Samsung: 'Limited number of Galaxy S5 devices' have fatal camera flaw

Samsung started selling its new Galaxy S5 smartphone just two weeks ago, but it appears that at least some of the units that shipped have a major flaw in its camera hardware that cannot be fixed once it shows up.

The Verge reports that some owners of the Galaxy S5 have posted up word on Internet message boards that a "Warning: Camera Failure" message has popped up on their devices, for no apparent reason. When this message is seen, the camera hardware inside the phone stops working and cannot be fixed by normal consumer means, such as reinstalling the camera app, rebooting the phone or performing a full reset of the device.

In a statement, Samsung said, "We have learned that a limited number of Galaxy S5 devices may have an issue that causes 'Camera Failure' pop-up error message." Owners are covered by the company's warranty and can exchange their faulty phone by calling Samsung at 1-888-987-4357. People who bought the smartphone with a specific carrier can also get a new version at no cost. So far, Samsung has yet to say why this flaw is popping up and how many Galaxy S5 units might be affected.

Source: The Verge | Image via Samsung

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Crap happens. Hardware has faults and all companies suffer from them. Only thing that is really matters is how wide spread it is, and what the company does to make things right.

Apparently only affecting the CDMA variants (Verizon and Sprint) which brings me back to wondering why they don't just make ONE model with all the radios in it for all carriers. Less to go wrong then and better QC.

Nogib said,
Apparently only affecting the CDMA variants (Verizon and Sprint) which brings me back to wondering why they don't just make ONE model with all the radios in it for all carriers. Less to go wrong then and better QC.

Because the carriers are on different hardware, so the radios can't be the same.

Nogib said,
Apparently only affecting the CDMA variants (Verizon and Sprint) which brings me back to wondering why they don't just make ONE model with all the radios in it for all carriers. Less to go wrong then and better QC.

The CDMA users were just more vocal. There are reports starting to pop up from ATT users as well.

Actually, MORE can go wrong during the QC process in some cases due to added complexity and somewhat-proprietary design. The biggest reason would usually be COST. Atheros or Broadcom may not having a chip out yet which has all these radios (iPhone 4S did not have LTE, so not impossible) but I would love this too.

Haha yep. I remember when I had my iPhone 5's camera short out on the first day. I raised hell until they gave me a new one out of the box...they wanted me to send my phone back to Apple...30 minutes after leaving the store? Apparently when you have that magical business account at AT&T and call your rep threatening to switch to Verizon they tend to change their minds.

Car Dealerships do this now too. All refurb parts on service under warranty if available.

Always say you're considering changing providers. You'll fit into their 'red lane' and you'll get a different rep who can follow non-standard procedures. It's a loophole that you can find in many large organizations. They have standardized most processes to adress the bulk of the caseload as efficiently as possible. If you can get around that then you'll be threated like an actual human again.

Fatal?? Sounds too scary, what will happen? Your soul will be taken and you'll die 3 days after your picture was taken?

myxomatosis said,
Well, sh*t happens... that's why I never buy the first revision of a phone, console, laptop, etc.

Wait but isn't this like the fifth version of the s series?

suprNOVA said,

Wait but isn't this like the fifth version of the s series?

It's a new model. The first off of the production line of any new model of anything often have issues that are later silently corrected.

suprNOVA said,

Wait but isn't this like the fifth version of the s series?

Each Galaxy S has entirely different hardware. Throughout the lifespan of a model the underlying hardware can change quite a bit. Most circuits undergo 2-3 minor revision and maybe 1 major one in the case of phones. Usually it is something like different brand chips (eg different RAM chip module to reduce heat) but sometimes it can be bigger.

The Xbox 360 is most notable for its hardware Revisions, the original Xenon boards were prone to the RROD, this was fixed with the subsequent Zephyr and Falcoln boards, also adding HDMI functionality.

That being said, with phones there's generally no way to tell which revision you've got unless you check the MRF date and you know the date the change was implemented at the factory.

Auzeras said,

Each Galaxy S has entirely different hardware. Throughout the lifespan of a model the underlying hardware can change quite a bit. Most circuits undergo 2-3 minor revision and maybe 1 major one in the case of phones. Usually it is something like different brand chips (eg different RAM chip module to reduce heat) but sometimes it can be bigger.

The Xbox 360 is most notable for its hardware Revisions, the original Xenon boards were prone to the RROD, this was fixed with the subsequent Zephyr and Falcoln boards, also adding HDMI functionality.

That being said, with phones there's generally no way to tell which revision you've got unless you check the MRF date and you know the date the change was implemented at the factory.

This makes sense. Thanks. Definitely see it with the Xbox. Usually these are minor cases?

suprNOVA said,

This makes sense. Thanks. Definitely see it with the Xbox. Usually these are minor cases?

Glad I was able to help explain something :) Good design and testing will bring out the bugs and issues before production but sometimes we can't see or test far enough into the future, or pre-empt situations. For most mainstream consumer products, revisions are usually small as the designs have been well tested, and new models will supersede them within a few years, major revisions are usually left for "the next model". The iPad was designed to run cooler than its predecessor, of course they could have made a hardware revision to fix it. But why bother, model 2 is down the road in 7 months.

If a product has an ongoing lifespan (Items like Osciliscopes, Security cameras, modems) minor hardware revisions can develop to be quite major over a long period of time. It also serves to add optional functionality, eg Board A offers basic ADSL functionality whilst board B features a more powerful ASIC USB host controller to plug in external drives. Same board, same design but the B revision adds a few features. These forked revisions often Have letters as well as numbers to indicate which fork of the revision it applies to.

Often these receive "continual" updates. A base design has improvements implemented over the years of such as newer sensors, digital I/O, more efficient chips etc. It kind of ends up like the "100 year old axe" - over its lifetime It's had 4 handles and 3 axe heads, no longer the same axe but built up with improvements over the years. Axe - REV 12.4C