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Samsung says it changed the Note 5’s hardware to fix the S Pen problem

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Last year, Samsung got into a bit of trouble over the design of its Galaxy Note 5, with customers reporting that when they inserted the device's S Pen the wrong way round it permanently disabled certain functions. The company's response was not entirely sympathetic. Customers were essentially told to "read the manual, stupid" before Samsung added extra instructions to the device's packaging. Now, though, the company says it has physically changed the Note 5's internal mechanism in order to "avoid the issue" altogether.

"As always, we recommend following proper instructions for storing the S Pen."

The tinkering was first spotted by an anonymous Phandroid reader, who sent the site before and after shots of the Note 5's circuit board, showing a new ejection mechanism that reportedly allows the S Pen to be safely retrieved when inserted backwards. In an email to The Verge, Samsung confirmed it has indeed changed the design of the Note 5 to fix the flaw. "Samsung can confirm that the Note 5 internal S Pen mechanism has been changed to avoid the issue caused by inserting the S Pen incorrectly," said the company, adding: "As always, we recommend following proper instructions for storing the S Pen."

Just like before, customers can argue over how big of a design flaw this problem is in the first place. (Some people love to take the "read the manual, stupid" line; others think that inserting a pen backwards is an easy mistake that anyone — or anyone's child — could make.) However, it's clear at least that Samsung thinks it was enough of a mistake that it deserved introducing a physical fix — even if ​it’s still not admitting to a design fault.

Verge Video: Samsung Note 5 review