Ever since the Galaxy Note line was killed off, the S Pen has become less of an exclusive feature for Samsung phones and more of a standard feature that you get if buy either of its costliest two phones (a Galaxy S Ultra or a Galaxy Z Fold) every year.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra came with a built-in slot for the S Pen stylus last year, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra will follow that trend, as the leaks and rumors have told us. And, well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have just one thing to say to Samsung: I don’t care about the S Pen, and it’s unfortunate that it is being forced on everyone who wants the top Galaxy S model at the moment.
The reason is quite simple: the inclusion of the S Pen on the Galaxy S Ultra smartphones has messed up the awesome and crazy ideal design and form that the company managed to achieve with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The S21 Ultra has S Pen support just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it doesn’t have a dedicated S Pen slot, and it’s all the better for it.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra had pretty much the most comfortable and ergonomic designs Samsung ever came up with for its large-screen flagships. Its corners were rounded just right, and it was also narrower so customers could more easily use it with one hand. The S Pen was optional because it didn’t come in the box or sit inside the phone itself, and that was a much better solution in my opinion.
The S Pen should have remained an optional accessory
The Galaxy S22 Ultra, on the other hand, carries the traditional Note design. That means it’s too wide and a pain to use at times, with rather sharp corners that dig into your palm. If you put a case on, things get even more uncomfortable. The same will no doubt be the case with the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the reason for all that is the S Pen.
Look, the S Pen is a great tool, and Samsung offers the best stylus experience on both smartphones and tablets. But it simply isn’t a tool that’s used or desired by most people, including myself and at least two of my colleagues. Most of us would prefer a bigger battery or a bigger camera sensor, and, again, the near-ideal design of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as mentioned above.
Note fans will probably shake their heads at the suggestion, but when you look at it objectively, a built-in S Pen slot is more of a hindrance than something that improves the day-to-day experience. I won’t say Samsung needs to bring back the Galaxy Note lineup, as the Korean giant is hoping to make foldables more popular and killing the Note brand was a necessary step, but I do wish it would make the S Pen optional again.
Sadly, it is highly improbable Samsung will actually remove the S Pen slot from the Galaxy S Ultra smartphones, considering how the company wants to sell the top Galaxy S model as the phone that has everything one could ask for and not lose its Galaxy Note fanbase, at least until foldable phones become a viable option for everyone.
But one can dream, right?