Samsung users ask, “Why does the S-Pen smell so bad?“

The Galaxy S24 line.

Enlarge / The Galaxy S24 line. (credit: Samsung)

Electric design is a field full of varying opinions and trade-offs. Companies agonize over the physical shapes of their devices and the materials used, all trying to create a high-quality, premium-feeling device that fits with the constraints of mass production. Material choices usually center around cost, feeling, and durability, but how often do manufacturers take into account smell? Samsung users are finding that if you pop out the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s “S-Pen” stylus and give it a whiff like you’re huffing a marker, you’ll find that it… smells bad?

9to5Google found the following incredible post from Reddit user “LatifYil” titled, “Why does my s pen smell so bad?” The post has almost 250 comments of users all mostly agreeing with the post’s sentiment that “the S-Pen in my Galaxy S24 Ultra absolutely reeks. Either I have a sensitive nose or this thing is being barbequed by the internals while it’s unsheathed.” The top-rated, very-online comment is, “Op got me to smell my pen. Can confirm it’s a stinky boi.”

Those describing the smell all seem to agree Samsung’s stylus often smells like an electrical fire. One user writes that it’s “a very burnt and plastics smell.” Another says the S23 Ultra stylus “smells like new tech with a hint of burning.” A more descriptive commenter says it smells like “an electric mixer that’s turned on, but the beaters are jammed up and can’t turn, so the motor is overheating.” The S-Pen is mostly plastic but has a soft rubber tip, and a lot of users identify that soft bit as the smelly part.

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