A phone's screen is arguably its most important component, because when it doesn't work, there aren't really any other ways to manipulate the device. That's why it's distressing to see a number of complaints on both Reddit and Samsung's official forums from owners of new Galaxy S9s who are running into deadspots on the phone's screen that are causing the affected devices to ignore touch inputs.
While I didn't encounter these issues on our S9+ review unit, based on feedback in these threads, it seems these touchscreen deadspots are affecting both the standard Galaxy S9 and the pricier S9+, with slightly more users reporting the issue on the larger model.
A couple GIFs captured by Reddit user /u/bobdurfob do a good job of illustrating the problem. In the example on the left, after turning on a feature that highlights touch input, you can see that when dragging a finger across the screen, the phone suddenly suddenly stops recognising anything about two-thirds of the way down.
Then, /u/bobdurfob shows another example of the issue when trying to use Google Gboard to type one letter from left to right across the top row of the keyboard, with the phone ignoring presses on the E, R, and T keys. However, depending on the phone, it seems these deadspots aren't always in the same place, which can make the issue a bit harder to detect.
The prevailing theory for these deadspots is that they are caused by a faulty digitizer, which is the component on a phone responsible for detecting touch inputs. Currently, it's difficult to tell how widespread the issue is, or how many devices may be affected. We have reached out to Samsung for more info and an official statement, and we'll update when we hear back.
While it's essentially impossible for 100 per cent of devices coming out a factory to be free of defects, an issue like this can have a serious impact on the overall usability of the device. And what makes this issue even more upsetting is that, when it's working correctly, the S9's display is the best looking screen on the market.
[via Android Police]