Samsung’s mobile devices have always been praised for their displays, thanks to the company’s prized Super AMOLED panels. This year, however, Samsung may have lost that prestige, at least for some owners of its high-end Galaxy S20 phones that have started to exhibit random green tinting on their screens. Unfortunately, that case is far from solved and has only become even more mysterious now that even the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and both Galaxy Tab S7 models have reportedly exhibited the same green sickness.
To some extent, this recent development could be a relief to one of Samsung’s biggest businesses. The green tint malady that afflicted the Galaxy S20 phones were initially blamed on Samsung’s Exynos chips, adding insult to the injury of an already beleaguered brand. It was also theorized to be caused by Super AMOLED display drivers but that might not be correct either.
The new devices reported going green this time run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, discounting the first theory. The Galaxy Tab S7, which uses an LCD display rather than a Super AMOLED panel, makes the second theory moot. In other words, this green plague might be caused by something else, something all three groups of devices have in common.
The only common denominator left at this point, at least the one the public knows about, is the 120 Hz refresh rate. That said, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra supposedly uses a new kind of variable refresh rate screen, so that may not be true either. Unfortunately, Samsung has mostly remained silent on the matter, especially considering it affects what it will always present as a small number of users from a larger set of very satisfied customers.
The good news is that the green tint really only happens when brightness dips below a certain threshold and has been known to be cured by a firmware update. Still, for a company known for its displays, Samsung’s track record this year really leaves much to be desired.