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DANGER! Don’t Put Your S-Pen In Backwards On Your Note 5


Have you recently picked up a shiny new Galaxy Note 5?  Do you love it?  I’m sure you do but there’s something you need to be aware of.  Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, insert the S-Pen into the device backwards, you’ll wreck your phone!

One of the first tech sites to uncover the design flaw was Android Police who warns that inserting the S-Pen backwards may cause you to break the mechanism that detects when the phone is attached/detached.  While I haven’t tried doing this myself, the guys at Android Police state that there really isn’t any more resistance inserting it backwards then putting it in properly which heightens the possibility of users doing this.

Samsung has issues a couple of statements regarding the issue but so far they’re pretty unhelpful.  They simply advise you to follow their instructions and to insert the S-Pen properly.  The guys at Android Police also suggest that Samsung may have known about the issue and chose not to fix it.  Their evidence?  The Note 5 user manual has very specific instructions to insert the pen with the “nib pointed inward.”  The Note 4 user manual has no such instruction.

Hopefully this issue won’t be experience by many users but be careful nonetheless.  It’ll be interesting to see if Samsung chooses to recall and/or redesign their flagship phablet.


  • FlamesFan89

    This is a non-issue. Don’t be dumb and your phone will be fine. End of story.

    Is it a design flaw that if I jam a polarized plug on a kitchen appliance into the wall outlet the wrong way it will cause damage? or what about pushing a microUSB in the wrong way? Is that a design flaw? No, no it is not. The flaw is with the object holding the phone and the pen. pebkac

    • Peter

      I actually think this is a Major Issue. My son put my pen in backwards. He also has in my Note 3 and 4 and never mattered NOW all of a sudden it wrecks the pen feature and the phone? ???? That’s Terrible design. I know people shouldn’t put the pen in backwards but if it wasn’t an issue with Note 4 shouldn’t Note 5 be better not worse??? I plan on calling Samsung and have them warranty my device. Now that I know this I’ll be more careful. Samsung could have put a warning on the box since they KNEW about the Flaw.

      • FlamesFan89

        Allow me to call the WAH-mbulance for you. How old is your son, and why is he playing with your $800 phone? Do you also let him shove SD cards into the card reader of your laptop the wrong way?

        Everyone wants to blame someone else for everything these days, and take zero responsibility for their own mistakes.

        • Peter

          Why is he playing with my phone? Ever heard of Kid Mode? Kids enjoy colouring and learning games on phones. It’s not uncommon at all. And when you think that previous Gens didn’t have this issue its easy to see why people are complaining.
          Think about from both sides instead of being Rude. :)

          • FlamesFan89

            Regardless of kid mode, or what kids enjoy doing (I’ve got two myself, so I can sympathize), the point remains. It is an $800 device that you are handing over to someone who doesn’t understand how to fully use it, or what actions might damage it. Just because a child wants to do something, doesn’t mean they should be allowed.

            We have an old Nexus 7 that is in a rugged case that the kids can play on. I got my Galaxy S5 for free in a giveaway and I STILL wouldn’t hand it over to my kids.

            Common sense needs to prevail here. Your phone was used in a manner that it is not intended for, and which is clearly stated in the manual. The fault does not lay with Samsung.

          • Peter

            Yes it does. That’s the difference of opinions.

  • kkritsilas

    This is a very dumb design, and could be addressed easily. One of two things could be done:

    1. Redesign the stylus (S Pen) so that it doesn’t catch on the sensor. The reason it catches is because of the squared off edge at the point where the top section decreases in diameter, then increases to the diameter of the body of the pen. Make that a smooth transition, and the problem goes away. Would be the cheapest solution for Samsung to send out the modified stylus to all existing Note 5 owners, and to put into production.

    2. The sensor arm, instead of being just a flat strip of metal at an angle, it could be changed to a strip of metal that is ramped on the back side as well so there is no edge on the end of the sensor arm. . A simple change in production, but won’t help the existing users.

    Personally, I think the S Pen is a stupid idea; we had stylii with the Palm Pilots, and the Windows CE “smartphones”. They were a pain in the ass, getting lost all the time, and were so narrow they were hard to use. Samsung has some nifty apps that do make use of the S Pen, but they are, in my opinion, very niche, and specific only to the Note series of smartphones. I have tried using the S Pen in a demo situation, and using a stylus with my Nex5. Didn’t find any compelling case for making a use of a sylus in either instance.