Samsung can’t seem to catch a break at the moment. It’s emerged that the Galaxy Tab S5e has a rather frustrating design flaw that can lead to Wi-Fi access being shut off altogether when the lower-left corner of the device is covered with your hand — and we can’t see a software update rectifying it.
That’s because the appendage is blocking the Wi-Fi signal from reaching the integrated receiver, which we assume is located somewhere towards the bottom-left of the Galaxy Tab S5e when held horizontally with the front-facing camera pointing to the left, and a software tweak couldn’t fix that.
The only workaround is to hold the device the other way around while using it in a horizontal orientation, with the front-facing camera directed to the right rather than the left. That’ll position the Wi-Fi receiver at the top of the slate to the right, where it won’t be blocked by your hand.
To be clear, the issue doesn’t come into play while the device is being used in a vertical orientation, with the front-facing camera at the top. And that’s, once again, because the Wi-Fi receiver is located too high up to be obstructed by your hand, which will be wrapped around a corner at the bottom.
The issue doesn’t always result in a complete drop in signal, though. We here at SamMobile HQ only noticed a 50% dip in strength. That’s still enough of a drop to affect performance while streaming a movie through Netflix, for example, or fighting to the end in an intense Battle Royale on Fortnite.
In fact, we couldn’t make our Galaxy Tab S5e lose signal altogether. Then again, that could be because we were gripping it with Hulk strength, leading us to question how tight those reporting complete signal loss were clutching their device. But that’s no excuse — this shouldn’t be an issue at all.
People use tablets horizontally, and this should have been tested from the get-go.
A replacement won’t help
Those who contacted Samsung to complain of the issue were sent a replacement within a matter of days, and the exact same thing happened again. Although, that’s to be expected — Samsung hasn’t changed the positioning of the component, so the issue will arise time and time again.
For now, all you can do is hold the device the other way around.