Tab S9 Ultra pen tilt issue:

Check this out:

I’ve seen it on 3 different units. It’s all around the same spot in the upper left area of the screen. The easiest way to find it is to create a 1600x1200 canvas in CSP and start drawing verticle lines, from around where the X is, in the canvas tab where the dimensions are given (lol).

What do you think it is? Did the new magnet cause it on the back? Or are the EMR chips improperly installed?

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Interesting. I have had similar issues with my Apple Pencil in Procreate occasionally. Mine happens after I 2 finger tap to undo, then draw again it recognizes the pencil as tilting. I doubt the Apple pencil issue is hardware related, but if this is happening at the same general location across Samsung tablets, then it is likely the hardware in the panel translating the signal wrong.

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This is most likely the issue, along with possibly some other case magnet near the camera flash:

Around the end of the video, you can see the cursor actually jump right mid-stroke, which I’ve seen on an e-reader with built-in magnets. It’s a combination of the thinness and the corners being the hardest to calibrate for, as the controller is relying on only about a quarter of the typical field data.


So we saw this with a few S8 Ultras in our customer base and it was a manufacturing defect. eg. the digitizer layer was slightly warped and Samsung replaced the devices under warranty.

I can’t say for certain that’s the case here since it’s a new model, (and the S9 Ultra we are currently testing doesn’t seem to exhibit the issue) but given how thin these are and thus tight tolerances, that’s what I’d suspect first.

Regardless, you should either return it, if it’s within the return period, or contact Samsung for a warranty swap.

PS: one customer that had the issue reported that his s8 ultra case was visibly slightly bent, which is a danger when you have a large thin slab like this (we’ve seen some bent iPad Pro 12.9s too)


Was that the diagnosis from the repair? I’m very surprised there could be any warping without it also distorting the OLED display, as the layers are fused together in Samsung’s mobile screens.

yes, straight from Samsung

the thing you are not taking in to account is how thin the whole assembly is and even more so with the individual components of them and thus very little slack or tolerance built in.

And Samsung likes to push the limits of tolerances like that, of course most infamously with the Note disaster where at the end of the day, Samsung tried to put too much in too little space.


Thanks for confirming, but I still think the physical warping itself could not have been the sole factor (calibration usually takes care of this).

Probably it was contact from some component pressing against the digitizer due to the tight tolerances, causing electrical interference.

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That’s sort of a given where if anything is out of tolerance it can have knock on effects. But again Samsung told us the digitizer layer was bent/misaligned.

And thinking about it, a misalignment could create shielding issues with the updated antennas in the s9 which where redesigned to improve signal throughput (and they do in our testing)

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Thanks for the input as always. I just had to share the conclusion to this little consumer story:
I took it as a sign that I needed to go for the S9 Plus instead, which came in the mail today and seems to be flawless, so I’m basically ecstatic.


Meh, sadly I discovered a pretty large tilt deadzone with the S9 Plus. It’s this fairly wide column just shy of the edge of the screen.

This is the worst offender but I think are other areas of the screen where tilt just feels off, even though I’m happy the cursor isn’t being straight-up ripped away from the pen like on that S9 Ultra. I can’t say for sure yet, but I even think the touch controls are a tad dodgy/hypersensitive; sometimes when I’m scrolling through a website or photo album, I’ve seen it bounce up and down subtly.

I’d appreciate it if you have any thoughts. I don’t think this should be part of the design as I never had any issues like this with my old S7+. Unfortunately, I already traded that in, so I’m officially locked into this now; I can’t really just do a return and go use something else for a while. I think I may wait a month or two, and then try to get Samsung to exchange it – hopefully they take it pretty seriously.

I’m glad the general work area is basically fine, but I actually do try to use all of the screen. Funny as it sounds, I’d rather not develop a bad muscle memory where I know I can never shade in this area so I either never go there at all, or I impulsively switch to the writing position when I’m over there.

IDK man. It just seems like a lot of S9s got off the assembly line with bad calibration. Maybe it even has something to do with the waterproofing? I really hope this can be resolved and they’ve been aware of it.


I think you should contact Samsung about an exchange without waiting. Given how slow customer service has been in my experience (about a month to process a simple return), it may take a month or two just to get your replacement.

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I’m nearly 99% you got a bad unit, and unfortunately it’s not uncommon for something like this to occur in manufacturing runs, which Samsung sometimes can be slow to correct.

BTW: If anything the waterproofing should improve things like this as it inherently involves tighter tolerances (a good thing) but correspondingly requires tighter QA in the manufacturing process which Samsung can be slow to respond to when issues are found.

And BTW we’ve talked about this more in the more pen specific threads, but part of the problem is that pen usage even when it’s supplied like it is with the tablet and is arguably a flagship feature actually gets regular usage in the very low double digits (~15%).

So in other word, users may have affected devices and not even realize it and thus don’t contact Samsung to correct it.


Replacement status?

Not so hot. They sent me the repair results today saying “no trouble was found,” and I assume they’re just going to ship the same tablet back to me. This bothers me even more because they told me not to ship it to them inside the box that it comes in, so I did that “home remedy” where I wrapped it in a bunch of bubble wrap and sent it to them in a box that I scavenged. I was pretty careful with it but this kind of stuff is very uncool with a tablet this expensive and you basically assume you’re going to receive a different one.

Their support is not good. I tried really hard to get them to document the video and I was very concise-yet-descriptive with my text. I think I’m toast and I’m just not going to be able to get them to receive the message or give me a clear answer about anything, but I guess we’ll see what comes back in the mail in 2-5 more days.

Meanwhile I’ve become way more aware that there’s also a tilt dead zone on my S23 Ultra, albeit smaller, but it just always got a free pass from me because I was just mesmerized to have a phone at all with a good EMR pressure curve, and you don’t necessarily want to do a ton of hardcore side-shading with the little silo pen anyways even though it’s got a pretty great design (I found it kind of shockingly comfortable to hold and use for its size). The point is it has me thinking they’ve just decided to take a shotgun-approach to their pen system right now, like they stopped caring about making it a truly great canvas to work on in favor of other priorities.

Maybe it’s not over yet but I’m most likely going back to Apple in 2024…. I’m so disenchanted right now I almost want to just use an iPhone with a 3rd party stylus right now for when I can’t have the iPad around.

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This makes me sad. I’d heard pretty good things overall and was hoping I could maybe ditch Apple and move to Samsung now that CSP has a good mobile mode.

I’d say, why wait? One last thing you could try is to escalate your support ticket to a manager and threaten to move off the Tab S9 immediately (selling and moving back to Apple).

If you watch Rader Tech’s recent video, they changed their tune as soon as he said he wasn’t going to be using their latest product:

Tell them that you spent hours investigating and documenting the issue, and that pen performance is critical to your work as an artist. If they don’t take the issue seriously, then well, it’s back to the iPad Pro where you can at least expect generally consistent hardware quality.


Thanks for the tip/motivational story. It actually did give me a push towards not giving up just yet.

Maybe what bothers me the most about this, assuming they didn’t actually fulfill my wildest dreams by looking into the problem and hooking me up with a better-calibrated tablet, is why are they so adamant having us mail the tablet without its box? When you pack something up “naked” using household packing materials…. TBH you don’t expect to get it back (lol). Like, that is just bad form. I got my hopes way, wayyy up that they already knew about this issue. Instead, I guess they were regarding me with a lot of skepticism and wanted me to keep the box because, good lord, it has the sticker on it with the matching serial #??

If they’re going to pull something like this, it’s all the more reason to ship it IN the box, along with good packing materials! If they’re that scared that the 3rd party contractor would abuse the box, or can’t hold on to it for 2 seconds, then I scarcely know what to tell you. Maybe they shouldn’t handle tablets at all if they, uh, can’t handle the box :laughing:

I’m seriously hoping they did actually find and send a different slate and the report is sort of just apathy/incompetence, or they are legit lying to try to cover a costly manufacturing mistake…. Anyway it comes in on Tuesday, try to send me some good luck.

Hey, btw, to those who would be interested, here’s an attempt to demo the tilt dead one on the S23 Ultra. This video is pretty bad, but my time is pretty limited and I’m not trying to secure an exchange in this case.

Tilt is pretty wild in general with the small Spen, but the area I circled towards the end (it’s actually a bit smaller) is where it’s guaranteed to only have good precision and pressure sensitivity, but little to no tilt.

The video is pretty bad. I don’t think you can really see it, and kind of just have to take my word for it. I might try to do better later on.

I haven’t really followed the thread, but yeah, if you can put the camera at an angle so we can see the tip of the pen that might be better.

Is there any risk that it’s a problem to keep the pen in contact very long? I recall that some software caches the stroke until you lift the pen, after which it does a better render. Just a random thought, so if irrelevant please ignore. :slight_smile:

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