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Here’s why the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra delivers the best S Pen experience


Last updated: August 5th, 2020 at 16:18 UTC+02:00

The Galaxy Note 20 series, and especially the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, promises a handful of big improvements in the S Pen department, from a lower latency to an updated software experience. Samsung took us on a virtual tour of the new S Pen at Galaxy Unpacked 2020, and there’s a lot to discuss so let’s get started.

Before we move on, however, we need to highlight the fact that the Galaxy Note 20 S Pen experience is not the same as with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The updated Samsung Notes app is available for both, but of the two smartphone models, only the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra boasts 9ms latency for the S Pen and a 120Hz display.

With that in mind, we’ll disregard the base Galaxy Note 20 model for the time being, as Samsung appears to have done the same in many of its short presentations about the S Pen.

Aiming for a more natural handwriting experience

Samsung has apparently put a lot of effort in numerous areas of development with the goal of delivering a more natural handwriting experience to S Pen users. To begin with, the new S Pen has had its acceleration sensors and gyroscope enhanced so that it receives coordinates more frequently, thus leading to a smoother experience.

Samsung also improved the reaction time of the S Pen by using in-house technology to write directly on the screen buffer. More so, the company leveraged AI and machine learning to collect and process hundreds of thousands of sample data on various shapes, letters, and patterns.

All of these new improvements combined with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s high 120Hz refresh rate display should lead to an S Pen experience like never before.

Better Air Actions and Samsung Notes

Samsung also worked on the software front to improve the Galaxy Note 20’s S Pen and has focused primarily on enhancing Air Actions and Samsung Notes.

Air Actions now works with virtually any application and supports five default gestures. A lower clamp gesture with the S Pen turns on Smart Select, while shaking the S Pen will enable Screen Write. A left clamp gesture was linked to the ‘back’ key, while Recent Apps can be accessed by performing a right clamp gesture with the S Pen. Finally, you can return to the home screen from any app by performing an upper clamp gesture.

Last but certainly not least, Samsung appears to have given its own Notes app a lot more attention with the release of the Galaxy Note 20 series. The company claims it has improved the app according to user analysis, and it all sounds very promising indeed.

Samsung Notes now has more options for background colors, a selection of templates, a PDF importing feature, and an option to sort and find pages with more ease. Furthermore, audio bookmarks can be auto-synced with written content, and tilted handwritten text can be adjusted with the new Auto Straighten feature. Adding to this are the new page management and folder systems complete with drag-and-drop functionality.

In conclusion, the Galaxy Note 20 / Galaxy Note 20 Ultra S Pen experience appears to have improved by quite a lot, and S Pen enthusiasts may find a few additional reasons to upgrade to one of the 2020 models. Keep in mind that some software features are likely to be added to the Galaxy Note 10 lineup with future firmware updates, but only time will tell exactly when that will happen. We’ll keep you posted.

Phone Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
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