The S-Pen is one of the most distinctive parts of Samsung’s Galaxy Note experience, letting you pop out the tiny stylus for quick scribbles – but with the Galaxy Note 5, some early users reported that the S-Pen was getting stuck in the slot. For good.
Granted, it happened when the S-Pen was inserted backwards, but anyone might quickly pop it into the slot without thinking about orientation and be left with a less-functional phone. It even happened to us: our Singapore team’s reviewer suffered that fate with his review unit. And Samsung’s initial response was simply to tell people to read the instruction manual.
But their tone has changed: in November, someone spotted a new label placed atop the phone in newly shipped models that cautions against inserting the stylus the wrong way, and now Samsung has reportedly altered the design of the components inside the phone to avoid the issue.
That’s according to Phandroid, which cites a source claiming that the little tab you see on the right side of the left circuit board above – which seems to be attached with tape, believe it or not – lets you eject the stylus even when inserted backwards. It’s a small, but seemingly smart tweak that should help new purchasers avoid that potential problem, although we don’t know yet if the change is indicated on the phone packaging or model number.
As for everyone else who already has the phone? Well, Samsung probably doesn’t have anything for you, although you can certainly try to make a stink with customer service to try and swap out your device. In the meantime, be very aware and careful every time you click in the S-Pen, and hope an honest fumble doesn’t handicap your very large, expensive smartphone.