a figment of their imagination.. Totally expected from them, but brushing it under the rug simply isn't going to work.
  • Except... It is working.
  • They had like 5 devices burn. There we zero fires
  • Devices can burn without being on fire? Huh?
  • S. Koreans are returning these red-tinted phones in droves, only to receive replacement units that have the same exact issue, which begs the question, "Why didn't Samsung calibrate these phones correctly at the factory in the first place and avoid this PR nightmare entirely in the aftermath of the Note 7 debacle?" Samsung insiders are all complaining of a rush to get the S8 out before testing could be fully completed, just like with the Note 7 batteries. These people never learn.
  • Well you say that the settings will fix it, but have you had one affected by the problem and tried? I have met an affected unit (a display model) and while I was able to reduce the effect by playing with the settings I couldn't eliminate it completely. And Sammobile say that one of their review units had it, and they were perfectly aware of the blue light filter (in answer to other posters) because they mention it in their review (BTW they don't say this in the review, but they acknowledge in their own article on the "red tint" complaints that they had an affected unit). Don't take any corporations public statements at face value: remember that when early S4 owners complained about the lack of space Samsung publicly and privately told them to move apps to SD, despite the phone software not supporting that (the added it after the story reached the mainstream media). Always verify before publishing ;)
  • "You're holding it wrong!"
  • You WIN....!!!
  • You're​ looking at it through rose coloured spectacles; or maybe not.
  • Nah, Samsung moved the rose coloured spectacles right onto the phone to make it look better.
  • "When you look at it through rose colours glasses, all the red flags just look like flags."
  • It can't be fixed this way. Just get it replaced.
  • We need an "Early Adopters getting the Galaxy s8 meme for this."
  • Got the S8+ yesterday. I see a very slight red hue coming from the top of the screen when looking at the screen from an angle, but if I'm looking at it straight on it looks fine. I've compared the screen to the S7 Edge and the iPhone 7 Plus.
  • The only thing I'm not comfortable with is the 18.5:9 aspect ratio of the screen. The phone looks too narrow for its length.
  • No link given in the article to Samsung's explanation... So is this a case of Samsung explaining how to fix a hardware defect by hiding it using adjustments to colour temperature? A flagship comes out from a factory where their QA team are slacking on the job? Or they need to get enough units out quickly so they widen the tolerance for what they consider okay and they still charging big money for the same product?
  • Hi. Just received my S8+ today. And I can confirm this is a defect. Mine has an obnoxious red ring around the screen that cannot be removed by changing the display or playing with the RGB settings. None of the models on the store had this. One Tmobile rep had info from Samsung saying now that it "might" be a defect. The tech team walked me through the same things I had already done that Samsung claims will fix it. Did not work. Then they told me a factory reset would fix it. Nope. I'm a tech nerd and I've had virtually every Galaxy and iPhone, plus a multitude of other smartphones. This. Is. A. Defect. I can't look at the screen without the my eyes being distracting. If this was intentional, I will not be rebuying another S8. And btw, it's not intentional. It's a defect. Again. None of the working models at the store had this issue. Samsung is trying to save face. Just like the Note 7 - an amazing phone I have to package up and mail back.
  • Update: after a factory reset and more playing with the display, the best I can do is to remove *all* the red with full Green and Blue blasted up. It dampens the red ring hue a bit, but I still can't look at a white screen without it making my eyes distracted and uncomfortable. This is not a full balanced red hue across the screen like others have had. Don't get me wrong, it's not some ring of blazing orange fire around the screen. It's just faint enough that it bothers the eyes - I tried to get photos of it and the camera can barely pick up what it looks like in person. Not okay for a device that costs over $900 out the door. Already getting different responses from different reps. One said it's not a defect and there's no point in returning the phone because the replacement will have the same issue (funny that all the other models I played with didn't have it, eh?) and one rep said Samsung or Tmobile has admitted there might be a defect. Here we go again.
  • MINE HAS THE EXACT SAME ISSUE! ;-( Just got it today and I noticed that on any bright/white screens there's this ring of pink around the entire display. WTF. Thank u for taking the time to post this tho! I remembered reading this article yesterday (before I had my S8+ delivered), and purposely went back to look at the comments tonight to see if anyone else is seeing what I'm seeing.
  • Yeah I have the exact same issue to. But where your is a redish ring mines and blue one going around the phone. I went to carious stores yesterday and can confirm all units I encountered had either the red or blue ring around them.... This is messed up. This software fix better resolve this issue lol
  • You've had virtually every Galaxy? Aren't you forgetting the Galaxy A and Galaxy J lines? I'll bet you are.
  • Yeah bud. When you are on the original Jump plan and can trade your phone in every six months, it's not difficult at all. I've had the original Galaxy S, S4, S6 Edge, S7, Note 4, Note 5, Note 7, and S8+. Any further questions? Now get back to sixth period and stop being a bitchy internet troll.
  • Mine definitely seems to have a similar defect. Red-ish (pink) ring around the whole screen. WTH man!
  • I got mine yesterday and have the pinkish tint around the screen, just like another user stated playing with the settings reduces it but it does not go away. very noticeable next to the s7 edge i was replacing. going to try and exchange in store, otherwise i am just going to ask them to take it back and ill go back to the s7 edge. I do not think i have ever had an issue like this with a cell phone, just hoping i can get a better one in store.
  • So there are three of us with this particular defective model right here in this thread - before the phone has even been officially released. Anyone from the comments above want to chime in and talk more out of their ass? I have been told by my carrier to mail the phone back for a replacement. Gee pa, I wish I had known about the blue light thingamajig and the fancy color bars. Us hill folk can't have anything nice. Durrr. Time to update your condescending article, Russell?
  • LOL, good luck getting Russell to update his article, it takes A LOT more effort than comments on said article.
  • The reddish screen in the picture is whiter than my nexus 6's sepia screen or Nexus 6P's yellowish screen.
    If this cannot be fixed in the settings exchange the phone. This is very simple
  • Hmmmm.....seems it's such a "non-issue" that Sumsung is going to issue a patch for it:
  • it would be great if an OTA patch would fix my issue! but i'm a bit skeptical...the issue we're (above) having isn't the one pictured or being reported in South Korea. the fact that our "red" is all around the edges of the display makes me wonder if it could be a hardware issue. but again, i'll be ecstatic if i can just get a software update to fix this! wondering what to do in the meantime, as i was about to go to the Verizon store with it today, before i get to spending hours configuring this thing over the weekend.
  • I'd take it back to Verizon and get a new one. I don't think a software fix is the right solution. On the other hand, I bet some people just don't realize they have the blue filter on.
  • I got my S8 yesterday from Verizon & was playing with it. If you are in your drop down settings & accidentally turn on the Blue light filter it gives the screen a red hue. If you turn it off it goes right back to white. Is this what they are talking about with the red screen? It looks exactly like both the screens when you turn it on & off.
  • FYI update: i reported the issue i'm experiencing - with pink around all *edges* of the screen only - as a "tip" to Android Authority (since i don't say a way to do this on AC?) this morning... and they wrote me back immediately saying they've gotten a few other reports of this already and are gathering more info (looking for pictures of the issue) before they publish an article regarding.
  • It's difficult to capture it in photo for some reason. Maybe if I reset the screen it to how it was when it came out of the box? After a day's worth of use, my eyes have adjusted to it a bit - now it looks like a very dim holographic pink. Kinda feels like I've taken a mild hallucinogenic when looking at screen. Almost like one of those big photos at the malls in the 90s that you'd stare at and images would pop out. It's almost stronger when you don't try to look at the pink. THE DRESS IS WHITE AND GOLD.
  • Actually, I'm sending this from my 6s Plus and now I've seeing splotches of pink and blue on my iPhone screen. I think looking at the S8 screen for too long has strained my eyes or something. This is the lamest $900 acid trip ever.
  • yeah, i was thinking about it more, and to be clear to others here - this isn't an "OMG this thing is messed up and Samsung's got a gigantic problem on their hands" type of problem, like what happened with the Note7. to be honest, i personally can live with it--BUT not for the $1,000+ i paid to get this phone (had to pay off my S7Edge first)! basically, i would keep mine if they can give me a $200 credit or something. but as is, for the full price, i would want it fixed. just my thoughts today.
  • Right? Not a huge issue at all. But for a $900 device, yes it is. Maybe if the phone was given to me, I'd suck it up and try to live with it. But I have very sensitive eyes. I already see auric colors around people. Using the phone as it is now is doing weird things to my eyes. I can't wait to see this patch update lol. It'd be wonderful if I didn't have to mail the phone back, wait for the $190 down payment to be credited back to my card, and then go into a physical store and purchase a new model. I'm not holding by breath though. This doesn't seem like a software issue.
  • Another update (about the issue with the screens being pink around all edges): I just went into the Verizon store to show/ask them about it, and the Samsung rep was there. He said Samsung had been hearing about this one for a little while now, and a software update will be coming out in the next few days to fix this (and it will also add more Bixby features). That does make sense to me - as it explains how they're coming out with an update so quickly (they'd already heard of the issue and have been testing a fix for a while)...i'm just hoping it actually fixes this significant annoyance, and it's not a hardware issue.
  • I like how their first response was that it was supposed to be like that because if the glorious new infinity display. Then it was intentional to combat the heat of the screens. Now they're sending out a software update to fix the "non issue". It seems too that the ring issue is different for everyone. Different sizes. Some only have the glow on the sides or top. Samsung is gonna do everything they can before recalling the affected units.
  • Oh and I just heard there is now a phone number you can call that apparently fixes the issue? This is just getting better and better. I'll post the magic phone number if I can find it on the interwebs.
  • Phandroid did a speed comparison between the G6 and the S8. The G6 has a very blue tinted screen. The author confirmed it looks that way in real life, not just the video. So why isn't there a #bluegate fuss about the LG G6? Can we expect a software update from LG to fix the blue tint?
  • Mine too (S8+) has the red tint on the edges. I think the red tint is caused by the view angle. If u tilt the screen and look at it, at certain angle the screen will appear more reddish. Since the screen curves at both sides, that will make it certainly appear, no matter which angle you look at it.
    I ordered my phone online. In order to find out is it a common problem, I went down to the nearest store. They have 2 S8 and 2 S8+ on display. Turned out that 3 of the phones have the red tint on the edges to varying degrees. Only one phone looks acceptable to me. I took the whole day to set up my phone, I rather not return it for replacement. I hope Samsung can provide us with a calibration tool to calibrate the edges. I think the problem might look OK to some people, but worse to some people, as we know each person's perception of color is different. To some people who is colorblind to the red tone, of course it will not matter to them, but for me, it is super annoying. It is like once you realized it is there, it becomes a distraction, especially for a phone that you pay so much.
    Could it be a regional problem or production batch problem? I watch many youtube videos, most of the phones that have problems, their whole screens are reddish. BTW, I got my phone in Singapore on 22 Apr.
  • Well- the pink edges issue is quite stressful to me. It doesn't look right- it can't be corrected via color controls since it is non-uniform- not the entire display. Obviously the Blue Light filter is off- and even if it was on- it wouldn't be pink- but more sepia. It is subtle- it could be ignored. However it is not a result of the normal change in refractive properties related to the curved edge or the viewing angle of the machine. The issue is occurring regularly on store units. It definitely detracts from the experience of an $850 phone. It makes an exchange problematic- since the issue may well occur on the new phone. I am not even sure the carrier will acknowledge it is an issue justifying a return. I get that a bluish screen may not be as color accurate as the red technology Samsung is now employing. However subtle banding is ridiculous. I am a very unhappy consumer. Yes- the issue on a scale of 1-10 on life's big issues ranks a .0001. However, I have never returned a phone before, I am not that picky, I can tolerate software bugs- but I think is pathetic. I am surprised more reviewers did not at least note it during pre-release. I have used Samsung products in the past- and generally think well of their overall quality- I have no axe to grind.