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

The echo chamber that is the tech journalism crowd (card-carrying member right here) has taken what started with a chuckle and turned into a full-fledged -gate the story of the Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen — and the fact that it's very much possible to get it stuck in the body of the phone. There's a lot of joking and plenty of gnashing of teeth — some warranted, some the usual Twitter fodder.

So let's get down to it.

This is what you need to about getting the S Pen stuck inside the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Or how to not get it stuck inside the Galaxy Note 5.

This is the most important thing to know

The S Pen goes into the Note 5 point-first. DO NOT PUT IT IN BUTT-FIRST. IT WILL GET STUCK.

OK, what the hell is going on here?

It's possible to get the Note 5's S Pen stuck inside the body of the phone. If that happens, you're almost certain to break something in getting it out. At the very least you might lose the ability for the phone to automatically tell when the S Pen has been removed, thus losing the ability for the S Pen software features to fire up automatically.

That actually maybe a best-case scenario.

THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY ONLY DO IT IT LIKE THIS

How could this happen?

Here's the important part: This only happens if you put the pen in backward. That is, ass-first. This is a redesigned S Pen in a redesigned Note 5, with a click-spring (sort of like what you'd find on a ballpoint pen) on the butt, and a tip, well, where the tip goes. The point is supposed to go inside the phone first, and you click the butt to extend it a little bit and remove the stylus.

That spring-loaded section can get caught up in the body of the phone if you put it in the wrong way.

This was impossible to do in previous models of the Galaxy Note, and with the Note 4 you got an audible warning. It's very possible — however unlikely — now.

Could this happen accidentally?

That's very unlikely. That is, you're probably not going to trip over something and end up accidentally putting the pen back in the phone the wrong way as you fall.

But if you're not paying attention and put the pen in the wrong way? It's entirely possible. (Though that might take things from the realm of "accident" to "negligence.")

This all sounds very silly.

One one hand it very much is. You have to physically do something you shouldn't do — put the pen in the wrong way — in order for it to get stuck. This will not happen any other way. And this also goes against the natural way you'll be holding the pen most of the time. If you're holding it like a pen with the point down, you'll almost certainly put it back in the phone point-first.

On the other hand, folks — and to clear, it's almost certainly a very small percentage of the population — are getting their pens stuck, and things broken. And that's a big deal when you're talking about an $800 phone that you're supposed to have for a while.

The Note 4 and Note 5

So is this Samsung's fault or not?

I think the fault lies a couple places. This isn't something that's going to happen on its own. You're going to have to physically do something you're not supposed to do, something that Samsung doesn't intend for you to do, and something that we said at the outset of this whole mess that you shouldn't do and should be careful not to do.

So we humans need to take some responsibility there. Nothing bad will happen to the little S Pen if we don't do it to it.

But it's also perfectly clear that Samsung knew this was a possibility. It designed the phone. And for sure it tested this sort of thing. And — wait for it — the manual that you didn't read (opens in new tab) any more than we did says this exact thing could happen.

From the Note 5 manual you didn't read

So what should Samsung do?

We'd recommend a few things here:

  • Samsung needs to work with its warranty provider and the carriers and their warranty providers on this. It's sure to be a relatively small amount of devices, and there's no reason to not do the right thing and help folks out. Charge $50 or $100 or whatever for the swap, but keep it reasonable.
  • And Samsung needs to come out and do that publicly, and quickly.
  • Update the TouchWiz software so that you get the warning about how to insert the stylus the very first time you pull it out. And make it one of those "Tap this box to never see this again" warnings.
  • The Note 4 had a little warning if you tried to put its pen in backward. Is it possible to get that back?
  • Then put that same warning in the box on one of those little pieces of paper we never read.
  • Or maybe as a stencil on one of those plastic screen protectors you have to take off before you can use the phone.

More: Let Samsung know what you think it should do to fix this!

And what should we do?

STOP PUTTING THE PEN IN THE WRONG WAY. That goes double for anyone who writes about these things for a living. You don't need to test if this will actually happen. A few sorry sods found out the hard way.

483 Comments
  • Nice article Phil !!! Should have seen Leo Laporte of Twit put his spen backwards on a Twit show today. They all were saying it's Samsung design flaw. Leo is an android user and supporter so I know he is not hating on Samsung. There is definitely divide among tech bloggers, podcasters on if it's a design flaw or not. It's individual opinion and don't think anyone should be making fun if someone else has an opinion. Let's see what Samsung will say. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I disagree, while I do think it's a dumb/careless people problem, it IS a design flaw, that's a fact. I'm fairly certain the Tungsten T3 wouldn't let you put the stylus in backwards (I'd have to dig mine out to be sure) and if palm did it like, 150 years ago or whatever, Samsung has no excuse now. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • I have my Palm T3 handy. If you put in the right way, you can pop it back out. If you put it in the wrong way, you can pop it back out. No damage either way. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Cool, so you can put it in wrong, but it won't break it (phrasing). Good to know. Another easy way to go would be a similar end design to the Nintendo DS stylus. Man, I loved the T3... Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • I don't understand why this is an issue. I had a Note 3 and never once did I accidentally put it in backwards or even attempt to. Granted I wouldn't be able to apparently, but still-I just never tried to. The pointy end is way different feeling than the back flat end, so you could even put it in correctly in the pitch dark or blind. To me this just tempts people to see what would happen. Don't touch the stove son. It's hot! *touches stove.. Posted via the GS6 Active. Manly edition.
  • Just tried this on my Note 3. The blunt end of the S-pen is cleary designed to strongly resist insertion that way. Like you I've NEVER tried this before - and it feels very un-natural to do so.
    As for the Note 5: I suppose Samsung could redesign the pen; but there are probably already hunderds of thousands to replace. So a quick software warning update + stickers on the boxes is more likely. Samsung's sealed back also makes it harder to repair. If that hurts them, I'm almost pleased - they SHOULD NOT have done that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • True. I see stickers and warnings happening and it being fixed on the Note 6. It seems that everyone wants a premium phone with a removable metal backplate that can still get amazing Wi-Fi and data signals. Samsung received gripe about their plastic, and now gripe about their non removable battery on a premium build. I don't think they're in a position to win.... unlessssss they gave a removeable metal back that still allows amazing Wi-Fi and data and an SD card. It's working for HTC and by that I mean it's not. Oh well, I'm probably going to stick with the Active line for a little bit. I didn't know how awesome the Active phone line was until I broke two Android devices within 2 months of each other. I wish it came in a 5.5 or 5.7 though ;-) Posted via GS6 Active - aka GS6 M.E. (Manly Edition)
  • You could put all the warnings you want, but accidents happen, nobody is perfect. Samsung did it on purpose to make money because they admitted to knowing about that and still launched it. This is an 800 phone, I should be able to put the S-pen either way and not get it stuck!! Posted from my Note 5
  • Thank you! My sentiments exactly! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I wish I still have my old PocketPCs, but I'm fairly certain that it was not possible to insert the styluses the wrong way on my 6700, Mogul, or Touch Pro.
  • You are correct. They were designed similarly to the way the Note 2 stylus was, with a nub on the top of it that allowed your to have a thumb nail grip to remove it from the space. It also prevented it from being put in incorrectly. I don't think it was the intention but it worked out that way just the same. I still have a couple of Dell Axim x51v's and my original Smartphone, the TouchPro2. I actually still play on the Axim from time to time.
  • That's exactly how Samsung should have done it... Samsung admitted they screwed up! Personally, I feel they did it on purpose because in order to fix, you have to send it to Samsung to fix So they are making more money!! Posted from my Note 5
  • This is like having a car with seatbelt that doesn't click in right. There should be a free recall. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No this is like having a car and expecting it to go forward when you put it in reverse... Figure out how to use your phone properly
  • This Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, this is like a car without a safeguard against diesel in gasoline tank and gasoline in diesel tank (99% of the cars have it nowadays) - safeguards against mistakes.
  • That's funny... because you can put gasoline in a diesel tank. I know somebody who did this on a late model truck. The only safeguard is a written warning. It seems that Samsung provided that. Although I like the idea of the message on the phone that you can select to dismiss forever.
  • @Adrian Sicaru: You need someone to protect you from you? I think that's the bigger issue. Reminds me of a comedian's routine (can't recall the name)..."Well no where on the piano does it say that I shouldn't put my junk then slam the key cover on it..so it's the piano's manufacturers fault!!!" paraphrasing heavily here.
  • You can't put diesel in a gasoline car because the nozzle won't go in. Funny enough you can put gasoline in a diesel car which causes more damages.
  • And you can easily put E85 into either and it will cause damage as well. Especially on a turbo or supercharged car. it won't flow enough fuel through the injectors and the tune won't match at all. In both cases it won't be pretty.
  • No, @cpaight, this is like having a car and expecting it to go forward when you put it in reverse... and when you do put it in reverse, the gearbox breaks instead. Samsung should admit the design flaw, issue a recall, and provide better devices.
  • No, it's not even a little bit like that Electra. You are describing a car that works the opposite of how it seems to be designed and breaks when you are doing something that should be possible. The Note 5 works perfectly when used the way it's designed, and the way the manual says to use it. The pointy end has always gone in first - it's not like Samsung just switched it up this time. I can agree that it would be preferable if Samsung had made it impossible to put it in the wrong way (or have an even more obvious popup warning, like Phil suggests) but unlike your silly car example the pen is working exactly as advertised, it's just that misuse of the pen can lead to a more serious repercussion than in previous models.
  • @Electra - No, I think it's more like, you intended to have the car move forward but accidentally put it in reverse and the car did not have safeguards against....against.....hmm....I guess against telling you that you accidentally put it in reverse instead of putting it in drive by, I don't know, reading your mind that you intended to go forward but accidentally put it in reverse? At what point does it become user error? I agree with Phil, I think putting the pen in backwards goes more towards negligence than a reasonable accident.
  • My analogy, my feelings It's like backing your brand new 2015 Corvette into the garage so that you can drive it straight out the next morning. The next morning, maybe you slept horribly, kids are distracting you, or just because you are human, you get into your "top-of-the-line" car and instinctively, almost put the car in reverse. I say almost, because you quicky realize what you are doing and just barely pull the shifter past neutral, stopping before it actually drops into reverse, nor do you take your foot off the brake. Even though you know you should never put a car in reverse when you plan to drive forward, at least once this is likely to happen at some point on your life. Instead of allowing you to correct your "near error" (fyi...the pen only needs to go backwards partially before it gets lodged) your ultra expensive car's shifter jams where it's at. You contemplate going to your dealership right away (aka...calling store that sold you the phone) but realize you can't get to the dealership because the shifter is stuck. You push the shifte hard, but it won't budge. You have to get this car moving so you try pushing it once more, this time you give it some real elbow grease and it pops into neutral. Geez, your heart is pounding, not because of any life or death situation, but, because you really like your Chevy Corvette. All you have ever driven is Chevy (Not to mention all the 50+inch "Chevys" hanging throughout your house). Your wife and kids drive Chevys. You even, after many passionate attempts, convinced your brother and friends to switch to Chevy; even though they thought their over priced Fords ( hehe) were God's gift to man..... (besides the point but oh so true...neways...back to the analogy) Your heart is still racing but slowly starts leveling out. You are eager to asses the damage. You start to think, "what did I do to my "baby". You put the car in drive and get an error on your display, "Reverse Engaged, Performance Data Unrecordable". You quickly realize that you've like damaged your cars highly touted Performance Data Recording Capabilities. Even though you had not planned on using it that much when you bought the car, it was nice to have, and you could see yourself using it more and more, not to mention it is pretty cool and something that your buddies with the 2014 Vette don't have. You disable the mechanism that detected your shifter position when it's in the Reverse position and, just like that, you now have most of the Performance Data Recording ability back. Now, instead of it always being engaged you have to manually turn it on. Besides that it no longer records data when the car is under 1000 RPM. (Jamming the S Pen lost me the ability to pull out the pen and take quick notes and the ability of the phone to notify me that I may have forgotten to insert the pen; both of which have resulted in myour using the S Pen significantly less.) Aside from that, your car is like new. Imagine your disbelief when you find out that this not only could, but would, happen to anyone who did this in a 2015 Vette. The 2014 and earlier year model owners could do it, and even actually fully drop the car into gear; so long as they don't release the brake and press the gas, they likely won'the have any problems. To that same disbelief, you get online and read people discussing that Chevy included some "Warning" not to attempt, negligently, or mistakenly almost put the car in reverse if you mean to go forward; shifter may become jammed and blah blah blah. The car company, in this competitive market of customer loyalty, should not only recall all cars that are in dealerships and fix this issue "overnight". They should produce some better shifters and send theme to all their dealerships. Additionally, as a way of saying sorry, they should also do something "special" for all of their 2015 Vette owners who experienced the problem, no matter the cause. In Vette terms, free synthetic oil changes for a year sounds about right. In terms of this phone, I think it'd be smart to send some gear like the Samsung watch I was playing with while trading my Galaxy for a Note 5. Of course they should not announce the gear give away. Otherwise, they might see a spike in the number of jammed S Pens. Not only would I go on recommending Samsung to my friend family, I have a new noticeable conversation piece who's stories would be "This is How Awesome Samsung Is", "This is True Customer Service", "This is Why I Love Samsung", "This is How You Build Customer Relationships"....You get the point. My S Pen got jammed last week when I realized it was in my pocket, un-inserted in the phone. I felt aroundo in my pocket found the hole in the phone, then only partially inserted the pen backwards. Oooops....accident or negligence? Does it matter? I don't recall sticking it in my pocket detached, nor have I ever intentionally done that. Did it come out on it'so own? Who cares. The problem is it happened too easily. I had not thought about calling to see if I could get a new phone, just because I hate transferring data and configurations. After sitting and thinking about it (and typing all of this on my phone) I have decided that I'll call tomorrow to see if I can get a new phone. Stay tuned for results ; ) Richard Thomas
    Sent From My Wonderful, Now Semi-Functional, Samsung Note 5
  • Using the analogy of a car and going forward or reverse....... I'm not certain people are getting this or have an understanding of how a vehicle works. I think a correct analogy that's car related in reference to this Note/Stylus issue would be... Buying a car and using it as intended, BUT, slamming it into reverse while you're driving down the road and breaking something and expecting the manufacturer to recall and fix the problem. People who are doing this, are doing something that the manufacturer never intended to be done. I honestly think that they didn't build in these safeguards to prevent this because they gave credit that people using these phones would be able to operate it with some degree safety. Not everything in this world needs to be built to be used by the lowest possible intelligence quotient.
  • You are equating a device that is meant to save lives to a phone stylus? Yeah good comparison.
  • Should there be warnings on rolls of sod that say "green side up?" As diabolical as Samsung may be I don't think its designers deliberately sat at the CAD station and thought "how can I really screw customers by making backwards insertion of the S pen damage the phone?" By this logic inserting a contact lens backward (possible with soft contact lenses although uncomfortable and causes visual distortion) is the manufacturer's fault. How many people insert internally worn personal hygiene devices backwards? True, the devices are generally not damaged as a result but to me it is still more a matter of simply not paying attention or deciding to test the claim - kind of like that thought "what will happen if I drive my car into that phone poll" that many may wonder about few do. Maybe the warning in the interface of the Note 4 was dropped because noone seemed to do it (one of the plethora of mandatory requisite permissions one is forced to grant perhaps monitors how many times someone tries to insert the S pen backwards).
  • It's not "fact" it's your opinion. If the pen is not designed to be put in backwards, how is that a design flaw? It's careless user error. Not to mention, there is a warning in the manual.
  • I don't think you understand what a design flaw is... You can break it with a relatively common, easy to make mistake. Yes you're correct that's how it's designed to function. So, that design is flawed... It has a design flaw, which is to say it has a flaw in its design. And that's a fact. EDIT: Yeah, like they expect people to actually read the manual. That's not a warning, it's ass coverage. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • So... by that logic, if you put a DVD in the player upside down and damage the player it's the fault of the manufacturer. That's "flawed" logic..
  • No it isn't. I have never heard of an optical drive getting ruined because the media was put in upside down. If it did, than it is a design flaw not to inhibit the ability to place media into the device in that fashion. Common sense should be used, but a good design will inhibit misuse when possible. That is sound logic.
  • Exactly, thank you. This is why things like VHS tapes (the fact that VHS isn't in the predictive dictionary makes me feel very old!) Floppy discs and pre C USB ports prevent insertion the wrong way. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Thats like saying you put the batteries in the wrong way which allow you to put them in either way for a remote and expect it to work... Everyone has a brain so use it. If samsung advertised that the s-pen could go in either way then you can put it in either way but they didn't. So now comes the fun part of using your brain. First you look or feel the s-pen which is similar to a normal pen. Which end do you write with? with the eraser or the tip? Now use that information with the s-pen if you feel the tip when you put it in then its wrong and if you feel the flat end its right. Got it?
  • Rlbrooks covers it pretty well... It's a bad comparison, optical media isn't affected by this, if it were, they would've likely designed it differently. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Putting in a DVD upside down doesn't damage the device. That's the point!
  • I'll say it this way. If I put the pen in incorrectly I would be calling to check my options, not pointing a finger. The fact that it was in the Manual does mean something. If we choose not to read and act as know it alls (guilty as charged) then we can't blame that on Samsung. I never knew that if you charge your battery too much that you wear it out and had the habit of charging when only down to 80%. Does that mean I can call it a design flaw and does Samsung need to stop the phone from charging if it's not down to 10%? It makes no sense. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's not a design flaw, no. That's chemistry. There's very little we can do to change that, it's a design LIMITATION. Also, you're talking about older cells... Current lithium ion cells actually don't like being fully discharged. This stylus could have easily been designed to prevent this, so it's a design FLAW. Yes, people should read the manual but it's well known that they don't. It seems likely to me that Samsung discovered this flaw after the hardware was finalised but before the manual was printed. Telling people you have a bad design is no excuse for having a bad design. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • So by your definition, direction tires are a design flaw for most major sport sedans and coupes? I don't think so. READ the directions and KNOW what you're doing before you rotate your tires or insert a pen BACKWARDS! Could it have been designed better, yes. Is it a flaw? NO. I watched a guy just about put washer fluid into my radiator reservoir Dumb Valvoline guy not a design flaw by Audi.
  • Dude, first off, LOVE that show! "Wubba lubba dub dub" Second, I agree with Phil on this one, putting the pen in the wrong way is more negligence than it is a reasonable accident. That's just my humble opinion.
  • I fully agree with you! It is a design flaw (and a stupid one at that). So what happens when you let your friend or a child play with the Note 5 and you forget to tell them not to put the stylus in backwards and that's what they do?
  • You're no longer friends with that idiot, and you either disown the humiliating child or you slap yourself for being dumb enough to not supervise the young child who has your $800 device.
  • I know on the Tungsten E, the stylus had a nub sticking out of the side of the channel, so it could be removed either way, but if you tried putting it in backwards, it wouldn't go all the way in in the first place.
  • It is a design flaw. Who says someone else couldn't accidentally do this to your phone, say, your kids, your friends, or you friend's kids?
  • Am I wrong for telling my brother not to let your child play with the $900 phone? Was I wrong when I couldn't stop laughing after the child dropped it, or how I couldn't stop rolling on the floor when he put the pen in backwards because he was yelling at a 5 year old.? Was I Wrong? Galaxy Note 4 {Sprint 5.1.1}
    Galaxy S III {FreedomPop 4.3}
    LG G2 {Sprint 4.4.2}
  • Nope you are not wrong. I know he is your brother, but he got what he deserved!
  • I have to think that Phil's article is the correct way to look at it. The fault lies in both consumers (for not being smart enough to put the pen in the correct way, which - to me - seems obvious) and the manufacturer (for having this 'physical' flaw and for not having some sort of on-screen tutorial instructing users). Like you say, just have to wait to see what Samsung has to say.
  • The same tutorials, manuals, stickers maps and arrows that people neglect to look at. There was a podcast that the guy reviewing the note 5 where he said "...and I'm glad we don't have that awful walk through when you first start the device." I'm not usually the one to defend a corporation, and I'm actually still not, but at a certain point we need to do the minimum and if we don't, we have to be held responsible. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But previous Versions of the Note actually had a little "Lip" so you could not accidentally put it in backwords, think the Note 3. Think it was just a design flaw that no one caught. I use my phones in the dark a lot and could totally see someone doing that accidentally, while being tired before bed.
  • Which TWIT show was that on?
  • No worries, I found it. It's in Macbreak Weekly 469 at 49 minutes in.
  • If you are a person of below average intelligence you probably get a flip phone not a galaxy note 5
  • It's a design flaw, yes. It's been discovered I'm assuming due to stupidity however. Everything goes point 1st. It's how nature intended it. You drive a car forward, a train, and an plane all point 1st. You write with clicky pens point 1st. When using a fire poker, it's point in! Same goes for making babies! We are biologically designed to do everything point 1st. If you want to stick your sPen in nub before the nib, then you are defying evolution and there is no hope for you. I'm sorry. Posted with the Android Central App on my BlackBerry Q10 via Android runtime...
  • Wait seriously? It's an 800 phone if you put the pen in the wrong way (which I've never done) that's on you or your kid you let play with that phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do not let your kid play with an $800 phone. --- This message brought to you via the sarcasm keyboard available for download at the Google Play Store.
    LG-G2 on Lollipop.
  • An $800 phone, or any phone, should be designed to avoid inadvertent human error resulting in a major malfunction.
  • What if you drop it in the shitter? Posted via Android Central App
  • You try not to let your panties trip you as you run for a box of rice. Edit: or pants. Auto correct... Hmmm...
    --- This message brought to you via the sarcasm keyboard available for download at the Google Play Store.
    LG-G2 on Lollipop.
  • Was funnier without the edit. Posted via the Android Central App
  • And I'd rather see a pantie trip... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jimbo is so right.
    I too think that OEMs should design better phones. Starting with the labeling.
    "Normies should not buy this Smart Device. You will do dumb things and won't accept responsibility for your stupidity." LG G2, SD 800 powerhouse.
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • I was drinking green tea while reading this. Now my computer desk and monitors are green tea scented. A little warning next time please. >_<
  • Then you should have a waterproof phone - the Note 5 is not that phone (Thanks, Samsung for yet another feature you omitted).
  • You should have flushed first. :-) Edit: I can't undo a double post. Sorry. Double flush.
  • You should have flushed first. :-)
  • So should electrical sockets. Alternatively, we just be careful. --- This message brought to you via the sarcasm keyboard available for download at the Google Play Store.
    LG-G2 on Lollipop.
  • I can't believe Levitron made electrical sockets with such a design flaw where someone can stick a piece of metal in the outlet and get injured, as well as destroy said outlet. What a stupid company for allowing such a design flaw. /Sarcasm
  • New homes are built with outlets that are pointy metal thing proof because people do dumb things accidentally. I actually have tried to insert my spen incorrectly. When it's in my hand I have a tendency to spin it. Then I try to put it in, can't because of the nub. Do the same thing with pencils, start to write with the erasure. Imagine this another way.
    Your phone has a removable battery, sore spot, sorry, it can only go in one way. But say, Samsung made it so it could be inserted upside down. Something we have all tried to do. What would happen if when powered on with the battery inserted incorrectly it shorted out the NFC chip and wireless charging? Neither are important to the functionality of the product, just like the options that are broken when the incorrectly inserted pen is removed are not.
    Would we be having this discussion about whos fault it is? No. It is blatantly obvious error that never should have been allowed to leave the factory and a one sentence line in the owners manual cannot cover this flaw. People do need to be careful and pay attention to what they are doing but we have the term "idiot proof" for a reason.
  • New homes will also allow you to put the wrong wattage bulb in a light fixture too. In fact my neighbor just melted the cover on his garage door opener because he didn't READ the 60w Limit and put a 100w bulb in it. Design flaw? How about the guy who sired his outlet in backwards and got shocked when he went to change the bulb in his table lamp because the polarity was reversed? The wires fit when put on backwards there too.
  • He sired his outlet? Serves him right.
  • As much as I would like to agree with you, unfortunately manufacturers cannot foresee everything that everyone could potentially do there for making it impossible to protect their products against any damage caused by doing things you shouldn't be doing in the first place. Posted via my Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Well, reading the article, you can see Samsung did foresee and made it clear in their manual with pictures. Of course the user needs to take some responsibility but you own a phone for a while and will be in situations on the go or can be distracted, it's highly possible someone will not notice and accidentally insert wrong way. instead of making note of it in the manual, they could have designed better and in a way it cant be inserted backwards. Just a little reshaping would have done it. Just in that one aspect I have to say poor design.
  • But I stuck my phone in my a$$ and now it's stuck and won't work! Why didn't you plan for that? I want something for free!!
  • They could have designed the stylus so that it couldn't go in the wrong way. Simple engineering and reduces the chance of support calls or pissed off people posting in forums.
  • Agree. However the people using these devices really do need to pay attention. I have an $1,100 desktop scanner on my desk now and if I send paper through it with the paperclips attached or a staple in there, it's very likely going to scratch the glass and thus damage the unit. Not a design flaw, but rather user error. Ironically my wife fubared up our shredder at home this week by sending paper through with one of those larger butterfly clips that she didn't see. Again, user error.
  • So if I'm completely drunk and try to jam the micro USB cable in the wrong way and end up damaging the connection so I can no longer use wired charging, Samsung should be liable because I accidentally tried connecting it the wrong way? Having the ability to hurt the device by inserting something incorrectly isn't a design flaw. We could all end up accidentally putting diesel in our non-diesel cars... should the gas station or car manufacturer be liable for any damages caused by our carelessness? There is a big difference between a design flaw and human error. Putting a pen in backwards is considered human error, regardless of what circumstances caused it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Except for one major detail. You don't have to "jam" it in at all. It sounds to me that, with eyes looking elsewhere, it feels the same. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not the same. The pin will go in the wrong way. The micro usb will not. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can put petrol in a diesel. Not the other way round. The nozzle won't fit Posted via the Android Central App
  • Putting the pen in backwards would definitely be human error. The fact that the error could potentially cost $800 is a design flaw.
  • The problem is, with the example you listed (putting a microusb in the wrong way) there is a TON of resistance that anyone would quickly figure out it don't go that way. With the Note 5 (from every account I've read) there is absolutely no resistance whatsoever and you don't even realize you're damaging your phone until it's too late.
  • The Note 3 had a Lip on the S Pen so you can't put it in backwards, so samsung knew about this from before.
  • Exactly. "Oh my kid put my Note 5 in the toilet. It's Samsung's fault for not water proofing it! I want a refund!" LMAO
  • Samsung didn't design your toilet, most likely, unless you're in South Korea.. They did design the Note 5. There are several different micro switches they could have used for this. It's the switch that's making the pen get stuck. The Note 4 doesn't have a switch, pretty sure it uses a hall-effect sensor to detect the pen being pulled out.
  • Spoken like a true Aircraft Mechanic. Lol. Posted via the Android Central App
  • complete apples to oranges comparison....
  • What about in 2-3 years when you pass the phone down to your kid? The problem of the stylus getting stuck is still there.
  • The kid will lose the S pen in days.
  • I have the Note 4 since launch and I have never put the S Pen in the wrong way.
  • I have never put mine in backwards on my Note 4 or my two Note tablets, but I tried it after reading the article. The Note 4 does give you a verbal signal that you are putting the pen in backwards.
  • And the note 5 doesn't so it turns out its a software/design flaw Even though I wouldn't put it in backwards Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • I have to disagree... Samsung made the S5 WATER resistant . However the S6 is NOT water resistant. So is the fact that the S6 is not water resistant a design flaw? No. It means that they took away a feature. That's what happened here. Samsung simply took away a feature that further idiot proofed their device. And I say this as a person who doesn't like the Note 5. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The note 4 gives a warning if you are putting it in backwards the note 5 doesn't that's a software design flaw Period. Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • I guess you can add that to the list of features the Note 4 has that the Note 5 removed.
  • Yes you absolutely can so buy one while you can Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • You apparently missed the point. Not including a feature does not equate to a design flaw. Again, the Galaxy S5 was water resistant to protect against accidentally dropping it in water. The Galaxy S6 is not water resistant, and is can be damaged by dropping it in water. That does not mean that the S6 has a design flaw. It means they took away a feature. The same thing applies to this situation. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The flaw is not with the s pen itself it's just the fact that their needs to be a warning if you are putting it in backwards. Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • Typical first world problem. If anything went wrong, just blamed someone else. Want everything to be perfect, but not being perfect yourself. Blame the software, blame the design team, blame everybody else, but never look at yourself.
  • Look it's stupid and I wouldn't put it in backwards and it is a 1st world problem but I'm just saying that this is a issue on the note 5 that doesn't exist on the note 4 Posted From my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface pro 3
  • So is the the fact that the Note 5 has a glass back that will shatter if dropped vs the Note 4 or my old Note 3 that was plastic and is more durable. Not a design flaw.
  • Not my note 4. It senses the shiny metallic portion of the S Pen and gives an audible tone and vibrates when it detects it. The only difference is that when you insert it backwards, you get the tone sooner, since the metallic portion is going in first. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Then either it wouldn't perform the same, sitting flush and clicking out, or it would be wasting precious space in the body of the phone Posted via the Android Central App powered by Droid Turbo
  • I very much view this as a "kinda both" situation... Samsung did a poor job of design here... there's a number of ways they could have tackled this situation and it seems clear they went with form-over-function because they wanted it to sit flush and have the click... both are reasonable design goals, but they don't negate a number of mechanisms that could have stopped this problem from occurring. Maybe if every and their mother wasn't bitching and moaning about "Samsung plastic crap" for so long then they wouldn't have went with this nonsense "premium" vision that is all about form-over-function, but that's a much larger conversation :) But, on the other hand, it to me clearly IS in the realm of user error too... I mean, it's not a ridiculous mistake to make I'll grant you, but it's also a bit silly and requires some carelessness. I'd be worried about my kid doing it by mistake to be sure, but if you hand a kid an $800 phone, well, you takes your chances. As a responsible adult or even an average teen though? You kinda have to be a little dippy to do this. So, I don't know if I'd call it 50/50 or how I'd rank each side's culpability, but the Venn diagram certainly isn't two separate circles, that's for sure IMO.
  • I believe that Samsung could have easily had the form and function still with only a minor modification. Simply enlarge the metal "hat" on the top of the stylus and mill the opening for the stylus to accommodate this larger "hat." This would still sit flush, you could still pop it out, and would be impossible to insert in reverse. However, because of how simply this could have been fixed, it appears that it was not discovered until it was too late. Samsung was likely too far along in the production process that they would have had to push the launch date and scrap large amounts of phones awaiting the redesign. So the lawyers discussed it and decided that it was better to deal with the backlash from a few people who perform this screw-up than to delay the launch and/or scrap hundreds/thousands/millions of already produced units. And they added the manual page as a little bit of covering their ass, though admittedly, it's a bit weak. It's cheaper to replace a few phones as PR (hopefully they will) than to redesign the whole thing. But they really should have made changes for future production once they discovered it so that only the initial units would be affected.
  • I can't believe this problem actually exist lol. Pen-Gate Posted via the Android Central App
  • I was hoping I would be the first to come up with that. oh well :)
    PenGate it is !
  • I've never seen instructions telling people not to shove marbles up their noses, but it does happen (I used to work in a doctor's office). I don't think that constitutes a design flaw of the human body... but rather of an individual's brain...
  • The whole idea is just plain stupid . First off read the damn manual. I've had every note and have plenty of friends with the note and they've never done this. I'm almost certain that some dumb ass tech j