Newly Discovered Bug Crashes Snapdragon Galaxy S9 Models

A newly discovered bug of the Snapdragon 845 variants of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus appears to be crashing Samsung's latest Android flagships in certain scenarios, with the GraphicsFuzz service reporting the Adreno 630 GPU is unable to handle select shaders while the devices are running the Samsung Internet browser. While the shaders themselves can be demanded by any app, the issue only leads to crashes while the default browser is being used because Samsung's tool isn't programmed to restart itself in such scenarios, as per the same report. Placing the Snapdragon models of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus under identical strain but replacing Samsung Internet with Google's Chrome doesn't crash either handset.

The nature of the issue indicates Samsung may resolve it through a software fix, especially given how its in-house mobile browser is based on the Chromium project, much like Chrome itself. Installing Samsung Internet on the new Pixel 2 phones with the Snapdragon 835 and subjecting it to identical conditions doesn't crash Google's Android flagships either, according to the same source. Select HTC handsets were previously found to have been exhibiting similar problems which are likely related to custom implementations of Qualcomm's chips and not the hardware itself. The Exynos 9810 variants of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus which are sold internationally don't appear to be prone to such crashes either.

The South Korean original equipment manufacturer has yet to comment on the matter in any capacity, though the bug itself is likely to be handled as a low-priority item given how it only affects the end-user experience in highly specific scenarios. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus have been retailing for some six weeks now, with the company being yet to share any details on their commercial performance. Unlike in previous years, the Exynos models of the latest Android flagships from Samsung are widely rated as being computationally inferior to their Snapdragon counterparts in most aspects.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]