Samsung has quietly fixed the Galaxy Note 5's Pengate issue

According to new teardowns, Samsung has solved a design issue with the Galaxy Note 5 that caused the S Pen to jam inside its holster when inserted backwards.

A few weeks after Samsung launched the fifth incarnation of its Galaxy Note phablet series, the tech blogosphere was buzzing with a new catchphrase: Pengate.

The problem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 as the manufacturer initially launched it was that, although the user manual states that the S Pen should be inserted with the nib pointed forward, there was nothing preventing users from inserting the S-Pen the other way around. 

Unfortunately for some users, whenever the S Pen was inserted backwards, it jammed in its holster. Pulling too hard on the pen to remove did not accomplish the desired result, as this brute force approach busts the pen detection mechanism. In the meantime, some inventive people found out ways to remove an erroneously-inserted S Pen without permanently damaging the Galaxy Note 5.

When confronted with the matter, Samsung refused to take the blame for what many considered to be a design slip, pointing frustrated customers to the user manual. As it turns out, however, newer revisions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 come with a slightly modified pen detection mechanism, one that won't break off as easily. 

The photo that we've attached to the side compares two different Galaxy Note 5 revisions, and the modifications are clearly visible. The old (pointy) pen detection mechanism is shown to the right. The revised mechanism, shown in the left, can now move in both ways without jamming the S Pen in its holster. As a side note, there's no way of telling which revision you've got without tearing down the phablet, meaning that you'll still want to insert the pen with the nib pointing forward.

source: Phandroid



1. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

OMG, Apple will have to make a sticking pen now... You can bet if they did this site would go into meltdown. As it's Samsung, meh, glad they fixed it.

7. willard12 unregistered

I'd bet the original article had 1 or 2 comments.

47. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

I'm amazed by the way that Samsung managed their corporate responsibility. First they refuse to acknowledge the problem screwing those who already bought N5, then go and fixing it silently. Why? Too high the cost? But you already take a fortune for that phone. Good job Samsung.

11. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Yup, it's ironic how they call apple fans isheep etc when they themselves are letting Samsung screw them by removing features like SD and removable battery. Samsung fans no better than apple fans, probably even worse.

17. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Android user isnt always samsung fans.. they have gazillion of choice if they want SD or removable battery, lol

26. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

still, best hardware you could find on an Android phone is on Samsung's.

46. chenski

Posts: 774; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Yes, but hardware is only half the story...

30. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

It's annoying when they criticise Samsung fans then talk about Android fans as if Samsung is the only Android phones there are. Typical Apple fans. Back to topic: this shouldn't even be called a "gate", not Samsung's fault that users can be stupid enough to insert the pen incorrectly. This is like calling iPhone's explosive problem a "chargegate" or "pocketgate".

37. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Well people probably shouldn't try to bend their phones either right? If this was Apple it would 100% be a "Pengate" and be absolutely huge. Also, where in the above comments did anyone talk about Android until iBend started waffling? You guys wind yourselves up, it's hilarious.

42. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2279; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

That time it bent automatically in purses and pockets. It wouldn't be pengate, more like the witty "you're inserting it wrong" comments.

51. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Where exactly did I mention "Android fans?" I kept it at Samsung, I'm an android fan myself. You and ibend are the ones who assume people calling out Samsung are insulting Android users.

50. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Where in my post did I even mention Android? I'm an android fan, yet you were the one who seemed to think I was insulting Android when I talked about Samsung fixing a severe flaw after telling people it's normal.

24. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Still better than screwed by Apple. Or burned by iPhone.

38. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Did someone stick an Apple phone up you? Did they set fire to you with one? You seem bitter about something.

13. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

At least they weren't in denial of the flaw (only fandroids were) and they didn't screw consumers for a whole year waiting till another generation of the device before they fixed the flaw...unlike some rotten fruits.

27. nodes

Posts: 1160; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

they were, they told users to read the phone's manual(yes, because everyone reads the manual before they use their brand new phone, /s). and eventually, they did fix this issue is a confirmation that it IS a design flaw.

44. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Not only manual, it's also mentioned in big bold sticker. If you are blind and an idiot, nobody can help you.

2. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Still don't don't see why/how someone would put the S-pen in backwards

6. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I have to watch all of the 2-12 year olds to make sure they don't try to put it back in wrong. That's who would do it! I can lock the screen to the coloring app, or I can just leave it locked and let them draw on the lock screen. But I have to resort to not letting them see where the pen came from so they don't try to put it back when they're done, and watch like a hawk the whole time. What a pain for something so simple to design around.

18. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

2-12year olds? chance to drop it, throw it, pee on it, or feed it to dog is alot bigger than put S-pen backward, and I bet 99.9% of 2-12year old didnt know how to pull-out S-pen in the first place

32. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Well you obviously don't have kids. It's a kid, not an ape. Haha, you think a 12 year old can't even pull it out, when any 5 year old already knows how. Are we to question the IQ of your offspring? And when your kid is screaming on an airplane you can bet you give them a $700 phone to play with. It's in a case. They've played with it 100 times and never done anything you mentioned. I can't believe i even bother responding to people who speak random nonsense, all goes over your head anyways. 99.9% ....of children are smarter then you?

39. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

The defensiveness from the usual trolls is amazing. Should probably bookmark this page for when the iPhone 7 comes out and it's found that hitting it repeatedly with a hammer results in it not working or something "Hammergate"...

21. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Will it is pretty dumb letting a 2 1/2 year old play with a $750 phone.

12. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Never heard of a mistake? So according to you people purposefully drive their cars into other objects as there's no reason for them to do it otherwise.

28. judik971

Posts: 84; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

Ok but most of the time, the driver is responsible not the car

52. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

That's besides the point, the drivers could be 100 percent at fault every time, the entire point is humans make mistakes and inserting a stylus the wrong way at least once over two years is a pretty normal thing, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to add a safely measure, the older notes didn't have s pen wrong insertion issues, it'd a note 5 thing, which Samsung just fixed after saying it wasn't a problem. That's screwing over the people that bought it before.

29. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I do. Because they are stupid.

3. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

So they have basically just admitted it was a design flaw (because it was, other than what the Samsung fanboys had to say). Good to see Samsung taking responsibility and fixing it though. Others would just keep it broken.

5. willard12 unregistered

Design flaws usually aren't listed as warnings in the user manual. They are usually things that got passed the QA process and are unknown to the company. What Samsung wasn't prepared for was the fact that everything needs to be idiot-prof down to the last detail. In fixing it, they have admitted that people are stupid.

8. talon95

Posts: 1000; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Quality obviously caught it too late in the process and it was already in production, so they just put it in the manual to cover their butts. But they certainly know that it was their own fault for allowing it through.

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