After the update the top portion of my screen hasn't been responsive no matter the app.
Using safe mode works but outside of it does not. Is there a solution that doesn't require a factory reset?
Then try disabling any third party apps one by one to see if the portion of screen affected starts working again. If that doesn't work and you cannot find the culprit a factory reset may be your only option. I'd backup all your personal files including photos and videos shot with the phone first before doing anything else.
This sounds like a common problem, so it is something related to the update. I am not factory resetting my phone for a stupid problem from Samsung -- how can they force my phone to become nonfunctional and expect me to fix it only by trashing my phone content?