Is your Samsung Galaxy S3 affected with a screen flickering issue? [POLL]


Whether it’s the display, or a funky memory chip, there’s hundreds of components that go into making our smartphones, all of which that need to work in perfect harmony with each other to keep everything running along smoothly. Just like an automobile, when one part goes wrong, you’re sure to notice. For Samsung Galaxy S3 users, this seems to be manifesting itself by way of a “screen flickering” issue plaguing some devices. Performing a quick Google search will bring up a long list of results, letting us know this could be a little more widespread than just an isolated case.

Reading over various posts from affected S3 users across various forums, it appears that not all issues are identical (you can see one type in the above video). Some report artifacts appearing when scrolling, others only have it when opening their keyboard. In fact, my own Galaxy S3 — that I purchased brand new around 6 months ago — is giving me similar problems. My issue? Well, it seems to only appear during the transition from one app to another (even when opening the keyboard). I wouldn’t call it “flicker” as much as a graphical issue where the image on my screen is displayed in horizontal stripes. It’s only a split second, and hardly noticeable but still could be cause for concern if it somehow gets worse. Some are saying it’s a problem with the digitizer in the display, others are saying it could be a GPU issue, either way — it needs to stop.

So now, we’re taking it to you guys. If you’re a proud Galaxy S3 owner experiencing display problems, we’d like to know in our quick poll. Go ahead and voice your concerns in the comments as well. We’ve reached out to Samsung Mobile for comment and once we hear back from them, we’ll update the post with their official statement.

[polldaddy poll=6835077]

[via AndroidForums 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Mine doesn’t have this issue and I’ve had it since the day it hit Sprint stores.

    However, I doubt that would be a GPU issue or a digitizer issue. It’s likely either an LCD going bad or a loose/bad LCD flex cable. I installed a new LCD into an HTC Evo last week and the flex cable had a minor hole in it. Once I turned it on, it flickered very much like the one in the video above.

    1. Interesting… *scratches chin*

  2. Yes I am and it happens way too damn much

    1. Never had the problem until I upgraded to Jelly Bean, but @vanakatherock:disqus suggests, it could be hardware related.

      Let’s hope it’s only software and something that can be addressed in a future update.

      1. Chris I mentioned this in the other thread related to this but not sure if you got it. I have a graphics issue mostly in games like Dead Trigger. It is different than what is shown in the video. My fix is to turn on developer options and check the box next to Disable Hardware Overlays. Can you see if this fixes your problem? The problem is that once you reboot it turns Developer Options back off. The option while on also causes some issues with YouTube. But I’d be curious if this at least temporarily fixes your problem.

        1. My problem didn’t happen until Jelly Bean as well.

    2. You may be best suited swapping it out with your carrier or filing a warranty claim with Samsung. Just document it, like the guy above did, and make note of that with turning it in.

  3. I haven’t seen as large of an issue as the one in the video, but I have issues (in stock firmware to a lesser extent and more in every custom ROM) with Google Maps. When using Navigation and moving, the maps have to constantly flash and refresh/ redraw the maps often when the map needs to rotate slightly. It only takes a split second but happens sometimes every second or 2, other times it takes a little longer like 10+ sec. Its incredibly distracting in the car. This may be a different issue than is expressed in this article…anyone else?

  4. I’ve had mine since July and haven’t had a problem. That being said, I’m a member of an S3 forum and we’ve had MAYBE 2-3 members since last July who’ve mentioned a flickering problem such as the one shown above. All were replaced promptly by their respective carriers.
    The fact is, you can’t sell millions of S3’s without there being an occasional hiccup on a number of these devices. Samsung stands behind their products and I for one will continue to support them and put money in their pockets as long as they continue making amazing phones. :)

    1. made out of plastic fit for a sp…..

      1. Plastic is such a terrible material to make a phone out of. We should use extremely breakable material that looks pretty. Form over function is certainly the way to go.

  5. Not to get too far off topic, but, some of us have a zooming issue while scrolling w/certain applications. Others call this a feature, but, until this “feature” has an on/off toggle, I consider it a bug & a major PITA.
    Perhaps these two issues have a common root cause.

  6. I have this happen w/ my Note 2 when in my Bookmarks. W/ my S3 my Bookmarks would do this weird scrammbled thing from time to time.

    1. I have the exact same thing. Flickering on the bookmarks page.

  7. nope

  8. Not happening with mine good thing

  9. mine works fine

  10. I’ve had screen flicker off and on, depending on the current state of CyanogenMod 10, but it was a WHOLE SCREEN fast flicker (“fixed” by disabling h/w overlays in dev settings), and not the partial fractures flickering as I saw in the video.

    Would drive me insane if I couldn’t get rid of the flicker.

  11. Mine only does it when I use the handcent sms app instead of stock sms app?

  12. so I read this post earlier & I was like “interesting. never had the issue though”. I just finished playing ruzzle with my friend & the screen was flickering during it :( however I have had apps in my folders rearrange themselves after restarts.

    1. Try the checking the Disable Hardware overlay option under Developer options in settings.

  13. mine did… after playing around in settings it stopped.

  14. i think its over clocking on low ram wouldnt it try to over clock its processor to keep smoothness? i know nothing maybe buts it my theory :P

  15. I voted no, as I don’t have any issue with stock voltages. If I have a custom kernel AND undervolt it, I do have issues.

  16. It does it on my note 2 when I unlock the phone.

  17. The only time that I’ve had a problem with flickering like this was when my battery has reached 10% or less.

  18. +1 “I wouldn’t call it “flicker” as much as a graphical issue where the image on my screen is displayed in horizontal stripes. It’s only a split second, and hardly noticeable but still could be cause for concern if it somehow gets worse.”

  19. my issue with mine is freezes.. when i watch a video on youtube, the screen freezes and the touchscreen stops working, even the home button stops working but the sound continues on, i have to press the power button to fix it, no powering down, then the video i’m watching disappears and have to play it all over again.. this happens rarely, not all the time..

  20. I have a vzw gs3 from preorder. No signs of flicker.

  21. No problem here Verizon USA gs3
    From what I’ve seen it seems to affect only the international model

  22. I have this issue on my Galaxy Note II. Positive it’s the same flicker. I’ve only noticed it while using the Android browser, particularly when I open the bookmarks page. It seems to happen every few days for a quick moment. If I close out the menu then reopen it it stops. I only had the phone for about two weeks before Jelly Bean rolled out so I can’t remember if it happened before the OTA upgrade.

  23. Definitely have had this issue on all 3 of my S3’s..have a 747/747m/9300
    All are rooted and rom’d.
    Happens for me mostly when using 3rd party app to dim screen less then 0%… But sometimes on normal levels too but ALWAYS has been IMMEDIATELY fixable by turning on DISABLE HARDWARE OVERLAYS. And this is the typical fix for this common problem in most any android forum.

  24. VZW and so far so good. Pebble Blue. Mail ordered and delivered on release date

  25. I traded my Samsung galaxy s 3 @ T-Mobile because of all da issues I had with it & bought da LG NEXUS 4 , I love this LG NUXUS 4 AWESOME SUPERPHONE

    1. The Nexus 4 is “ok”, but it’s no S3. The fact that there’s no removable battery, no ext sd card and no LTE makes this phone worthless to me. How anyone could go back to using 3G after having 4G boggles my mind. But to each their own. Glad you found something that works for you! :)

      1. I was like you before I got the phone but now I’ve changed my mind. The battery life is great. It can last me about 20 hours on one charge albeit I’m not a heavy user but I’m coming from a Thunderbolt which couldn’t last 8 hours with the same use. Second, I barely notice a difference between the 4G network I’m on right now compared to the 4G LTE network I use to be on and most users probably won’t either. Lastly, the storage is where I had to make sacrifices. I didn’t install the apps I seldomly use; I didn’t put my whole music library on the phone; and I only have a few movies on the phone compared to my last phone. To tell you the truth I really don’t notice a difference without the extra content because a lot of it I wasn’t using anyway.

  26. No issues on my Vzw (pre-ordered) GS3. But, if it’s of any possible connection, mine has always been set to 100% brightness 8)

    The retina burn you get when waking up before sunrise is fantastic! It’s almost as good as caffeine.

  27. The Nexus 7 tablets from Google had this issue too? Some reported that it was because of a missplaced WiFi antenna? Not sure if this is related but it sounds identical.

  28. Clear out your RAM when it happens.

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