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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 4: 

what are the missing features? 
No Micro SD card support, non-removable battery, no IR blaster, smaller battery, and missing Lollipop features.

Update 1: Galaxy Note 5 S Pen is another design defect.  If you accidentally insert the Galaxy Note 5 S Pen in wrong direction, Galaxy Note 5 will not be able to detect whether the S Pen is in the slot or not. There are no solutions except visiting service center. Please read this page for details.

As detailed in this post, Galaxy Note 5 comes with some new or improved features, for example, new design with curved glass back, fast wireless charging, improved S pen features, improved camera, more RAM, faster CPU, better fingerprint sensor.
You will surely enjoy these features and the new Galaxy Note 5.
However, it seems Samsung  failed to get some user feedback of the defects or design flaws of Galaxy S6  and Galaxy S6 edge.  Galaxy Note 5 share some similar defects.
This post will try to summarize the top 5 defects in Galaxy Note 5.

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5:  1. No micro SD card support

All previous generations of Galaxy Note devices, including Galaxy Note tablets (Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition and Galaxy Note Pro), have a micro SD card slot for you to expand the storage or to transfer files.
But Galaxy Note 5 stops this trend. Galaxy Note 5 does not support micro SD card. There is no micro SD card slot.
As micro SD card has similar size to SIM card,  micro SD card slot does not necessarily reside inside the phone.
If you have a SIM card slot, then technically, there is no problem to put a micro SD card slot.
One of the excuses of missing SD card slot is that Galaxy Note 5 is using UFS 2.0 storage, which is 3 times faster than eMMC storage. The micro SD card is too slow to match the performance of UFS 2.0 storage.
The truth is in your PC, you very likely have a very fast SSD drive, together with traditional, slower mechanical hard disk. It does not make sense you should throw away your old mechanical disk because of the new SSD drive. They can co-exist and serve different purposes:  SSD for fast access and old disk for storage.
This is same for UFS 2.0 and micro SD card.
Another commonly cited excuse is that most Galaxy Note users do not use SD card at all, based on some stupid market studies.
The truth is you should still buy medical insurance although you haven’t made any claims in last 10 years. 
One of the major factors we choose Samsung Galaxy Note devices is the “choices”.
The reality is Samsung made a wrong decision by removing micro SD card support. They hope they can get enough Galaxy Note 5 users who do not know what they want.
But Galaxy Note 5 will lose many existing Note users who know what choices mean.

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5:  2. non-removable battery

Removable battery is now a luxury for high-end smartphones.
Apple enjoyed the success of embedded non-removable battery in all their devices. The non-removable battery can give them more freedom in internal design.
Now, more and more Android vendors follow this strategy.
But they forget that Apple has an extensive service network with acceptable service standard all over the world.
This means Apple fanboies can replace the battery easily in almost all places. The cost will be relatively similar in all regions. So, it is predictable.
So, how about Samsung? How many Samsung service centers in your area?
Do you know how much they will charge you for replacing the battery 2 years later?
You have no answer, Samsung has no answer.  Nobody has the answer. Maybe, the part is always out of stock and they will suggest you buy a newly released Galaxy Note 7.
Even worse, in some regions, Samsung relies on local distribution agents. Why do they have interest to stock parts for more than 20 different smartphones  that are 2  years old?
Of course, the non-removable battery is due to glass back cover design. It is hard to design a removable glass back cover.
So, the question is whether the glass is a good choice over plastic as in previous Galaxy Note devices.
Although many Galaxy Note owners criticized the plastic back cover. But what they complained is the poor-quality plastic Samsung used.
If you try Motorola or Nokia phones, you will know plastic is not created equally. Motorola even shows us you can customize your $180 Moto G with all-plastic construction.
The reality is that Samsung made another wrong decision to go to glass for the back cover, instead of using better plastics.
Metal is not a good option if wireless charging is needed.

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5:  3. No IR blaster

Surprisingly, Galaxy Note 5 removed the IR blaster, which some of Galaxy Note 4 owners have enjoyed.
Very likely, “most” of Galaxy Note 4 owners never used it. And removing it can save about less than $1 in each device.
And therefore, Samsung decided to remove this feature from Galaxy Note 5 to cater for the mass market who do not know what they want.
As mentioned, this means Samsung slammed the doors to users who know why choices matter.

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 4. Smaller battery

Galaxy Note 5 has an identical screen size (5.7″) to Galaxy Note 4.  But the battery capacity is reduced from 3220mAh to 3000mAh.
Probably, Samsung’s home-made 14nm Exynos processor in Galaxy Note 5 may be more power efficient than the 28nm Snapdragon 805 processors in Note 4.
But you should not expect longer battery life than Galaxy Note 4.
This is really bad for heavy users who have problems to access the wall charger often, although you can charge Galaxy Note 5 batteryfaster
For Galaxy Note 4 owners, you can just prepare a spare battery.  For Galaxy Note 5 owners, you have to learn to save battery and reduce the usage.

Top 5 defects of Galaxy Note 5: 5. missing  Lollipop features

Android allows all sorts of customization.
This makes a colorful Android world. HTC Android phones may have some unique features. LG can customize it to get some unique features.
Samsung is infamous of adding too many useless (sometimes also unique) feature to Android phones.
But the backlash of many half-baked unique features in Galaxy S4 dragged Samsung “back to basics” in Galaxy S5.
Now, Samsung is heading to another extreme. |
They trimmed many useful features in the TouchWiz. Now, they also trim some Android features.
Some excellent Android Lollipop features were removed in Samsung Galaxy Note 5 as they did for Galaxy S6.  This is surely another defect of Galaxy Note 5.
Here are a few examples:
  • no guest user support. Android Lollipop offers guest user mode and multiple users in smartphones. This makes device sharing easier and safer. But you cannot find these features in Galaxy Note 5.
  • no multiple user support.
  • messed notification and interruption system. AlthoughAndroid Lollipop notification and interruption system received some negative feedback, it is still the best notification system compared to iOS, Windows phone. In Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Samsung implemented a hybrid of new notification system and the old one. It simply makes more confusions for new users.

How to use Android Lollipop guest user mode and multiple users?

How to use Android Lollipop guest user mode and multiple users?

This guide shows you how to use guest mode and manage (and use) multiple users on Android Lollipop.

Android Lollipop makes it possible to share your Android Lollipop phones with other users temporally with some restrictions(guest user mode) or for an extended period without restrictions (multiple users mode).

This is a new Android Lollipop feature for phones. For Android tablet, multiple users has been supported since Jelly Bean 4.3.
Most Android phones with Android Lollipop support guest user mode and multiple users, e.g., Nexus devices (Nexus 4, 5 and Nexus 6), Motorola Moto devices (Moto X, Moto X 2nd Gen, Moto G, Mot G 2nd Gen, Moto E, and Moto E 2nd Gen), LG G3, LG G Flex 2, Sony Xperia Z3 and many others.
But Samsung currently does not support this guest user and multiple users feature in the Android Lollipop 5.0 update. For example, the Android Lollipop update for Galaxy S4Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 4, removed this feature for unknown reasons.  But they will very likely add this feature in future updates.

What’s the difference between “user” and “account” when talking about Android Lollipop guest user mode and multiple users?

A lot of Android users may get confused on user and account.
In all Android devices, you can have multiple Google accounts (as well as other accounts, e.g., email accounts, Facebook account…..). Butthese accounts always belong to a user. Normally, you need setup at at least one Google account for the user to use some features.
Before Android Lollipop multiple users were introduced, there is only one user on your phone. So, there is no confusion: all accounts are “yours”.
Now, in your phones with Android Lollipop update, you can have more than one user. You can switch among these users.
Each user owns its own multiple accounts.  These accounts are NOT shared among users.

What’s the difference between the Android Lollipop guest user and normal user? Who is the device owner (administrator)?

Android Lollipop Guest user is normally used for sharing the device temporally. There is only one guest user. So, you can continue a guest user session or start a new from scratch when switching to guest user mode in Android Lollipop.
Please note, guest user has similar permissions as other users.  Guest user can add Google account to access his own contents and apps, in addition to pre-installed apps. Guest user can set screen lock, but new guest can always start a new session to clean all settings of previous guest users without unlocking the phone.
Normal users (multiple users) have own identification and own storage space. They can set their own screen lock to protect their contents. Normal users have almost identical privileges as device administrator except removing users.
The first user setup in the phone is always the device owner(administrator).  Only device owner (administrator) can remove other users.

How to use Android Lollipop guest user mode?

Android Lollipop guest user mode is always available.  There is no activation (or deactivation).

Step 1: Go to quick settings panel.

In quick settings panel (if you are not sure about Lollipop quick settings panel, please check this guide.), tap the avatar of current user in top right (as shown below).
Then tap more settings as shown below if you want to enable phone calling  features to guest user.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_1_quick_settings_users Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_2_more_settings_guest_mode

Step 2: Setup guest user features.

You should be directed to SettingsUsers page. You can also access this page from Settings, instead of the quick settings panel if you want.
Tap the gear icon next to Guest as shown below.
Drag the switch for Allow phone calls to right to enable this feature for guest user.  By default, phone calls are not allowed for guest user.
Once this feature is enabled, the switch will change to blue as shown blow.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_3_guest_user_mode_settings Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_4_guest_user_mode_allow_phone_calls

Step 3: Enter Android Lollipop guest user mode

In quick settings panel, tap Add guest as shown below. You can also enter guest user mode directly from Settings – Users – Guest.
If there is no saved sessions for guest users, you will see the Switching to Guest screen.  It may take from a few seconds to 1 min to enter  Android Lollipop guest user mode depending on your phone.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_5_add_guest_user Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_6_switching_to_guest_user

Step 4: Using Android Lollipop guest user mode

Once entering guest user mode, you will get a default home screen.
Guest user can use all pre-installed apps, i.e., apps installed before the owner setup the phone.
Although Android Lollipop guest user can use these pre-installed apps, the data and settings associated with these apps are NOT shared. Each user has own settings and data for the same app. For example, the contacts should be empty for guest user by default.
Android Lollipop guest user can install apps after adding his own Google account as shown below.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_7_guest_user_home Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_8_guest_user_pre_installed_apps
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_9_guest_user_add_google_account Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_10_switch_back

Step 5: Exit Android Lollipop guest user mode

When in guest user mode,  you can tap the user avatar in quick settings panel. Then tap another user to exit guest user mode as shown above.
Please note, after switching to other users, the setting and data for the guest user is saved in the phone.

How to remove guest user in Android Lollipop?

If you are using other people’s phone as a guest user, it is recommended to remove your account so that all your data and settings are cleared from the phone.
If you simply switch to other user without removing guest user, next time the guest user (maybe someone else) will have the option to continueyour session (and therefore access all of your data and settings saved under guest user mode) or start over (to clear the your data and settings).
To remove Android Lollipop guest user apps, data and settings, in the quick settings panel (in guest user mode), tap Remove guest as shown below.  This sill remove all apps, data and settings linked to current guest user. Essentially, this removes this guest user. So, the guest user can remove the guest account himself.
Once the Android Lollipop guest user is removed, the phone will switch back to lock screen.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_11_resume_guest_user Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_12_remove_guest_user

How to add a user to your Android Lollipop devices?

If you want to share the phone with other users for extended time, it is better to create a new user for him so that the user can use it as if it is his own phone.
This is the multiple users feature in Android Lollipop phone. You can add several users as you want.
The user you added will have his own space for app data and personal files. When a single app is shared by you and other users, each of you can only access your own app data and app settings.
To add a user to your Android Lollipop device, please follow these steps.

Step 1: Go to Quick Settings panel

If you are not sure how to access quick settings panel, please read this guide. In short, swipe down from the status bar (top of the screen) withtwo fingers.

Step 2: Tap avatar for current user in top right.

Step 3: Tap Add user as shown below.

After tapping Add user, your phone screen should indicate it is switching to new user as shown below.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_13_add_user Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_13_switch_to_new_user

Step 4: Set up new user.

You need confirm to add a new user by tapping OK as shown below.
After a few seconds, you will be redirected to the new user setup page.
Tap the Arrow icon to proceed.
From now on, you can let the user control the process if you want.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_15_confirm_new_user Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_16_welcome_new_user
When setting up a new user, you can optionally skip the Google account setup so that the user can add it later by himself.
So,in the Add your account screen as shown below, you can ask the user to add his Google account (not yours) if the user is beside you.
If not, you can simply tap skip as shown below. Of course, your Android system will remind you that before adding the Google account, the user cannot access his Google content (quite straightforward).
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_17_setup_new_user Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_18_skip_google_account
Next, the user need provide a name so that it can be shown in the user list. Otherwise, you don’t know who is who.
After setting up the user name, tap the Finish button as shown below to set up this user account.
You will see the default screen for this user as shown below. Currently, only pre-installed apps are available. The user can add apps after adding his Google account.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_19_user_name Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_20_finish_setup
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_21_new_user_home Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_22_switch_user

How to switch to other users in Android Lollipop multiple users mode ?

When you have more than one user in your phone, you can switch among users in either of the two locations:
  1. In the quick settings panel, tap the avatar for current user in the top right, then tap the account which you want to switch to. Please see the image above.
  2. In Settings –Users. Tap the user name to which you want to switch (as shown in the image below). Current user is always listed in the first.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_23_user_settings Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_24_user_settings_owner

How to remove users from your Android Lollipop phone?

Please note, only the phone owner can delete other users. Other users are not allowed to remove other users or himself on the phone. Guest user is an exception: it can remove himself.
So, to remove users from your Android Lollipop phone, you need switch to phone owner, which is always indicated in SettingsUsers.
In SettingsUsers page, tap the gear icon as shown above. This settings (gear icon) is only available for phone owner.
Tap Remove user as shown below.
Tap Delete to confirm the deletion as shown below.
Now, the user is removed from your Android Lollipop powered phone as shown below.
Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_25_remove_user Android_Lollipop_guest_user_mode_and_multiple_users_26_remove_user_confirmation

Why I cannot find the option for the restricted profiles in Android Lollipop phones?

Restricted profiles are only available in Android tablets, not phones.
So, in Android Lollipop phones, you cannot create a restricted profile. There is no such an option currently.

What are actually shared among users and what are not shared when using Android Lollipop guest user mode and multiple users?

1. App files are always shared.

Each app has only one copy on the phone. So, any user can upgrade the app and accept new permissions.  This is similar to the PC.

2. App data are NOT shared.

Each app has its own settings and user data. These are NOT shared.
For example, there is only one copy of GMail app. But each user can only see emails (and email settings) of his own accounts.  He cannot see email or settings for accounts that are under other users.

3. Accounts are NOT shared.

Each user can have a lot of accounts (multiple Google accounts, Facebook account, multiple email accounts..). These accounts are NOT shared. Each user can only access accounts added by him.

4. SD card is always shared.

If your phone has a SD card, and you saved some files in the SD card, or you choose SD card as the photo/video storage location for camera app, these files are shared. In other words, other users can see these files in the SD card.

Do you have any questions of problems on how to use Lollipop guest user mode and manage (and use) multiple users on Android Lollipop phones?

If you encounter any problems or encounter any issues on using Android Lollipop guest user mode, or managing/using multiple users in your Android Lollipop phones, please let us know in the comment box below.  The community will try to help you.
For more Android Lollipop guides, please visit on Android Lollipop Guide page.

Top 6 Samsung Galaxy S6 defects

Top 6 Samsung Galaxy S6 defects

Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 4: what are the missing features? No Micro SD card support, non-removable battery, no IR blaster, smaller battery, and missing Lollipop features.

Knowing the 6 top defects of Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge before purchasing

Samsung Galaxy S6 (and S6 edge) is a good, but not great smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are the most beautiful smartphone Samsung has ever designed and manufactured.
The unibody metal design with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 in the back and front makes it standing out among 2015 flagship smartphones.
The curved edge screen in S6 edge makes it very unique, although some may complain on the usability and reduced strength due to the edge screens.
Samsung Galaxy S6 also boosts the performance through their own Exynos SoC, and new storage technology.
The camera in Galaxy S6 is fast and can take decent photos in auto mode.
But if you check the phone carefully, you will easily find themany Samsung Galaxy S6 defects that prevent it from being a great smartphone.
In this post, I share with you the top 6 Samsung Galaxy S6 defects based on my knowledge and hands-on experience.

Samsung Galaxy S6 defects #1: non-removable battery

I would list this as the No.1 Samsung Galaxy S6 defect.
I know many may disagree.
iPhone never has a removable battery.
HTC does not offer removable battery in recent years.
Recent Nexus devices do not have removable battery.  T
he list can be very long.
Removable battery still matters for Samsung Galaxy S6 for those:
  • who use the phone heavily. This means the battery  very likely must be replaced within about one year.  Samsung is not Apple: 1). there is no universal and transparent pricing  for replacing the battery. Some Galaxy S6 owners may pay several times higher price for replacing it than someone in other regions; and 2). Samsung has so many models of smartphone that they technicians are often confusing on the models. This means the stock can be an issue. and 3). in some regions, Samsung relies on distributors and subcontractors who only care about immediate profit and are not interested in stock batteries for “old models” when Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S7 comes out..
  • who want to pass the phone to kids after one or two years. Battery shelf life (3-4 years maximum) is the hard limit, even you are not a heavy user. You will face the same problems when you need replace the battery.
  • who lives in a region with limited access to official Samsung service center. In some regions, as mentioned, the distributors and contractors have no incentive to stock batteries or train new staff for previous generation phones.
In current smartphone market, only Apple is successful with non-removable battery due to its extensive service network.
Nexus users are feeling the pain  (except Nexus 6 users) now or have to throw away the device already.  HTC still has no idea why their sales are not proportional to positive reviews.
Samsung and LG used to be the two major smartphone manufactures that give owners the removable battery. And sometimes, this can be a deciding factor for conscious buyers.
Now Samsung decides to use a non-removable battery for Galaxy S6, and S6 edge.
LG is probably a better choice if removable battery matters for you.

Samsung Galaxy S6 defects #2:  No USB 3

When Samsung removed USB 3.0 from Galaxy Note 4, I considered lacking of USB 3.0 is a No.1 defect (see this post) of Galaxy Note 4.  Both of the previous generation of Note 4 and S6, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5,  have US 3.0 support.
Some owners do not understand why USB 3.0 is important for a smartphone, because most users never connect the phone to the PC and transfer large quantity of files.
If you have thousands of photos to be copied to a PC, or you want to copy a few Gigs movie files for your next trip, you will understand the importance of USB 3.0. With USB 2.0, very  frequently, you will get timeout errors and have to transfer again and again.
You may not need USB 3.0 very often. But when you need it, you will feel the pain with USB 2.0.
The only drawback of USB 3.0 is the port size is almost doubled compared to USB 2.0. And USB 3.,0 cable is usually a few percentage more expensive than USB 2.0’s. You can actually use USB 2.0 cables for USB 3.0 port.
Apparently, Samsung decides to cater Samsung Galaxy S6 (and S6 edge) for mass market and believes only a few owners need USB 3,0. They are probably correct. But for some, this can be a big disappointment, and a defect of Galaxy S6.
There are no other well-known smartphone vendors support  USB 3.0 yet. So, if you are looking for a smartphone with USB 3.0 support, forget it now.

Samsung Galaxy S6 defects #3: no water resistant

Galaxy S5 is IP67 certified dust and water resistant. This is one of the most welcomed features in Galaxy S5 as explained in this post, although it is not on a par with Sony’s waterproof Xperia phones.
Nowadays, smartphone owners, especially young owners, do not take much care of the phone. Spilling coffees over phones is not news.
Unfortunately, Samsung Galaxy S6 is not water resistant, although the back cover is non-removable (by owner).
Lacking water resistant is obviously one of the Samsung Galaxy S6 defects.  Samsung will add water resistant only after iPhone get it.
If you are looking for a smartphone with water resistant, Sony Xperia series should be your choice.
Samsung Galaxy S6 active? Not worth the wait.

Samsung Galaxy S6 defects #4: TouchWiz is still TouchWiz

Samsung is criticized for packing too many useless, half-baked features in the TouchWiz. Galaxy S4 is the milestone of how a phone can be bloated with useless features.
Although Galaxy S4 sold well thanks for Samsung’s deep pocket in marketing, customers started to lose confidence (and patience) on Galaxy phones.
Galaxy S5 is actually a great phone except the camera.  But consumers have the perception that Galaxy phones are lagging, bloated and plastic.
Samsung tried hard to re-brand its Galaxy S phones with “premium” materials, iPhone-like (with a bit HTC One elements) design, and a “new” TouchWiz.
If you are a long-term Samsung Galaxy phone user, you will noticethe new TouchWiz is less bloated, but:
  • many useful features (together with useless features) are removed. For example, in Galaxy S6 app screen or home screen, you cannot cycle though panels. In Galaxy App screen (app drawer), you cannot sort apps.
  • quick settings panel is worse than vanilla Android Lollipop, and looks ugly. If you cannot improve it, then you should not change it.
  • TouchWiz is still a resource hogger.

Samsung Galaxy S6 defects #5:  non-genuine Android Lollipop

Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 edge comes with Android 5.0.2 (Android Lollipop).
But this is a less sweet Lollipop. Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge gives owners a non-genuine Android Lollipop.
Some excellent Android Lollipop features were removed in Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.  This is surely a Samsung Galaxy S6 defect.
Here are just a few examples:
  • no guest user support. Android Lollipop offers guest user mode and multiple users in smartphones. This makes device sharing easier and safer. But you cannot find these features in Galaxy S6 or S6 edge.
  • no multiple user support.
  • messed notification and interruption system. AlthoughAndroid Lollipop notification and interruption system received some negative feedback, it is still the best notification system compared to iOS, Windows phone. In Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung implemented a hybrid of new notification system and the old one. It simply makes more confusions.
Anyway, non-genuine Android Lollipop is another Samsung Galaxy S6  defect.
If you want to try “genuine” Android Lollipop, you ma considerNexus 6 or Moto X, or even Moto G.

Samsung Galaxy S6 defects #5: too many options = you cannot get what you want

Because Samsung removed SD card support for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, they offer 3 storage options: 32GB, 64GB and 128GB, for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.
If we consider the 3-color (more is on the way) options. So, you may have 18 options (3 colors* 3 storage size *2 variants) for your Galaxy S6 purchase.
It sounds great. iPhone has been very successful in similar configurations.
But Samsung is NOT Apple. Apple has a tight control of the distribution channel.
In some regions, Samsung still relies on distributors who definitely have no interest to carry 18 inventories for one product. So, it is not strange, some buyers actual have only one or two options.

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S6 defects?

Please leave your comments and thoughts in the comment box below.
For other features of Galaxy S6, please check Galaxy S6 online manual page.
For detailed guides on how to use Samsung Galaxy S6, please checkGalaxy S6 how-to guides page.

Everything about Galaxy Note 5 S Pen

Everything about Galaxy Note 5 S Pen

This guide shows you Galaxy Note 5 S Pen components and their functions, the difference between white and grey S Pen nibs, and how to replace S Pen nibs...

S Pen is the signature accessory for Galaxy Note devices. A lot of special features and functions on Galaxy Note 5 require S Pen.
This guide will try to cover all aspects of Galaxy Note 5 S Pen.  So, this guide will be helpful for you even you are a new user of S Pen.
For experienced S Pen users, the difference between Galaxy Note 5 S Pen and S Pen in previous generations is illustrated.
Because S Pens in all Galaxy Note devices share similar design. This guide also applies to old generation Galaxy Note devices, e.g., Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy Note Pro.
If something is exclusive to Galaxy Note 5, it will be highlighted.

Galaxy Note 5 S Pen components and their functions

In your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 box, you should find following components related to Galaxy Note 5 S Pen:
  1. a S Pen (with  a S Pen button) attached to Galaxy Note 5 S Pen slot (see Galaxy Note 5 layout here);
  2. 5 spare S Pen nibs (in 2 colors), and
  3. tweezers.
The 5 spare spare S Pen nibs and the tweezers were put inside a small plastic bag in the box.
The functions of the Galaxy Note 5 S Pen nib:
  1. Use the S Pen to write, draw, or perform touch actions on the screen.
  2. Hover the S Pen over items on the screen to access additional S Pen features, such as Action button and the Air view feature.
The functions of the Galaxy Note 5 S Pen button:
  1. Hover the S Pen over the screen and press the S Pen button to display the Air command features.
  2. While pressing and holding the S Pen button, drag the S Pen over items to select them.
The function of tweezers is to remove the S Pen nib when replacing the nib.

What are the differences between the white and grey S Pen nibs?

You may notice among the 5 spare S Pen nibs, 3 are white and 2 are grey.
By default, the S Pen attached to Galaxy Note 5 is white in most regions.
The color is not random. The white nibs are actually different from the grey ones.
The white one is harder and it is easy to move it on the screen with less friction. The grey one, on the other hand, is like rubber. It provides more friction.
So, these two types of S Pen nibs give you different S Pen experience depending on your habit.
But if you applies screen protector to your Galaxy Note 5 screen, you may find it is hard to use the grey one.

How to replace Galaxy Note 5 S Pen nib?

You may need replace the Galaxy Note 5 S pen nib when:
  • you want to get more friction (grey) or less friction (white).
  • the S Pen nib is dull or not responsive as usual.
Please note, S Pen nibs are NOT reusable.  So, don’t waste your S Pen nibs.
You may follow these steps to replace Galaxy Note 5 S Pen nib.

Step 1: Remove the old nib with tweezers

You need hold the nib firmly with the tweezers, then pull it out as shown below. Do not use any other tools.

Step 2: Insert the new S Pen nib.

Insert the new S pen nib into the S pen with your hand as shown below.
Do not insert the rounded end of the nib into Galaxy Note 5 S Pen.

How to detach Galaxy Note 5 S Pen?

To detach Galaxy Note 5 S pen, you need press the end of the S Pen to disengage it. Then, pull the S Pen from the slot as shown below
This is different from detaching S Pen from previous Galaxy Note devices. The Galaxy Note 5 S Pen is loaded with a spring. And you must press the end to disengage it.  For S Pen in Galaxy Note 4 and older devices, you can pull out the S Pen directly.
In Galaxy Note 5, the S Pen is fully inserted into the slot and you cannot pull it without pressing the end.

How to store Galaxy Note 5 S Pen?

To store Galaxy Note 5 S Pen, push it back into the S Pen slot until you hear it click. You need insert the S Pen’s nib first as shown below. Failure to do so can
cause the S Pen to become stuck. Forcefully detaching the S Pen from the slot may cause damage to the S Pen and Galaxy Note 5.
The Galaxy Note 5 S Pen design has a flaw: you may accidentally insert the S Pen in wrong direction without applying much force until it is stuck. If you pull out the S Pen after it is stuck, your Galaxy Note 5 will not be able to detect S Pen any more. You have to visit local Samsung service center to repair it.
If the Galaxy Note 5 S Pen is stored properly, the whole S Pen should be in the S Pen slot.

What can I do if I accidentally insert Galaxy Note 5 S Pen into the slot in wrong direction?

As mentioned, Galaxy Note 5 S pen has a design flaw. You may insert the S Pen in wrong direction without getting any warnings until it is stuck.
It is too late!
If this happened to you, you may damage the S Pen slot. Galaxy Note 5 will unlikely detect whether the S Pen is in the slot or not from now on.
This means you cannot use screen off memo. You have to use air command by pressing the S Pen button.
As it is a hardware damage, you have to visit local Samsung service center to repair the S Pen slot.  Factory data reset will NOT solve the problem.
For other Galaxy Note 5 features and detailed Galaxy Note 5 how-to guides , please check Galaxy Note 5 how-to guides page.
You may also download and read the official Samsung Galaxy Note 5 user manual here.