I just wanted to make other users aware of an issue being reported by users of the GN3. With me, it started a few weeks ago and gradually got worse. Initially, during a call, the proximity sensor would not activate and sense that I had lifted the phone away from my face. Running my finger over it brought the screen back up. About a week ago, the proximity sensor started to completely fail. During a call, lifting the handset away would not activate the screen. Neither would swiping my finger over the proximity sensor, or using a cloth to clean it. I was unable to hang up phone calls until the other user did.
Another user is reporting it here: https://community.verizonwireless.com/thread/814442
I am posting this on the official Verizon Wireless forums because the first customer representative I spoke to stated that because she could not find the issue on their Verizon site, it was probably an isolated incident (even after I provided the link above to her). She then transferred me to second tier support. With second tier support, the rep was much more helpful. After some initial troubleshooting questions, she had me factory reset the phone again with her on the line. With the issues still persisting, she identified that my phone is still under warranty and is next-day shipping a replacement device.
Issue: Proximity sensor does not activate the screen during a phone call, leaving the screen off and not allowing me to hang up
Troubleshooting steps attempted, but did not result in fixing the issue:
- Cleaning the proximity sensor area
- Using finger to test the proximity sensor during a phone call (resulted in same off screen)
- Removing case
- In some cases, pressing any of the physical buttons (power, home) still did not power the screen on in the middle of a phone call
- Factory reset of the phone
- Blowing air at the ear piece to remove dust (no dust visible)
Some users are reporting that the glass could potentially be weakly glued onto the phone (http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-note-3/323701-note-3-proximity-sensor-issue-during-calls.html). Pressing on the glass near the ear piece firmly sometimes resulted in the proximity sensor re-activating temporarily. This worked for me once, but stopped completely. Other users have disabled the proximity sensor for phone calls and have opted for manually pressing the power button, but I believe this is a poor work around for a device that is $700 full retail.
Other users have tested the sensor and have noted that it's definitely a hardware issue, having gone through the same troubleshooting steps outlined above. If there are any other workarounds you've identified, please post them here. Otherwise, with the number of users reporting failed proximity sensors, Verizon and Samsung should be aware of a possible quality control issues with the first generation of GN3's.