Warning! This Wallpaper Can Soft-Brick Some Android Devices

A seemingly simple-looking picture when set as the wallpaper on certain Android devices can reportedly soft-brick them. Please, do not try this.

The issue was reported by Ice Universe, who is known for reliable leaks.

According to the initial tweet by Ice Universe, the bug was thought to have been mainly affected Samsung phones. But following the tweet, the issue has been tested and found to affect other Android phones as well. Samsung seems to be working on a fix.

9to5Google tested the issue by setting the picture as a wallpaper on a Pixel 2 and the phone was bricked. Additionally, the report also found that the issue affected Pixel 3 XL operating on Android 10 while a Pixel 4 XL on Android 11 was unaffected.

Not too long ago, a similar problem was found with an image in Google’s Wallpaper app that was causing the System UI to crash on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Since then, Google has removed the wallpaper and is working on a fix, as reported by Android Police.

The problem seems to be with the System UI capability of handling the RGB colour space of the image, rather the lack of it.

Davide Bianco, a lead ROM developer on POSP project explained to Android Authority that, “The main issue right here is that SystemUI only handles sRGB images for the wallpaper and doesn’t have any check against non-sRGB wallpapers. This can lead to a particular crash in the ImageProcessHelper class, as a variable used to access an array goes over the array bounds.”

The issue seems to be only with Android 10. Dylan Roussel, a developer for 9to5Google discovered that on Android 11, the system is able to convert the colour space when it is not supported, unlike Android 10. So, the RGB colour space of the image is not supported by an Android 10 system that wants to display sRGB colour space.

While this is the only known image to cause the issue, there could potentially be other such images.

Again, we request you to not try this for yourself, even if you are confident that you can recover your device.

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