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Samsung users kick up a stink about smelly S Pens, and the brand nose what's causing it

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Does the ‘S’ in Samsung’s S Pen stand for something else? Several users are kicking up a big stink about a strange odor emanating from the S Pen on the latest Samsung Galaxy S Ultra phones, specifically the S24 Ultra, S23 Ultra, and S22 Ultra.


The pungent punch has been likened to many things. Among them: “cooked plastic barbecue,” Nintendo Switch cartridges, and rubbery playground mulch. Online discussions on Reddit and Samsung Community suggest this isn't exactly a brand-new issue, with reports dating back to the 2022 S22 Ultra.




“You might be putting it in the wrong hole,” one user jokes.


The likely culprit? A design change. Unlike the glossy S Pen of the Galaxy Note days, the newer models boast a grippier, rubberized coating. This new material seems to be off-gasing a faint odor, especially when nestled in the phone where it gets some heat from the phone's internal components.

Samsung hasn’t stayed silent. A moderator on their EU community forum acknowledged the issue and offered an explanation similar to the heat-and-plastic theory.

Samsung’s website itself assures users the odor is temporary and should fade eventually. More importantly, it emphasizes the S Pen meets safety standards, so you can scribble away worry-free.



There may be a smell resembling burning emanating from the S Pen due to the new product's plastic or rubber components. This is a temporary phenomenon that gradually dissipates over time, so you can continue using the S Pen with confidence. Rest assured, the S Pen meets Samsung's stringent quality standards regarding harmful substances and safety, ensuring your peace of mind while using it.


New Product Smell: Similar to new car seats, rubber in new shoes, or leather in new bags, new products may emit odors during manufacturing that fade away over time.


So, is the smelly S Pen a major problem? Not really. It seems more like an annoyance than a safety hazard. However, it’s not exactly ideal. Hopefully, future S Pens will find a grippier solution that doesn’t come with an unexpected side effect that kind of (or very much so) stinks.


Have you experienced the S Pen aroma? Is it a minor inconvenience or a pen-demonium waiting to happen?



Images: Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime.com, r/samsung

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