The S Pen stylus support on Galaxy S21 Ultra: features, price, compatible cases

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The S Pen stylus support on Galaxy S21 Ultra: features, price, compatible cases
Last year, Samsung did something unexpected as it issued not one, but two Note line devices with an S Pen stylus. It was a harbinger of things to come, and the rumor mill went abuzz that Samsung is preparing to ditch the Note line altogether, in favor of stylus-laden S21 Ultra and Z Fold 3 models that would make it redundant.

Fret not, though, the Note 21 is still happening, as it turned out that the S21 Ultra S Pen will come tacked on via a stylus-equipped case, while the Z Fold 3 stylus experience won't be the same as on the Note line. What would be the major differences between the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Note 20 Ultra S Pen features then? Here's the scoop.

Do S21 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra use the same S Pen?

  • No

In the FCC's recent Galaxy S21 Ultra certification testing docs, the following two wireless interactions between the phone and its S Pen stylus are listed:


The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, however, interacts with its S Pen stylus in another manner, too, according to the Note 20 Ultra's FCC filing, and it is wireless charging.


Are there any differences in features between Note 20 Ultra S Pen and S21 Ultra S Pen?


  • Yes

Obviously, the big difference is a lack of a silo to house the S Pen stylus, so you'd have to keep and charge it in a separate case. This means that features like automatically launching the Notes app upon taking the S Pen out are a nonstarter. The rest of the traditional S Pen stuff, thoug, like Screen Off, Air Command, and Air View, are here, as per the leaked screenshot.


Moreover, the fact that both Hover and Click modes are supported, doesn't mean that the S Pen on the S21 Ultra won't be different in design from the one in the Note 20 Ultra despite that they are said to be of the same price. 

As you can see below, the S21 Ultra stylus is not as rounded as the Tab S7 one, while the clicker on top which serves for taking the S Pen out of its Note 20 Ultra is not present. The action button is on the side of the S21 Ultra, much like it is on the Galaxy Tab-compatible stylus from Samsung, just seemingly sitting lower.



How much does S Pen cost for the S21 Ultra?


  • $40

The Galaxy Tab S7 S Pen costs $60 to replace when not in promo like now, while the Note 20 line carries a $40 S Pen. The S21 Ultra S Pen price is also said to hover around the 40 USD/EUR mark (pun intended), too, and the fact that it can both hover and click may fool you it won't be all that different than the one in the Note 20 Ultra. Maybe in functionality, but it will differ in design as it will have to go into compatible cases.

What S21 Ultra cases is the S Pen compatible with?


  • Clear View Cover
  • Silicone Cover bundle
  • S-View Flip Cover
  • Rugged Protective Standing Cover

These are the cases for the S21 Ultra so far that are said to arrive with versions that include the venerable S Pen slot. Needless to say, Samsung may include more models down the road, or invent completely new accessories centralling on the first S Pen compatibility with its S-line phones.


Is the S Pen from Galaxy Tab compatible with a Galaxy phone?


  • Yes

Samsung support's answer to this question is as follows: "Yes, you can use their S Pens with each other, by pairing the Tab S6’s S Pen with the Galaxy Note10/Note10+ via Bluetooth," so that compatibility likely stays for later devices as well.

Can you use the S Pen on other devices?


  • No

The S Pen is only half of the story, as the display it will write on has to have the digitizer to recognize its pressure points and react accordingly. In short, you won't be able to write with the Galaxy S21 Ultra's S Pen on, say, the Galaxy S21+ display, as large as it may be.
 

Related phones

Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Display 6.8 inches 3200 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP (Quad camera) 40 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 5000 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Display 6.9 inches 3088 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 108 MP (Triple camera) 10 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ 12GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4500 mAh
  • OS Android 11 Samsung One UI

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