Possible 'fix' for Lumia 1520 tap and scroll problem linked to flexing the screen

The Lumia 1520 is in many ways the perfect Windows Phone assuming, of course, that you are okay with a 6-inch display. However, if there is one Achilles Heel that only occasionally rears its head it is the 'scroll/tap' issue. Although more a nuisance than anything, the bug randomly occurs when scrolling on the display using a swipe, but instead the device registers it as a 'tap.' This hardware "misreading" results in the phone opening links, tweets, photos, or hyperlinks when the user only intended to scroll up or down.

Ever since the Lumia 1520 started exhibited this problem, it was largely assumed to be a software (firmware) problem, or a screen-calibration tweak. The randomness of the bug and subsequent software releases though calls this explanation into question. Even more, some users have it and others do not.

Now, a new theory grounded in the hardware of the device appears to go a long way in explaining the problem and even how to solve it.

In our forums, member Hesham Fouad has posted an interesting idea. His main proposal is that this is a hardware design flaw related to the size of the display. More precisely, the digitizer contacts behind the display become misaligned. The cause of the misalignment is screen flex, like when you put the phone in your front pocket, display down, and the device flexes downward slightly causing the center contact to miss the connection.

The solution to the problem is twofold:

  1. Lightly press down on the top and bottom of the display
  2. Do not carry the Lumia 1520 in your front pocket, display down

This explanation by Fouad is elegant because it not only explains why software tweaking (or disabling the super-sensitive touch) has no effect, but it also clarifies why only some users experience this and not others (and even the randomness within an affected device). In theory, people with a Lumia 1520 who never put pressure on the display, causing it to flex do not experience this bug.

As to the solution, although it has only been a few minutes, my Lumia 1520 does seem to respond better to touch. However, being schooled in science for a long time, I know placebo effects can be vicious.

Assuming this is the cause of the problem, Nokia (and now Microsoft) would not recall the device if only because this does not rise to the level of prohibiting the usage of the phone. Although it can be an annoyance, I personally cannot say it makes me not want to use the Lumia 1520, of course, your level of irritation may vary.

If you are experiencing this problem, head into the forums and read Foud's post, the subsequent discussion, and the let me know if his 'fix' is working for you.

Source: WPCentral Forums; Thanks, slysy, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

223 Comments
  • My 1520 gets hanged or freezes sometimes what should I do
  • Try our forums. This article is about screen tap/scroll problems. Thank you.
  • I have the same issue. Will check it out. Thanks Daniel.
  • My cats seem to be plotting my demise. What should I do?
  • Buy an iPhone, there is an app for that.
  • LOL xDDDDDDDDD your comment made my day hahahaha
  • Chuck a 1520 at them. You can probably knock two or three of them out with one throw.
  • Lol, that there is actually funny
  • I guess its time to replace the old adage "two birds with one stone" with "three cats with one (Lumia 1520) phone."
  • Try the of topic lounge in the forums.
  • Poor Daniel.
  • Week ago changed broken screen in service. Tap/scroll issue disappeared.
  • Thank you Daniel for this wonderful article 
  • I put too much sugar in my coffee and I didn't read the article, what should I do? (Dan's head explodes)
  • If you have cortana on the start screen, unpin it. Use the search button instead.
  • Even worse, Nokia won't honor the warranty if it's an international version like the 1520.3.
  • So that means this problem should be associated with 1320 too since it also has a large screen space
  • Solid question.
  • Whilst the 1320 has the same screen size it's not got the same ppi, so maybe not affected the same.
  • get a smaller phone 
  • i suggest that you buy an Iphone,no problems with apple !
  • So then it stopped being an Apple and requiring iTunes?
  • Wrong website. you need www.applefanboi.com
  • Do a reset. Settings > About > Reset my phone.   My phone was absolute anarchy. No screen response. would work sometimes for like 10 seconds then go haywire and looked like it was having seizures! I tried everything... People say it is hardware.. Well I reset my device and everything works great. This is after i got a replacement screen (it still was glitchy with brand new screen and digitizer). So i got fed up, reset my phone, and now it works great again. Good luck out there.   -Sam Brown 
  • That seems something interesting !!
  • These are the people that Microsoft should be hiring.
  • No. They need people to FIX the problem, not put tape on it.
  • I just got a 1520 today and after using it for a few hours I cannot go back to using the 1020. The 1020 looks so small compared to the 1520. I love the additional real estate. Screen issue or not I love the 1520.   
  • I also have both phone but prefer each one depending upon my need. When i'm traveling for work and in airports and meetings I prefer the 1520 for the real estate. However, when at home and my non-travel related day-to-day use I prefer the 1020 because it fits in my pants pocket and is not as heavy. Now if only Microsoft would truly have the ability to ensure all of my devices have the same apps and set-ups I would be thrilled. They're close, but I still don't get the same profiles on things like games or Waze or a few other 3rd party apps.
  • Thanks, man, this helped me a little bit understanding the different sizes and the comparison (this is not meant to be irony)
  • I tried out a 1520, but I didnt like it because the screen made everything comically huge. Go into Settings and look at how large everything is compared to the normal size on a Lumia 920/1020/930
  • 8.1 fixed all that. You are dead wrong now.
  • I can second that. WP8.1 did really adapt the OS to better fit the bigger, high resolution screen.
  • Welcome to the grown up world. All other phones will look like what they are by comparison: toys.
  • next time you change,try getting a 60 inch tv with WP on it, dumb head !
  • Na, go big or go home - a football field sized screen with Windows Phone on it.
  • Live tile flipping will drive u nuts... :P
  • Yep, annoyed me enough to return it a few months ago but this is an interesting fix. Hopefully they pay more attention to this for their future devices.
  • Dont wear tight jeans
  • Mal mısın gerizekalı :D
  • Had the issues from taking the phone out of the box and don't wear tight jeans. Plus phones never go in my back pocket.
  • I've been telling this to all those who wanted to buy this huge 6' phone or any other such phone; if your body build isn't large enough and you're going to carry it in your pockets and put pressure on it all the time and don't have any other means to carry it, DON'T BUY IT. P.S. Still, flexing usually isn't supposed to damage the phone, so maybe MS could improve the design in later models.
  • You are right, to put the 1520 in the pocket front or back - you will destroy the phone excatly because of flexing problems. I had these problems after one month, they had to change the touch panel, waranty. After - I never put it into my pocket and everything is fine after 5 month. Never, Never put your 1520 in front og back pocket if you love your phablet. By the way, I have bought the new 930 - really amazing device, I love it and it's beautiful, but my 1520 is the king.
  • It seems silly, if we are not supposed to carry our phones in our pockets? My only other alternative would be in my hand.
    Luckily, I have not had any issues carrying my 1520 in my front pocket, though I am aware of not putting pressure on the phone when climping something, for example ;)
  • Yes absolutely silly that you should not put your phone in your pocket. When I had the problem, I discovered - by slightly twisting the phone by holding the top and bottom, which affects the screen, all began to flicker and do strange things. It is in my eyes the problem - the design is flexible, and it can affect the touch panel. The solution is simple, the next version must have a stronger frame and cnstruction.
  • Exactly what it is twisting it slightly in the corner, I do like the phone but will go yo an iPhone 6
  • Never iPhone for me, for what, it's for nothing. WP / Nokia is amazing and the OS the best, iPhone is only a toy in my eyes, maybe for my 6 years old grandson together with Angry Birds :) We know this 1520 device have a minor problem, and I don't need or want it in my pocket. It's the same about my tablet, I don´t put it into my pocket. For my pocket is 930 and 630, when I need a pocket model.
  • I don't put my tablet in my pocket either - it doesn't fit ;) For the same reason, I leave my tablet at home.
  • Do people not use belt clips around here?
  • Carrying your phone in your pocket can cause infertility.
  • the dumb heads buy it becouse they have to show their friends that they have something different,not for the fact that they realy need it, it's called "ASSHOLES INCORPORATED"
  • The 1520 isextremely good too when you are working or travelling, amzing about reading and writing, your mini tablet, absolutely a great tool. The speed and the monitor is also in top.
  • This is where a six inch screen comes back to bite you in the ass.
  • If people are putting it in their front pocket, its not their ass being bitten.
  • U really don't understand the statement, do you?
  • Sure he does
  • He does. He's just making a smart ass comment in reply. :P
  • Is the word ass in your comment a pun?
  • Believe it or not it wasn't meant to be. Just didn't know how to get rid of the ambiguity. What I meant to say is that awesmdiver was trying to be a "smart ass" with his reply. I didn't mean he was making an "ass comment" (which he was). And the use of the word ass in my comment is purely coincidental.
  • Well it would make sense...
  • My 1520 has been doing this since day 1, definitely not related to carrying in my pockets
  • It could still be a problem coming out the factory. Try the screen flex from top/bottom to see if it helps.
  • Should we only try the flex fix when its acting up? Not pitting in my pocket is not an option... I'm a guy with no purse, and don't wish to walk around all day holding it in my hand.
  • You could put in your front pocket but with the screen out; some are doing that in the forums. Or yeah, just press down on it every once in awhile.
  • Definitely helps with mine Daniel. Also helps when using it on my desk. Hardware issue for sure. My speakers constantly popping on games is a different thing altogether though :/ Other than that there's no issue but still too annoying for me. 930 is working splendidly.
  • ​ hope I'm not so late on this but I realized that switching off double tap to wake phone helps instantly. I'm still observing to find out if it's a long term solution.
  • have you tried fixing it with a hammer ? sometimes it fixes if you slam it on a wall ! trying is beleiving !!
  • Excessive percussive maintenance is usually a bad idea where electronics are involved.
  • lumias can take a nail and hammer, check YouTube, more than a match for poor iPhone http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf1fRu9YgfE ​ ​
  • A sturdy case should solve the problem. I haven't experienced this problem yet. My 1520 works excellent... I am rough on my phone, I have it in my pocket while working in a auto motive factory.... No problems yet.
  • Agreed. No issue with mine.
  • Agree'd as well. I have an Incipio charging case on mine and have no issues what so ever. I get wireless charging and apparently a sturdier phone.
  • yes as long as im using hard flip case i had no such issue, but when switched to leather(purse kinda) which holds phone tightly i suffered screen flickering, now i have to try these technics to get rid of this. lets see Danile if it works for my device.
  • Don't know. My 1520 sensitivity gotten worse after latest updates.
  • That's the randomness I'm talking about. If you asked me, I'd say mine got better or stayed the same, but definitely not worse. That doesn't make sense if it was software.
  • These last updates have made it much better. It's not as annoying as it used to be.
  • Agree, if anything...slightly better since last updates
  • Agreed! Started happening with a vengeance while I was going through settings to check for the Cyan label for the first time.
  • seems faster !
  • I agree with you. Ever since my 1520.3 got Cyan, the click scrolling seems to have gotten worse.
  • Interesting
  • Just get a skin to protect the phone and those glass screen protectors
  • I genuinely don't have this issue, and I do put my 1520 in my front pocket. Are people being overly heavy handed with their phones?
  • Ikr.... Like I said I work at a automotive factory.... Mine takes bangs and works great lol
  • I have a pretty straightforward answer.. No.
  • I have a Lumia 920. I have experienced this issue on a few websites since installing WP 8.1 Update 1 this week. I try to scroll down the page and I inadvertently open a link I was not intending to open. I thought it was just my phone having a random issue. Since my phone has a smaller screen and obviously different hardware design than the 1520, I don't think this is the cause of the issue if my phone is experiencing the same problem. Is the 1520 the only model that th