After a year as an optional accessory, the S Pen stylus is poised to become a core feature for the Galaxy S22 Ultra as part of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22 launch. But it looks like that stylus/phone combo won’t be without competition from another Android device.
XDA Developers reports that Motorola is working on a “next gen” stylus with much of the same functionality as the S Pen for its upcoming Motorola Edge 30 Ultra handset.
XDA Developers’ source describes the Bluetooth “Smart Stylus” as “next gen” thanks to a feature set that’s a step up from the one bundled with the Motorola Moto G Stylus, though that phone (pictured above) is marketed as a budget device. The new stylus will offer support for both air gestures and wireless charging. Meanwhile, its button can reportedly be used for media controls, it can write directly into text boxes and it can also be used as an air mouse with an external display.
So far, so S Pen, but it looks like Motorola’s vision for the smart stylus is closer to Samsung’s 2021 output than 2022— an optional accessory, rather than a core part of the handset that takes advantage of it. XDA Developers also shared sketches of the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra’s Folio case, where the Smart Stylus is shown poking out of a pouch on the back.
This likely indicates reverse wireless charging support from the phone, but having a stylus as a separate accessory is certainly not ideal, as buyers of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3 found out. S Pen support was included with both handsets, but there was no place to dock the stylus when not in use, requiring a bulky official case for storage. You can use the pen without a dock, of course, but carrying the S Pen loose is a recipe for losing it.
Despite this unwelcome parallel, Motorola’s Folio Case will apparently have a go at improving the Smart Stylus experience. XDA Developers explains that software triggers are in place for when the stylus is taken out, with the phone switching on Bluetooth so it connects. You'll also reportedly have the option to choose what app automatically opens when the phone is either locked or unlocked. In addition, it's rumored that stylus will notice when it hasn’t been in the case for a while and alert the user, in case it's been forgotten about.
Away from Smart Stylus functionality, Motorola's case apparently includes a strip down the middle, letting users see notifications and answer/decline calls without opening it up.
As for the phone itself, reports suggest that the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra will pack Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, backed by either 8 or 12GB RAM. It will apparently feature a 6.8-inch 1080p OLED screen, and pack a triple camera array with 50MP wide and ultrawide lenses, with an additional 2MP sensor for depth.
There's no word on a release date yet, but the similarity to the S Pen-toting Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra means that Motorola will likely decide to launch it sooner rather than later.