Pengate blues? Video shows how to safely get the Note 5 S Pen out

by: Andrew GrushAugust 28, 2015

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has quickly become the subject of its own “gate”, pengate as some are calling it. If you haven’t already heard, inserting the S Pen backwards on the Note 5 will cause it to get stuck inside and removing it could break an important S Pen sensor. Thankfully, a new video demonstrates a way to get your pen out safely without damaging the sensor.

Basically, a piece of paper can be pushed into the hole and used to safely lift the sensor. Once this is done, you can pull out the S Pen without a problem. The video goes into a great length of detail about how the sensor gets stuck, how far you have to insert it, and more. You also get to see the inside of the Note 5, making it much easier to follow along.

Is Pengate a big deal?

Is this really S Pen drama really a big deal? Personally, I don’t think so. Sure, it is a design flaw, as making it impossible to fully insert the S Pen backwards would have been a good failsafe to prevent people (or, more likely, young kids) from doing stupid things with an $800 device. That said, the odds of this happening to your Note 5 are pretty slim and we have a feeling most of the reports of stuck pens came because people were curious if the “pengate” claims were legit.

For what it is worth, I currently have the Note 5 in my possession, and while I’m not foolish enough to fully insert the pen in backwards, I did test putting in just the “eraser tip” and can tell you that, even if you aren’t looking while inserting, you should be able to feel/hear the difference in my opinion.

It is true that there is no resistance or forcing needed to put it in backwards, but it still feels and sounds differently. The pen side slides in without fully touch the sides, while the Note 5 eraser goes in easily but you can slightly feel/hear it touching the sides thanks to the metallic plate with the “Samsung” logo on it. While it would be possible to ignore or miss this, those that are careful probably would detect the difference before fully inserting into the holder deeply enough for it to get stuck.

What do you think, is this S Pen drama being blown out of proportion or do you think that Samsung really messed up big here? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  • Neil Gilroy

    Great video! Now I need a Note 5 in the UK :)

  • The-Sailor-Man

    And what is the problem (if you are so concern about this BS) , to make two nice notches on the both sides on the top of the clicking cap. Then the obstructions will be avoided. You can even file the both sides of cap if you prefer that “design”.
    Samsung could even make original “Moron’S Pen” like this , but first should pay me for the idea.

    • Daggett Beaver

      “Moron S Pen” — I’d love it if they marketed it under that name. I hope you have the idea copyrighted or patented, though, otherwise prior art will come out of the woodwork if you try to charge for the idea.

  • What has the world come to when this is such a big deal. People can sue these days because they spilled hot coffee on their own skin so I guess this shouldn’t suprise me.

    • Kunikos

      The mcdonald’s coffee spilling lawsuit was much more complicated than you probably understand, read about it please.

      • PC_Tool


        People heard about the McDonald’s thing and thought it sounded like a joke, so they assumed it was and are now using that same level of “knowledge” to compare it to other things they “know” just as much about.

        Is it really any surprise people are getting more and more ignorant?

  • Daggett Beaver

    Pointy tip goes in the hole — a rule of thumb that will come in handy even if you don’t own a Note.

    • Pedro

      I agree

    • Falcon

      Its really more for children, you might forget you note laying around, the kid grabs it plays with it for a while and then puts backwards. but yeah generally it shouldn’t happen :)

    • Cool

      Yeah! Thankfully the opposite end of my pointy tip is attached to something.

      That way I’ll never make that mistake. Yay!

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    • Airyl

      Imagine explaining that to a kid.

  • tranceformer978

    Piece of paper? Who carries paper when you have a stylus?

  • s2weden2000

    it’s not a design flaw if people are stupid..if there are too many moving parts for people to understand which way you put it something else …

  • Nick

    Only idiots would put it in backwards it’s just being blown out of proportion

  • monepone

    We have a bunch of adults who were clearly coddled as children and now want to be coddled as adults. They want someone to explicitly tell them what not to do, and to physically prevent them from doing it to protect themselves from their own bad decisions. When they don’t get that level of coddling, they get upset. It makes me wonder how some of these people function in their day-to-day lives if that can’t keep themselves from doing something like shoving an S-Pen backwards into their phone. I agree that a lot of these complaints are likely not from people who did this accidentally, but rather from people who did it out of curiosity, (sadly) some after hearing complaints of the S-Pen getting stuck. Others may also just be doing it to get hits on their youtube channels. I suspect the number of accidental occurrences of this issue to be very low. Accidents do happen, but you would have to be quite distracted for this to happen without you catching yourself, and if you are giving your expensive/fragile phone over to your child to play with, you are basically asking for it to get broken.

    • Daggett Beaver

      The people who read about this and then tried it to see if it really got stuck are even more stupid than the ones who did it by accident. “What? If I put my hand on a hot burner I’ll get hurt? Here, let me try it and see if that’s really true.”

  • Cakefish

    Young kids? Why the heck would you give a young child an expensive flapship smartphone made of glass? Only a utter moron would do that.

    • Rob Kowalski

      Tons of parents give their kids their phone to play with, hence the reason Samsung put “Kids Mode” on their devices. The Note 5 should have been made with a stylus that goes in one way. Make it a little bigger on top, so it isn’t as easy for such a mistake to happen.

      • Cakefish

        That’s fine and all but those parents have no right to complain if the child breaks the device. Children are very skilled at breaking things. Especially things made of frickin’ GLASS.

        I agree with you that this is a design flaw. Samsung should have spotted this before launch and I’m not calling people who put the stylus in the wrong way accidentally morons, just parents who give expensive smartphones to young children and expect the phone to magically survive.

    • Btort

      you let your kids watch tv right? play ps4, use your laptop right? all those gadgets are fairly expensive so you must be a moron or a future moron (if you don’t have kids yet)

      • Cakefish

        Watching TV is different though. The kids don’t have physical contact with the device. I don’t have children yet but I would never give them my laptop to use.

        I never let my youngest brothers use my gadgets when they were really young. Because it’s just asking for trouble!

        • Btort

          so what are you gonna do when your kids have a research paper to do and they need a computer? you’re never going to let them or buy a shitty one? at some point you’re gonna have to let them

          • Cakefish

            It seems we are taking about different age groups. I’m talking about children younger than than those who need to do long research essays. I’m referring to children below 10.

          • Rocky Dubb

            Before i had my son i had the same mentality as you. My wife & I just had a baby boy in January and i can tell you everything CHANGES! You dont have children so its easy for you to say what your saying. Wait until you do and i can guarantee 100% that you’ll be back here admitting you were wrong!

    • Dr. Lee

      Young kids? One day when you have a lovely child of your own, you will understand.

      For now, be happy and some empathy goes a long way.

  • Karly Johnston

    The issue isn’t even about Pengate, it is the lame response Samsung gave “read the manual”… this is a marketing disaster.

    • Btort

      There’s a reason for having manuals, it’s for idiots who are careless and don’t know what they’re doing and forcing shit in

      • Karly Johnston

        We all know S-sheep are idiots but it is another thing for the company to call them so.

        • Btort

          S-sheeps are just as bad as isheeps, they spent years talking crap about apple not having sd card slot or removable backs…but when the s6 came out all of a sudden “you don’t even have the device, stop judging it blah blah blah best built samsung phone” or “touchwiz is much improved and less bloat blah blah no lag” too bad touchshit will always be touchwiz and one of the worst android skins

  • Angry Mobile Nerd

    Yeah right “Pengate blues?” because I’m sure soooooo many people are having this problem *rolls eyes*.

    Funny nobody has mentioned this but the people who need to be worried the most are probably retailers with working demo units on display for the public to try out as now there are going to be some tards’ and dolts’ out there who are going to deliberately f**k up the demo unit by putting the pen in backwards.

    What’s more interesting is why Samsung opted for a mechanical lever to detect when the S-Pen was removed when they could have opted for maybe putting a small magnet near the eraser end which the unit could detect (but I’m sure they have their reasons).

  • Major_Pita

    Thinking it might be easier with a thin-walled drinking straw cut it in half along it’s length. Should be stiffer than paper.

  • the_real_patrick_bateman

    Man, so many hostile responses. You sound like a bunch of iPeople defending bent phones and bad antenna design.

    • Daggett Beaver

      I think people are just amazed at the level of publicity this has gotten. Nothing bad would happen if I put my S Pen in my Note 4 the wrong way. Yet (except for the time to see if it’s possible), I have never done so. I do lots of careless things. Yet I’ve never done it in the dark. I’ve never done it in the park. I’ve never done it on a boat. I’ve never done it on a goat. And (again, with the exception of idiots who tried it knowing it could get stuck), I suspect near zero people have inserted their S Pen into the Note 5 the wrong way. Much ado about nothing.

  • phantomsofthedesert

    My idea is easier, if you get a plastic drinking straw and slice up the middle and insert it like the paper it works easier that the paper.

  • MK Öz

    Well its not a problem, but completely defies the point of taking the pen out quickly, dotting down some notes, and back in without looking. Imagine you had a quick thought that YOU HAD TO REMEMBER and you are walking down a busy street. You take our your phone dot down a note for yourself, you see the traffic light blinking to turn red, so you decide to speed up while trying to put the S PEN into the phone. In that second its very easy to make a simple mistake which is permanent.

    If i am going to pay such a large amount for a phone and Samsung doesn’t even bother acknowledging the mistake they made, then why would I buy this phone. The fix to this would have been easy. Just make the pen’s click part a little wider at the top, and implement it so it still stays smooth and unnoticeable when its hidden away. I even ps’d a quick image for this:

    • The-Sailor-Man

      With your fix you can’t use “click to pull out” .
      The real FIX I showed down in the comments.

      • MK Öz

        Why wouldn’t you be able to? Explain to me..

        • The-Sailor-Man

          Because if they widen the top of the clicking cap , you will be not able to click the pen when is inside the phone. It needs to be put a little bit inside the cap in the hole so to click and pop-out the cap.
          That’s why the pen can go wrong way in the hole.

          • MK Öz

            Oh well, its possible but not gonna go crazy apesh*t design on this detail :P Apparently the point I was trying to make is pointless since even you think its retarded. :P Well played, sir.

  • Rocky Dubb

    WOW! So many hostile responses… Guys, sometimes things happen … It could be someone else who was using or looking at the phone who put it in backwards or a child or even yourself by accident. Rather than making stupid comments that waste your time and everyone who’s reading (some people go through the comments looking for someone who posted a solution) … if you cant help then its best to just keep your stupidity to yourself! – No offence. :-D

  • Sanket Pandey

    Samsung failed to give a fool proof prevention method causing all fools to end up wid a broken sensor ..both are equally responsible. U cant blame samsung alone

  • 3223

    I guess the most viable reason why this would happen is if parents give their note 5 to their kids to play. But the solution is pretty simple. Just remove the pen and give the phone to the kid without the pen! This isn’t like an old palm, where all input must absolutely be with the stylus. Even without the pen, the phone works perfectly fine. So parents, just pass the phone to your kid without the pen. There. Problem solved. :D

  • Daggett Beaver

    S Pen for Dummies

    • The-Sailor-Man

      Yup, and if you put it in holes of the grill of the speaker it could brake the tip of the pen, and the broken part could get inside the speaker and permanently damage it.:)
      Also dummies should not put S Pen in their ear holes(and other).
      But dummies are right (somehow) to complain. Because Note 5 was made for them. It’s obvious that Samsung designed this version of Note 5 to hunt for iboys in US. Right?

  • #Note5 IsBoss


  • Nazar T Telfeyan

    Just don’t put it in backwards…common sense
    People need Samsung to tell them this