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Samsung’s S Pen should be an accessory instead of sitting inside the phone

Opinion
By 

Last updated: February 16th, 2022 at 19:52 UTC+02:00

The S Pen is no longer a Galaxy Note feature. Samsung introduced S Pen support to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Z Fold lineups last year, and the company put the final nail in the Galaxy Note coffin this year with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which not only supports the S Pen but also has a built-in slot for it.

And Samsung has been able to do it without making any sacrifices to battery capacity: The Galaxy S22 Ultra has the same 5,000 mAh battery as the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. But will Samsung be able to repeat that feat with the Galaxy Z Fold 4, which is also expected to feature a built-in S Pen slot?

Or better yet, will the S Pen get in the way of battery and other component upgrades on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or any other phones Samsung will launch with an S Pen? My friend Mihai recently talked about how the S Pen doesn’t appear to be an issue for battery capacity, as evidenced by the S22 Ultra, but how sure can we be that this will continue to be the case moving forward? And of course, there’s always the question of how Samsung could have used that internal space if the S Pen wasn’t a thing.

I mean, it would be great to see a 5,000 mAh battery inside the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but with the S Pen taking up some of the space inside, such an upgrade in battery capacity may not be possible. On the other hand, the Z Fold 3 has a 4,400 mAh battery — a 100 mAh downgrade over the Z Fold 2 despite not having an S Pen slot — so the effects of the S Pen seem rather random at this point.

Although we like the S Pen for what it is and wouldn’t want to see it gone entirely from Samsung’s device lineup, there is a valid counter-argument to be made that the S Pen isn’t a vital component used by most people. It’s a purpose-built accessory, and if you can’t find a purpose for it, then its presence alone could start annoying you.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a great phone in a vacuum, but we can’t deny that it is a bit of a letdown for Galaxy S flagship purists. The S Pen was forced upon them throughout Samsung’s restructuring. From this perspective alone, perhaps the S Pen should have remained an optional accessory: Why sacrifice internal space for a feature that not many people use instead of repurposing that space for more vital features.

Then again, perhaps the S Pen will become a less-than-optional accessory in the eyes of Galaxy S22 Ultra customers once they get to use it. It may become a ‘must have’ feature. Only time will tell if Samsung’s decision to bet on the S Pen will pay off or hurt the company in the long run.

What about you? Do you think the S Pen should be an optional accessory, or should it be able to sit inside any phone that supports it?

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Opinion Galaxy S22 UltraGalaxy Z Fold 4S Pen
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