Samsung is investigating "a limited number of reports" claiming select Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus units shipped with manufacturing defects causing dead touchscreen spots where the display panels of the devices don't respond to input, a company spokesperson told Engadget. Reports of such issues are presently counted in the dozens on the tech giant's official product forums and while their exact scope remains unclear, all owners of the supposedly faulty handsets appear to be based in the United States and are experiencing problems with the Snapdragon 845-powered variants of the handsets.
Qualcomm's chip is unlikely to be in any way related to the issues and even if select units prove to be faulty, the problem could be attributable to a defective batch of handsets. The development marks the emergence of the first display-related complaints about Samsung's new flagships, whereas last year's Galaxy S8 lineup had more widespread issues, with numerous early buyers claiming the screens of their handsets were displaying a reddish hue, though the majority of affected units ended up having their panels recalibrated via an over-the-air update which remedied what ended up being a software bug. According to recent user reports citing posted on Samsung's forums, basic troubleshooting suggests that certain affected units don't necessarily have dead spots in the sense that they aren't recognizing touch input but are simply ignoring it, which indicates at least some Samsung customers may also have their issues resolved by a subsequent OTA package. A factory reset eliminated the dead spots for at least one user, though most of those who claim are affected haven't been able to address the matter on their own.
Originally released last Friday, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are widely expected to become the best-selling Android devices of the year. The vast majority of early adopters didn't experience any hardware issues with the phablets, whereas select software bugs such as Samsung Pay incompatibility have already been addressed by the Seoul-based phone maker. The Android flagship duo will be available for purchase across 110 markets in total by the end of the month, Samsung said last week.