Gone are the days of sliding and rotating phones. Now there are phones that fold, flip and, most impressively, come with a stylus to bring your handwriting into the digital age.
Whether you are a professional, student, or artist, smart pens are invaluable because of their increased accuracy and tactile feedback, a feature that can’t be touched with a finger.
Why You Need Stylus With A Smartphone
As smartphone technology evolves, many things change. The biggest change is how smartphone input works.
What was once quick and easy to type on your phone’s physical keyboard now requires typing on a flat, pressure-sensitive virtual keyboard and that’s not the only problem.
Although the addition of touchscreens to smartphones would allow users to press and compare more accurately,
The result may not be as accurate as expected due to different finger sizes and screen pressure.
This is especially true for things like app signing or email- signatures.
This is where the pen shines! This gives users near-perfect accuracy in whatever they need to do, whether it’s writing, drawing or taking notes.
The Importance of Stylus:
- Protects the screen from unsightly fingerprints
- Protects the screen from scratches
- Help you write smoothly on the screen
- Digitally sign documents
- Help with creating paintings and artwork
The stylus allows users to easily navigate their phones. Some people prefer smartphones with a stylus for convenience.
The Best Smartphones with Stylus Pen
Here are the considerations:
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: Overall Best Pick
From design to performance, Samsung has taken special care to create the best pen smartphone in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which is hard to criticise.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5g that comes loaded with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Therefore, it comes bundled with flagship hardware and does not charge for it.
The most striking feature, however, is the 6.9-inch QHD+ display that covers the entire front of the phone with its edge-to-edge design.
In addition, while it looks delicate, it’s protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. To take advantage of the huge screen, you also get a high-precision stylus with a 9ms latency.
It’s an active pen, which means it can sense pressure on the screen. This makes it feel like you are writing on a piece of paper instead of glass.
With it, you can take notes, sign documents and even draw whenever you want.
It has a triple rear camera with 5x optical zoom, OIS, laser AF and super slow-motion support.
As for battery backup, you can easily get away with a day’s battery life with the S20’s 4500mAh battery module.
Therefore, if you want the best-performance smartphone with pen support, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a good choice.
- Massive screen
- 8K video recording
- Samsung’s best-in-class active S-pen
- Superior battery life
- 5G ready
- Hybrid SIM slot
- Slightly expensive
2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: The Runner Up
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra smartphone is the latest addition to the Samsung Galaxy Note line.
Samsung’s latest smartphone sports a 6.8-inch OLED display with a screen resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels and is HDR 10+ compatible.
The phone comes with a Snapdragon 888 SoC, which is paired with 128GB of internal storage and 12GB of RAM.
If you are a fan of big screens, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is definitely for you.
The 6.8-inch screen will look quite massive to most people, but the overall lack of a bezel means it’s not unwieldy.
The screen is sharp and bright, and we had no problems using the Galaxy S21 Ultra outdoors.
As mentioned earlier, it’s a WQHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, although it should be noted that Samsung defaults to FHD+ on the phone.
This display can dynamically adjust the refresh rate based on the type of content your phone is displaying.
This can go up to 10Hz for e-books, for example, or up to 120Hz when playing hi-fi games like PUBG at a higher refresh rate.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra also supports Samsung’s new S Pen accessory. This pen has fewer features than the Bluetooth S Pen of the Galaxy Note series, but it can be useful for drawing or taking notes.
In addition, if you want those features, Samsung sells the S Pen Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was the first device in the US to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile platform, and as expected, this phone absolutely flies.
I didn’t notice any lags or stuttering in my day-to-day use of this device, and it effectively chewed through any task I threw at it.
Not a single app felt sluggish or ran out of memory, likely thanks to the lightning-fast Snapdragon 888 processor and generous 16GB of RAM packed into my device.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes in between 128GB and 512GB of storage, which I think should be healthy for most people.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a large 5000 mAh battery. That’s a bigger battery than you’ll find in most devices, though it’s still bested by the ASUS ROG Phone 3’s 6,000mAh cell.
On lighter days, I got two full days out of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and finished the second full day with about 15% left.
On average, I expect most people to get just over a day and a half out of the S21 Ultra.
- Quad HD + 120Hz
- Fast fingerprint scanner
- Great battery life
- Excellent cameras
- The versatile camera of than iPhone 12 Pro Max
- No microSD card slot
- No charger included
3. Motorola’s Moto G Stylus: Affordable Phone with Stylus Pen
Besides Samsung, few OEMs sell a smartphone that supports the stylus. While Motorola’s Moto G Stylus is one of the few devices to feature a stylus.
Rather, it has relatively modest specs like an Helio G88 SoC, a 50-megapixel sensor, and a 6.8-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display.
These specs don’t make it a standout model, but the addition of a stylus immediately makes it more unique than traditional mid-range phones.
The smartphone has a light and elegant stylus that snaps neatly into the body of the phone.
The Moto G Stylus gives you plenty of workspaces to get the most out of your stylus. It has a 6.8-inch FHD display with a premium display and vivid colour reproduction.
It also comes pre-installed with the Moto Note app, which you can use to take notes, sketch, copy and paste text, highlight screenshots, or even draw with a pencil.
Too many stylus phones? We know. Therefore, to break the monotony, Moto G Stylus is the next best option.
This device is packed with powerful specifications neatly packed into a beautifully designed body.
With a Snapdragon 678 processor and 8GB of RAM, this phone has a great internal configuration considering the price.
Not to mention the fantastic 48MP quad-camera image quality and massive 256GB of storage to sweeten the deal even more.
For those of you who need an affordable phone that supports a pen and offers the best features without compromising on any segment, the Moto G Stylus is a great choice.
- It comes with an active stylus pen
- Punch-hole camera design
- Long Battery Life
- Superior audio quality
- Clean UI
- No waterproofing
4. OPPO Find N2 Flip: An Innovative Phone With Stylus
At first glance, the Find N2 Flip appears to be a close relative of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and dual cameras.
However, there is one big difference and that is the external display. Larger 3.26 inches, covered with glass for a perfectly smooth top surface.
You can’t control your entire phone with it like you can with the external display of a large flip phone, but you can still do more than you can with the Z Flip 4’s external panel.
Unfolding the phone gives you a more typical 6.8 FHD resolution. OLED internal screen 120Hz from 120 inches.
Oppo promises up to 1,600 nits of maximum brightness and a unique anti-reflective coating that ensures the screen looks its best even in bright light.
The main attraction is the display, camera, chipset and battery. The pen works great and very well on the large and tall screen of this phone.
A user who wants a pen-compatible smartphone should definitely check out the Oppo Find N2 smartphone.
Creative professionals can take advantage of the S Pen’s high precision and personalized features. The latency of the S pen is good enough for all tasks.
The Find N2 Flip has a 50MP main camera (takes 12.5MP or 50MP), an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 32MP internal selfie camera.
They are similar to the 12MP/12MP/10MP cameras offered by the Galaxy Z Flip 4,
However, considering you can get a quality camera phone like the Google Pixel 7 Pro for the same money, you are probably still a bit short so much changed.
Unlike the regular Find N2 or Galaxy Z Flip series, Oppo has opted for MediaTek’s Dimension 9000 and chipset for the Find N2 Flip instead of the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon chip.
The standard model comes with 8GB and 256GB of RAM and storage, respectively, which is better than the base Galaxy Z Flip 4’s 128GB.
The Find N2 Flip can be specified with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, which would be unprecedented for a foldable, tablet this size, but we may not get this model overseas.
After cleverly rearranging the internal components, Oppo equipped the Find N2 Flip with a 4,300mAh battery,
Which is big enough for a compact flip phone (the Galaxy Z Flip 4 has a 3,700mAh battery).
Oppo has also been generous with charging, equipping the Find N2 Flip with a 44W unit, topping the 25W max on the Z Flip 4, which doesn’t even come with a charger.
Oppo claims that adding a charger will give you a 50% charge in 23 minutes and a 100% charge in less than an hour.
- Usable cover display
- 44W fast charging
- Large battery for its size
- Speedy fast charging
- The main camera takes fantastic photos
- Gapless folding mechanism
- Limited cameras for the price
5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Expensive Pick
Our top pick for pen smartphones is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. One of the most advanced phones on the market today, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is, as mentioned, a foldable phone.
The company’s S Pen Fold Edition has an excellent 1.5mm nib with 4,096 pressure levels. It helps you write and draw as naturally and accurately as pen on paper.
You all know that Samsung never disappoints its users. This latest app makes writing and drawing more convenient.
The S Pen lets you tap precisely and annotate quickly while multitasking. This is a great accessory that Galaxy Note fans have been using for years.
The latest smartpen has a flexible screen that is softer than the glass panel of a typical smartphone.
Therefore, the new S Pen has a rounded, spring-loaded tip. When pressed, the pen tip gently retracts rather than digging into the folding screen.
If you want a premium phone with a stylus, this is definitely the best choice.
A bit reminiscent of the old handhelds thanks to the gigantic 7.6-inch screen, the AMOLED display can display up to 1768×2208 pixels at 120Hz.
It’s one of the best smartphone screens to date. In addition, Samsung is really pushing the phone’s premium features with a Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 octa-core chipset.
There is 5G, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and 3, 12MP cameras. The Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G, Octa-Core, and Adreno 660 offer decent performance with 5G support.
The estimated price of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is $819.50. The only downside is that it may not have an internal dock for the Samsung S Pen.
However, it has a handy S-shaped pen case that doubles as a hard case for the phone itself and is usually available as a discount bundle.
- S Pen support
- Dual 120Hz displays
- IPX8 waterproof
- Slightly cheaper than Fold 2
- Under panel, camera makes for clean screen appeal
- Still pricey
- Camera hardware not upgraded
- No built-in holster for S Pen
- No charger in the box
- The front camera is only 4MP
Things to Look for in the Best Stylus Smartphones
Before choosing, make sure that the phone you buy has the following strengths:
1. Pen type
There are two types of pens on the market: active and passive pens. In addition, there is a huge difference between them.
Passive pens are like extensions of your fingers and contain no electronic components.
Active pens, on the other hand, are electronic devices that can communicate directly with your smartphone. Phones with built-in pens usually have an active pen.
However, if you choose a phone that doesn’t have one, make sure it supports an external active pen for the best possible experience.
Luckily, for you, all the phones we have mentioned on our list support the active pen.
2. Accuracy and Lag
If the phone you purchase is not fully compatible with the third-party pen, you may experience touch input accuracy issues.
In addition, some low-end phones can show a lag between input and response time, which can ruin the whole experience.
So make sure you choose the right phone with minimum latency that supports all the different pen characters.
However, it’s not always the smartphone’s fault. Most of the third-party pens we have come across are of poor quality and don’t support any kind of active input.
3. Sensitivity to pressure
Pressure sensitivity is an important factor for many users, especially artists.
When you use a pencil on paper, the pressure you put on the pencil determines the thickness of the line you draw.
To replicate this effect on a digital screen, your smartphone must also interpret the force you apply. Only active pens can do this.
However, the sensitivity of each pen is different.
If you want full control over these settings, then choosing the Samsung Note series is a smart choice.
Not only do they offer best-in-class pens, but they also offer tons of customization options.
4. Hardware setup and storage
You should choose a phone with at least 4GB of RAM and a decent processor so you can multitask and get the most out of your pen.
How much storage you need will depend on your usage situation, but we don’t recommend going below 64GB.
In addition to driving components, a good camera, a great screen, powerful speakers and a strong battery are also essential.
Stylus is trendy because of its many useful features. There are many smartphones to choose from, so it all depends on your needs. If you only want the best device, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is definitely your first choice.
However, if you are a college student and just need a pen-compatible smartphone to take quick notes or solve math problems, our best budget option is the Moto G Stylus.