Although I have used an iPad pro with pencil for several years, it is always when using a Galaxy Note that I appreciate using a stylus. Samsungs S-Pen is the quintessential stylus, the phone that brought it back from the dead after being killed by Steve Jobs. The phone features a 6.8” display meaning touch interfaces are plenty large enough, but still manages to make a stylus useful.
Taking a step back, you soon realise that Samsung got something very right when introducing a stylus. When the original version hit the shelves, many people bought it solely for the screen size, but now when everything is that size and more prominent, users buy it for the stylus and Samsung hit it perfectly.
With each new version of the Galaxy Note seems to pack in new features to the tiny stylus, very few are actually useful. Potentially a camera button introduced with the Note9 might help in some situations, no one wants to use there stylus like a magic wand to swipe through photos or interact with the display.
The S-Pen not only gives you the option to handwrite things but by aiming at creatives Samsung have realised that a whole new interaction level can take place. I can now scrub through a video with my finger while trimming the start and finish down with the S-Pen. I have a much more accurate control on sliders or touching up small areas of a photo just by popping a pen out the bottom of my device.
The S-Pen is much more than a device for handwriting – although it is better at it now than ever – it is a whole different interaction level. Once I press the button and pull out the stylus, I have navigation and interaction options other phones don’t have with just touch. The real beauty also is I don’t have to use it or even see it when not in use, it isn’t stuck to the side of my device, it is just a click away.