Issue with Samsung Galaxy S10 line results in shorter battery life, overheated units and butt-dials

Issue with Samsung Galaxy S10 line results in shorter battery life, overheated units and butt-dials
According to posts on Reddit and the Samsung U.S. community forum made by owners of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 line, the accidental touch protection feature on the phone is not working. This includes the "Block accidental touches" option that is supposed to keep the display off when the phone is in a dark place, like a user's pocket. The latter uses the handset's proximity sensor (more on this later). As a result, not only is the phone butt-dialing random people, when the device is pulled out of a pants pocket, the dialer is often on the display with a bunch of numbers, letters and symbols typed in. Some are blaming the placement of the proximity sensor, which is found on the status bar just above the "%" symbol used to show how much battery life is on the phone. 

Galaxy S10 users say that their phone takes screenshots, opens apps and even turns on the flashlight while in a pocket or a purse. The latter is quite an achievement since it requires the screen to be dragged down twice and the flashlight icon to be tapped. For some users, they can feel the handset vibrating in their pocket and when the device is pulled out from there, it is running hot and the battery is draining faster than it should be. The failure of the accidental touch protection feature to work can lead to some embarrassing moments. For example, a Galaxy S10 owner didn't realize that his phone had butt-dialed the police emergency number. When he returned home, the cops were there asking if he had an emergency.

Butt-dialing calls, overheated phones and shorter battery life are some of the symptoms


One Galaxy S10 user had an interesting theory. He said that the proximity sensor might be seeing light through his pants, keeping the screen on as a result. The sensor is designed to turn off the screen when something is in close proximity to the display. This turns off the screen when you are on a call and the device is placed to your ear, in order to save battery life and prevent accidental touches. The original Apple iPhone was the first smartphone to offer this feature. Testing his theory, this Galaxy S10 user covered up the proximity sensor with his hand with the device in his pocket, and the screen stayed. He believes that Samsung has not calibrated the accidental touch protection correctly. Another user figured that because he had the fingerprint unlock turned on, his phone was constantly scanning for a fingerprint when the display was pressed against his leg with the device in his pocket.

While many Galaxy S10 owners listed a variety of problems they had trying to keep their phone asleep inside their pocket, one Galaxy S10e user says that he was able to prevent the phone from turning on and butt-dialing from his pocket by disabling the "Lift to Wake" setting. Another user noted that disabling "Always On Display" and "Double Tap to Wake" resulted in more battery life on his phone when he pulled it put of his pocket (50% vs 20%), which he cited as an indication that turning off those features managed to fix the issue.

But not every Galaxy S10 user who disabled these settings found success. While Samsung forum moderators are certainly aware of this issue, there has been no reaction from Samsung itself. Perhaps Samsung is working on a software update that will fix the problem. For now, if disabling some of the aforementioned features does not help, you might want to consider topping off the battery before you head out just in case your Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 or Galaxy S10+ screen stays on while in your pocket, consuming battery life. That might not stop the phone from butt-dialing, but it could prevent the battery from dying too quickly.

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47 Comments

1. manzer

Posts: 56; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

Not having those problems with my s10e

2. libra89

Posts: 2221; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Same. This sounds annoying though.

7. Phullofphil

Posts: 1740; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

I have a iPhone 10s plus and I also never had any of the iPhone problems that other people have had with any of my iphones. With phones that sell in the millions it’s a safe assumption that there is going to be an issue with a certain couple phones. They come out for all phones and o e thing that bugs me is how any miner issue is blown out of proportion like it’s a complete problem to all. I don’t like these stories. They are misleading.

11. jmill75

Posts: 122; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

This! Was getting ready to type the same thing.

46. mackan84

Posts: 167; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

The thing isn’t to mislead you, it is to make you click and raise that ad-revenue. Apple and Samsung is big clickbaits especially when you find a bug or a problem.

13. Venom

Posts: 3015; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Just because you guys aren't having the issues doesn't mean that it's not happening. I'm chock it up and say that most are isolated incidents unless it becomes widespread.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I still have my Max, and the intel modem still sucks.

32. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I still have my X, and the intel modem still great.

36. Vancetastic

Posts: 746; Member since: May 17, 2017

I’ve had 700 Apple devices, and gotten millions of updates, and never had a single problem! Isn’t life great in Candyland?

47. wickedwilly

Posts: 540; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Really, you have such low standards.

34. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1457; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The Intel modem was a way of getting rid of Qualcomm.... They knew cellular performance would take a hit but not as bad as it has been. They almost got back with Qualcomm but it is challenging when they are always litigating each other. Too bad because the end user experience is diminished.

37. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Very true.

44. H1515

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 17, 2019

Very true! My S10 Plus (Exynos Version) is overheating. Check My comment. :(

19. maherk

Posts: 6684; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

The accidental touches won't usually happen with flat screens, and it never happened to me with the Note 7(RIP), S8, Note 8, S9, and Note 9. But strange enough, it happens a lot when I use my S10+ naked, the extra thickness a case provides for the sides helps a lot, but this shouldn't happen at all. But one big issue I'm facing with this phone are the average cameras, they are no where near the pictures I used to get on previous Huawei phones and definitely not the Pixel. Me and my have the phone, and pictures are average on both phones. They're very good when there is enough light, but atrocious in low light conditions. Another major issue, although this most likely going to be fixed by next update if it gets enough coverage, is screen colors looks washed out even when vivid mode is used. To fix this, you need to turn the blue light filter and set it to minimum. I love this phone, but if the camera issues don't get addressed in the next month, I'm ditching it for the P30 Pro(if Huawei gave us flawless screens). I'm using the exynos version if anyone is wondering.

21. maherk

Posts: 6684; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Btw, for butt-dials issue, there is an option on every Samsung phone that prevents accidental touches when it's in your pocket, you can find that under the display settings.

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yep, have it turned on for my Note 9.

28. rouyal

Posts: 1564; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Did you read the article? That is the problem, the setting isn't working with the prox sensor, so it doesn't know that the phone is in your pocket. I mean, that's what the entirety of the story is.

38. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1126; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Lots of people here have a tendency to read a headline and comment without reading the full article unfortunately.

26. rouyal

Posts: 1564; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Cover the top of your phone (prox sensor), and double tap to wake. It shouldn’t turn on the screen. If it does, then it can, and will, turn on display in your pocket.

3. jmill75

Posts: 122; Member since: Jul 22, 2009

No issues here. S10+ Im sure this will be addressed in a software update. Always day 1 issues that need ironed out. Fantastic device though!!!

4. Badboy1990

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 15, 2019

Thanks phonearena team for the article but I wish you as a devil advocate to consider that I am using the S10+ as my daily driver for almost 10 days and I didn't face any of this issues.

45. sixline

Posts: 17; Member since: May 25, 2015

Same here with exynos s10. No issue yet but battery life isn't that great.

5. scarface21173

Posts: 631; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Software update will fix.

6. apple-rulz

Posts: 1875; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

I’ll grab my popcorn whilst waiting for the incoming SDF barrage.

8. User123456789

Posts: 400; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Full of issues... Look like a Pixel. How can apps be open in their pockets if you need to use FP to unlock?

10. ph00ny

Posts: 1986; Member since: May 26, 2011

Issue they're describing sounds like a proximity sensor issue but haven't seen that happen so far

9. kennva1

Posts: 18; Member since: May 17, 2014

I am using an S10 plus, from a red iPhone XR which would turn on the flash light. I had an s10 originally but the. Switched to an s10 plus. None of the issues mentioned are issues I am or have faced since having this phone.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

So what would you recommend for those that are having these issues? Mine would’ve went back already. I’ve zero tolerance for issues, just ask Apple.

12. techfanatic23

Posts: 14; Member since: Aug 25, 2015

Disable double tap to wake! I had this feature on and my screen would always turn on in my pocket. Also disable lift to wake. Otherwise excellent device. I got the black ceramic and get many compliments on my s10 plus. It has an incredible mirror brushed metal finish it looks sick!

14. technitude

Posts: 263; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

My S7 Edge did all those things. But my Note 8 doesn't do them at all. My S7 Edge: Overheated on charging Overheated in my pocket (especially when I was mowing grass) Turned on in (completely dark) gym locker and would drain the battery. Butt dialed when cutting grass. Had developed image burn. I think because it was on in the locker. Samsung told me it was all normal, but my Note 8 doesn't do any of that.

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