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Proximity sensor behavior broken..

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by johnpjackson, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Has anyone been having any trouble with their phone's display not automatically turning back on when moving the phone away from their ear, to hangup the call or enter additional numbers on the keypad? When I first got my Note 3 there wasn't any problem with that. It worked just like it seems like it was supposed to. Place phone near your ear and the display turns off. Take it away from your ear and it turns back on. And yup, I found the setting in the call options that allows you to turn that behavior on/off.

    But now, I *think* since the update to the operating system that was released just a few weeks after the phone went on sale, I'm having a problem. The display does turn off when I place the phone up to my ear. But it no longer turns back on again when I take it away from my ear. I've already tried toggling the setup option for it, and I've tried rebooting the device. The problem is still happening. Anyone else seeing anything similar with theirs?


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  2. Rukbat

    Rukbat Extreme Android User

    Running MJ5, and I always get the screen back when I take the phone off my cheek and look at the screen. Sounds more like a bad proximity sensor, since if it were the firmware, everyone would be having a problem.

    My wife has the opposite, her screen stays on during a call, but the fact that her screen timeout is set to 5 minutes may have something to do with that.
  3. DCNATS1

    DCNATS1 Member

    Im having the same problem as well. Just started in the last few weeks or right around the time of the update. I finally had to turn the proximity sensor off so the phone would stay lit for the entire call. If not the screen goes black during the call and stays black when I pull the phone away. Only thing I can do at that point is hit is hit the home button. So yep it's happening to others.
  4. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Yup - I've done some more testing and my proximity sensing behavior is broken. I don't think the sensor itself could be the problem. The display always shuts off promptly when placing the phone against your ear after beginning a phone call. The display just never comes back on when you take the phone away from your ear. I'm assuming that if the sensor can always signal when the phone has been placed at your ear, that also means it can still also always signal when it is taken away from your ear.

    Now I'm just trying to decide if there's any way to get the problem confirmed by Verizon/Samsung that's not unacceptably too time consuming. If I'm not the only one experiencing this then surely someone else will eventually report it, right?? :D
  5. DCNATS1

    DCNATS1 Member

    Just curious, have you tried a factory reset to see if it is indeed software related? I'm thinking I may give that a go as much as I hate to. I do not want one of Verizon's tried and true certified "used" phones. The replacement phones I've received in the past have turned out to have more problems than what I sent back!
  6. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    No, I haven't tried the factory reset yet. I'll only resort to that if I get to the point of not being able to deal with it otherwise. I've got a lot of stuff installed and setup and I haven't thought it through about what I'd have to re-setup again after a total reset. And I also wonder if I wait until KitKat hits if that will end up sidestepping the issue, possibly, too. Maybe if that is in January or February sometime, and it doesn't fix the issue, that's when I'd consider a reset?
  7. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    I've been getting this sometimes, but not always. I just finished a call (I dialed out) and the screen turned on when I pulled it away from my ear. I think it may only be happening under certain circumstances for me, like when I receive a call only. I'm not sure, but I'll try to narrow down the conditions as they occur. Running MJ7.
  8. big_z

    big_z Android Enthusiast

    I have this problem on my TMobile Note 3 as well.

    What does MJ7 mean? Are those the last 3 characters in the build number? Mine are MI7, for what it's worth.
  9. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

  10. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I'm on MJ7 as well. I didn't have this issue on the previous firmware that came on the device when it was new.
  11. jwither

    jwither Android Enthusiast

    Screen timeout has no effect on the proximity sensor. Mine is 10 minutes, and the screen blanks when it's slammed against the side my skull, just like it should, then it wakes up when I'm done. I can remove it from my ear multiple times during a call and it always wakes up/goes dark.

    Using MJ7 from Verizon. No change after the update.
  12. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    MI7 with T-mobile and no problem like that either.
  13. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Maybe it's not an issue with MJ7 itself then. Perhaps those of us seeing the issue are all using some app that is somehow involved in the issue? There's just so many though, it's hard to know where to begin. It seems like it's another reason to go back to baseline with a factory reset... :mad:
  14. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    *Update* Last night I received a call, and when I finished the screen was dark. I needed to press home and unlock to go back to my home screen.(Apex)
    So far, I have the screen returning after an outgoing call, but dark/sleep after incoming.
  15. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    The proximity sensing is still broken for me. From what other people have said here, it sounds like it's not necessarily related to the MJ7 update. I don't know what it could be then. I tried booting in safe mode and that didn't help. I can still produce the problem that way. That is, make a call, put the phone up to my ear and the screen shuts off. Take the phone away from my ear and the screen stays off. To get it to come on again I have to hit the menu or power button. The proximity sensor itself is obviously working. Short of doing a factory reset and seeing if the problem still exists after that, is there anything with apps that safe mode wouldn't bypass, that could be related to this problem?
  16. jwither

    jwither Android Enthusiast

    Does it behave the same when someone else uses it?
  17. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Yes. And it happens whether it's an outgoing call or an incoming call.

  18. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator

    Have you tried maybe contacting your carrier about options or even calling up Samsung. You might just want to get a new device.
  19. battymatty007

    battymatty007 Newbie

    I had a similar problem on an HTC desire, the sensor would turn of the screen at proximity but the screen would not turn on again, all I could do was take the battery out after every call and reboot.
    in the end I dismantled the phone and gave the sensor a good clean. worked a treat and is still working.
    just in case you could try downloading a sensor testing app and running it?
  20. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter


    I just gave that a try using the 'Android Sensor Box' app. That shows that the proximity sensor immediately recognizes when the phone becomes close to something (my hand), but does not register when the proximity changes to being away from it again. However, hitting the 'back' menu key from that screen in the app, to go back to the menu of all the sensors to choose from, and then immediately going back in and viewing the proximity sensor again shows the proximity sensor indicating it's not close to anything (which is true.) And then repeat. If the sensor really was 'stuck', why wouldn't it stay that way? I wonder. It still seems to me like it is broken code.

  21. battymatty007

    battymatty007 Newbie

    its hard to know, it could be a software or hardware issue i guess.
    its possible that the app resets the sensor somehow when you exit from the screen.
    i dont know anything about your model of phone or the system you are running. all i can say is that cleaning a microscopic dust layer off tyhe sensor on my htc desire worked.
    if the sensor on your phone is easy enough to get to without invalidating any warranty then it may be worth a go just to rule it out.
  22. johnpjackson

    johnpjackson Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    DCNATS1, did you have any more developments on this? For now I am going with your solution of just disabling the feature that shuts off the screen when you bring the phone to your head. But from what one of the other people here suggested, I used a utility app to check the behavior of the proximity sensor and it's clear that something with it or the software controlling it is broken. On any given initial check, it is able to detect when something gets up close to the sensor (like your face, etc.). It just never is able to tell when the distance between the sensor and the nearby object increases again. Really weird...

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release date was September 2013. Features and Specs include a 5.7" inch screen, 13MP camera, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 800 processor, and 3200mAh battery.

September 2013
Release Date

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