Take your perfectly working phone and lock the screen, place it on a desk and put your warm palm across the screen and apply gentle but even pressure for a minute or two.
Remove hand and unlock phone.
Roughly - may be 20/30 seconds with no screen activity then some dancing about of the selecton and then maybe 1.5/2 minutes later return of screen to normal.
Im sorry its poorly designed screens that are doing it. Mine never ever ever works after removing from my jean pockets.
You try sending a perfectly working screen back for repair as it wont be doing it when it arrives.
Frustrated N97 user.
@marks72: Very good suggestion, however in my case, the problem appears sometimes even during cold nights (outside) and the palm test failed 4 times in my case (tested in a warm room :-D), so I can't confirm.
@Everyone: I have ultimately come to the following conclusions, for the time being:
1. MfE sync configuration, at least in my situation, has a direct effect on the issue frequency. It may also be remotely related to GPRS/3G usage.
2. The pocket tightness does not seem to impact the issue frequency in any way. Once I enable MfE syncs to be always on, it doesn't matter if the phone is on the desk, in my pants pocket or in a fridge (haven't tried this last one but seems fair to include it as well) the issue takes place far more frequently (1/3 unlocks).
3. Screen dilatation(???) or stickiness or any warmth tests seem not to impact as well. I tested the warm palm method four times and it did not yield any results that can confirm the description marks72 gave. It never gave any hints of happening again, provided I had MfE syncs disabled at the time of the tests. That said, I am not ruling this out, except the actual test not working. I am now investigating how heat can influence the screen behavior.
Here is a thought: do you guys think that GSM / 3G / WiFi connections could heat the phone enough to dilate the screen, which coupled with the pants pocket creases while sitting applying pressure on the screen could create a suitable environment for the screen to stick / bend temporarily etc? Bear in mind that while the phone is in a pocket, the heat will not dissipate as fast as it would while held in your hand.
I can confirm that my handset is considerably cooler now that it is not connected to a network 24/7 (with MfE not syncing all the time). Although the above explanation seems like a complete conspiracy in itself, maybe there is a chain of events that ultimately generates the actual events, not a single contributing factor. This may also explain why only a few of us N97 owners have this issue. Any thoughts on this direction?
OK, after half way through the second day of not carrying the phone in my pocket I have noticed that the touch screen response is much better, although not perfect. I'm not sure if heat has an impact but I wouldn't rule this out, what I do know is that I tried marks72's palm test and this made the touch screen response go haywire. There wasn't much heat so I think it's the pressure across the touch screen. Unfortunately it didn't return to normal after a couple of minutes, but bizarrely a gentle shake of the device brought it back to normal. There is also something funny going on with the lock/unlock slider but I don't know if this is a cause or a symptom.
I agree with marks72 that this issue will probably not show up when the device is at the Nokia Care Center but I'll definitely ask for them to address the problem along with my scratched lens cover from the self harming camera lens and the sub par GPS.
To be quite frank I'm fed up with this device. It's ridiculous the amount of time that I have had to spend researching solutions, developing work-arounds for the lack of Mac compatibility, removing all of the apps stored on the pitiful c drive, performing resets, performing formats of the mass memory, reloading media & maps, reloading apps, performing setup, and the numerous fruitless attempts to get assistance through the Nokia Customer Care service. Now I'll have to go through the process of sending this device off to the Nokia Care Center (the only one in the USA) and after replacing the parts for the camera lens more than likely they will only reflash the firmware and tell me that there isn't a problem with the touch screen.
Very frustrated N97 owner.
Just a quick update.
After a couple of days of not carrying the phone in my pants pocket the touchscreen is working normally. Then this morning I went out without a jacket and with nowhere else to carry the phone I placed it in my pants pocket and sure enough the touchscreen started to play up again. It's not a small or light device so carrying it in a shirt pocket really won't work so that just leaves the pants pocket and I'm pretty sure there was no statement from Nokia that the device shouldn't be carried this way. I have ordered a leather pouch and bluetooth stereo headset (the BH-103 for approx. US $25 delivered, slightly cheaper than the Nokia RRP of US $69.95) so fingers crossed this will resolve the problem.
@ docsymbian - As I have stated previously, the problem you have described is completely different to the one that I have described and as such any solution for my problem will generally not be applicable to you. It sounds like your display has malfunctioned (not the touch screen) but the only way that you can verify this is by having it checked by a certified Nokia repairer. You may not be aware but these discussion forums are user to user and although some Nokia employees monitor the forums they will not address specific issues like the one that you are experiencing.
If you purchased it in Trinidad and the retailer is an authorised Nokia dealer then they must have some responsibility to make repairs under warranty. If they are not an authorised Nokia reseller and they have imported a grey market phone I suspect you may be out of luck with a warranty claim. Either way your problem sounds like a hardware failure and as such I seriously doubt that you will be able to resolve it through this discussion forum. IMHO I think you need to research the consumer protection laws in Trinidad, hopefully you will be able to get the retailer to repair or replace your handset.
Well, in this case, I will try the "no pants pocket" approach for this entire week. On my side, it seems there is absolutely no relation between MfE syncs and the screen issues. It was just about 2 days of coincidence that mislead me to believe they were related.
I can now confirm there s absolutely no connection between MfE, GPRS / 3G or anything else (firmware, free space etc.) This has to be a problem of either pure physical and handling behavior or (most likely) poor unit build or design. As most can guess, the phone was not dropped, scratched or otherwise treated badly.
This is a serious problem it seems and the last thing I can think of to be related (remotely at best) is the lock-unlock system. That said, I will try to reduce pressure on the screen at all times to prevent the issues from happening again.
I'll keep everyone posted on the evolution of these attempts.
I have similar screen problems. Its mainly down to a combination of the phone being so slow to catch up and software bugs.
I have the issue whereby if I press the Applications Icon I'm taken to the last application I was viewing rather than to the applications - sometimes.
hi Guys, you are not alone, i am having the same proble, aswell as a fair few others, just search google for 'n97 touch screen not working'
i have had a read through the posts, the palm on the screen makes it go funny and highlight where i am not clicking.
i also just had the fone working properly, sitting on my desk, then answered a call. but when it came time to hang up, i couldnt hit the hang up button, the hold button was as though it was being held down. locked it, cleaned the oil etc from my face off, unlocked it and it is working.
from my reconng, it could be a couple of things. the light sensor that locks the screen when you hold it to your face, the heat from my face(a little pressure, but not much) , the **bleep** on the screen, or the locking/unlocking thingie
would like this to be over...
had it since its release in Australia
keep it in pants pocket most of the time
do have email being updated constantly
has been going on for about 2 months, getting wors
getting **bleep** off at this fone
with the application problem, check that you actually exit the app insted of hitting the red hang up button. you could have programs running in the background that open when you go into applications... one of the annoying points of symbian
Like everyone here, I have been having the same sort of erratic touch screen issues - pockets and heat seem to be creating SOME of the problem, but it also sits on my desk and occasionally won't answer phone calls either.
The screen seems to be very sensitive to handcream and I noticed that if I cleaned it off with a screen wipe, things were sometimes better. But this wasn't really always helpful. Neither is taking out the battery. Or shouting at the phone....
However, what seems to be working for me consistently, and you might want to try it too, when the screen stops responding or starts to respond a couple of centimetres away from where you are touching:
Press firmly on the opposite diagonal corners of the screen and then firmly along the sides along the length of the phone.
where the o is where to press.
Dunno why, but for me this seems to just sort the screen out and I have changed from swearing about this phone ALL THE TIME, to only occasionally.
Good luck ... hope this helps someone.
if that in fact works for you, that would correspond to the touch screen sticking.
i am trying keeping it in the pouch that comes in the kit to see if that help, but thanks for the sugestion
Ok so continuing my palm test to get the screen to fail, and some weird findings but nothing positive....
Basically the palm test does not cause the screen to fail for a minute or two unless around 90% of the screen is pressed, doing top half, or bottom half or centre or just the green/red buttons does not seem to cause a problem.
The silver menu key does sometimes work when the screen is totally dead, some times not.
I tried the test with the screen open and while the same identicle problem occurs but it does seem to return to normal slightly faster.
The problem is not lock key related as it does it with and without the screen locked.
Using a piece of thin card between your palm and the screen then means it takes 30 seconds /1minute longer to get the screen to a dead/dancing state, so the problem is compounded by heat.
i tried calibrating the screen etc but no difference.
I dont remember the problem being there in the first few weeks of owning the phone, i may be wrong with that but i dont think so. There is no screen protector on the screen or anything else and also no physical damage/scratches as it never shares a pocket with keys or anything else.
Its now on v2 of the software but it has made no difference than being on v11 so i dont think thats an issue.
I honestly believe that this is a design problem with the screen, im at the end of my nerves with this phone after problems in just about every aspect of this phone. I have work in IT for 10 years and i dread to think what would happen if i gave this phone to someone who is not of a technical background they would think you were playing a cruel joke on them.
I know NOKIA personal read these forums and i would like someone to explain why my screen is failing after taking it out my jeans pocket for up to 2 minutes... I can live with the software and the endless bugs as this will hopefully get fixed in the end but not being able to press the touch screen is beyond funny.
It seems there are not only a few people having this problem. It seems like in just a couple of days we have reached quite a large number of reports.
So, considering all of the latest posts (thanks guys!) I have a little addition for the time being. I have discovered why the hardware "menu" button is not working sometimes. I thought of it this way: How come the hardware menu button gets affected, given the fact that it's not attached to the screen in any way? Sometimes it fails along with the screen, sometimes it doesn't. However, when it doesn't work it is ALWAYS in conjunction with the screen issue.
There is a perfectly sane and testable explanation for this. While the screen is "touched" as in enabled, activated or pressed (or whatever you want to call it) you cannot use the button at all. You can test it by opening the menu and dragging up or down while keeping the finger on the screen (make sure the screen issue is not taking place during ). Don't let go and press the button. Voila! it doesn't do anything!
So, this is an important marker as to whether the screen is currently in a "touched" state or not. If you cannot use the menu button, it means the phone detects the screen as being "touched". This usually can help get over the issue by using the "screen massage" method explained in this thread. After you "massage" the screen, press the menu button again to check if it is still stuck or not.
Hope this insight helps!
Since I have stopped carrying the phone in my pocket my touch screen problems have almost completely disappeared. As stated before I did carry it in my pocket the other day and the problem reappeared. Yesterday I had to carry it again in my pocket so this time I tried carrying it with the screen facing away from my body and this seemed to help with no problems occurring when I used the touch screen. I hope this observation helps somebody else.
So after my experience it seems pretty certain that the problem is a result of heat and pressure. The pressure required is not excessive, no more than when using the phone, but in my opinion it has to do with the screen having pressure applied to several areas at the same time.
Given that the 5800 uses a similar screen technology, I wonder if 5800 users have been experiencing similar problems?
since i have put the phone in the pouch, the touch screen ahs been operating much better.
i put the phone in the pouch and wear it in my pocket like i would normaly (screen facing in) and i havnt seen anything nearly as severe as what was happening. the most 'deadness' i have got from it is after my drive home (in my pocket) the first time i touched the screen, it went to another part of the screen and held it down, but after that it worked fine
keeping in mind that i have only been trying this for a day, and i will post more info in days to come
Well, after reading all of your posts I feel your pain. I've been having exactly the same problems and it came down to the screen being pressed by having the phone screen facing my leg while the phone was in my pocket. As soon as I started turning it around, screen out, it was fine.
It seems to work by pressure rather than heat and acts like the screen "bends" back into its normal place after a little while so the touch screen isnt active anymore.
I coped with it for a couple of months (just after v12), waited for v20 to no avail and decided to send it off for repair (Phones4U). That was 2 weeks ago and should have been 7 days, according to them its been repaired and I should have it back by friday. I got a bloke i know at p4u to check the repair notes and apparently parts have been replaced although they don't know which.
So, i will let you know how it goes and if its fixed the issue. If not i'm likely to cry. Living with an old k800 truly makes me appreciate the N97 even if it is about as useless as a chocolate oven.
You can check out the discussion over at NokiaN97Forums Here
i have just sent a msg to nokia saying that this is happening, and that it was being seen by a fair ammount of people, referencing this thread, i have asked if they were aware of this problem and if they have a fix
i will report the reply here
as for links of people that are having the same problem:
a couple more if you look hard enough
Well, after about one week of not keeping the phone in my pocket at all (note: NOT EVER pressing the screen against anything else except my own finger, while using it) there is absolutely no improvement.
The only method that works for me all the time, but not on the first try, is the lock-unlock method. The screen still has the same issues and either I have a permanently bent screen or this is not related to the pressure applied to it.
It may be just my situation, however, I will have to deal with it until a solution comes up. I still believe it is software related, given the latest developments, as the lock-unlock solves the issue, no touching required.