Don't set this image as wallpaper, it bricks Android phones
After text messages, wallpapers have started bricking phones. A number of Android users have reported that their phones have gone completely berserk after putting a certain image as wallpaper. The problem has been witnessed on a range of devices but its root cause still remains unknown to the world. Here's all you need to know about it.
The image in question, first flagged by renowned leaker Universe Ice on Twitter, looks completely innocuous and shows a landscape with cloud cover and greenery. It opens normally in the Gallery but when you set it as a wallpaper, it causes the phone to soft-brick, rendering the device completely unusable. The problem persists even when you reboot the device normally or in safe mode.
Going by the reports on Twitter, the problem has been witnessed on devices made by Google, Samsung, OnePlus, Nokia, and Xiaomi. They behave differently when the buggy image is used as a wallpaper, but the most common effect noted was the device being stuck in a loop, with the lock screen repeatedly turning on and off, preventing any possibility of usage or input.
While the exact cause remains unknown, the folks at 9to5Google suggest that the problem may have something to do with color profile incompatibility. Basically, the image in question uses the RGB color space, which Android 10 and older versions do not appear equipped to handle or convert to the preferred sRGB space. This leads to image handling errors, causing the phone to brick.
Once this issue occurs, the only way to make the phone usable would be to reset it from the boot menu, which means deleting all its data.
Google has not commented on the matter but Samsung has already moved to fix the glitch with its upcoming firmware release. Now, unless your OEM releases a similar patch, we recommend being extra careful while choosing wallpaper and using only reliable sites for downloading them. There is a good chance that other similarly incompatible images are also doing rounds on the internet.
Update: Samsung has received feedback on this type of bug in mid-May, and has resolved this issue. Just wait for the subsequent firmware update and do not take the risk. pic.twitter.com/oa7rxnkSkb— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 1, 2020