Unresponsive soft keys is just one of many serious Galaxy Note 9 issues

Update (October 10): Now Bluetooth issues have also come to light, head here to learn more.

Original story follows:

Are the on-screen soft keys – recent, home, and back buttons – present on the bottom of your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 screen have suddenly become less responsive?

Like, do you press them many times in order to generate a response? If yes, then you aren’t alone.

There have been similar reports from other Galaxy Note 9 users as well.

What makes this news worthy is that Samsung has confirmed the problem, saying a fix is being worked on.

Following are some user reports explaining the issue:

Anyone having issues with their soft keys at the bottom of the screen not being responsive on the note 9? They seem to work fine about half the time but randomly become unresponsive. I may have to tap on them 10 -20 times to get my recent apps to pop up. Usually if I restart the phone they work fine for awhile. Is this common?

I just started having the same problem yesterday. Worked fine since purchased on release day

You know, I just bought my Note 9 today, and I am having the exact same problem! I restarted my phone, and the soft keys worked fine only for a while, and then they acted up again

It doesn’t happen all the time and I’ve noticed it doesn’t seem to affect the home button for me. Just the back and open apps soft keys. I may press them multiple times before they respond – occasionally the button oval will even “light up” as if it “knows” it’s being pressed but remains unresponsive.

Owned since 8/22 and today my back button wouldn’t respond then finally when it did, it stayed stuck for a few seconds .Like a massive lag. Only one time so far

galaxy-note9-1

So you can see most complainants say the problem suddenly appeared recently. This clearly indicates that an update could be the culprit.

And as it turns out, this is indeed the case.

A Samsung forum moderator has just confirmed that the responsiveness of the soft keys has been adversely affected by a new Samsung Pay app update.

The version 3.0.00 of the Samsung Pay app – which was released last week – is to blame here.

However, keep in mind this version only causes problem on those devices where the Samsung Pay mobile payments service is not setup.

Here’s what the moderator exactly said:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This issue appears to only be seen when you have not set up Samsung Pay on the device and the app updates to the latest version we just released (3.0.00) in Play Store. We have sent the details to the team and they are working on a fix now for Samsung Pay that we hope to release in the very near future. In the interim, If you swipe the Samsung Pay “hint” image up from the bottom of the screen three times and dismiss it, the hint is removed from the screen. Or, of course, you could also set up Samsung Pay and start enjoying the best digital wallet out there. If you have any issues with the keys after following our suggestions above, please reach out to us via private message so that we can get some additional details from you

note9-soft-keys-issue

So there you go. If you are experiencing lags, freeze, or slow responsiveness when using on-screen soft keys, you can try the workarounds the moderator suggested.

And as they confirmed, a fix is being prepared. However, they didn’t provide any time line as to when the update containing the fix will arrive.

Not the only issue plaguing Galaxy Note 9

Unfortunately, there are other major issues plaguing the Galaxy Note 9 as well.

Camera lags

To start with, complaints about camera lags and/or freeze have blown up, and Samsung has acknowledged this problem as well.

It’s worth mentioning that we were the first publication to highlight this problem nearly a couple of weeks back.

note9-camera-lags

The ongoing discussion about the problem on XDA (link in our story here) prompted a Samsung employee – Cole – to jump in and ask for details.

And the same employee posted today on company’s official forums that a fix is being worked on. Here’s what they exactly said:

The response will honestly depend on how fast our teams can find a fix. If it’s more difficult to fix than what they initially think, I don’t have any ETA at all. The fastest I have seen a case like this get fixed is about a week. I hope this information helps, I’m sorry I can’t really offer more

note9-camera-freeze-confirmed

So the fastest you can expect Samsung to fix Note9 camera lags and freeze is a week from now. Of course, this time frame is not set in stone.

Speaker issues

A lot of Galaxy Note 9 users are also reporting speaker issues with their units. There are multiple use cases.

galaxy-note9-2

Case 1:

To begin with, there are a significant number of reports that say the volume level through the bottom speaker of the device automatically gets lowered after a few minutes of playing media.

Complainants have confirmed the problem persists in safe mode, and some of them have already received replacements over this.

Case 2:

Next up, several users have reported that during calls, when speakerphone (loud speaker) is on, the top speaker gives issues.

Specifically, the top speaker doesn’t do anything most of the time, but gets activated randomly in between only to stop working after sometime.

Case 3:

And finally, there are also reports about about low sound – especially when compared to last year’s Note 8 – while the phone rings or a notification is received.

All these speaker problems are covered in detail here.

Galaxy Watch has faulty Pedometer and Heart Rate sensors, Samsung confirms

Even the brand new Samsung Galaxy Watch, which arrived alongside the Galaxy Note 9, has major issues.

galaxy-watch-img

A very large number of users are reporting issues with the device’s step counter and heart rate sensors.

Here again, we were the first publication to highlight these problems with the watch, and even comments on our story (see here) indicate the issues are widespread.

For its part, Samsung has officially confirmed these problems (details in story linked above).

The company has said only some units are affected and a future software update will fix the issues.

Final words…

Given that both Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Watch launched just a month back, the number and intensity of issues that have come to light ask for prompt action.

Oh, and did we mention that even many Note9 pre-orders are to be delivered yet? Yeah, that’s true – see here.

Here’s hoping the South Korean company fixes these problems as soon as possible. And rest assured, we’ll let you know as and when that happens.

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Himanshu Arora

My interest in technology and writing started back in 2010. Since then, I have written for many leading publications, including Computerworld, GSMArena, TechSpot, HowtoForge, LinuxJournal, and MakeTechEasier to name a few. Here at PiunikaWeb, my work involves covering on daily basis the biggest tech stories as well as scoops that you won't find anywhere else.