The hallmark of theSamsung Galaxy Note series has always been the S Pen stylus, which docks neatly into the body of the device when not in use. The Galaxy Note 5 had a redesigned stylus with quick-eject nub, and not long after release people began noticing something troubling. If the stylus was inserted into the phone backward, it would become stuck. Now, Samsung has made a design tweak that prevents a moment of inattention from breaking your $700 phone.
Despite the seeming obviousness of the stylus design, it has been an ongoing issue for Samsung. It almost goes without saying you should never insert the stylus backward on purpose. If you do, it’s really your own fault if it gets stuck. However, sometimes kids and people who aren’t familiar with the phone might use it, and they might put the S Pen in the wrong way. Or maybe you’ve just had a few too many drinks and aren’t paying attention. Basically, it’s too easy to break the phone.
The problem with the original Galaxy Note 5 was the design of the slot, which Samsung has tweaked in new models of the phone. The mechanism that holds the pen when inserted the right way would lock the ejection nub inside the slot, meaning the only way to get it out was to break the pen or the internal mechanism. If you broke the S Pen, it wouldn’t fit in the slot anymore. And should the mechanism break, the phone would no longer detect when the S Pen was removed.
Samsung’s initial response to the issue was to tell people to read the manual, which didinclude a warning about not inserting the pen the wrong way. It also added a more prominent label to the packaging to alert owners to the S Pen issue. That’s all well and good, but Samsung was probably still spending time and resources repairing and replacing devices with stuck S Pens.
Having decided the warnings weren’t enough, Samsung has added a small tab to the slot that prevents the stylus from locking into place when inserted the wrong way. You can see it on the left up above with the green tape over it. It’s all internal, so there’s no way to know if your phone has the revamped design or not. It reportedly works quite well, though I would not recommend testing it.