Here’s Why the S Pen Remains the Galaxy Note’s Best Feature

Editor
Updated

A Samsung Galaxy Note without an S Pen, is just another large smartphone that won’t let me take notes in the manner that I've become accustomed to.

When Samsung first started including a stylus with its Note phablet, the S Pen solved just that need -- it was a writing tool for quickly taking notes. But with every iteration of the Note, the S Pen has evolved, allowing you to capture specific parts of the screen and animate messages.

The advent of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 brings more changes. And thanks to those enhancements, the S Pen is poised to enter another evolutionary phase. Here are the top new features of S Pen that comes with Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note.

Bluetooth Low Energy

Previous versions of the S Pen relied on electromagnetic field technology to power the peripheral when it was close to the Note. The new S Pen uses Bluetooth LE connectivity to provide a charge. The pen has a range of approximately 328 feet (10 meters) provided there's no interference, which should come in handy with the pen's new remote control features.

Slideshows

You're giving this huge presentation at your job. You've plugged in the Note 9 into an external display and you're raring to go. Until you realize that you've misplaced the clicker -- or did you? Nope, just whip out the S Pen and click the button to advance your slides. The trick also works with your music playlists.

MORE: Surprise! Samsung's Already Letting You Reserve a Note 9

Camera

Thanks to its AI technology, the Note 9's camera is already wicked smart. But the S Pen elevates camera usage even farther by allowing you to launch the camera app and snap a picture. All you have to do is double tap the button on the S Pen to start the app. Once the AI powering the S9’s shooter has made all the adjustments to get the perfect shot, tap again to capture it.

Charging

Samsung is calling the new S Pen the "ultimate remote control." But like any remote control, the S Pen needs a little recharge now and then. Thankfully, every now and then won't take too long. When the S Pen needs a charge, 40 seconds will yield 30 minutes of power.

Customization

Now that the S Pen is essentially a magic wand, you're going to want a way to properly channel all that razzle-dazzle. Samsung has added a customization option in the settings menu so you can designate certain actions for the pen for built-in apps like Camera and Voice Recorder. Samsung is providing developers with an SDK so they can add S Pen functionality to their apps, making the stylus even more powerful over time.