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Samsung Galaxy S9 – A Tale of Two Filters

Sprint Product Ambassador

Blue screen filters are essential to your health, so it’s great that Samsung includes it on their excellent Galaxy phones.  What’s nicer is that the S9 has an incredible OLED screen so blacks are truly black, and each pixel and can get as bright as it needs to be without washing out.  Sometimes, with some blue light filters with a LCD screen, the filter lowers contrast and blacks become reddish.  Not so with this phone. (See my previous post here where I rant on and on about why you will positively die if you don't use a blue light filter).


Google also has a very nice blue light filter, (called "Night Light"), Screenshot_20180419-145657_Google Play Books.jpgthat up until recently, was strictly included with Google Play Books.  You read a book at night, your eyes are protected.  You go back to the home screen, and you are blasted with blueish white light.  So, in the most recent version of the Google operating system, (Android 8, or Oreo), Google made their e-reader’s blue light filter part of the operating system, and in some unaltered versions of Oreo, you can access the Google blue light filter menu from the system settings.  But a Galaxy is not a normal phone and has many enhancements that prompted Samsung to make modifications to the OS and to the OS settings, and since Samsung made their own blue light filter, (which was also included with the S8, pre-Oreo), they have their own system setting.  I assume to eliminate confusion, the main system settings menu on the S9 only gives access to Samsung’s filter, not Google’s.


That would be fine except for one odd but interesting phenomenon which might make its presence known in what looks like a glitch, (it’s not really a glitch).  You see, if you are an Android user, your data is backed up to Google’s cloud for free.  It’s really cool.  All of your photos, apps, contacts, text messages, (if you use Google Voice), and menu settings are backed up, then automatically restored on subsequent new devices.  In my experience, all my stuff is back in about ten to fifteen minutes after signing into a new phone, and I switch phones a lot, so I really appreciate this convenience. 



Screenshot_20180419-160709_Settings.jpgI use Google Play Books almost every day, and I use their useful blue light filter, and have it set to automatically come on in the evening, and turn off in the morning.  I only had to set this up one time, and the setting is remembered and copied over to every new phone or tablet I use. Screenshot_20180419-145423_Settings.jpg Except that now this setting is not exclusive to just Play Books, (they really need a better name, but Nook and Kindle were already taken), but this is now a global setting.  So now, sometime in the evening, a blue light filter from Oreo comes on, and at some other time, a blue light filter from Samsung comes on and I get “MEGABLUELIGHTFILTER”.  This would be weird enough, but it seems that the first time the Google filter comes on, it gets in a thumb-wrestling match with the filter from Samsung, with both filters fighting for the honorable title of “The One and Only True Blue Light Filter” which results in the Google filter never quite letting go, even in the daytime. 


In fact, it doesn’t even let you change any of the other display options from the system settings.  Well, that’s not accurate, you can select any setting you want, but you won’t see any change.  I rebooted my phone several times, and when it is booting up, you see pure white typefaces and the colors look they way they should in the daytime, but as soon as the phone is done booting, wham! Blue light filter applied. 


It was only through fiddling with this and that and trying every combination of scenarios that I stumbled upon this conflict and the secret menu.  The Android Oreo blue light filter menu which would normally be accessible from the system settings, is only accessible from Google Play Books.  I loaded Play Books, turned off the filter, rebooted, and everything was right with the world and my S9.  Then, I tempted fate by turning the filter back on in Play Books.  It is now working as it should, only turning on at night, and turning off in the morning, and it is peacefully coexisting with Samsung’s filter.


I’m really enjoying MEGABLUELIGHTFILTER exclusively from SAMSUNGGOOGLE.


Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee