Samsung Galaxy S9 users reporting touchscreen dead zones — here's how to test yours

UPDATE: Samsung has officially responded in regards to reports that its new Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus handsets are experiencing touchscreen dead zones for some users. Official statement below:

"At Samsung, customer satisfaction is core to our business and we aim to deliver the best possible experience. We are looking into a limited number of reports of Galaxy S9/S9+ touchscreen responsiveness issues. We are working with affected customers and investigating.

We encourage any customer with questions to contact us directly at 1-800-SAMSUNG."

Original article continues below:

Although the phones have only just been released, a number of Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus owners are reporting that they're experiencing touchscreen issues with their new handsets — specifically noting that certain areas of the screen is completely unresponsive to touch-based input. 

As reported by Android Police, numerous complaints have been made on Samsung's community forums and on Reddit, where users have posted videos and GIFs of themselves demonstrating the issue by attempting to draw lines all over the screen – and clearly showing the blank spots left behind.

The video linked below seems to show an affected area right in the middle of one S9 Plus's display, although other users have reported unresponsive sections at the top and bottom of their screens as well.

A user shows a large unresponsive section on his Galaxy S9 that reaches across the middle of his touchscreen.

How to test your Galaxy S9's touchscreen

According to Android Police, attempts to fix the issue via a factory reset of their devices have proven unsuccessful for users. Thankfully, the touchscreen problem is covered by Samsung's 24-month warranty period, meaning affected users should be able to receive a replacement unit free of charge. 

So far, it's difficult to say whether this is a widespread issue or if it's limited to a small number of handsets. Either way, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus owners may want to test their own devices to see if they suffer from touchscreen defects – and that's something that's thankfully pretty easy to do.

To test your Galaxy S9's touchscreen, simply go to your phone dialling app and enter the following: *#0*#

As soon as you hit the final pound sign, your handset will enter 'Test Mode'. Here, you can check pretty much every individual area of your phone, though for the purposes of this test, you'll want to tap on the 'Touch' box.

This will bring up a blank testing screen with various boxes around the edges and across the middle of the display. 

You're now free to draw all over the screen to see if there are any dead zones. Tracking lines will be left behind for your reference, and any boxes touched will turn green. 

Once you've turned all the boxes green, the test will end, bringing you back to the main 'Test Mode' screen. To get out of this mode and back to your phone's normal functions, simply double-tap the Back button.

Performing this test should give you a pretty clear idea of whether your phone has any touchscreen issues. If you're still unconvinced, your next step should be to contact Samsung Support or your place of purchase and report the issue.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.