Common Samsung Galaxy S21 Problems and How to Solve Them

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There’s nothing more exciting than the launch of a new flagship range. If you’re lucky enough to already have your hands on a Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra, it can be frustrating to experience bugs or issues. If your Galaxy S21 isn’t functioning as expected and you’re close to tearing your hair out, don’t worry. We’ve gathered together some of the most common problems you might experience with the new Galaxy phones and found simple fixes for them.

Want to find out more about the S21 range? Check out our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

Issue: Battery life depletes faster than expected

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

With the Galaxy S21 sporting a 4,000mAh battery, a 4,800mAh battery on board the S21 Plus, and the Ultra packing a 5,000mAh battery, it seems like Samsung’s latest smartphones are prepared for anything the day can throw at them. But some users are reporting issues with the S21 battery draining faster than expected. You can check your battery’s status by going to Settings > Device Maintenance > Battery and viewing the Battery Usage graph. Here, you’ll be able to see if any of your apps are draining an abnormal amount of your battery.

Solution

Always check that you have the latest firmware installed on your phone, and try turning off location services via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The S21 range features an adaptive refresh rate, which may mean that it’s using more battery life when it’s set to 120Hz. You can reduce the refresh rate manually to 60Hz, but you’ll sacrifice smoother animations. Just follow the below steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your phone.
  2. Scroll down to Display.
  3. Select Motion Smoothness.
  4. Select 60Hz Refresh Rate.
  5. Tap Apply.

You could also try reducing the screen resolution to give your battery a bit of a boost. Decreasing your resolution will make buttons and other items larger, but beware of venturing into blurry territory and ensure you find the sweet spot between detail and battery life. Just follow the below steps to reduce your screen resolution:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select the Display option.
  3. Scroll down and click on Screen Resolution.
  4. Adjust the slider to the resolution you wish to use.
  5. Click Apply.

If you find you are losing a lot of battery due to the Always On Display, follow the steps below to disable it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Scroll down to Lock Screen.
  3. Tap to disable Always On Display.

If you still find you are only getting a few hours of screen-on time from your new handset, you may need to contact the manufacturer or return it for a replacement.

Issue: Galaxy S21 overheats when multitasking

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Alarmingly, many users on the Samsung forums and XDA developer forums have reported issues with the Galaxy S21 overheating while multitasking or downloading system updates. The issue seems to be cropping up even with minimal multitasking, such as watching a YouTube video while browsing the web. It initially looked like the issue may be 5G connectivity, but users are reporting the problem persists even with cellular data turned off.

Solution

With the phone being available for general purchase for a little under a week, Samsung has yet to respond to this issue. In the meantime, if you’re experiencing any issues with your phone overheating, we recommend ensuring you don’t leave it plugged in and charging unattended or overnight. If you’re concerned, you could contact Samsung or consider returning your handset for a replacement — but hopefully, Samsung will respond with a fix for this issue soon.

Problem: Galaxy S21 Ultra touchscreen doesn’t always register input

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

If you are having issues with the S21 Ultra touchscreen registering input — as some users have reported — it can be incredibly frustrating. Double or triple tapping to get the phone to respond can leave you wondering what’s going wrong — and users have reported issues with the fingerprint sensor, too.

Solution

If this is happening to you, then it’s definitely worth bearing in mind that the phone comes with a pre-installed screen protector. Some users have reported issues when installing a new screen protector without realizing one was already applied to the phone. If you’re planning on installing — or have already installed — a new screen protector, ensure you remove the one that’s on the phone out of the box.

It’s also worth going to Settings > Display > Touch Sensitivity. Ensure Touch Sensitivity is toggled on, and see if this fixes the problem.

If the fingerprint scanner isn’t registering your fingerprint, you can try re-registering it by following the below steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Scroll down to Biometrics and Security.
  3. Select Fingerprints.
  4. Enter your current security code.
  5. Next, delete any old fingerprints.
  6. Re-register your fingerprints with Add Fingerprint.

If you’re still experiencing issues, you can contact Samsung support.

Problem: Accidental screen touches

The Galaxy S21 phones all sport expansive screens, and all that screen real estate means you may find yourself touching your phone screen accidentally. Samsung provides a quick and easy way to prevent yourself from sending text messages full of gibberish or accidentally launching apps.

Solution

Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down to Display.
  3. Enable the toggle for Accidental Touch Protection.

Issue: Samsung Pay isn’t working, and the phone doesn’t receive updates

Samsung Galaxy S21
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

If you’re in the U.S. and reading this, the good news is that this issue is unlikely to have affected you. But reports on Samsung’s forums suggest some users in the U.K. and Italy are experiencing issues using Samsung Pay on their new devices, and those affected also haven’t received software updates. The issue seems to be caused by having the incorrect CSC set up on the phone.

The CSC is a code that’s region- or country-specific, which enables certain features for your phone. So, if your phone has the CSC for one region and you set it up in an entirely different region or country, you’re going to experience issues such as not receiving official software updates — and some features on the phone may not work.

Solution

Samsung has yet to acknowledge the issue, but a user in the U.K. reportedly received a fix, and reports from Italy suggest the company is rolling out a fix there, too.

If you’re experiencing this issue with your phone, you can try the steps suggested in this thread or reach out to Samsung for support.

Problem: Bluetooth devices not connecting properly

Bluetooth can have its hiccups no matter which phone you’re using. If you’re experiencing Bluetooth issues on your Galaxy S21, try toggling the setting off, then back on again.

Solution

Still a problem? You can follow these steps to reset your Bluetooth cache and clear out any existing devices.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Apps.
  3. Select Bluetooth.
  4. Tap Clear Cache.

Anything else?

No matter how much you think you know about your phone, it never hurts to ask for help. If your specific problem isn’t on our list or the provided solutions didn’t work for you, it might be best to contact the manufacturer. You can reach out to Samsung via online chat or telephone — or in person at a Samsung store if stores are currently open in your area.

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