Reverse insertion of the S-Pen will break the Galaxy Note 5’s stylus detection sensor
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 is many good things. Stunningly beautiful, curiously curved (along the back), made of metal and graced with glass. It’s also host to some more controversial elements, including the removal of micro SD, the IR blaster, and a user replaceable battery. One solid staple however, is the S-Pen, the Wacom-powered pointing device that gave birth to the phablet genre and gives the device its’ namesake. The Note 5 saw the introduction of a new, patented, spring-loaded eject mechanism.
One of the staff members at Android Police has discovered a major flaw with the Note 5 and the S-Pen, though this will not occur for anyone who uses the device correctly. The problem, it seems, is that if you insert the S-Pen backwards into the silo used to house it, the phone will no longer be able to detect when the pen has been inserted or removed. This basically means that no sound or vibration will occur, and presumably (though not mentioned) and relevant software-related action that the device is set to trigger upon removal.
The problem specifically originates from the fact that the S-Pen itself can be inserted in either direction without any resistance to prevent the user from doing such. This is markedly different from the previous four Note incarnations which all were designed such that if you tried to insert the stylus “eraser first” the more rounded end would only go so far before meeting resistance.
Perhaps in a larger reaching scope however, this issue also brings into question just how durable the actual spring-loaded eject mechanism is in-and-of-itself, as well as the very sensor used to detect the S-Pen. What happens when of it the part gets bent or worn out?. Likewise, even if the spring itself doesn’t break, its possible that the sensor might eventually and thus even if the device is correctly used, the long term durability might still be an issue.
Android Police has indicated that it has reached out to Samsung for an official reply on the matter. We will make sure to update this post when any additional news breaks, or if/when Samsung itself makes an official press announcement.