Just a few days ago, experts at DisplayMate concluded after exhaustive testing that the Galaxy S8 has the best smartphone display ever. It became the first device to earn an A+ grade from DisplayMate. But a large number of customers who have received their Galaxy S8 units are complaining about the screens having a weird reddish tint. Though the flagship device would launch officially on April 21st, people who had pre-ordered the phone have started receiving it on April 18th.

Samsung Galaxy S8
Image Credit: Samsung Mobile / YouTube video (screenshot)

Galaxy S8 owners unable to restore the color balance

When Samsung announced the Galaxy S8 on March 29, the gorgeous Infinity display was one of its biggest highlights. But some people are already finding problems with the display. Industry watchers told The Korea Herald that the problem might be caused by the color balance of OLED panels. The S8 owners said in various online communities that the color balance did not improve even after correcting the color display settings.

Galaxy S8 Display
Image Source: 87juuuuu / Instagram (screenshot)

The Galaxy S8 owners have posted photos of their devices with a reddish tint to Instagram and local technology forums such as Ppomppu. One S8 owner said they read articles about the reddish panels. When the said user checked their own device, they were equally unlucky.

Galaxy S8 Reddish Tint
Image Source: jiweon5368 / Instagram (screenshot)

What’s causing the problem?

The Galaxy S8 is the first smartphone to use “Deep Red” AMOLED technology to strengthen the red, which could be the root cause of the problem. The LCD screens use three subpixels: red, green and blue. But the OLED panel used in the Galaxy S8 has two subpixels: red-green and blue-green. Since there are two greens, there was a possibility of color balance issues.

So, the Korean electronics giant developed the Deep Red technology to strengthen the red color. This could be causing the problem, said Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah. He said it was a “software calibration issue” that makes the “usual whites look reddish.”

It’s not a quality issue, says Samsung

A Samsung spokesperson confirmed the red display issue. The company said it was “not a quality problem” and customers could change the configuration from Settings > Display > Screen Mode > Color Balance. However, many users complained that they couldn’t adjust the color because the screen was already optimized. A few S8 owners who visited the service centers to get the problem fixed reported that they were asked to change their phones.

Samsung said in an official statement that all its smartphones “undergo thorough testing to meet our high level of quality standards.” It added that the Galaxy S8 sports an adaptive display that optimizes the color saturation, range, and sharpness depending on the environment. A section of consumers is already skeptical of Samsung products after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. If Samsung couldn’t resolve the red tint issue via a software update, it may have to face the anger of customers.

Samsung prevents users from remapping the Bixby button

The Korea Herald reports that consumers have also complained about the Bixby button being limited only to the operation of Samsung’s new voice assistant. A few days ago, XDA Developers reported that the Bixby button could be reconfigured to activate any other app such as Google Assistant or the camera. Through a firmware update, Samsung has blocked the ability to reconfigure the Bixby button.

Samsung launched Bixby to challenge Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana. But Bixby offers only limited capabilities at launch. It would speak only US English and Korean initially. It means millions of people in countries other than the US and South Korea won’t be able to use it. Samsung said a few days ago that Bixby Voice, the most important feature of its AI assistant, would not be available at launch in the US. It would arrive sometime later this spring.

Interestingly, Google Assistant comes pre-installed on the Galaxy S8. Samsung wants to ensure that power users do not reconfigure the Bixby button to activate Google Assistant, so that it could lock them up within the Bixby ecosystem. A big question here is: Why would someone want to use Bixby when they have far more advanced and accurate Google Assistant on the same device? Samsung needs to enhance the capabilities of its AI assistant if it wants to catch up with rivals.

Galaxy S8 receives one million pre-orders in South Korea

Citing data from local telecom carriers, The Investor reports that Samsung had received more than one million pre-orders for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus in its home country alone. The pre-order period ran between April 7 and April 17. It’s the highest ever pre-order for a new smartphone in South Korea. Samsung aims to sell more than 60 million units of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus worldwide by the end of this year.

The record pre-orders aren’t surprising considering Samsung had received more than 550,000 orders in the first two days, which swelled to 720,000 units in seven days in Korea. A telecom industry executive told The Investor that the issue was how many pre-order customers would actually buy the smartphones. Last year’s ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 had a purchase ratio of more than 70%.

The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display, respectively. The screen is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Both handsets come with 12-megapixel Dual Pixel main camera with an f/1.7 aperture and OIS. The front camera is 8-megapixel. Both the S8 and S8 Plus pack 4GB RAM, 64GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot, fast charging, and wireless charging technology.

The S8 is powered by a 3000mAh battery while its bigger sibling packs a 3500mAh battery. The devices run Android Nougat out of the box. They run Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, which has a clock speed of 2.3GHz. For security, the phones have a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, iris scanner, and facial recognition technology. However, a recent test video showed that the Galaxy S8’s face detection system was vulnerable to hacking. You can fool it simply by using the owner’s photo.

Samsung has also introduced a new DeX dock that allows Galaxy S8 users to turn the device into a computer by connecting it to a mouse, keyboard, and monitor.