The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G S-Pen experience - PhoneArena

The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G S-Pen experience

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The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G S-Pen experience
Although the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is S-Pen-compatible, it doesn't come with an S-Pen out of the box. The S-Pen is sold as a separate accessory to it, for $40. But exactly how would that $40 stylus enhance your Galaxy S21 Ultra and would the experience be any different from using a Galaxy Note? Let's find out!

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What's an S-Pen?

S-Pen is the name of Samsung's stylus for Galaxy tablets and smartphones. Certain Samsung tablets and phones, like the Galaxy Tab S7+ and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra come with an S-Pen out of the box and it is integral to their experience.

The S-Pen can be used to jot down notes, draw and fully interact with the phone or tablet in a more precise manner than with a finger.

Differences between Galaxy S21 Ultra S-Pen and Galaxy Note S-Pen

Not all S-Pens are equal.

The S21 Ultra S-Pen Samsung currently sells is similar to the one that comes with certain Galaxy tablets. Unlike the Galaxy Note S-Pen, the S21 Ultra one doesn't require charging, nor does it use Bluetooth. A downside of this is its lack of support for Air Actions (air gestures).

However, Samsung has announced that an "S-Pen Pro" with Bluetooth connectivity, more akin to the Galaxy Note S-Pen, will be coming out for the S21 Ultra later this year.

How to pair the S-Pen with Galaxy S21 Ultra?

There's no pairing. Easy-peasy.

As soon as you unbox the S-Pen and hover its tip over the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it will be detected and working with the phone. Unlike the more elaborate process of pairing an Apple Pencil with your iPad, there's virtually no pairing process here.

This is all made possible thanks to the Wacom pen technology that the S21 Ultra and its S-Pen employ. Wacom's electromagnetic resonance technology allows the phone and the stylus to detect each other even from a small distance. And it is because of that technology and its efficiency, that this particular S-Pen requires no pairing or charging.

What can I do with the S-Pen on a Galaxy S21 Ultra?

Anything from writing notes to multitasking like a pro.

At its core, the S-Pen is a great tool for jotting down notes, although you can certainly go beyond that and draw elaborate pieces of art with it. It's also quite a comfortable stylus to use for general interactions with your smartphone. If you have large fingers and you struggle to perform precise taps on the screen, using the S-Pen can help.

The S-Pen for S21 Ultra comes with a single clicky button, which when pressed near the screen of the phone will reveal a menu of S-Pen-related shortcuts. Those include a shortcut for creating a note and another for taking a screenshot and writing over it.

In the Samsung Notes app and other supported ones, holding the S-Pen button will make its tip serve as an eraser. However, as mentioned earlier, this S-Pen does not have support for Air Actions like the Galaxy Note S-Pen. Thus, you can't use this S-Pen as a wireless remote for your Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Writing notes with the S-Pen on the Galaxy S21 Ultra feels great, and personally, I find it to be a better experience than writing with the Apple Pencil on an iPad. This is due to the fact that the Apple Pencil has a hard plastic tip, while the S-Pen has a soft one. Thus, it delivers a more natural writing experience.

Do the Galaxy S21 or S21+ have S-Pen support?

Unfortunately only the Galaxy S21 Ultra has S-Pen support. The Galaxy S21 and S21+ do not support the S-Pen stylus, but if you're looking for another smartphone that does, and even comes with it, you may like the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

- $249 off with activation ($300 off with T-Mobile/Sprint)
$1049 99
$1299 99
Buy at BestBuy

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

- trade-in old device to get up to $650 off, $400 for a cracked screen phone
$999 99
Buy at Samsung

AT&T Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

- on 30 monthly instalments for, $700 off with trade-in
$43 34
Buy at AT&T

Verizon Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

- with 24 monthly instalments, $700 off a second one
$54 16
Buy at Verizon

Where do I store my Galaxy S21 Ultra S-Pen?

Unlike the Galaxy Note series, the Galaxy S21 Ultra doesn't come with a free S-Pen, nor does it have a compartment for it to reside in. Thus, unless you buy Samsung's somewhat chunky Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Silicone Cover with an S-Pen holder, the S-Pen will have to roll around on the table or in a pocket.

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