Some T-Mobile Galaxy S II Models Suffering From Poor Screen Calibration?

The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S II has already solidified itself as one of the best smartphones ever to grace the Magenta network and our review of it was glowing. Unfortunately, there seems to be, at least for some users on XDA Developer Forums a bit of an issue with the Super AMOLED Plus display. The XDA thread takes an in-depth look at the panels on both the T-Mobile and Sprint variants and ends up with some surprising conclusions. The results shows a noticeable difference between the color reproduction and contrast levels as seen in the pictures at the end of this post.

Along with the aforementioned problems comes word that lines and blobs pop up when the phone is viewed with the highest level of brightness available in a dark room. Fortunately, the T-Mobile model isn’t alone as the problem can be duplicated on the AT&T Skyrocket as well as the Telus and Rogers versions of the Galaxy S II.

As it stands, the conclusion by the original poster of the XDA thread who performed the tests is that the T-Mobile version, along with the AT&T, Rogers and Telus variants suffer from poor screen calibration. The thread itself has extended to 27 pages full of users, many able to duplicate the problem. While not every individual phone appears to be affected, for some it is a real headache. We hope that Samsung takes note of the issue and that it can be solved with a software fix sometime in the near future.

For more info, including a way to test your own Galaxy S II check out the XDA thread.

XDA Developers

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  • Ilyas_k15

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had that, I got replaced, and I have it again!!!!!!!!!!!! I annoys me so much

    • i had to replace my g2x because of network problems and the sale rep said that if u had to replace it three time u get to choose a new phone have u heard of it from the sale rep?

      • lalas

        NO…there is no policy in place that states that after 3 warranty exchanges T-mo must give you a different phone, let alone let you pick the phone. It may be an option but there are a lot of variables in consideration, such as stock levels of current models. So dont go counting on getting to pick out a new phone. The system will only let sales reps and customer care reps ship what is set up in the system.

        • Anonymous

          And that is usually a lesser model. Just sayin’

        • Anonymous

          Actually you’re incorrect. A loyalty csr told me this, and I got a sensation for my vibrant after my third exchange.

  • 4G

    I thought my screen was looking a little dull 

  • Rob Villain

    I have the T-Mobile version and I haven’t had ANY problems whatsoever.

    • Tbyrne

      I second that!

  • Somaticed

    I returned mine after I attempted to exchange it for a unit without the issue… The other three units in stock had the same problem.  Went back to a 4 year old blackberry :(  I hope Samsung recalls these units or fixes them.  This was the first and only Samsung product that I have EVER been disappointed with in the past 12 years.  I was equally appalled by the lack of customer service on behalf of T-mobile.

    • Anonymous

      I keep hearing about TMO CC going downhill but I haven’t had one problem since the ATT announcement where it takes 5 10 15 minutes to reach someone or the service was just bad.

      I dunno.

      • Somaticed

        I’ve been a TMO customer for 9 years.  I’ve had post paid, prepaid, flex pay, family plans etc with them during that time.  I’ve always found customer service to be hit or miss with TMO.  Sometimes it’s over the top fantastic and sometimes it makes smoke come out of my ears.  Over the past 6 months I have had nothing but inept, rude and unprofessional service from all departments.  Not to mention the billing is ALWAYS screwed up.  One of the main reasons I have stayed with TMO is that I can always count on them screwing something up, which equates to credits on my behalf, making them even cheaper than advertised.  But even that isn’t worth it anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see how fast Samsung reacts to this situation.

  • I have it on mine too. Was watching video on it while in bed and every time there was a dark scene, I could see the lines in the screen.

  • Society187

    i bought my galaxy s2 the first hour it came out and returned it a week later payed the extra 50 re-stalking fee and got the amaze i knew something wasn’t right with the screen when you cant look at it too long without it giving you a headache!!!!! 

    • Anonymous

      That’s not just the GSII’s fault. If you’ve never had a SAMOLED screen before it does take some time for your eyes to adjust to it. I had eyestrain for about a week with mine but I’m fine now.

      • For Shame GS2

        Thats the biggest pile of BS I’ve jeard in a while. You shouldn’t have to “Get Used To” a screen on a phone. If you do, then they need to fix that because that is faulty. You Samsung fanboy’s crack me up trying to defend Samsung.

        • Frigadroid

          Yeah funny they actually think samsung is working on a software fix. Oh please they will not take note, nor do they care about fixing bugs. Everyone should know by now how samsung does business. If you are not satisfied with their products out of box you never will be.

  • Jesse Waldo

    Same problems here. I’ve tried 7 different phones and all have it.

  • Anonymous

    was thinking of picking up a ssgII but this scares me now. 

  • Anonymous

    Glad to see this issue getting some attention. I’m on my 3rd GSII because of this. My first two had VERY noticeable lines, so bad that I actually thought the menus were actually supposed to have a brushed-metal look to them. The lines are common in AMOLED screens(I looked at my best friend’s USCC Galaxy S & it has the lines to an extent as well), but the T-Mo GSII has them REALLY bad, so bad that it looks like the screen has stretch marks. My current unit is pretty good, the lines are now only noticeable on grey backgrounds & only if I’m really looking for them, but I do notice the blobs sometimes if I’m watching youtube videos in the dark. Honestly though, I’m still very happy with this phone. The screen is still gorgeous & I love everything about it & I’m sure some sort of fix will be issued for this. There’s a chance this could just be a software issue due to the T-Mo version having a different processor & GPU than the other models, so here’s hoping that’s all it is.

  • Zifnab2k

    Well when LG had this issue with the G2x, mum was the word. Can’t wait to see how Samsung handles it… something tells me mum will be the word once more

    • Mastrorj

      muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum lol :)

  • Zecarioca

    this is why i love htc phones…

    • Anonymous

      The latest HTC phones have the persistent problem of dead pixels (typically 1 dead read pixel) and dust under the screen glass. It’s rare to find a perfect and new high end phone these days :(

      Has anyone experienced this issue in their sensation or amaze?

      • Anonymous

        I can tell you that before I switched to the T-Mobile Galaxy S II, I had the myTouch 4G Slide and after three phones with dust under the screen – I laid it to rest and went Samsung again.

      • Anonymous

        I had that problem with my HD7. Took it back to best buy 3 times and finally went with another phone. I can’t say “ill never buy another HTC phone again because of that” because I went for the mytouch 4g and have had zero problems with it. In fact, its a good enough phone that it’ll hold me off until these tegra 3 phones start coming along.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t forget the screen lotto with HTC phones.  Took me 7 tries to get a Sharp display, the acer screens were garbage.

        • Curious

          How did you get t-mobile to exchange your phone 7x? Don’t you pay $20 per exchange ($5 if you have insurance)?

        • Neoprimal

          In the case of HTC and screens, there’s nothing essentially ‘wrong’, except that different users prefer different screens. Some like a darker, more sharp screen while others like screens with high white contrast levels.

          I’ll give an example. The mytouch 4G is a classic example of a phone suffering from 2 completely different looking screens and so, pretty much a poster boy for your “screen lotto” comment. 

          There was a whole debacle over which was inferior and whatnot when the reality of it was that one screen provided deeper blacks while the other provided higher whites. Some people preferred the darker screens while some preferred the lighter ones. 

          I’d love to know why they use several in the first place. That is the biggest issue right there, if they all looked the same – whether dark or light, people wouldn’t have the opportunity to differentiate. That’s perception for ya’.

          This Samsung thing is very similar. Whether the issue is calibration or actual part difference, had they kept things the same across the board this wouldn’t happen. 

          They need to perform a different level of Quality control. “It works” doesn’t cut it nowadays.

        • Mastrorj

          i deff agree with ur statement here and just wanted to add something quick. I have a fascinate from verizon and a vibrant on tmobile. Both had SAMOLED screens and both from the same line up of galaxy phones. But and i kid u not, The Fascinate screen was brighterby a good 20%(thats my estimate) it was more then noticeable. Also thats trying a few out and ever time the fascinate was brighter, it was crazy!! IF they r both SAMOLED Screens why should one be more brighter and colorful?

      • Anon

        With my 1st sensation, I had a stuck red pixel in the center of the screen after 3 days of use. On my 2nd sensation, I now have a stuck read pixel in the center of the screen after 2 months use…

        So annoying but what’s the lesser of 2 evils? Samsung not pushing updates and fixing problems with phones (remember the vibrant) or HTC have defective screens but at least HTC pushes new firmwares…

        This is why I refuse to buy phone at an additional cost and wait for midnight sales when the phones are free with a 2year contract.

        Also, I’ve had better luck with refurb phones than new phones… I wonder if refurbs get more testing? Hmmmmm

      • k-mack

        nope.  no problems on my Amaze!

    • Anonymous

      Was ready to go contract for the first time and needed two phones… couldn’t decide initially between SGSII or Amaze 4G but went with the Amaze and have been very happy.  I’m pretty sure that Samsung/T-Mo can fix the SGSII issue with some type of update to keep everyone happy.

  • Lubbalots

    If its the only best smart phone, its sad because other carriers have many best smart phones that grace them.  Funny Tmo customers grace this like a GOD, while other customers in other carriers smirks.

    • Mastrorj

      i like to check in from time to time n see whats been going on. I switched over to sprint and got the GS2 but then switched to the iphone. I wonder if i stayed with tmobile would i be one of them that had a faulty screen…with my luck yea lol. This is so ridiculous that TMO customers have to suffer with this. its one reason i left. i think the Nexus should be everyones next phone if possible. Seems like when u have an OS and its optimized to work with the hardware its on, then the phone ends up having fewer problems. Sure Iphone has its share of  bugs here n there. but honestly I’ve used android for 2 yrs now. i ignored the iphone hype. and i tell u that its not hype. Some limitations, sure, i dont deny that. But after having Android for that long and going to iphone4 i get it, i get why people love their iphones. And believe me i resisted and held out to switching over as long as possible.

      • Anonymous

        I’m still holding out…but it will most likely happen if App increases their screen size.

        • Mastrorj

          yea, it might happen ya know,But having a 3.5 inch screen isnt the end of the world. I think now the Tabs are doing great and offered in many different configurations, Smartphones dont have to give you the “computer like experience” anymore. Tabs are taking that pressure off. I will get an Asus Transformer soon to do internet and media stuff and just let my phone be a phone for a change. 

        • Hark

          I tried the iphone 4 and found it unusable. Screen is way too small and the os is boring

  • Anonymous

    Admittedly I too have the verticle lines going up the screen. I noticed it about a week into the phone and contemplated exchanging it but I had a feeling that the new one would do it as well.

    Good thing is that you dont always see the lines. For me its only when the phone is dimmed and there are dark images on screen.

    I just stopped using auto brightness and turned the brightness up and you know what? I enjoy this phone even more when the screen is not dimmed. Especially while playing games. So while the lines may be a minor nuisance, they are avoidable. Hopefully it will be fiixed with an update.

    And I STILL would rather have SAMOLED+ with lines then an HTC phone with its crappy contrasted LCD screen. Do not pass up on buying this pbone because of the lines because the screen is still amazing.

    • countonme

      First thing customers say is that screen looks not so good( international customers) the gs2 is good but the over saturated colors and poor resolution is killing its sales in my store. With better resolution it would kill the amaze

      • Frigadroid

        When will tmobile get it that people dont want a frankenphone, that’s been slapped together with features missing and lower spec components than the orginal international version. They should try charging more for the phone rather than looking for ways to cheapen it.

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone had the opportunity to try out the NFC capabilities yet?

  • Dime04

    Wonder if this problem is just with the screen sizes of 4.5 inches. I have the AT&T SGS II and I don’t have any issues with the screen. Really wish the problem was addressed cause I still have 4 lines on TMobile and of course they’re interested in this phone. Waiting game………

    • Anonymous

      Its not the screen size its the CPU and or GPU.  Sprints GSII is 4.5″ with Exynos CPU and doesnt have the problem.  Same goes for your 4.3″ GSII.

      “Fortunately, the T-Mobile model isn’t alone as the problem can be duplicated on the AT&T Skyrocket as well as the Telus and Rogers versions of the Galaxy S II.”

      All of those phones use the same Qualcom CPU and GPU.  

      • Dime04

        Didn’t think about that. Makes sense though. Appreciate the reply.

        • Anonymous

          No problem.

  • Mmartinez3723

    There is always has to be somthing wrong with these phones..

  • Action 6

    so is it sure that wifi calling will happen day after tomorrow? we will get software update on the galaxy s 2?

  • Fidelcastro

    Samsung and LG for me is garbage, I think many times to buy anything from them,I’m glad I went to htc 1 more time,and don’t care about nexus prime (Samsung crap) the master of phones coming in January, G3 or htc edge
    First quadcore ics phone,htc and tmobiles rocks 1 more time !

  • dpudge

    Im on my second one and it still has the lines but the blobs are smaller and less noticeable. I am considering exchanging for an amaze but I played on my coworkers amaze yesterday and other than the camera it was just too slow over all. Ill probably stick to the s2 for now. Hopefully samsung will fix this problem.

  • Ryetak7

    every phone that comes out for the first time always has some type of problem. Iphone, blackberry and android phones. So its not just this phone. My Galaxy S2 is working just fine. out of 100 S2’s that I sold at T-mobile. I’ve only had one guy come in about the lines on the screen and I barley even seen anything. so I just exchanged it for him so I don’t hear anything. 

  • Action 6

    wifi calling  is on nOV 12TH right? software update or we have to go to store?

    • Ryetak7

      november 16th ota. just make sure you have the sim card that came in the box. the update should come out in waves. so not everyone will get it the same day.

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t had one returned to my store as of yet. My galaxy is working just fine after exchanging it from an HTC Amaze because of the battery life. I also got a Galaxy for my wife and she has no problems as well, not to mention I’m getting 1 day and 7 hrs of battery life with my sync tuned off and all black background. Most of my phones have always been HTC but my Mytouch 4G and Amaze couldn’t make it thru a day just in idle mode, so I gave Samsung’s Galaxy S2 a try. The Galaxy’s processor is just fine and I never experience lag of any sort, I’m also getting about 8-15 mbps download in the city I live in so I’m happy for the processor switch. All in all the first solid Android phone I’ve owned to date, and I’ve owned them all working at Tmobile. Hope this is fixable in the few phones that have this issue.

    • Anonymous

      I have to disrupt your rebuttal here… There IS DEFINITELY lag on this phone and I can say this because I own it and have been using it for a few days now. Is the lag unbearable? Absolutely not…but there is lag. 

      • Frigadroid

        Notice the source said “working at tmobile” everytime a new phone is proven to have problems a few people who work for the carriers and manufacturer will all ways try to deny it. They argued for weeks that nobody would notice any difference with the processor change, so I’m not surprised once again they are living in denial. Good job on calling that one out with your own fair and balanced critique.

        • Anonymous

          I most certainly agree. I would still recommend the phone despite the lag although I feel it’s been dissected to such a fine point that TouchWiz 4.0 is *supposed* to be hardware-accelerated and those variants with the Qualcomm processor simply lack it.

          I suppose it’s the next T-Mobile employee’s turn. ;)

  • jarjon76

    I thought this was the phone to end all phones. You mean to tell me that it’s having problems like any other phone?

    • Theasylife

      LOL, U got funnies…

  • Michaeldiazh

    Its the processors fault, js.

  • I’ve been to the store at least 5 times to look at this phone.  Glad I didn’t get it. I’ll just suck it up with my Vibrant and wait for the next best thing. Been with Tmo for 10 years and I’ve felt like we’re always behind when it comes to phones. I stay because of the cheaper plans.

    • Action 6

      U can order the GALAXYS2 HD from asia, korea.  that should work better

  • Rayfinn

    The main issue that bites my ascot the most= the SGS2 has been hyped for months as the cream of the crop and then when released -it has no-WIFI no-Fm tuner and now the lines on the screen AND yes they are Annoying .  Bottom line how can a phone be out for months prior then get a phone that they re-constructed and allow it to have issue and expect people to just ignore it or pretend its okay.  Bite Me already,  And on top of it they want to release whats now the hyped to be king of phones when they still have issues with what was their King of Phones.  The $$ stops here Sammy and Tmo, get it fixed or Bite me.  My $$ will go to another and hopefully with a company that cares about QC and Customer Service.  And by the way – do your re-search they other sites have it in print from  TMO reps that WIFI is only in testing stages and no real release date yet …

    • Anonymous

      I don’t understand where people say it has no WiFi. I’m guessing you’re referring to WiFi Calling? 

      • Action 6

         tmo GS2 has no wifi calling

        • Tatgirl661

          aren’t they fixing that on 11-13-11 with an update….I think I read that here at tmo…

        • Giraffe

          It’s using different tech to make Wifi calling, and it’s not fully implemented on the rom.  Real question in my mind is what’s the difference between the “old” wifi calling (I’m not talking UMA even) and this new one?

    • Action 6

      i agree, no FM tuner and no WIFI calling  is unbelievable!

    • Rokitar

      Wi-fi being released being released on 11-13-11 is what I have heard. Wi-fi calling is what I am assuming u meant

    • Williams rogers

      I HAVE a  galaxy s 4g   from  t mobile  no   no  i  love it   works   very good  i have  a back up from  at&t  did not ues it yet

  • The T-Mobile “Galaxy S II” is NOT the original Galaxy S II that was released for ATT/Sprint. They swapped the processor out with a Qualcomm Chip to achieve their magical 42 mbps data. Don’t get mad at Samsung, get mad at T-Mobile for releasing garbage and then expect the general public to know the difference. ATT has now done the same thing and release the garbage version of the Galaxy S II to the public.

    This is why T-Mobile needs to be taken over by ATT, cause of stupid decisions like this to release trash to the public.

    • Giraffe

      Even if your argument is accepted that it’s a bad decision for T-Mobile and AT&T to release these phones, you do realize that one taking over the other would not change that at all, right?

  • El

    Apparently i must be one of the lucky ones considering iv had no problems with mine….and by that i mean none what so ever!

    • Tbyrne

      True that!

      • El


    • Bobby Phoenix

      +1  I have a 100% perfectly working phone.  No screen issues at all.  I’m sure there are those with issues, but as Samsung says they sold millions of them, and what, 1000 have a defect?  Not bad.  This is the best phone out there bar none.  I love it so much!!!!!  Awesome in every way!

      • El

        Thank you…its really not that hard to get a replacement…and ill bet that for the average user the lines were never even a problem or even noticed for that matter until they saw it online…for those saying we got the crappy version…jump ship…this is a tmo site…why come here and trash youre own provider???…plus for arguments sake…the qualcomm chip was a fair trade for 42mbps

  • Anonymous

    For all of the people complaining about the screen: really? What else is wrong with the phone?
    This is one of the BEST phones I’ve ever had. No REAL issues like overheating or signal loss, or poor GPS.. you can barely even see the lines.
    T-MoNews – disgraceful for you guys deciding to run it after Engadget. You could have had the scoop on it, instead you ignored it. I know this was sent over a while ago.

    • Anonymous

      I agree!

      I could have taken the phone back and said “Look at these lines”  but $#@% this phone is excellent every way I need it to be.

  • Proptrash

    I am on my second S2.  The first had terrible echo problems for whomever I called.  Other than that, it blows away my old Mytouch 4g.

  • Not seein it

    I tried this test on both mine and my wife’s phones and the screen still looks fine. You people must of just got a bad batch. Love my phone.

    • Anonymous

      Here’s the thing… When I used the file supplied on the XDA thread, my phone showed it gray. However, when I found a “solid black” picture online myself, it came up solid black and is currently my background.

  • Shakomako

    ATT’ is getting a second version of SGS II with lte and some extra goodies included and the price online on wf is $100 only or less than $150 on store, how come T-mobile gets the crappy version and is priced at $229, seriously !

  • Rb

    I have a galaxy 2 with Tmobile and am also a tech support rep and have not seen many reports of this. In my opinion it sounds like a hardware issue that a software patch won’t fix

  • Action 6

    i have free wifi calling on my line but the GS2 doesnt have wifi calling, when the update for wifi calling comes,  will it charge minutes from my plan or same free wifi calling?

    • Anonymous

      It’s the same, they are all billed the same whether you have a Blackberry with true UMA, an @Home calling phone, or a WiFi calling phone.

  • Heath

    Has anyone found a solution for the case-caused echo yet? I got 3 of these phones for the entire family and all of them have the echo problems, which is why I don’t think switching them out will help. Thinking of drilling holes in my case to clear the mics.

  • if you turn off noise cancelation the echo goes away

  • anybody have overheating issues? my temp gets up to 40c and makes my face hot

  • bob

    I have the Tmobile galaxy s2 and after a couple Weeks, its started lagging a lot! Anyone know why this could be?