The Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s latest flagship phone, and it’s been getting a warm reception despite last year’s issues with the Note 7. Samsung eventually canceled that phone because of battery fires, but the Note 8 seems to have a different issue: it’s freezing when owners try to make calls. So, one phone catches fire and the other freezes. Quite a range there, Samsung.
This phone launched just a few weeks ago with similar specs to the Galaxy S8 that debuted earlier in 2017. The Note 8 packs a Snapdragon 835 (or an Exynos 8895 in certain markets), 6GB of RAM, a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display, and dual 12 MP cameras. It also has the S Pen stylus, which is only compatible with Note devices. So, the Note 8 has a lot of impressive specs and features, but it’s something very basic that’s causing Samsung’s latest headache. The phone just freezes when you open certain apps.
Those affected by this bug report that the phone will occasionally freeze and become completely unresponsive. The only way to get it working again is the reboot. For most, this happens when opening the dialer or placing a call. Based on the ongoing discussion in the Samsung Community forums, others say opening apps like Chrome or Pokemon GO will also cause the device to freeze. For third-party apps, you can just use an alternative until the issue is fixed. However, the dialer issue is a problem as you can’t easily replace that.
The bug does not appear to be limited to any particular model of the Note 8. Owners of the N950U (US), N950F (Europe), and N950D (Global) have all chimed in to report the issues. The forum thread has expanded to five pages, so the issue is at least somewhat widespread. That said, I have a Note 8 that has yet to exhibit any mysterious freezing.
Samsung is asking a lot of money for this piece of hardware; around $ 1,000 on most US carriers. Buying the phone directly from Samsung sets you back $ 950. It would not be unreasonable for buyers to expect basic features like phone calls to work.
The good news is Samsung says it has developed a software fix for this issue. It will roll out to phones over the next few weeks as an OTA update. Unfortunately, getting all versions of a phone updated at the same time is nigh impossible. There are differences in the software builds, but US carriers also insist on approving updates before they are deployed.