Android Central 251: Death by Stylus | Android Central

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Is it really possible to fend of a rampaging horde of smartphone nerds with a simple stylus? Is Samsung's latest next big thing doomed because of the missteps of absent-minded users? And what is a Wileyfox, anyway? Answers to these burning questions — and a whole lot more — on this week's Android Central Podcast!

Join us as we discuss everything you need to know about putting it in backwards, as well as a taste of what to expect from the Moto Play and Wiley Foxes. We also answer a few of your questions, and have plenty of good old fashioned fun!

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Reader comments

Android Central 251: Death by Stylus


I'm sure you meant to put **OFF** Phil : Is it really possible to fend **of** a rampaging horde...

Just a heads up

Ray Charles (R.I.P.), Stevie Wonder and that one "special" cousin.. oh wait a minute.... Nope. I'm wrong. They'd have common sense. They probably could tell the difference between the sharp end and the flat end while pushing it in. ( maybe not the "special" cousin) There's actually a huge blog site dedicated to the thousands of people who have accidentally put it in wrong. They're the same ones who accidentally bend their iPhones and never change the oil in their vehicles.

Posted via GS6 Active - aka GS6 M.E. (Manly Edition)

Curiosity... Of course. Common sense doesn't make sense if you're curious.

Posted via the Android Central App

Off topic Phil, but are you going discuss the "immediacy" of what happened in Virginia, or how FB unwittingly aided the guy's manifesto?

Posted via the Android Central App

You seriously have to be kidding me and everyone else on here. So what your saying is you completely condone a manufacturer charging top dollar for a device that can be broken by a simple mistake? You seriously need to ditch your immature snarky little wannabe geek attitude.

Posted via the Android Central App

Or take responsibility for being a klutz. I'm sure if I drop my laptop (simple mistake), I can't go crying to the the manufacturer to give a new one...well, I can go crying to's just not going to accomplish anything.

How so? Laptops aren't designed to be dropped. The Note 5 wasn't designed for its s-pen to go in backwards. Doing either will damage the respective devices.

Posted via the Android Central App

Name one person who did this by accident. Not because they tried it after reading about it. By accident. They actually shoved the pen in the wrong way without knowing what they were doing.

To acelucero75... So if you're driving an automatic car, shift the gears while driving, ruining the transmission, drive train or whatever else will get destroyed [I'm no mechanic]. Should Ford or BMW have to pay for that? Or if you drive into a wall? ..... Same? They even tell you not to do it in their manual. But I must be a genius because I never had to read it to know this.

Posted via the Android Central App

Posted via the Android Central App

No, he's saying that if you put your pen in backward's you're an idiot. I thought that was pretty easy to understand.

I make countless mistakes in my life. Yet I have never put the S Pen in my Note 4 the wrong way. Not in a boat. Not on a goat. Not on a plane. Not while insane. Not in the dark. Not in the park.

I just can't understand people anymore. Always trying to blame someone else for their own idiocy. It's gone too far. Why would anyone on earth put the S Pen backwards anyway? Enough people. Blame yourselves when it's due.

Why would people give a manufacturer a free pass for developing a faulty device? That's the question people should be asking.

Posted via the Android Central App

I agree! the problem is that we moved away from, "I'm not paying that much money for just a ______" to "I can afford to buy it'. Technology is moving fast, however, the phone world has slowed down in terms of innovation. Samsung, Apple, and the other giants are milking people by putting out devices with clear flaws.

You got that right. We should be past the "it's a good phone but" phase by now.

Posted via the Android Central App

Exactly, you pay almost $1000 for a phone, I BETTER be on latest OS, updated, and a flawless experience out of the box. One Plus may have some scrutiny to deal with, however, they have the best slogan. NEVER SETTLE. PERIOD.

Well i paid $700 for my Note 5 that is not $1000. But I also have common sense so i shouldn't be breaking it.

Posted via the Android Central App

I said almost buddy. $700 bucks would be considered almost $1000 dollars, just round up. And you got a pretty good deal to get it that price as well.

That's still in the $500 range -___-

There's always one, I swear. If you can pay a flat fee of $700, that's cool. 95% of people have to pay tax. I haven't seen the phone less that $749, throw in tax, and you're talking about almost $1000. Anyway, good morning.

Good God man! Where do you live where sales tax is 33%? Please tell me so that i can make mental note to never visit.

Posted via the Android Central App

Never settle? That is exactly what so many people are complaining that they would have to do with the OP2. Equally ridiculous is their "flagship killer" slogan. Both of their slogans are pure hype.

@ShadyMouse: I would consider it a fault if people were putting in the pen the way it was designed to and the phone broke. To me, that is a faulty device. Using as intended caused a failure. Using outside of it's design and it breaks, is not a failure, in my opinion. I see it as taking my not waterproof phone surfing and it breaks. I would not consider the phone faulty.

True, but that comparison is different. Most people wouldn't take their phones in the water, even if it was "water proof". It's a fault because they advertised a stylus that can actually break your phone without telling you it can. In fact, the Stylus can go into the phone from what it seems and lock, as if, it was inserted correctly. I call that total BS! Samsung can be be oblivious to the fact, but let's not pretend they didn't know this would cause an issue at some point. For almost a $1000 phone, there should've been some type of Fail Proof mechanism, that prevents it from locking when docked incorrectly. Thar's all I'm saying.

@ShadyMouse. I agree. There should've been something set in place to avoid this... Like giving an aptitude test to potential buyers. If they fall then you seem them an iPhone.

Posted via the Android Central App

Faulty device because YOU put the S Pen in backwards? Lmao that is rich. You should be the head of a company that produces smear campaigns. Trump may be hiring.

Posted via the Android Central App

I don't understand why this is a big deal now as you can pretty much do the same thing on the note 4. Also the amount of force needed to go in more than half an inch the wrong way is quite noticeable even if you're piss drunk (even on the N4)

And how would you know just how much force is needed to insert the stylus in the wrong way? Because you tried it? Out of curiosity, I presume? Should people who try this on a Note 5, motivated by curiosity, be rewarded with a broken phone? Yeah this amounts to silly tinkering on the part of the user, but it's human-factors engineering (ergonomics) failure on the part of Samsung.

Let this be a lesson for Samsung that they should've left the S-Pen design alone. There was NOTHING wrong with it on prior Note devices. For example, on the Note 4 it can't be completey inserted butt end first eliminating the possibility of damaging the internals of its silo! Second, it already sits flush with the bottom of the phone and is easily pulled out with a finger nail along its back edge. Easy peasy!

But instead they go with a more complex push button design just to get it to sit completely flush with the edge and in the process allow the possibility to completely insert it backwards. D'OH! IMHO, this is a consequence of focusing your design around form over function!

@Synycalwon, True, they should stop advancing technology. These hairless apes can't keep up.

Posted via the Android Central App

I don't have a Note 5, however, accidents happen. I don't know if that makes a person an idiot if there's a slip of thought, a moments distraction, or any other seemingly silly mistake a person makes.

Posted via the Android Central App

Not really. Most kids know how to use phones and tablets better than some adults. It's an easy mistake by anyone depending on the circumstance. It just shouldn't be this easy to break such an important feature of the phone.

Posted via the Android Central App

I feel like this an issue for non-techies, for us tech lovers it seems like an idiotic thing to put a stylus in backwards. I have to agree. But then again I'm a tech junkie. Just my two cents

Delivered by my Shamu

I'm sure this never occurred to Samsung to be a potential design flaw because they thought people had common sense. That was their biggest mistake.

Posted via the Android Central App

* sent from my Note 5, with an S Pen safely inserted TIP FIRST.*

Probably some smart intern, and I guarantee that small admission in the manual will save them millions

* sent from my Note 5, with an S Pen safely inserted TIP FIRST.*

The manual also says to avoid water damage. That doesn't mean it's a design flaw if someone ruins their phone by dropping it in the toilet.

Yeah, they got sloppy. Thinking people have common sense is contrary to Human Factors Engineering (ergonomics). has a nice write-up on the subject - look it up if you care to do so (, but here's the money quote:

"the engineer must solve the problems of integrating humans into machine systems by rigorous scientific methods and not rely on logic, intuition, or common sense."

It's a design flaw that I guarantee Samsung will not repeat in the future. Similar to Apple reinforcing the bend point on the iPhone 6 or changing their antenna configuration.

Those are all design flaws, plain and simple from reputable manufacturers of flagship phones.

Now we have the usual cadre of malcontents who call people idiots for not holding their phone correctly, or sitting improperly in skinny jeans, or inadvertently easily sliding the S-Pen in the Note 5 backwards.

It's clear who the idiots are.

This is about nothing. You can put the s-pen in backwards on the Note 4. It seems someone is just trying to stir up controversy. If you put the s-pen in backwards, you don't need to be using a Note

It takes an unnatural amount of force to get the Note 4's S-Pen to go in backwards to the point you immediately know something is not right. On the Note 5 it goes into the silo with very little effort where you may not realize it's even backwards until it's too late at which point it gets snagged on the plastic trigger levers/sensors inside the silo that subsequently get broken when forcefully pulling the S-Pen back out.

If you honestly put the stylus in the opposite way you deserve everything you get I never once did that with my note for and I don't expect to do with my note 5

Posted via the Android Central App

Okay, a device with a 4,000mah battery will weigh 6.5 ounces. Have people these days become so sissified, brittle and weak that it's too much for them to hold a 6.5 ounce device? This is just getting silly already.

Posted via the Android Central App

I was on 9to5 Mac after reading that the 6s will have a smaller battery than the 6. something we can all agree on is this slim phone small battery trend has gone to far. both my mom and my mother in law ditched their iPhones recently, they were shopping together and one for the edge the other the note 5 (in still shocked). their reasons were 1) wanted to try something new 2) battery life 3) premium build, and 4) the pen ... point is, this is starting to spill into the average joe crowd, not just us, which is what we need so these OEMs wake up.

I remember reading that the 6S might be slightly thicker, but that's due to the rumored Force Touch tech.

Really, if Apple makes the battery smaller on the 6S, then I've got no one else but them to blame for kicking off this trend of thinner phones with smaller batteries.

When Samsung brings out their 7422 AIO chip, then we're talking.

But a recent battery test in the Sun newspaper put both S6 below both iPhone 6 and 6+ in battery life.

Posted via the Android Central App

Honestly, while I think this is mostly user error, Samsung could've made a tiny redesign to stop the S Pen from going all the way in backwards.

I mean, yes. It's your fault if you put the stylus in backwards, but Samsung did foresee this (evident in the manual) and maybe, just maybe, made a small tweak.

They'll probably redesign the little latch to make it so that it doesn't catch while removing the pen. That still doesn't mean people who put it in the wrong way aren't idiots.

this is almost as bad as when people start blaming manufacturers for dropping their phones and cracking the screen....idiots

This has gone past the absurd with the stylus pen insertion procedure, I own a Note 4, but this is ludicrous, really, LOL. The real issue with this phone is NOT the stylus, we all know what it is.

Posted via the Android Central App

People are getting dumber by the day. This article should be called - Dumb People vs Smart Phone -

Posted via the Android Central App

People should just research and use the paper trick to get it out safely instead of trying to yank it out.

Posted via the Android Central App

Right. If they were smart, they would have designed it so you had to screw the pen in and out...oh...wait...people won't know which way to turn it. Never mind.

I'm with Samsung on this one. If you incorrectly insert your S-pen backwards into your Note 5 how is that Samsung's fault?

I really wish Samsung had altered the USB port so that the cord could go in backwards and fry the phone.

Because none of the people calling others idiots and retards have ever tried to put a clearly marked USB cord in the wrong way. /s

that is completely different on a whole other level. You literally have to flip the stylus in your hands completely upside down and then push it in. way different

I've been using the note 10.1 since it came out, never once did I have the urge to stick the pen in ass first.

Posted via the Android Central App

I love ya Jerry but, a USB cable and a stylus are completely different. You don't pull your charge cable out and then get done with it and put it back. Most people grab their charge cable at night, in the dark, that has been sitting there all day, and try to figure out how to put it in.. waaay different than a pen you take out to use and then immediately put it back. Not the same at all. But I love ya

Posted via the Android Central App

Come on guys ,
Let the basing Samsung flow. Don't argue with this blog. Be patriots!
Samsung are not US company like the lovely Apple (though Samsung invest in US and give jobs there)
Besides, if so called "android sites" are bashing Samsung, it's more worthy. Ppl would believe their BS more. Right?

Ok a lot of people are saying that the phone is a faulty device! Holy Crap Man!!! The damn pen has a push in button now and if people can't tell the difference from the push button and the pointer then they should go back to apple cause they have no business with a samsung note 5! Or samsung period!

Posted via the Android Central App

I 100% agree. I let my wife try with her eyes close. Now she's very technology ignorate (and that's not insulting her, she just doesn't get tech most of the time) and she put it in the right way (haha I just re-read that and I'm gonna leave it worded that way.)

She even said "how dumb do you have to be to put the s-pen in backwards. It clearly has a distinct top and bottom end." She tried it 10 times in different ways all with her eyes close and she put it in correctly each time. Yes I'm talking about the s-pen you naughty people.

Her conclusion and I agree, "if you can't put the s-pen in properly then take the phone back and get a flip phone or an iPhone."

i accidentally put my truck in reverse instead of drive and backed into a tree!!!!! Can you believe GMC says i am responsible for the damages!?!?!? o.O

It's pretty ironic the hue and cry that was created when the antennagate and bendgate happened with the iPhone. Apple was cursed to the cross because of bad design. We have a pretty similar issue with a badly designed important accessory which breaks this very expensive phone and yet people blame the user for mistakenly putting it in wrong!!! So from now every note 5 user should teach their kids as part of their learning that "whatever happens do not put this pen in backwards”.

You can take the spen out with a piece of paper its 100% fixable and avoidable. Bendgate and antennagate could not be avoided. You can't compare the two. Apples and oranges no pun intended.

Posted via Note 5

What is the silence break you guys take every episode for like 30 seconds? I always assumed it was to throw in an ad or something once the video was streaming on Youtube or whatever but I watched this episode a week late and there was still just silence while you guys sat there and no ad or anything.