A seemingly innocuous image is causing soft bricking on phones after being set as the default wallpaper, and no one knows why…
For some time now, an unresolved issue with a very similar description continues to be problematic for some device owners. First reported back in 2018 in the Android issue tracker, certain photos cause soft bricking on various phone models when set as the default wallpaper. (For those unfamiliar, soft bricking is when a device only partially functions.)
Scenic Wallpaper Image Soft Bricks Mobile Phones
It’s a strange phenomenon, which some people on Reddit and Twitter attribute to the color profiles in the images. These apparently exceed certain Android parameters and as a result, cause phones to crash. At this time, it seems devices manufactured by Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Nokia, Xiaomi are those which are mostly affected. However, not all models behave in the same way.
For instance, it’s been tested on the Mate 20 Pro and does not affect the phone’s functionality. But, when applied as wallpaper on a Google Pixel 2, causes the handheld to crash immediately. Rebooting only results in powering on and off cycles and even restarting in safe mode did not fix the issue. (Only a factory reset suffices.)
Though there’s speculation as to what’s occurring, it is still unknown at this time what’s is triggering the soft bricking.