Evidence suggests severe lens flare on Galaxy S9 camera

While the mainstream media (both tech and non-tech) is currently highlighting the Galaxy S9 display ‘dead spots’ problem (which was first highlighted by us), we’ve stumbled upon another major problem with the flagship device.

The issue is with the handset’s camera, with several users confirming their units produce severe lens flare in the images they capture. Yes, we know, all types of cameras are prone to lens flare, but what Galaxy S9 users are reporting is really concerning.

A senior member at XDA forums shared some images they clicked with their Galaxy S9+ smartphone, clearly showing what seems like a “bad” or “unbearable” lens flare. Take a look:

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It’s worth mentioning that these pics were taken when the sun was already passed its peak for the day. The complainant further confirmed they had to try very hard with their Galaxy Note 8 to capture shots that contained lens flare. And when compared, the S9+ lens flare still looked very bad.

They even got in touch with Samsung support:

Just communicated with Samsung Support on Twitter and they blamed the dual aperture. Suggested I try different angles and tap to focus. Smh. Guess enough people will have to complain before they realize there’s an issue.

Here are a couple of important observations they made:

I don’t get the flare directly at the sun. When I’m standing at an angle from the sun is when this flare mostly happens.

I’m concerned that there is a design flaw. I’ve owned many phones and have never had such an issue with taking pics with the sun. I was tweeting Samsung support and said the light penetrating into the lens was the reason for the terrible pics. Idk.. the phone is very new so we’ll see how many do or don’t come forward with this issue. All I know is the afternoon sun was just at the right height to cause the angle that the camera didn’t agree with.

This could well be a hardware issue as when the user captured two similar shots, one normally and the other by placing a hand over the camera module, the second image didn’t have any lens flare.

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S9-correct-image

Several other member of the XDA forum community confirmed the problem on the same thread. Some of them even shared their captured shots as proof. Here’s one:

S9-lens-glare-4

The original complainant confirmed that many other users have been complaining about this issue on other threads. So they’ve collected the proofs and shared everything with Samsung.

Well, I’ve had a few others say they have the same issue from another post. I submitted pics and info to Samsung support. They said they will be passing along the info to their engineers.

The complainant said what they are seeing on their Galaxy S9+ is even worse than the lens flare problem that showed up on Google’s Pixel XL (that problem, if you aren’t aware, was acknowledged by Google):

Went back out and snapped pics with S9+ and note 8. Note 8 had zero issues just like I figured. Camera has been great since I’ve owned it. The S9+ pics were terrible again. Over the years I’ve owned many phones and the only camera that gave me a consistent lens flare issue was the pixel xl. That phone’s lens flare was very minimal compared to this. I’ve been use to aiming my phone in any direction without any issue. Only way I can prevent it is to shield the camera module with my hand. If the sun is behind me I don’t have an issue. Most of my lens flare shots are with the sun off to my side and not directly into the sun.

Samsung was quick to offer a replacement, by the user said the new/replaced unit also has the same issue. They even shared images confirming the same – see here.

The same complainant also pointed out that an image used in MKBHD’S review video of the S9+ also shows this problem (although MKBHD himself didn’t say anything about it). Following is the review in question – just play the video and see the capture for yourself (at 8:17).

Bad lens flare could well be a new (and a major) entry in the list of already known Galaxy S9 issues. It’ll be interesting to see the clarification Samsung will offer in this case. Rest assured, we’ll update the story as and when anything news-worthy comes to our sight.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.