Shortly after the Galaxy Note 5 was released, owners spotted a flaw with the design, when they ran into some serious problems after inserting the S Pen backwards into the slot on the phone. It broke several features, and forced Samsung to make changes to the instructions, and eventually the design.
Updated on 01-19-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news Samsung has changed the Note 5’s design to end S Pen problems
Samsung changes the design
Samsung has not only recognized the problems with the S Pen on the Note 5, it has done something about it. An anonymous source sent Phandroid a series of images showing a redesigned S Pen detection system inside the device, which won’t break if the S Pen gets put in the wrong way around.
Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review
Subsequently, Samsung confirmed it had made an alteration to the Note 5’s S Pen mechanism that “avoids the issue caused by inserting the S Pen incorrectly,” in an email to The Verge.
While the problem sounds like it’s a thing of the past, this doesn’t mean you should go stuffing the S Pen inside the Note 5 without a care in the world. There’s still a right way and a wrong way, and Samsung says owners should follow the instructions for proper use. However, at least now if an accident happens, it won’t cause the same problem as before.
Originally, the issue was discovered when XDA member Redcyberhawk accidentally inserted his S Pen the wrong way. The S Pen got stuck, but he was able to remove it with a little force. However, the detection feature broke, and the phone had no idea when the S Pen is inserted or not. As such, the S Pen action menu that popped up didn’t appear anymore. The Note 5 also failed to activate the brand-new action memo feature when you remove the stylus with the screen off. Interestingly enough, the ejecting feature still worked.
This was followed up by a test by Android Police to prove that the flaw exists, and the S Pen got completely stuck after inserting it the wrong way during a hands on video. Previous Galaxy Note models didn’t have the issue, because the S Pen could not be inserted backwards very easily. Unfortunately the Galaxy Note 5 is different in that there is no resistance when inserting the S Pen the wrong way. It’s just as easy putting it in both ways. The only difference is that it will stop about 7/8’s in when inserted backwards.
It’s unlikely anyone would do it on purpose, but we all get busy and don’t always pay attention. Let’s also not forget that children could easily make this same mistake. The Galaxy Note 5 manual warns, “Be sure to insert your S Pen with the nib pointed inward. Inserting the S Pen the wrong way can cause it to become stuck and can damage the pen and your phone.”
That’s not the case anymore, but it’s still solid advice to keep your Note 5 in perfect order.