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Samsung Acknowledges Galaxy S5 “Camera Failed” Issue, Verizon Issuing Replacements

Earlier this week, we shed light on an issue that was brought to our attention by a group of upset Galaxy S5 owners. After a few days of using their perfectly-performing phones, users were beginning to be met with a “Warning: Camera Failed” message. Once that message appeared, nothing they did could bring their camera back to life – even flashing new software.

At the time, it appeared that only Verizon Galaxy S5 devices were experiencing the issue, but after our story was published, we saw Galaxy S5 owners from AT&T, as well as Vodafone complaining of the same issue. 

After a couple of days, Samsung and Verizon have reached out about the issue. Both companies clearly want to help their customers with the problem, and below we have posted their statements on the issue. Verizon tweeted out the following message below, letting owners of the Galaxy S5 know that if they are experiencing the issue, they will work to solve the problem, which includes replacing the device if need be.


Samsung sent us a message personally, stating that any Galaxy S5 owners with the problem should call its service department or visit their carrier for service.

Samsung is committed to providing the best experience for customers. We have learned that a limited number of Galaxy S 5 devices may have an issue that causes “Camera Failure” pop-up error message. We ask that customers affected call 1-888-987-4357 or visit their carrier for service under Samsung’s standard limited warranty.

For Galaxy S5 owners, this is clearly not a complete fix for the problem, but we can be thankful that both companies have acknowledged it, and are working towards a solution, regardless of whether it’s just giving you a new phone. There is still no word on how widespread the issue could be, but it does not appear to be too bad.

If your Galaxy S5 camera starts bugging out, definitely contact Samsung or your carrier as soon as possible.

  • mayil

    my s5 has a defective lens and the “camera failed” issue. went to sprint, they offered me a refurbished phone. i told them to go to hell. called samsung, they said they don’t give replacements. told me to send my phone in for repair. so i don’t know where these fairy tale stories are coming from online. worst customer service experience of my life. been with sprint for about 12 years and have had about 4 samsung phones without issues. both of these companies can suck it!

  • Whitney De Leon

    My s5′ camera is just terrible. I see a bright nice and about to be a picture and when I take a picture of it… I check the gallery.. it turns out to be very dark and just full of darkness pictures. Like wth. Flash doesn’t even work.. it does light it up a little but not a big difference… why does it save as a terrible picture??!?!?!?

  • Chris1958

    Just had to send S5 to the repair shop 12 days old..camera fail.no flashlight.. it was great till bam.fail

  • Steve Day

    This happened to me when I tried to use a different camera app. It wouldn’t allow me to use the camera app that came on the phone I got the same message about the camera failure. I had to uninstall the other app then the original camera was fine. I hope this helps some of you.

  • mcdonsco

    Strange, I have gotten this but ONLY if I try to use the camera while also using a flashlight app to turn on the led as a flashlight. Turn the flashlight off and all is fine.

    Is this considered the same glitch or something different?

  • Steve Hallmark

    Is this an issue with just Verizon S5’s? Or does this affect other carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. I haven’t read anything other than Verizon S5’s having the issues.

  • Russell Milton McCrea

    $699 phone.. useless camera. thanks samsung! 🙁 and a big middle finger to bell mobility who wont exchange it because the bug happened 1 day after 14 days exchange policy

  • ios7bluecreen

    Gee, another problem to the list. Too bad nobody ever made a big deal about the Galaxy S3 SDS (Sudden Death Syndrome). Huge thread on XDA too. Worldwide problem. Press can conveniently ignore it so they can provide free advertising to the Big S.

  • Peter G.

    This is concerning because the Sammy camera module has a serious component or design defect that can happen anytime.

    Hope the Samsung camera module designer doesn’t commit hari-kari over this.

    This could kill sales if this problem spreads and the word gets out.

    I am waiting for the jPhone commercial mocking this problem.

    I will still get a S5 but I am waiting for a 32Gig version from Verizon.

    • iKrontologist

      Completely Fixed with an update. It’s already gone fool! You fools that cry foul so easily over nothing and don’t even own the phone are laughable at best! Samsung btw…. is the largest CMOS Fabricator on the planet over Sony now. All because they are now making all their own far better quality sensors. The fabrication method Samsung uses makes it the most advanced mobile camera sensor ever produced.

      The ISOCELL Active 4 Sided Gating w deep well light gathering only on Samsung CMOS sensors. Their AF array phase detection cells are normally only available to high end DSLR large CMOS Sensors, prior to this have amazing hardware features. Since it’s all in their own fabrication process breakthrough, these two features makes Sony’s lame old antiquated BSI mobile sensors look like they’re stuck in the dark ages with their small phone camera sensors!

      In fact Samsung is now celebrating contracts with their best competitors. That basically want Samsung’s Sensors over Sony’s now! :DDD btw……. it was a software bug. Fixed it in a few days, then on lenses put together by a 3rd party assemblers? Samsung has Officially fixed that issue too. Yields are up on their own lens assembly assembly lines to a staggering rate. Samsung is expected to blow all their competition away combined again this year with over 400 Million Smartphones Sold. That’s more than Apple, Nokia, Sony, HTC, Motorola, etc combined will sell this year! That’s DOMINATION any way you spell it!!!

      Enjoy your 32GB Galaxy S5 even though it’s on Verizon. Which is the worst most ignorant and greedy carrier in the World!

      • Peter G.

        Hey Fool if an update is all it takes Fool why is Samsung replacing phones rather than using your imaginary update fix fool. Oh by the way does your mom know you are using her computer again. LOL. Enjoy consumerscellular.

        • iKrontologist

          Fixing the issue that caused the camera bricking is one thing and = firmware. Fixing bricked cameras in phones can be done in the shop, keeping buyers from having a phone for days maybe. So instead they are just simply exchanging them. The problem is fixed fast n easy. It’s called Excellent Customer Service! lol…. Why…. You MAD……. ‘eh? Since it’s over before it even got a chance to get started and now there is nothing for you to complain about! lol….. poor little baby….. does it hurts and makes your temper boil?

          Now you’ll have to dig for something else to slow down Samsung Smartphone Sales this year headed to over 400 Million! …..how many is your favorite phone maker going to sell? …..few 1000’s or 1 or 2 Million maybe? lol….

          BTW….. being in IT for 15yrs after a 20yr career in the military hardly means I’m still using my been dead for 15yrs…. mommy’s computer like you most likely do! ……consumerscellular? Never heard of it, but maybe that’s a foreign company in deepest darkest Africa? Which phones do they sell there? Oh you probably have the latest model Tin Cans or maybe a genuine replica Maxwell Smart Shoe phone…. ‘eh? ^_* Remember Samsung is slated to again sell more smartphones combined than Apple, Nokia, Motorola, HTC, Sony, etc all combined this year for the 3rd year in row without even being on this consumerscellar you speak of! ;-P

  • masamang.oso

    Does VERIZON place their own software or stock apps on their phones running on auto start? would that might cause the S5 camera failure? why Verizon only? hmmmmm??

  • Stephen

    i hope they’re getting brand new s5’s. I’d be flipping out if they gave me a refurbished one.

  • LionStone

    What!? How can it fail, it has 16mp!? 🙂

  • Hohlraum

    Never buy the first batch of a new phone. Never.

    • Still waiting on the 32gb S5

    • michael arazan

      My GS3 has camera force closes, and it wasn’t a first batch camera. I think its just Samsung TW that sucks

  • Nicholas Ruiz

    No problems with my S5 on AT&T… Knock on wood

  • Zack Kolev

    What if you rooted your S5? Are you left high and dry?

    • flosserelli

      Flash back to stock before returning it. Otherwise Verizon will laugh at you.

      • mcdonsco

        can you yet?

        • flosserelli

          No idea. I don’t have a S5 but I assumed there is a way to unroot it or return to stock. If not, then Zack is SOL.

    • mcdonsco

      never root this early in a release!

    • The Narrator


    • Bruce

      what? you already found a way to root? then you can claim the bounty!!

  • ravenofdoom

    what sort of failure time-frame were people experiencing. Are we talking 1-3 days after unboxing, or issues creeping up after week 1-2 .

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Seems to be entirely random. Some are reporting a few days, others a week.

  • RoadsterHD1

    This sucks. My Droid Maxx camera just keeps getting better with every update on Play store.

    • Ian

      Beautiful pic, thanks for posting it a 3rd time 😉

      • RoadsterHD1

        LOL…. 🙂 Made my morning thanks…….I’ll post another one next time…….. 🙂

        • Alex Boro


      • Peter G.

        I has a Maxx for a while. The camera was crummy in my opinion.

    • The Narrator


      • RoadsterHD1


        • The Narrator

          The 1020 takes better 😉 don’t kill me now

          • RoadsterHD1

            What’s 1020? Camera?

          • flosserelli

            Nokia 1020
            The only nice thing about that phone is the camera because WP sucks. And yes, I have used WP…for a week.

          • RoadsterHD1

            OHHHH. ok yeah you’re right…… Still pretty good for a pic taken in the late evening.

          • The Narrator

            The Maxx HD super 1020 Nokia Lumia Droid

          • RoadsterHD1


    • How many photos did you have to go through to find one that looked good enough to post here?

      • RoadsterHD1

        They all come out this good. 😉 I have hundreds more.

        • They aren’t bad, but you should see what phones like the G3 and S5 look like, they will blow the Maxx out of the water! I had a Maxx too, and currently a Moto X with the same camera, and they don’t even compare.

          • RoadsterHD1

            my sons have GS3’s and a friend of mine has a S4 and my picture look better and we are side by side taking the same picture. S4 i ok but the S3 isn’t even in the same ball park. Sorry dude you’re wrong. The S5 camera doesn’t even work yet “camera fail” Plus my Maxx takes better pictures than my brothers Moto X. I’m not sure what it is but the Maxx;s camera is better.

          • flosserelli

            Pretty sure Geoff was talking about the upcoming LG G3…not the Galaxy S3.

          • Hollywood69

            S5 has a way better camera…but u keep telling yourself yours is better..lmao

          • RoadsterHD1

            I will, and until the S5’s camera actually works, You can’t say sh#$ LOL. Droid MAXX takes excellent low-light pix

          • iKrontologist

            Galaxy S 5 doesn’t even work yet? lol… you’re a troll lol… Samsung fixed that in less than two days! hahaha…… and it was only on a limited number of sensors assembled by third parties. Samsung has been producing quality ISOCELL CMOS Sensor assemblies at a staggering rate and it only took an adjustment in firmware update on a limited number of affected sensors. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT! SAMSUNG ISOCELL with embedded AF phase detection sensor array is a phenomenal achievement in CMOS Fabrication Process Technology! …….Sony is no longer king of the phone CMOS camera supplier world. SAMSUNG is!!!

          • RoadsterHD1

            You’re a troll.

      • LionStone

        The blows here are low… lol

      • Lucky Armpit

        Hmmm, jealous much? My Droid Maxx takes beautiful pictures as well.

    • Lucky Armpit

      Agreed, they’ll have to be something pretty special and/or innovating from Samsung to get me to give up my Droid Maxx. Given Sambloat’s reputation lately, that ain’t happening any time soon.

    • Jeffrey

      The Samsung phones that came before the S5 actually aren’t set on their highest resolution out of the box, so that’s probably why. You have to go in and change the setting to the highest resolution. Except on the S5

    • michael arazan

      Great ship…. for the Norovirus. Seriously that was one of the ships that made over 100 people sick to death

    • Martha

      Wow, that’s one impressive picture haha

      • RoadsterHD1

        It was normally a 2.75MB image but I had to shrink it to 1.67 MB image to upload it. 4320 pixels by 2432 pixel to 3111 pix to 1752 pixels respectively. Image actually looks better than posted. So yeah a great picture taken at 6:30 pm in the evening and no flash.

  • Logan Jinks

    With people complaining about the M8’s camera, I’m starting to think it’s the best option if it’s the one that can actually take a picture

    • The Narrator

      G2. Best out there. Especially with the mods.

      • flosserelli

        I heard the G2 takes forever to focus.

        • The Narrator

          Not for me. Latest camera mod with OIS+, Magic Focus, IA, Chroma Flash, works flawlessly

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            Camera mod as in 3rd-party/dev, or the camera update that came with 4.4.2?

          • The Narrator

            Actually, it’s a Rom. But the camera mod is offered seperately, but not all features.


          • flosserelli

            I am not questioning the quality of those camera mods, but most G2 owners aren’t going to flash a custom rom just to get better photos. So I am not convinced the G2 is still the best cameraphone out there. It was at the time of its release, but I’m not sure it still holds that title.

          • The Narrator

            It still is. But that’s your loss. It’s also debloated of Verizon apps, among other things. On a certified XDA Rom.

          • flosserelli

            A “certified XDA rom”? I didn’t know devs were striving to get XDA certification now…

          • Lol

          • The Narrator

            Meaning it’s not a random Rom. Don’t be an idiot.

          • flosserelli

            I’m not being an idiot. Just having some fun with your words 🙂

          • Justtyn Hutcheson

            They’re all random ROMs, since they aren’t working directly with the source code used for the stock ROM, and aren’t required to pass the same certifications or be held subject to any realistic standards. They can throw in new features, break things, fix them, whatever they like, without any inkling of responsibility because they are doing it because they want to. If you don’t like it, they will politely (or not, depending on the team) tell you to GTFO, as is their right.

            I’m definitely not saying that there aren’t talented devs out there or impugning their work; some of it is very good indeed. I’m just saying that an “official” ROM release from a project team (like PACman or AOKP) may be better than the infinite kangs presented and tweaked by individuals or smaller groups, but I doubt any would pass a first-tier quality check at an OEM. Steve Kondik stated when asked about the difference to working with the N1 the sheer number of bugfixes they required to get it to pass certification. And that was just for a single device. They haven’t even finalized and certified CM11S, and they’ve been working on that for likely 6 months now.

        • ApplesNAndroids

          Stock G2 camera is terrible in my own usage. The M8 does much better. I haven’t tried any “camera mods” though

      • panicswhenubered

        Yea. G2 is a crazy good phone; insane battery life, great camera, excellent screen. I still can’t believe I got it for free with 2-yr renewal on Verizon.

      • If you had to flash mods. It’s not the best..

        • The Narrator

          Technically it’s not a mod. It’s features from the G Pro 2 ported over. Stock is still amazing.

      • MicroNix

        Not when it comes to photos. But you keep telling yourself that.

  • JJ

    I’m getting the issue with my GS4 too, have to keep rebooting the phone.

    • Guest

      Not for me works fine

  • yodatom10

    on top of that you’re blowing your warranty in under a month 🙁

    • Joseph A. Yager

      What do you mean? I’ve had to have my phone replaced multiple times. I’ve never come across a case of “nope, you already used your warranty once, sir”

      • BK

        Yep, Joseph is right. For all my problems with Verizon, phone replacements (within the normal period) are not one. I had to go through 5 Galaxy Nexus phones before I got one without major issues. Verizon handled that without problem.

        • Mathew Colburn

          I had so many problems with my Galaxy Nexus that they finally offered me a free upgrade. I had 3 sitting at my desk at one time because there was always something wrong with the replacements they sent me.

          • BK

            Yep, me too. I run through the list of problems I encountered in another post below. Somehow I still grew to be fond of the little bastard once I got a good one, though, even in spite of the battery and camera.

        • The Narrator

          Same here, finally got them to give me an upgrade after a while.

    • Ray

      I think your confusing insurance claim and a warranty claim they arent the same thing

  • yodatom10

    what they’re not telling you is there gonna give you a refurbished phone. Every GS5 on every network is having this issue. I’m sure samsung is working on a fix in the mean time I’ve heard that using the google camera works fine. I would be holding onto my new 200 device there’s no way I would settle for a refurb

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Doubt there are many refurbs so early in the release cycle to give out. Most likely new devices.

      • The Narrator

        Lol you’d be surprised.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        Refurbs aren’t just devices returned for repair, they are also ones that are defective off the line that are repaired in-house. It doesn’t make much sense to push them out as “new” so the hold them for warranty issues. When you make 10M devices, even with a very low failure rate you could easily get 1k “refurbs”. Then you simply play the round-robin game, with truly un-repairable devices being replaced by yet more assembly line rejects.

      • yodatom10

        Verizon just tweeted this at me “@yodatom10 @kjd1172 Allow us to shine some light on this issue! As stated vz.to/1hJXRR0, it is reconditioned.”

    • Colin Huber

      There’s no way they’d replace people’s new devices with refurbs. That’s just awful CS/PR.

      • Blue Sun

        Sir, this is Verizon we are talking about…

        • The Narrator

          And every other company.

        • Jeff123

          It’s not just Verizon. Other service providers do it as well…

      • Adrynalyne

        Normal operating procedure for Verizon. I recommend people deal with Samsung directly with this one, because if there are refurbs, Verizon will be giving you one.

      • mcdonsco

        one would hope, but this is verizon…ive had situations before with a new phone that vzw wanted to replace with a refurb.

        • Colin Huber

          My guess is that this may be more of a Samsung issue.

      • BK

        Yes, they can and will. I’ve had it happen several times. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, if there are already bad devices floating out there.

        • Colin Huber

          I know they do that. But this is too close to the release.

          • BK

            I got a refurb Galaxy Nexus within a week of release. It’s clearly stated in their terms. Pissed me off at first – and still does to some extent – but ultimately I just wanted a device that worked.

          • Colin Huber

            Wow, that’s pretty wild. Just curious, what was wrong with your device? I wonder if this is more of a Samsung issue this time around.

          • BK

            Man, I ran through the gamut. My first Galaxy Nexus wouldn’t factory reset. Second had a screen tint so dark certain colors didn’t appear at all. Third had a bad radio, dropped signal every 2-3 minutes. Fourth had a button that wouldn’t work. The fifth was the charm…while I retired it a couple months back, it’s still going strong as a wifi-only second device.

            The whole process sucked, and I blame both Samsung and Verizon. But I will give Verizon credit for never hassling me once about the replacements.

          • Colin Huber

            That’s brutal. I do they same with a Galaxy Nexus now. It just sits in my house charging as a wifi/music device. See, there’s still use for them.

          • BK

            Absolutely! I wish Google wouldn’t have dropped them out of the update cycle, but then again mine’s a bit sluggish as is already.

      • flosserelli

        Actually, chances are those people will be issued a S5 that had a broken camera and was refurbished.

      • The Narrator

        Every single company gives you a certified like new device. Nothing new. Even Insurance phones are certified like new.

      • yodatom10

        apparently verizon begs to differ 🙁 “:@yodatom10 @kjd1172 Allow us to shine some light on this issue! As stated vz.to/1hJXRR0, it is reconditioned.”

    • NickA

      Within 14 days Verizon has to replace it with a new one. If this issue is going to happen, it will happen within the 14 days most likely.

    • The Narrator

      Not like you can do anything. You signed a contract

    • cg

      Is this speculation, or do you have a confirmed statement that Samsung will give customers a refurb?

      What could also happen is Samsung could ask customers to mail the phone to them and wait three weeks for you to get it back. That happened to me when I got my Note 3 (I had the dreaded wobbly home button issue.)

      There is no way in Hades I’d want or accept a refurb. That’d be grounds for a class-action suit. You paid $200-$700 (unsubsidized) for a NEW phone. Why would you settle for refurbished?

    • Hollywood69

      Every phone….even the one im on now…ummm nope..mines wrkn just fine….