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FAIL: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 S-Pen -- RTFM, you're inserting it wrong

Richi Jennings | Aug. 27, 2015
Pen is stuck? You should have Read The <em>Fine</em> Manual

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 S-Pen-gate

Samsung comes under intense criticism for Galaxy Note 5 design flaw. If you insert the S-Pen upside-down, it gets stuck. Removing it damages the phablet's motherboard -- probably beyond repair.

The damage renders useless the memo and Air Command features, which are key differentiators for the $800 device.

Samsung's response? RTFM: It's apparently "an unexpected scenario," and you should "follow the instructions in the user guide."

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Updated 1:52 pm PT with more comment]

Billions of blue blistering barnacles! David "captain" Ruddock curses thuswise:

It is extremely rare that a modern, expensive electronic device ships with an easy-to-encounter design flaw that can result in...damage. [But] the S Pen in the Galaxy Note 5 does suffer from a design flaw...which could permanently break a feature of the phone. 
...
On the Note 5, inserting the S Pen the wrong way provides exactly as much resistance as inserting it the right way. Which is to say: basically none at all. Once you insert the pen far enough in the wrong direction...it will get stuck. It doesn't even have to "click" in. ... And you will try to get it out [which will] break whatever mechanism the device uses to detect whether the pen is attached. 
...
We're really not sure how this made it past testing. ... It seems Samsung was aware of this issue when it shipped the Note 5. ... Samsung provided this statement: "We highly recommend...users follow the instructions in the user guide to ensure they do not experience such an unexpected scenario."  

And Larry Dignan is similarly indignant:

You may break the pen and possibly the device. ... The big question is whether the issue is a design flaw, overblown problem or a threat to the brand. 
...
After reading about the hubbub I inserted the S-Pen backward. The reports are true, the pen gets stuck and you have to yank it out pretty hard. ... I got away with the mistake once, but the stylus doesn't fit into its slot flush every time like it used to. 
...
As more people try the upside down stylus trick, Samsung's response of 'read the manual' may only look worse.  

Yes, says Rene Ritchie, it's far too easy to do:

People are saying "you're inserting it wrong" in reference to an infamous email from the late Steve Jobs in response to iPhone 4 antenna issues where he asserted people were "holding it wrong." ... Apple ended up giving away free bumper cases to every...customer. [And] just this week [it] issued an iPhone 6 Plus camera replacement program for...devices suffering from a bad camera component. That's what companies do. 
...
[But] touching the antenna gap once didn't stick, break, or otherwise render the antenna permanently unusable. Which, unfortunately, is what appears to be happening with the S-Pen. 
...
What good design does [is] it protects customers from themselves. Even and especially when they make mistakes. It's called poka-yoke. ... I've already piled on Samsung's lack of design consideration enough for one year, so I'll leave it at that. ... I wish Samsung, and those affected, the very best of luck.  

 

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