An apparent design flaw has been uncovered on Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 5 that could render one of its key features unusable.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5, one of two new phablets that went on sale late last week, features a redesigned S Pen slot that’s spring-loaded for easy access. The problem, however, lies when it’s time to reinsert the S Pen back into its slot after use.
On earlier models like the Note 4, the stylus could only slide back into its slot in the correct orientation (unless you Hulk-smashed it in backwards, at which point the force required to do so would tell you something wasn’t right). With the Note 5, sliding the S Pen back into place the wrong way (end-first) provides the same amount of resistance as sliding it in normally… and that’s a big problem.
As Android Police first found out (and others have confirmed), inserting the stylus in backwards past a certain point will cause it to get stuck. When that happens, the obvious action is to try and remove it. The publication notes that you’ll almost certainly be able to free it but in the process, it’ll break the internal mechanism used to detect whether or not the stylus is attached to the handset.
Curiously enough, Samsung is seemingly aware of the issue. In the official manual, it explicitly states that inserting the S Pen the wrong way can cause it to become stuck and damage both the stylus and the phone.
Android Police hypothesizes that Samsung was aware of the obvious design flaw but chose not to correct it (perhaps it was detected too far into the manufacturing process). The small disclaimer in the manual may cover the company when people inevitably try to have the device repaired or replaced under warranty.
In reality, hardly anyone reads the manual until after they’ve hit a snag and in this case, the damage will have already occurred.