Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are the company’s flagship offerings that were unveiled ahead of Mobile World Congress 2018. As has been the case with the last few Samsung flagship handsets, the Galaxy S9 series also sports the in-house Super AMOLED displays that have been regarded as some of the best in the industry. However, user reports suggest the displays on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been plagued with colour banding issues, also termed as ‘black crush’.
Black crush essentially refers to a situation wherein the display produces grainy and pixelated frames when it cannot produce darker shades accurately. This effect is evident whilst watching high-resolution videos with footage taken in the dark or with a dark background. Several users have reported in Samsung’s and XDA Developers’ forums about the issue being faced on certain units of the Galaxy S9 as well as the Galaxy S9+. Separately, a user also claims that videos played on the Galaxy S9+ native video player do not support HDR.
Reports claim that the intensity of the issue has varied between users but it definitely exists. Black crush was previously associated with “low quality” LG displays and is one of the rare instances when it has been seen on a Samsung smartphone. In an attempt to remedy the issue, users can download the Screen Balance app from Google Play. Once installed, set Fluorescent to Warm, set the Strength slider to 60 percent, and set Contrast to 100 percent.
Back in October last year, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL – both of which sport AMOLED displays – also experienced similar black smearing issues that are evident when the display is on low brightness. Also called blue shift issue, black smears were observed on units of both variants.