Samsung Galaxy S20 Glass Breakage
Introduced in February 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone line offered an “Ultra” version with a price point that was several hundreds of dollars over the already high price tag. Customers who paid for the upgraded features, including an improved camera, may have suffered financial harm when the camera glass broke.
The glass in certain Samsung Galaxy S20 phones has been reported to spontaneously fracture. These breakages have not been related to phone use or abuse and has occurred even when phone has been kept in secure case. Most of the reports have come in the S20 Ultra phone which has a much larger glass plate and was not included with commonly available “screen protectors”.
Samsung has denied warranty coverage for many of the repairs and parts unavailability left phone users with broken cameras for long periods of time. Many of these users have filed lawsuits against Samsung, including those involved in a class-action lawsuit for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Phone Camera Glass Breakage issue.
S20 Ultra Camera Technology
At the time of its introduction, the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone was the first, full 5G device line which reportedly featured state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence camera technology.
The AI powered camera was an upgrade on some of the line’s devices including the:
- Samsung Galaxy S20
- Samsung Galaxy S20+
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The phone’s camera was said to offer greater resolution for more detailed images which added flexibility for editing, cropping, and zooming. The S20 and S20+ had a 64MP image capability, while the S20 Ultra offered a much larger 108MP. The S20 Ultra also offered dynamic shift option to automatically shift between lower 12MP and higher 108MP, to increase sensitivity in different light and action environments.
Zoom capability also used AI technology to reduce quality loss for an up-to 100X zoom and offered a number of additional features such as wide format, live focus and 8K video which could be stopped mid-stream to save high-resolution photo.
By comparison, to gain full access to all of the features in the camera upgrades, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a quad camera that captured pictures through the rear glass which was 4 times larger than most camera glass plates.
Premium Cost for Camera
With an original price several hundreds of dollars over the nearest competitive model, customers paid an additional premium for Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Many phone purchasers have said they would not have paid the higher price for the phone if they had known about the defect.
Damage reports and testing indicate that breakage occurred spontaneously and was not the result of droppage. In most cases, the camera was in a secure, protective case and testing shows fractures were spontaneous and not a result of consumer abuse. In addition, unlike the front touch screen, the rear glass had no impact resistant screen protectors available.
Samsung Galaxy Camera Warranty Coverage Denied
Samsung has denied responsibility and refused to pay for repairs. In addition, due to pandemic closures of manufacturing and repair facilities, parts for screen replacement became impossible to obtain. These problems left users having spent hundreds of dollars, out-of-pocket, with a product that was not only not functioning according to claims, in many cases, the camera was completely unusable.
Prior Samsung Technology Issues
Samsung has faced claims over a number of generations of the flagship Galaxy S series phones. In 2017, the company faced numerous lawsuit claims over the “exploding phone” caused by battery overheating in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Note and Edge phones. The problem became severe enough that owners of the phones were banned from carrying S7 phones onto airplanes and users were told to discontinue use of the phones immediately.
Oddly, the same model, the S7 had previously been reported to have camera glass fracturing problems, leading some to state that Samsung should have known about or anticipated the glass fracture problem in the S20 phones.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Camera Class Action Lawsuit
Samsung is facing a class-action lawsuits which alleges that the company deprived consumer of hundreds of dollars by charging more for a defective device. Samsung has also been accused of hiding the defect in the camera design and of failing to assist consumers in accessing repairs.
Consumers who paid hundreds of dollars more for an already costly device, specifically for the advantage of the S20 Ultra camera, have been left with a system that is unusable and may have been placed at risk for injury due to glass shards. Those consumers may have been forced to pay about $400 to repair the phone to regain any use of the expensive camera and some may be unable to obtain repairs due to parts unavailability.
Thus far, lawsuits are ongoing in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. No recall has been issued by Samsung and no settlement has been offered.