Samsung Galaxy Note 20 leak just revealed a handy S Pen upgrade

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 front and back
(Image credit: Windows United)

The Galaxy Note 20's S Pen stylus is getting a new feature in the form of a laser pointer/cursor function.

Jimmy Is Promo (via XDA Developers) showed off the settings screen for this feature, which explains how you can use the pointer by holding the side button on the stylus and moving it around.

Although the S Pen looks much like the Galaxy Note 10's stylus, this is an interesting new addition that builds off of the air gestures Samsung added to the previous generation. As the screen on the Note 20 shows, you are able to select a color for the pointer, and alter its size and how its trail is displayed. It seems to be usable as a cursor too, able to highlight areas, select icons and navigate around the phone based on what Jimmy writes in the tweet.

Galaxy Note 20 S Pen

(Image credit: Jimmy is Promo)

Since Samsung likes to push its DeX smartphone-desktop software with the Galaxy Note series of phones, the addition of a built-in laser pointer fits in with the idea you can replace a larger tablet, or perhaps even a laptop, with your Note 20. This system has yet to become a big hit, but Samsung is clearly still working on improving it.

Jimmy Is Promo's previous leak showed us the design of the Note 20 Ultra. The older leaks have been proven mostly accurate, with Samsung going for a boxier design with sharper corners compared to the Galaxy S20 series but keeping the curved display, central punch-hole camera and large rectangular camera bump on the back, containing three main sensors and a depth sensor based on what other rumors have claimed.

Note 20 specs (and maybe bad news for display)

We're also expecting the Note 20 to feature a Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset with 12GB RAM, and between 4,000 mAh and 5,000 mAh of battery capacity, depending on the version.

Some of the replies Jimmy has made to comments on this thread also reveal some interesting details. For example, the rumor that the S Pen would contain a microphone is apparently untrue. 

One big concern about the Note 20's display is whether it can manage both a QHD resolution and a high 120Hz refresh rate simultaneously. The Galaxy S20 series can only manage QHD resolution at 60Hz and 1080p at 120Hz, which disappointed some users. Unfortunately, Jimmy says that this remains the case on the Note 20 Ultra he's using, although he believes that this could be changed via a software update in time for launch.

Samsung has now announced that its Galaxy Unpacked event will take place on August 5. The teaser for this event shows what looks like an S Pen stylus, seemingly confirming everyone's suspicions that this is where the Note 20 will get its debut. We're also expecting a handful of other big Samsung product launches, including the Galaxy Fold 2, the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Tab S7 tablet.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.