Reports of random reboots have started trickling into the XDA Developers forums and Samsung's own Galaxy S8 forum. The restarts are happening at random times on multiple carriers and with both S8 and S8+ devices.
Recommendations for how to fix the issue have been numerous: Remove the SD card, move installed apps to the onboard memory, run device maintenance and delete apps it flags ... and none of them seems to consistently work.
To make matters worse many Samsung owners are reporting that their devices are restarting when just sitting idle. Speculation as to a cause is rampant, but there is yet to be an acknowledgement or statement from Samsung about the issue.
Reboots aren't the only problem
There have been several issues dogging the latest Galaxy devices along with reboots: Red tinted screens, a moving home button, Bixby activation issues, and a less-than-stellar drop test report are all in the news lately.
See: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
Initial reviews of the phone have been positive, but early reports aren't given enough time to start finding all the bugs in the system. It's hard to think of a flagship device that hasn't launched to initial fanfare followed by constant reports of problems. Samsung isn't alone in bad press, but it comes at a critical time for the brand.
The stakes are high for Samsung
The Galaxy S8 launch is a watershed moment for Samsung. On the heels of the Note 7 disaster the company needs to be hyper vigilant and quick to tackle bad press with patches and solutions, and it needs to do it in a humble manner.
That doesn't seem to be the case, at least in terms of Samsung's statement about red-tinted screens. Samsung, as reported in the Korea Herald, seemed dismissive of customer complaints, stating, "We will upgrade the software because of some dissatisfied customers although there is no problem in the phone itself." It may just be a software bug, but that doesn't mean customer perception is to blame.
See: Acquiring mobile users is expensive, but here's why they're worth the cost (TechRepublic)
The fix for red-tinted screens has rolled out in Korea and is expected to make its way to the US soon. Bixby activation issues are said to be resolved by a fast tap on the button, and the shifting home key is reportedly to prevent screen burn-in.
And the reboots? No word yet, but the hundreds of replies to posts about the issue indicate it may be more than an isolated issue. Samsung users are notoriously loyal, so it seems unlikely that the reboot issue will alienate current fans.
Those fans aren't who Samsung needs to worry about—it's the rest of the market that are potential customers. Unresponsive and blame-shifting companies aren't like to capture hearts and minds.
The three big takeaways for TechRepublic readers:
- S8 users are beginning to report random reboots of their devices. The cause is currently unknown and Samsung has yet to issue a statement about it.
- The reboots join the Galaxy S8 series' red-tinted screens, lack of durability, Bixby, and home button issues as post-launch problems with the flagship device.
- Positive press is critical for Samsung right now—it can't afford to have issues plaguing the S8 like it did with the Note 7. So far Samsung doesn't seem to be doing a good job of responding to issues and soothing customers.
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.