Early Galaxy S8 owners complain of red-tinted screens

Samsung says it has an easy fix.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

Samsung started shipping the Galaxy S8 to customers in South Korea who pre-ordered the flagship phone almost a full week ago. They were probably thinking of how lucky they were to get the phone early until some of them noticed something off about their screen. According to multiple reports posted on Korean forums like PPOMPPU and social networks like Instagram, some S8 units' displays have a very noticeable reddish tint. It's unclear how widespread the issue is, but it seems to be serious enough for "Galaxy S8 Red Screen" to be a trending search term on Korean search engine Naver.

[Image credit: jiweon5368/Instagram]

Samsung didn't deny the issue and told ZDNet that it can easily be fixed in the settings:

"All Samsung phones undergo thorough testing to meet our high level of quality standards. The Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ has applied Super AMOLED and provides rich and expressive colors, enabling users to enjoy a clearer and more vivid viewing experience.

The Galaxy S8 was built with an adaptive display that optimizes the color range, saturation, and sharpness depending on the environment. If needed, users can manually adjust the color range of the display to change the appearance of white tones, through 'Settings > Display > Screen Mode > Color balance'."

An unnamed mobile industry official told Business Korea that a few Note 7 launch units also had a reddish tint brought about by the Super AMOLED display. If fixing color balance doesn't work, his advice is to go in for a replacement -- indeed, some affected users said making color adjustments did nothing for them.

Another insider pointed out to The Korea Herald that it could be caused by the company's new deep red AMOLED tech. The S8, which is the first phone to use the technology, has two types of joint pixels: red-green and blue-green. Those two greens could cause a color imbalance, so Samsung made the red pixels look stronger and deeper. Whatever the cause is, it seems buyers' best bet to check their phone against other devices when it arrives and adjust the color balance before panicking and asking for a replacement.