Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Forum

General Shattered the back of my Note 5

I had the two day old phone at the dinner table with me and put it on the chair between my legs for a second. Of course the phone slipped and fell on its back. I didn't even look closely at first because it was less than a two foot fall and the phone is all metal and gorilla glass 4, but sure enough the whole back is shattered! It did not have a case - I am expecting my case in the mail today by the way...

I love this phone, but this is a design that I think will lead to a lot of headaches for Samsung. Not being able to remove the battery or install an SD is no problem to me. Making the back of a phone out of a convex piece of glass is a big problem especially because it cannot simply be removed and replaced. This was an unreasonably short fall for a phone to break and I would go as far as to say this is a terrible design and I would much prefer the plastic back from my good old GS5. If it broke on this fall that means it will also break relatively easily compared to previous models when it has a case on unless you go with one of the really thick cases that make the Notes as big as a paperback book.

So I talked to Samsung and they will except the phone by mail to be fixed for a fee $$$ and returned within about two weeks. AT&T will replace it under extended warranty with a deductible. I don't want to waste a warranty use on a phone that still works fine. Neither of these solutions are good, so I guess I will just live with it until someone posts a DIY video of how to replace the back.

I was all excited about this phone too. :(


#1 John I, Aug 29, 2015
Sorry this happened to your phone. I did go with the Otterbox Defender because I was so afraid of dropping it! I figured something like this would happen!! Not a good move for Samsung if you ask me!! Hope it works out for you!!
#2 Mdraej99, Aug 29, 2015
warranty should be for a year or at&t is different
#3 king lion, Aug 29, 2015
1) Insurance via carrier is one thing,to which there is a deductible almost always.
2) The mfg warranty in the USA does not cover such damage:
This is the very 1st opening statement regarding warranty coverage,the OP nor anyone is covered by warranty for such:

This Limited Warranty does not cover: (a) defects or damage resulting from accident, misuse, abnormal use, abnormal conditions, improper storage, exposure to liquid, moisture, dampness, sand or dirt, neglect, or unusual physical, electrical or electromechanical stress; (b) scratches, dents and cosmetic damage, unless caused by SAMSUNG; (c) defects or damage resulting from excessive force or use of a metallic object when pressing on a touch screen; (d) equipment that has the serial number or the enhancement data code removed, defaced, damaged, altered or made illegible; (e) ordinary wear and tear; (f) defects or damage resulting from the use of Product in conjunction or connection with accessories, products, or ancillary/peripheral equipment not furnished or approved by SAMSUNG; (g) defects or damage resulting from improper testing, operation, maintenance, installation, service, or adjustment not furnished or approved by SAMSUNG, including but not limited to installation of unauthorized software and unauthorized root access, both of which shall void this limited warranty; (h) defects or damage resulting from external causes such as collision with an object, fire, flooding, dirt, windstorm, lightning, earthquake, exposure to weather conditions, theft, blown fuse, or improper use of any electrical source; (i) defects or damage resulting from cellular signal reception or transmission, or viruses or other software problems introduced into the Product; or (j) Product used or purchased outside the United States. This Limited Warranty covers batteries only if battery capacity falls below 80% of rated capacity or the battery leaks, and this Limited Warranty does not cover any battery if (i) the battery has been charged by a battery charger not specified or approved by SAMSUNG for charging the battery; (ii) any of the seals on the battery are broken or show evidence of tampering; or (iii) the battery has been used in equipment other than the SAMSUNG device for which it is specified.
#4 KOLIO, Aug 29, 2015
These phones weren't designed for the masses. They were designed for 'the 1%' - no, not NECESSARILY THAT 1%, just the 1% of people that literally want their phone to effectively be a piece of jewelry, and they are willing and able to spend nearly a thousand dollars for it.

It's imprudent for Samsung or its customers to expect that for the majority of people the majority of the time, simple situations like an object accidentally being dropped or falling isn't going to occur very often. It's normal for that to happen. This phone definitely isn't designed to reliably tolerate that. Thus, the only way reasonable people can take sensible care and caution with this device is to put it in a protective case. But then there's the whole unavoidable stupidity of Samsung's decisions right there - once the phone is in a protective case, all that gratuitous, pretty glass and shiny metal is TOTALLY MOOT.

Samsung has made the classic, pathetic blunder of not knowing how to avoid messing with success. There are a lot of previous Note customers out there who were waiting to buy the Note 5 - who have been severely disappointed and turned off by Samsung abandoning it's proven successful design ethos to replace it with an entirely different one. If they'd have been smart they would have made a new Note that gave all the old Note owners more of all the things they already loved about their old Notes. And they also would have ADDED a phone jewelry model all unto itself to catch a much different chunk of the market place as well. Instead they've been diddling around with various design splinters of 'edge' models. They should stop doing that and just stick a curved edge on everything and be done with it.

#5 johnpjackson, Aug 29, 2015
This phone is so slippery it's crazy!!! Used my Note 3 case while waiting for the Note 5 case to come. I use the silicon tpu cases. They are the best and take the shock of most falls. My case came 2 days ago. Total relief. I prefer the fake leather back Easy to grip. Now waiting for the screen protector, Amazon says today delivery. That sucks for you. Sorry.
#6 Fun Human, Aug 29, 2015
I to buy OtterBoxes for all my active phones,Well worth the protection.
#7 AMOCO, Aug 29, 2015
For these prices, Samsung ought to offer what HTC calls Uh Oh protection.

Free, one year, no questions asked - and it saved me from having an expensive repair on the phone WifelyMon dropped face down.

OP, I'm sorry that you got bitten, trust me, I can relate. If it helps any, tell yourself that Murphy's Law said that if the back was plastic, it would have landed face first.

But double the glass and it doubles the chances for a bad outcome, so how about it, Samsung? Where's the Uh Oh protection?
#8 EarlyMon, Aug 29, 2015
I feel your pain, but, now it has that "premium feel" that the masses said they wanted.
They were tired of the flimsy plastic and whined, moaned, and had temper tantrums to get a "premium feel".
#9 pool_shark, Aug 29, 2015
Thanks for the replies and kind words. What is funny is the back of the phone looks kind of cool being shattered and the case that I bought is clear on the back to show off the pretty glass. Haha, well at least I will have a story to tell every time I show someone the phone.

On a side note, I saw a tear down video today. It looks like the back pops off pretty easily AFTER HEATING WITH A HEATGUN! Anyway, I am an electronics engineer and technician, so I will probably replace the back at some point if I can buy a replacement.
#10 John I, Aug 29, 2015
You could keep the KEWL Pop-Art/Psychedelic effect,slap a clear bodyskin on it & call it a day. ;)
#11 KOLIO, Aug 29, 2015
I actually got a little shard of glass in my thumb, so I covered the whole back with clear packing tape and trimmed it cleanly at the edges with a razor. Basically a poor man's clear body skin.
#12 John I, Aug 30, 2015
While this is true, you can't design a phone thinking about a case. Under this direction it really shouldn't matter what any phone looks like at all then by that logic, right? Not just Samsung, but all manufacturers, and that's just silly. People want nice looking phones , even if some or most cover them up with cases.

If people choose not to protect their phone with a case, it's a risk obviously. With a glass backed phone, the danger is certainly high for breakage - as any iPhone 4 customer will attest to. I do agree that some other material on the back might still look high-end, but not break so easily.

All that said, I am sorry about the OP's phone, that sucks. I would be very mad too if this were me.
#13 Don S, Aug 30, 2015
It's glass. will break
#14 ceva321, Aug 30, 2015
Any idea where I can get a replacement back for this thing? Funny thing is that two of the teardown videos I have seen ended up breaking the back before they got it off! There are definitely going to be more than a few needed new backs soon.

On an up note, it appears that the Note 5 is actually pretty sturdy in the fall tests as long as it falls on the edges or the screen face. With a decent case, this phone should be as sturdy as any.
#15 John I, Sep 2, 2015
Considering the phone hasn't been out two weeks yet,outside of Samsung,my guess is it's gonna be awhile before replacement parts are readily available from the likes of Amazon/e-Bay/etc......
Wouldn't hurt to give Sammy a call:
#16 KOLIO, Sep 2, 2015
Another not so pleasant thought just passed through my warped mind:
Samsung has a potential cash cow on their hands w/glass replacement.
It wouldn't surprise me if the replacement glass isn't available via 3rd party for quite some time.

When you eventually get your phone repaired, I highly recommend the SKINOMI body skin kit.
I have the clear one on mine & while I don't expect miracles of protection, it may very well aid in preventing some damage, much as a screen protector does on the front side.
#17 KOLIO, Sep 2, 2015
Exactly why I stayed with the Note 4. Besides being able to take off the back cover, I can replace the battery, SD card and swap different backs like mine:
#18 jack58, Sep 3, 2015
Smh... Same thing happened to me.. Phone fell from my lap while getting out of the car.. And the whole back screen cracked.. But to add to that.. The phones screen is black now... Just from that little drop.. The front screen is totally scratch free , but somehow the phone stopped working because of the drop on the back of the phone..
#19 Dante Adkins, Oct 30, 2015
This is just one more reason this phone reminds me of the older iPhones. They were always breaking too thanks to the glass backs. I was seriously thinking of getting this phone but won't now. I don't use cases and i don't plan to start now. I can live with everything else but not that. Now if Samsung comes out with a Note 6 with a different back, THEN we'll talk. Disappointing.
#20 clitrenta, Nov 3, 2015
I've never understood the excitement over a glass back. Unless the back lit up and was a separate active screen I see no point in glass. It is not a good heatsink nor heat conductor so makes phone hotter inside. Hard shiny plastic would look as good. Leatherette grippy padded back would be easier to grip and forgiving of short falls. Aluminum would be pretty, light, and unshatterable. Glass on back is just weird. I suppose transparent glass giving a view of innards would be cool but black glass? I don't get it...and yes I would still love a Note 5
#21 recDNA, Nov 3, 2015