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Galaxy Note 5 teardown shows how poorly designed the S Pen is

by Jacob Kleinman | August 26, 2015August 26, 2015 6:30 am PDT

Yesterday we all learned about the dangers of sliding the Galaxy Note 5‘s S Pen in backwards. Samsung even responded to the controversy, though its answer wasn’t particularly helpful for anyone already experiencing the issue. Now a new teardown from 9to5Mac and uBreakiFix reveals what’s causing this problem, though it still won’t fix your broken smartphone.

Tearing into the Note 5 reveals a pair of small levels inside the S Pen holster. The first is designed to register when the stylus slides in and out for its auto-detection feature. Further down there’s a second lever which simply keeps the pen in place. When you slide the S Pen in the right way everything works great, but holster it in the wrong direction and the entire system breaks down, effectively ruining the highlight feature and reason you’d buy a Note 5 in the first place. It’s a big deal.

Pushing the wrong side of the S Pen past the first lever will most likely break it. That means no more auto-detection, which effectively kills the Galaxy Note 5’s new screen-off memo features. You can still use the stylus in other situations, though you’ll need to turn off pen detection in the settings menu.

If you make it all the way down to that second lever going in the wrong direction you’re really in trouble. The S Pen’s clicky top can easily get stuck behind the lever, making it almost impossible to remove without tearing the device apart.

It really seems like Samsung could have avoided the entire problem with a few small tweaks to the smartphone’s design, but it’s too late. All you can do now is be extra careful when you put your stylus away and hope for the best. And we thought #BendGate was bad for the iPhone.

9to5Google

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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