Nokia reportedly has identified the purple-hue screen issue for Lumia 900, will fix with future update

Nokia: "We have identified the issue and will be addressed through a future SW update."

While we haven't heard any official details, Nokia support via Twitter is reporting that they have identified the purple-hue problem that is occurring on some Lumia 900s. The screen irregularity is very obvious and easy to induce: simply disable automatic brightness and turn the screen down to "low" in Settings. Doing so on some devices will cause the grays to look purple throughout the OS.

We reported on this and other minor issues for the Lumia 900 a few days ago and even polled to see what percentage of you are affected. The information and poll were passed onto Nokia engineers along with our defective glossy-white Lumia 900 (we received a perfect replacement in return). Curiously, only about 10% are having the problem which is still quite high but we actually expected the number to be higher.

Anecdotal evidence suggests than many have this problem but are unaware. For instance, reader Jordan M. had a friend try to find a Lumia 900 without the purple hue. In three corporate AT&T stores in Wisconsin, twelve out of twelves phone had the problem though no AT&T reps were aware of the defect. That could mean either the problem is more widespread or this issue is the result of some bad batches of phones during production.

Though we still don't know the exact cause, the problem can evidently be fixed through a software patch according to Nokia, which sounds reasonable. After all, the screens can do grays accurately, just not on low-brightness. That tells us it is probably due to a calibration issue with the AMOLED display or something similar.

No word on an ETA for the patch but since it's not a dire issue like the data-connection bug, we imagine Nokia will want to roll it up into a comprehensive update that also fixes other things like the non-functioning camera button when the screen is off, unresponsive capacitive keys, volume issues, etc.

We'll keep you posted.

Source: @NokiaCareUS; Thanks, Alex, for the heads up

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Good deal I have that problem on my second lumia 900 I returned my first one last week now my new one has problems but I still wouldn't trade it for an iPhone lol ;)
  • Thats funny, we were just talking about that earlier. Lol
  • Lol yea
  • The Lumias had a few too many bugs but I'll cut them some on it being there first phones on this platform. However I'm more than impressed with how Nokia acknowledges the issues then fixes them. Nobody does it better.
  • +1 HTC took years to get good. Nokia doesn't have that time but in 12 months they went from announcement to releasing 4 devices all over the globe, becoming the top Windows Phone OEM. Between their factory changes/relocations, internal shifting of structure and working with a new OS, they're like a freshman in college trying to get their groove. They'll get it. And yeah, their service is unprecedented. One of the only Windows Phone OEMs that you can contact 4 or 5 people in the company and who not only listen, but bend over backwards to assist. Much better support than Samsung who don't even have a face here in the US.
  • ...HTC became good? Lol. I mean my trophy serves its purpose and is sturdy enough, but I wouldn't describe HTC as anything much other than "above average" on a good day.
  • without scienfitic research done on my part, but i think it is safe to say pretty much all devices have bugs at release. 
    again, only my assumption, but safe to say all phones come defective as well. 
    Dont forget the iphone 4 antenna were holding it wrong...
  • IV had all those problems on my new and last phone lol but still wouldn't trade it for another brand
  • Thankfully it's just a software issue. That would completely suck if they actually had to replace all the phones with this issue.
  • This wasn't even a real issue in my book, I mean no offense but it seemed kind of petty.  Oh no a color hue isn't perfect in a very specific scenario, big deal.  Bring on the flames!
  • It's still something that shouldn't happen for any mass-released phone let alone a "hero" device for AT&T. I found it personally to be pretty annoying though the rattle from the vibration was worse. Luckily on my new white Lumia 900 it has zero issues: no rattle, no purple and no creaky upper right hand corner. That should tell you its a factory QC issue and Nokia needs to know that info as they want to maintain high quality devices.
  • Creaky upper right hand corner. Are you talking about the SIM cover? Mine doesn't fit quite right. Otherwise I've had none of these other problems with my white 900. It's a beautiful phone and it's getting a lot of attention when I take it out in meetings. I think I've convinced a couple of people to convert.
  • Basically if you pinch the upper corner of the screen and back between your fingers, there's play causing a creaky sound when pushed together. Yes, it's probably tied to the SIM tray. And oddly enough not all of the phones have it. My review unit didn't, my white on did, my replacement does not. It's those production inconsistencies they need to address.
  • Good for you Dan! My 2nd exchanged White unite does not have the purplish hue issue, but still the 'tinny rattle'....and I have till the 23nd of May to exchange...
    So I'm going to contact AT&T to extend my 30 day window...because I can not see a firmware update addressing the rattle...Factory QC issue is quite disappointing, but Nokia works very quickly to rectify these issues...
    They listen and respond!
  • I mean, you can bend over backwards trying to justify your purchase, but the screen issue is a genuine annoyance.  It doesn't just affect grays, either: pictures and images look "off" because of the purple tint as well.
    And for me, automatic brightness is the norm - far from a "very specific scenario."  When indoors with auto brightness enables, my phone is usually automatically set to low brightness.  Which looks fine except for the purple tint.  It's not petty to expect the screen to perform as advertised.  The same argument can and should be made about the camera as well.
  • @oldpueblo - I actually noticed this issue on my phone not via the purple keyboard as most people. But for me, it was actually through the beautiful photo of my 18 month old daughter that I have as my lock screen wall paper. I noticed very reddish tones on her skin & mentioned it to my wife. Then it started to annoy me more & more & then I found out that it was an issue affecting many other users.
    So for me it started with an issue of this beautiful photo of my daughter looking discolored on my phone, meanwhile everything was peachy on my wife's cyan Lumia 900. :-(
    Not to mention that I paid an early termination fee with Verizon to jump over into a 2-year contract with AT&T to get into the flagship Lumia 900 which was being hyped up & marketed as the best WP device to date (don't get me started on the ads regarding the beta tests being over..... :-)
  • The problems, while annoying, are livable. I'm hoping the camera picture quality issue is also software and fixable, though I'm not my breath.
  • Nokia has shown they are fully behind this Lumia line. They are fixing these problems quickly.
  • This makes me even happier that I went with Nokia vs. the Titan II. Even though they aren't rushing a fix, they acknowledged the problem and pledged to fix it vs. denying it exists. I'm not experiencing any issues, but still, its a good feeling to see a company as big as Nokia supporting their product like they should. Kudos.
  • But kudos to HTC. The Titan II has no bugs I'm aware of, it's darn near a perfect phone. It's just not as sexy as the Lumia line.
  • I'm not trying to take anything away from HTC, but I would like to see how they would respond to an issue. I understand there is an issue with the original Titan and call volume. How did they respond to that other than coming out with a newer version if the phone?
  • I can tell you how they responded.  They have not done anything about it at all.  I have two original Titans and they both have the muffled call issue.  I have talked to HTC on the phone and in writing.  They readily admit there is an issue but refuse to provide any guidance on timing.  They will only say "We are aware of the issue and it is software related.  We have no information on timing for a fix." This is what they have been saying since December! Very dissapointing.  
    To be fair, all other aspects of the phone including the screen, user interface, response time, etc. is good.  But the primary function of a phone for me is to make calls and I can't do that reliably on the Titan I.  I have had to end a number of very important business calls because of this issue.  I have now been reduced to carrying my old Samsung Synch from 2007 around as a backup for when I need to make important calls! Can you believe that?  Since other Titan I owners are not having this issue, I believe it is factory quality control related rather than software related.  
    I will have to purchase new Windows Phones full price when Windows Phone 8 comes out in the fall.  Will never leave the platform.  But the experiece has left a bad taste in my mouth on HTC.  My next phone will be Samsung or Nokia.  The Titan I was my first HTC device.  
  • I believe, HTC T II has not sold in as large quantities as L900. So the sample size is very small to find any bugs. Also, L900 has the highest attention right now, so even a small issue will be reported as a major one on any WP tech site, while TII has the lowest attention and hence minor issues will sneak through or not become common until there is a larger batch of people complaining, for which a larger batch of people have to buy the phone. 
    Looking at just WP forums section itself, you can say that, so far there are very few TII users, and majority of them are previous WP users or HTC users. 
    I do see isolated issues on WP forums for Titan II too. 
  • You're exactly right. If there is a Lumia on the horizon with the size of the Titan ll and that pureview camera, in white, with WP Apollo, dual or quad core, game over. I'd preorder impulse buy that so freaking fast it wouldn't even be funny. Build it and they will come.
  • Actually my Titan II was a horrible experience. I used to lose data for no apparent reason, and my WiFi connection would stop working out of nowhere. Much more pleased with Nokia.
  • So.... Smartphone Beta test? I guess Nokia thinks these are Release Candidate tests. Too bad there were quite a few show stopping bugs, namely the data issue, but the purple hue I can imagine is pretty darn annoying. I think they really could have gone without the smartphone beta test campaign unless they themselves have ironed out literally 100% of all these issues before launch. Still really liking my Lumia 900.
  • I haven't had any issues with my 900, but I know if I did Nokia has my back!
  • Please include the WiFi fix in that release
  • I'd suggest you trade in your device before it's too late.  I had the WiFi issue on my pre-order Lumia 900, but didn't have the purple screen issue.  I traded it in last week and my new device doesn't have the WiFi issue but DOES have the purple screen issue.  Both issues are annoying but the WiFi issue was an absolute show-stopper while the purple screen issue is more of an annoyance.  
    Not to downplay the purple screen, though.  Had I not been convinced that Nokia would quickly resolve the issue, I may have traded in my Lumia 900 for good.  
    So, yeah.  Trade your device in.
  • They've been exceptional, though after going through six devices to get rid of my rattle, the purple hue was discouraging. I knew it was software related as I could get it to work fine, even under automatic changes. In glad they've acknowledged it, I only tweeted them hoping they would ask for information, glad I got that response instead.
  • Nokia is really representing the best customer service!! Awesome
  • Thank goodness, was driving me mad. As for the Titan not having issues, pretty sure they only made like ten I have yet to find an att store that got more than two total. Which is a pain cause I wanted to trade my lumia for the Titan.
  • I went through 7 total lumais. First one didn't have purple tint but has a faulty headphone jack. Next one I got had the purple tint. So did the 5 other replacements I almost exchanged for over a two week period. returned the phone and went back to my focus. I'll just wait for wp8 as I believe it to be a hardware issue regardless of what Nokia says via Twitter. This isn't a new issue for Nokia's. Just google Nokia peuple tint.
  • Acknowledging the problem is a huge step. I'm sure we'll get an update soon... Sooner than we think.
  • So the European carriers were obviously right when they told that they don't want to invest in the Lumias because of the bad built quality and bugs in comparison to the iPhone and Android phones.
  • Or so you think....
  • Again over exaggeration by someone like you. 
    Also, there is no actual proof of any sort of European carriers bitching on Lumias except the rumored articles. 
  • I find the Reuters article a very reliable source. Also that Nokia tries to fix hardware chip problems (like with the Lumia 800 battery issue) with a software workaround instead of sending out their already fixed second hardware revision to customers bothers me and isn't good good customer service.
  • even if it was hardware issue, they are still better than ndroid oems and apple. didnt tell u that u r holding it wrong or buy the next version of the phone for latest sw update. 
  • That Reuters article was very poorly written and poor journalism. It talks about a survey conducted by Reuters but everything was hearsay no evidence, names or substance. Do you know how many European carriers there are? Was this one carrier? Was this in different countries? Without knowing the carriers or the countries that article was just hearsay by an otherwise respected source.
  • Once again Nokia listens to their customers instead of sliding the issue under a rug. Now only to fix my rattle and screen clicking.
  • I went and exchange my cyan 900 and now I have the issue, but its not a problem for me, all I did was turn the brightness to medium (that where I always had it anyway) and automatic off and you will see that beautiful wife loves her white 900, better than she did the iPhone.
  • The only issue that really bugs me is my camera button does open from the lock screen. I can live with purple color and the rattling phone nut I want my camera to work.
  • Is it possible to get a replacement from Nokia directly or do I have to get it from atnt because the certainly do not bend over backwards for you....
  • I have two Lumia's, a Cyan and White.  Both do not have the Purple hue issues being reported.  Although, I am glad someone from Nokia has acknowledged the issue and I hope a fix is coming soon for those that do experience it.  And yes, I did test both by disabling Automatic Brightness, and setting it to Low.
  • It's pathethic that after the quite ironic (and so far short) campaign "The Smartphone Beta Test is Over," and Elop's own remarks about how the Lumia line are the first true Windows Phones, is really something to look at their high-end Lumia 900, being the only Windows Phone released so far to have such a sub-par firmware quality. Data issues, physical buttons have lockscreen detection issues, camera sensor quality (Carl Zeiss my ass, fix the software), no softkey cancellation when touchscren is being used, and now the blue hue on low brightness. 
    The amount of irony in both the device and the campaign is simply monumental. I wouldn't beat them so hard if their advertising wasn't so opposite with reality, becuase I know they acknowledged the issue and plan to fix it. But there's no reason for them to miss on things like these; it's just not ok for someone new on the playing field as it inevitably makes them look bad.
  • Does anyone else's 900 randomly search, or do the MicrosoftTellMe. And or not go back when you press the back button but open the fast app switch while playing music or videos? I'm trying to decide if it's a software issue or just my device and I should return it. I do have an invisashield on it idk if that would affect it or not.
  • Mine
  • We need to stop being so irrationally hard on other OEMS. Nokia isn't perfect either
  • Tried on my 900, no issues.
  • I really want to love this phone but, with all the issues.... I'll pass...