Samsung Under Fire Over S Pen Design Flaw That Could Break Your Galaxy Note 5

Samsung may have goofed up when designing its Galaxy Note 5, depending on your perspective. How so? If you accidentally insert the S Pen backwards into the Galaxy Note 5, you could permanently damage your handset. And unlike previous Galaxy Note devices, there's no mechanism in place to prevent you from pushing a backwards oriented S Pen into place.

The folks at Android Police decided to test the design flaw with a review sample by inserting their S Pen the wrong way. What they confirmed is that once the S Pen is far enough into the slot, it gets stuck -- in their case, permanently so.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and S Pen

It's not a foregone conclusion that your S Pen will get permanently stuck inside your Galaxy Note 5 if you insert it the wrong way, though even if you're successful at removing it, there's a high chance you've already broken the mechanism that detects if an S Pen is attached or detached from the handset.

This isn't an isolated thing, either. Our fearless Editor-in-Chief Dave Atlavilla tried to replicate the issue with his Galaxy Note 5 and, unfortunately, was successful. After "VERY carefully" pushing the S Pen in backwards, it got stuck at the halfway point. He was able to remove it, but the damage was done -- his Galaxy Note 5 no longer makes the nifty "swish" sound that's supposed to occur when taking the S Pen out from the slot.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 S Pen

Is this an overblown issue? I'd argue otherwise. Sure, inserting the S Pen the wrong way is a careless thing to do, but it also doesn't require any additional force compared to sliding it in the correct way. At minimum, there should be some extra resistance to say, "Hey bonehead, you're doing it wrong!," and ideally Samsung should have designed the slot and S Pen so that it wouldn't be possible to slide the S Pen in the wrong way.

When debating bad design versus user error, it doesn't have to be one or the other. It's a bad design that when combined with user error can have catastrophic consequences. Keep that in mind if you own a Galaxy Note 5, especially when little Billy asks to borrow your device.