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Confirmed: Samsung changes Galaxy Note 5 internals to fix upside-down S Pen issue

Back around the time that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 first went to market, a few unfortunate owners found that inserting the S Pen the wrong way around would result in a permanently jammed stylus. The culprit? The new clicky mechanism of the updated S Pen getting stuck on an internal switch designed to detect the pen's presence.

Now, following reports in the past day that a subsequent Note 5 hardware revision has fixed the problem, we've confirmed with Samsung that this is indeed the case.

"Samsung can confirm that the Note5 internal S Pen mechanism has been changed to avoid the issue caused by inserting the S Pen incorrectly," A Samsung spokesperson told Android Central. "As always, we recommend following proper instructions for storing the S Pen."

Of course there's still no way to tell whether your Note 5 has the updated internals — at least not without jamming the S Pen in there the wrong way around, or taking it apart. Nor is Samsung saying exactly when this hardware fix was first implemented. So for now, you're best off heeding Samsung's advice, and making sure your S Pen is docked pointy end first.

If you're using a Note 5, hit the comments and let us know if you've run into issues with your S Pen. For more background on the whole saga, hit the link below.

MORE: The sad, short, sorry saga of the Galaxy Note 5 S Pen

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

97 Comments
  • Geez.. Thats all i have... Sent with my white Note5 with nonremovable back and no SDcard!
  • And the Note 6 is now confirmed to be the Note 5 with a big sticker saying NOT THAT WAY!... Note 4 {Sprint 5.1.1}, with nothing enticing to upgrade too.
  • Well, at least if you have a brand-spankin' new Note 5, you can be assured that, if for whatever reason, whether it's stupidity or that you can't see very well due to the darkness, if you accidentally put the S Pen backwards, you won't ruin your phone.
  • Unless it has been sitting in inventory for a long time. Really, there is no way to know unless you try to get it stuck.
  • Thank you Samsung engineering for ignoring the peanut gallery and actually fixing the issue like a responsible organization.
  • You can't fix stupid. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can, but the act of doing so is illegal, and will result in a lengthy prison term, unfortunately. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just make abortion legal to the 100th trimester Pants
  • 1000th just to be safe. It's the only way Posted via the Android Central App
  • I agree. I think it's funny people actually believe this wasn't a design flaw.
  • In other words cater to idiots who shouldn't even be entrusted with a potato gun. Bravo Samsung! ;)
  • Only one way to find out.... :) DOH
  • Yeah, lol. Queue the line of people who are about to try it...
  • Let's just clear something up, because people always make the assumption that people were intentionally putting their S-pen in backwards, thinking it would be ok, because they were stupid. That's not what was happening. People were putting it in backwards by accident. Probably without looking. They'd taken the pen out, used it, twiddled it around a bit, as you do with a pen, and then, without looking or thinking, put the pen back in like they've done hundreds of times. Only this time they'd accidentally put it in backwards, and broken it. People have accidents. It is an easy, and predictable accident to have, and as it turns out, a preventable accident, since Samsung have fixed it. Let he who has never made a mistake cast the first comment. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm dying to know what psychological disorder you have... Lam I Am
  • I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm up to date on testing. So, no diagnosis. Lam I Am
  • Just a troll then. I see. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not a troll, I just think Purple Zebra needs professional help. Lam I Am
  • No, not a troll at all. Nope. What could possibly have lead me to that conclusion? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Take your meds, you are shaking. Lam I Am
  • Or, in the odd chance a toddler gets your phone. Anything can happen. And, if anyone contests that you shouldn't have let the child have the phone in the first place, I'd contest that person has never had kids before. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's probably the only possible way this can happen. 'Cause any smart person would notice a tiny point jabbing your finger as you're pushing it in. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What about while wearing gloves? Posted via the Android Central App
  • You only need your finger tip to push it in the for the final part, by that point the damage is already done. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Samsung disagrees
  • you are just reaching for excuses.....maybe you should give the kids the car keys too.
  • Due to the nature of this iteration of the S pen with clicking pen top it's very difficult to mistakenly insert the pen wrong. If you can't click the pen with your thumb you know it's the wrong way so even in the dark it's easy to determine the proper pen insertion. I've had a Note 5 for 4 months and I just trained myself to click the pen top when inserting it. However, I agree that didn't mean Samsung shouldn't correct this design flaw. There are still scenarios that can lead to the pen being inserted wrong, like the dude above pointed out, your 4 year old playing around with your phone could lead to doom. So good on Samsung.
  • Yes, it's good that they fixed it, if only to prevent idiot journalists from putting the pen in backwards to prove it gets stuck.
  • Do you cross the street without looking? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Blind people do it all the time.
    But seriously, you must be rich. To have gone your entire life without making even a tiny mistake? That must lead to some pretty good grades, and thus, a very good job. I wish I was you. I make little mistakes all the time. Like acknowledging certain people and their ignorant bliss.
  • Exactly, the inability to put yourself in someone's position, and empathise with them making a simple mistake, that we all make, is very sad. We're all human, and we're all imperfect. Posted via the Android Central App
  • NO one is perfect. True. But to blame some one for YOUR imperfection? No.
  • PZ - Count me in on the imperfect crowd... I used to be a bleeding edge Palm user, pushing the limits of what could be done and putting a week's worth of use into them on a daily basis. My stylus got used hundreds of times a day, and there were a few times I popped the stylus in backwards. No problem: you pop it back out, no matter which way it went in. Samsung knowingly designed it so that the stylus fits either way. Making it so that one of the ways the stylus can be inserted will ruin it is indicative of Samsung not thinking things through, or that Palm engineers are smarter. Either way, if it were not a fault, then Samsung would not have fixed it.
  • Not rich...I just know the pointed end goes in FIRST. Without looking.
  • Putting a pen in a slot is less threatening to life. People are unlikely to treat it with the same caution. Posted via the Android Central App
  • At $750 a pop you better believe anyone with sense takes proper pen insertion seriously.
  • Do you put an ink pen in your shirt pocket upside down, without looking? And then blame the pen or shirt maker? Posted via the Android Central App
  • EXACTLY! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not even a good analogy. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why? People are faced with the consequences of their inattention every day.
  • A shirt will not break if you do that. A $600+ Note 5 would. If a shirt spontaneous ripped in half due to placing a pen inside a pocket backward the company would offer refunds and fix the issue.
  • May not break a shirt, but most people KNOW not to put the point in first without checking for a cap or to make sure the point is not exposed, preventing any ink stains on the shirt. Even if they make a mistake and stain is created, they don't blame the shirt maker nor blame the ink pen manufacturer over faulty design.
  • Wait, so I can't blame this pesky little strays anytime I can't puncture my Capri Sun?! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Blame them for what? Nothing is damaged by this action.
  • I've had every note phone since the note 2. I have never put my pen in backwards. And you honestly can't talk for the whole community. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Until the note 4 you couldn't put it in backwards. And only with the note 5 did it result in damage. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can put the S Pen in backwards on a note 4? Never tried that accidentally or otherwise. Posted via the Android Central App on a Galaxy Note 4, still my favorite phone
  • Well, so I'm told. I don't own one. But apparently you not only can, but if you try, it detects it and warns you. So it's clearly something they foresaw. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Totally agree. At last someone who's not a Samsung fanboy-girl Posted via the Android Central App
  • I got a Note 5 yesterday... curious to see if it's fixed on mine... but not that curious. :-)
  • I wonder if they'll also fix the missing sd card slot? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, it's called the Note 6. Posted from my Note 5
  • There is hope. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not at this time it is a note 4 for us that did not want to step backwards in time. Posted from my Note 4 with SD, removable battery and working spen.
  • It's called just get a LG g4 and keep it moving . I'm all good with my 64 gig gs6 edge plus Posted via the Android Central App
  • Unfortunately that device does not have an SPen. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good! This was a design flaw that should've NEVER made it past quality control, none the less into production! My guess is that it was actually caught in quality control, but they were in such a hurry to get the Note 5 released months earlier than usual (to beat Apple to the punch with their product releases) that they decided there wasn't time and just forged ahead hoping it wouldn't become a major issue. D'OH! Now they need to fix the issue of Note 5 S-Pen's breaking apart...
  • There was a video in this forum thread (it's now been removed): http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-note-5/634389-samsung-fi... that showed a comparison of the old and new versions. I captured a screen grab from it that shows the difference between the two. What they did was replace the electronic switch that had the lever sticking straight out of it with a push button switch that has a large hook type lever across it to prevent the S-Pen from snagging on it.
  • Samsung should at least tell people that ANY NOTE 5 sold after a specific date IS FIXED; or provide a serial number checker list. But clearly they will not create further liability traps for themselves, or distributors. For me this was just one more reason not to buy another Note - until they fix the mess they made of 2015. Posted via the Android Central App
  • AH great. So we won't have to read ANY MORE ARTICLES pertaining to this issue then. Every time I see the pic above I wish I could caption it with, "THE STUPID...IT BURNS!!!"
  • Yeah the Samsung logo has that effect on me too.
  • I wonder how many of these idiots try putting their car key in the ignition backwards. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have a Note 4, and never in the last six months or so have I ever inserted the S-pen backwards in the device. The sharp jab in the finger should be an obvious sign. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly the type of comment that lead to my above comment. Nobody except tech journalists did it in purpose. Nobody 'tried' to put it in the wrong way. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not a good analogy. There is an obvious way to insert the pen due to the clicking top.
  • Good that they addressed it. IMO, The Note 5 didn't really seem all the way "ready" compared to the S6 (which had its own issues), and letting it go to market with this issue was but one example. I forgot that the S6 is actually more "featured" than this phone, S Pen aside
  • Maybe redesign the door, you know... people slam it on their fingers at times! The panda has spoken
  • I got my Note5 in October, still had no problem remembering which end is the pointy end and how to insert it correctly.
    I doubt mine has this fix, but I'm not worried.
  • It only took several months to fix this problem. Posted via the Android Central App on the Samsung Galaxy S6 active.
  • Now if they can roll out marshmallow that be awesome Posted via the Android Central App
  • Good on Samsung knowing that it's a stupid design and revising it instead of waiting to fix it till next release.
  • Serious question, did previous generations of the Note have this issue? Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, previous generations either didn't allow inserting the S-Pen backwards at all or it took such force to even attempt that you knew immediately and stopped. Even if you did get it to go in backwards the silo didn't have any levers inside that would break.
  • Also if you stick your headphones in the jack backwards, it will get stuck. Or even putting the SIM card in backwards breaks it. Design flaws everywhere... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I put it in backwards to see if I had the updated version... I didn't. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I really hope that's a joke
  • It was. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Maybe someone out there will think Samsung pushes this update to their Note and will complain about the delay in receiving the fix The panda has spoken
  • "fix upside-down S Pen issue"...oh hell...that's easy...just turn the phone upside down and the pen issue is now fixed. I figure, if you're dumb enough to put the pen in the wrong way, this might actually make a lot of sense to you and you'll at least try it. Should give the rest of us another thing to laugh about. Damn I'm smart!
  • While this never happened to me personally, and is probably a rare occurrence overall, it's still a design flaw. Other devices I've had throughout the years with pens/styluses (styli?) always featured a design like chamfers or other clever nuances that would prevent such an accident. You or I may be mostly immune from such matters (though after a crazy night out who knows what can occur); however, sometimes bad things happen. For you to generalize such mistakes or downplay them reeks of either arrogance or fanboyism. I hope you guys aren't designers! I work as an engineer in aerospace and one aspect of good design is anticipating potential design flaws and correcting them in the design phase - we call it design for manufacturing (or design for production). Making excuses for the manufacturer by calling the end-users names is not a good design practice. I'm glad Samsung corrected this, but they should allow for free swaps if the customer chooses to do so. If it doesn't bother you, then that's fine.
  • I can hardly imagine anyone uses their S Pen more than I do. I use it constantly (I have the Note 4). I have never even come close to putting it in backwards accidentally. I only tried it once to see if an author was correct that you can feel resistance when you try it. It seems even more unlikely that I would ever put the new S Pen in backwards, since I'd play with the irresistible clicky end and always know which way is which.
  • This is funny.
    I have a 2 year old Note 3. I have to yet to put the S-pen in backward.
    Also, I have not tried to put the S-pen in backward on purpose just to see if it would get stuck. Posted via from my Samsung Rose Gold Galaxy Note 3
  • This is great...can we get a poll up on this article?
    Something along the lines of, "We couldn't resist publishing another article about the backwards SPen in the Note 5. We know it collectively reduces the IQ of the entire Internet...but we want to know how much you think it contributes. Please select from the following:
    A. Temporary, collective IQ reduction of 1 to 10 points.
    B. Temporary, collective IQ reduction of 11 to 20 points
    C. Permanent IQ reduction of 1 to 10 points
    D. Permanent IQ reduction of 11 to 20 points
    E. I'm here for the sarcastic comments and the curbside philosophy
    F. I'm eagerly awaiting for this article to fall off the main page
  • Can I vote E and F?
  • Well. My note5 is permanently damaged my three yr old put mines in wrong FML y we can't get an exchange device Posted via the Android Central App
  • it's been out how long now and they only just want to fix this issue?!
  • There is no "jamming" it in, it just glides right in without any resistance. Dont ask how I know.
  • I just tried and my pen got stuck.. Guess I didn't get the update yet :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • You would think that Samsung would at least give us a beginning serial number to go by.
  • Came for the arguments, wasn't disappointed.
  • Haha Posted via the Android Central App
  • I've had my Note 5 for a couple months, and knew about the backwards pen issue before I got it. The accidental backwards insert is always on the back of my mind, but I've never done it. My sisters both have two kids, who are always using my phone, and even they know how to properly stick the pen into the phone. Its a pretty basic concept. You dont put a jar lid on the bottom do you? No. I dont see how anyone could possibly insert the Spen in backwards, but needless to say, I'm glad Samsung did something about it.
  • Customer: I seem to have gotten my S Pen stuck and I can't remove it!
    Support: Did you put in in backwards and if so, why???
    Customer: Yes I did... I wanted to see if I had one of the new models with the changed internals.
    Support: Sir, it says here you purchased your Note 5 on the release day.
    Customer: Duuuuhhhhhhhh
  • I wonder if sharpening a pencil on the eraser side is a common occurrence.
  • I have not put my s pen in backwards. However I have had the button tip fall off. Verizon told me this is a common known issue with the S pen. Does Samsung have a permanent fix for that issue?