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Instant Panic


Jun 19, 2010
Land of Oz
I mow lawns daily and stream xm tunes to Bose buds while doing so. Today I get to my last lawn and open my S21 Ultra to start the streaming service to find I have zero screen. I hop back into the truck and mess with the phone a bit and then gave up. I mowed my last lawn and came home and put the phone on the charger. I'm thinking either the phone got too hot or did not charge over night and is out of power. On the charger it's status is displayed as 86% charged and 22 minutes until fully charged. I'm instantly put at ease knowing the phone is functional. I let if fully charge and then removed it from the charger. It asked for my login and I was into the phone. The screen was barely lit. I go into setting and see that the brightness slider is all the way down. It's no wonder I couldn't see the screen in the daylight. I brightened the screen and then found a number of settings changed. I was in light mode instead of dark, I had a nav bar at the bottom of the screen and I always use swipe, and there weren't any app badge numbers on my notifications. That's the settings that I have so far discovered were changed. I'm hoping that my phone just jumped around in my pocket just right (OR WRONG) and changed those settings. If it was another culprit.. I'm in for some kind of fun finding it.
I'm pretty basic and near boring on my cells. I set them up and rarely add to my phones. My current phone has seen some security patches and the upgrade to 12 but hasn't seen any other user changes since it was put online right after it launched. When things go South I immediately think of damage vs intrusion. My phones live a hard life though never mistreated. They accompany me in my day to day however. My S21 is running the same launcher and set of apps that it was running on day one. They have updated so that is always a consideration.
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My Xiaomi has a System Apps Updater - Update History to see when new Themes or any Mi apps were updated chronologically. Likewise the Play Store has a Manage Apps and Device - Manage tab.

Doesnt Samsung have an app store updates history. Just wondered if one of those coincide with the period your phone changed.
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Neat story and nice narration, and with a happy ending! (Good to hear your phone is still fully functional.)

I'm going to guess you at some point you were using your phone to just check something, or set up the next playlist, or whatever and perhaps put the phone back in your pocket but inadvertently missed putting the display to sleep. At that point, all kinds of random movement on your part will result in all kinds of very random bumps and swiping against the touchscreen and inner lining of the pocket. Oddly even though our touchscreens are supposed to be capacitive based on our fingertips, try doing a test with different involving different fabrics. Just tried this on a couple of phones and with both I could still tap and swipe using my finger through a t-shirt but not through a thicker pants fabric.
So just an assumption that there isn't actually anything really 'wrong' with your phone, it's just a one-off thing that's happenstance. Restart your phone and if this occurs again that does indicate a problem that needs to be looked into. If not, just be more mindful to always be sure to put the display in sleep mode before putting into your pocket.
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I'm going to guess you at some point you were using your phone to just check something, or set up the next playlist, or whatever and perhaps put the phone back in your pocket but inadvertently missed putting the display to sleep.

You no doubt are correct. I answered a text two lawns prior to noticing a blank screen. I very likely failed to close the display at that point and the havoc ensued. The phone was fully functional at the time the screen was blank but I didn't realize that.
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This is one advantage of those flip cover cases: when I put my phone in my pocket I know that nothing is going to be pressed, no matter whether I turned the screen off or not.

But the temperature thing could well have been a factor. The other week I left my phone in the car for a bit on a sunny day, and when I retrieved it and turned it on I could barely see the screen: the thermal protection was limiting the display brightness. A few minutes indoors and all was normal - I actually found this reassuring rather than worrying, because it showed that the system was behaving sensibly rather than risking damage for short-term convenience.
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Is this REALLY "off topic". I think not. This is what our place is all about, baby. All. About. GL fixing the issue.
Well to me it seemed off topic. I planned to go into narration mode explaining the problem and the solution. It didn't seem a bit worthy of serious consideration or attention. The wonderful AF members were quick to respond all the same. What a great bunch we have here at AF!
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I discovered one other oddity that occurred while my phone was bouncing around in my pocket. I opened my photo app and the last picture was of a local bar/grill. It was time stamped Monday 12:26 PM.
I was mowing and not at the bar having a burger Monday. Closer inspection and I find the picture is of the bar's store front all lit up with beer signs etc. No way was the picture taken at noon. Details of the pic said an internal capture. I assume I was needing a beer so badly at noon that it browsed for a local cold one and captured their web pic. :)
Now that's what I consider a SMART phone!
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The amount of crazy things that happened whenever my S20 FE would turn itself on in my pocket (Note to Samsung: Accidental Pocket Protection does NOT work!) is well, crazy. I tried turning off tap to wake, raise to wake, Always-on-display at certain times when my phone is in my pocket (Bixby Routines), and even then I'd feel a hot sensation in my left front pocket and I'd discover the phone was on for hours, battery at single digits, and having sent two texts with the message 'deajojofaeujofaoje' to a few contacts which made for awkward moments, opened a few dozen apps, and activated Samsung Pay.

It got so frustrating I ended up going to 2010 phones for a bit then when they couldn't make phone calls anymore, went to a cheaper A series with none of that. The battery is even better on the $150 Samsung than on the $700 Samsung. You explain that one to me! I thought paying more gave you more. I feel miffed the touch sound is so silent and subtle, as whenever my S4 would turn on in my pocket I'd know by it loudly going 'BWOP BWOP!' over and over again.
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