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Even when the phone was just a rumor, the Galaxy Note was one of the most highly anticipated devices to be released by Samsung. The device had it all: a huge screen, a good display, great battery life, and also... a stylus. Well, a stylus with a fancy name - the S Pen. The S Pen had a few more features than your run-of-the-mill stylus, but none-the-less it's still one of the more defining factors of the Galaxy Note line. While the use of a stylus is certainly nothing foreign to us, the importance of one in a smartphone device has dwindled to the point where the Galaxy Note/Note II are the only smartphones that bother to include a stylus anymore.

There was a time not so long ago that the way the Galaxy Note is set up wasn’t out of the ordinary at all - it was standard to have a stylus dock within the smartphone, with a small stylus that could be used to easily pinpoint a certain area on a touchscreen device. It isn't hard for people to see that the finger-to-screen ratio on most phones is somewhat unbalanced. Our fingers do take up a much larger area on a smaller screen than we might like - and that's where the usefulness of a stylus comes into play. So why is it that we only include a stylus in two of the biggest phones on the market and not anything else?

I feel like it would be a useful accessory to include with any smartphone. Sometimes you come across those points in your phone where it's really annoying or difficult to get it to register with the exact part of your finger that you want it to register. You can't help the fact that the rest of your finger tries to help out. Nails are also out of the question as most touch screens are heat-sensitive and not pressure sensitive like they used to be.

"Well there you go, Anna. The screens are heat-sensitive, that's why they don't include styli anymore."

Wrong! Plus, most generic styli that are for sale now resemble something of this nature:

Which I have found isn't that much better than using your finger in the first place. Samsung has found a way to make a stylus that almost looks and feels like a real pen being in your hand, and manages to make it work and includes it with the price of the smartphone. Don't try to tell me that other smartphones can't do it for patenting reasons. I know other companies can do it. HTC created something similar with their tablet, the HTC View. Except for instead of including their stylus, called the HTC Scribe, in the box you had to purchase it separately for $80. I'd have to say I find that a little overpriced, considering you're trying to sell me on it for a tablet which already makes it easier to navigate with fingers anyway. I mean, you really only need one or the other - a big screen or a stylus. But it's still cool when you have both.

So I guess that’s where I’m a little confused. People really dig the Note and Note II because it has the S Pen, among other notable qualities. It’s not like the idea or the use of a stylus is anything new - they just enhanced it. There’s no patents that claim that Samsung owns rights to all styli or anything of the nature. But I mean, if you come out with the H Pen or the iPen or something like that you might wake up with a lawsuit at your doorstep. Still, if styli is still a relevant, useful product; why don';t we include them anymore? People can claim the stylus is a thing of the past all day long but would the Note be nearly as popular without it? I think not.

I'll leave it up to you to decide, readers. Do you think more manufacturers should include styli with their smartphones, or do you think the stylus in the form of an S Pen should remain almost exclusive to Samsung's Galaxy Note line? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


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100 Reactions to this post

"Do you think more phones should include a stylus?"


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Susie Tracey
Susie Tracey I use my iPhone 5 as my main phone but I always have android device and for the last few months it has been the Note because I love the S-pen! While I don't believe I'd use it with my iPhone there are so many things I would use it for on my iPad. Yes, the Note is large and bulky but its the best android I've owned (I hate the galaxy SIII... yikes what a piece of plastic crap). I loved my Infuse and that was built exactly like the Note but no pen... btw there is no such words as styluses !! Sounds hideous... The word is styli.
David Moreno
David Moreno Not every phone should or could pull it off like the Note series. But I think every tablet should definitely come with one built in or at least be compatible with one. It opens up huge capabilities most people haven't even tried!
Andrew Bissel
Andrew Bissel Stylus is great to have as an option but I don't find it essential
Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon Cesario you go kill yourself, your a moron. Not everyone likes big phones like you.
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. Paul yeah go kill yourself. What a moron.
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. All I know is I can't wait for the Note 3.
Shawn Gergler
Shawn Gergler Yes. NOTE 2 needs an eraser on the other end of it's stylus though.
Jeff Seaver
Jeff Seaver Yes
Anthony Evans Jr
Anthony Evans Jr htc did.. the flyer and the jetstream both used that electronic pen..
Joel Diaz
Joel Diaz I guess its nice to have
Odin Johnson
Odin Johnson "Styluses" is not a word people! Grammar check please! Styli is the plural pronunciation.
Milton Gfl Williams
Milton Gfl Williams The note 2 doesn't have a stylus, it has a magic wand :)
Paul Alexandru
Paul Alexandru styluses suck! Samsung FUCKING SUCKS and their fucking 6 inch phones i'd rather kill myself than have such a fucking big "phone"
Curtis Owens
Curtis Owens wait how does making them too large imply the need to have a stylus. I would think smaller screens would benefit more than larger ones since some people will want more precise control of the location of the pointer. And a stylus does that.
Luis Arturo Batista Aquino
Luis Arturo Batista Aquino No i hate stylus
Waii Hui
Waii Hui ipad mini with a stylus would be useful.
Jonathan Persson
Jonathan Persson Ain't nobody got time for that
Nikola Karovic
Nikola Karovic On my note 2 it is useful stuff. Wacom make stylus for Samsung
Gordon Christie
Gordon Christie Yes but I. If Samsung make them
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey So many clueless morons commenting on here. And clearly most don't own a Note and the few idiots who do, just own one to jump on a bandwagon. People who truly bought the Note for a legitimate reason, understand and appreciate the S Pen. I don't think I can effectively sign PDFs with my finger or write out laundry lists of thoughts with my finger. If that was the case, you'd see people doing it all the time.
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey You are clueless lol.
Michael Behonest Notnice Chambers
Michael Behonest Notnice Chambers Because Steve jobs said, "if you see a stylus, they blew it." I'm glad Samsung isn't shell shocked like most other companies by Apples mantra. I love my note 2, and can't wait for the 3. I hope they keep the same height, width, increase the screen and battery, and reduce its thickness.
Thomas Shaw
Thomas Shaw The selling point of the first iPhone which started the whole touch screen smart phone trend was that you don't need a stylus like the Palm devices. Samsung has definitely done a great job of incorporating the stylus in a different way, but not every device needs it.
Reese Woodson
Reese Woodson If the phone's big enough then I think yeah........
Jeb Johnston
Jeb Johnston I don't care so much for the built in stylus anymore, but I would like for more companies to make styli with a tip like Samsung made for the Note.
Humza Ahmed
Humza Ahmed What's the point of Styluses on capacitive screens? Capacitive screens are made to be accurate and responsive without a stylus, your hand is your stylus, so there isn't any need for one.
Devin Tolliver
Devin Tolliver becuz u cant use a stylus and drive, duh!! im on i-465 typing this and if i had a stylus this would be pretty hard
Kong Yang
Kong Yang Yes.
Anthony V Cannata
Anthony V Cannata Used it a few time it's nice to know I have it I guess
Adrian Salazar
Adrian Salazar I use mine for my business when i use my PayPal to take credit card payments and have customers sign
Austin Storm Edmondson
Austin Storm Edmondson i use mine all the time
Lawrence Lepes
Lawrence Lepes I love mine on the Galaxy Note 2, and I still haven't done everything with it.
Alfonso Manuel Avalos
Alfonso Manuel Avalos Nope I rarely use mine on note 2
Frankie OMahoney
Frankie OMahoney Smart watch.... already done by sony.
Huey Liggins
Huey Liggins The people who say no most likely never actually used it. I used it since note 1 and it comes in handy. Is it necessary? Not at all. I lost mine a while ago and didn't bother buying another. It's an option. It's always good to have options
Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh There is no need for one when you employ new technology like Nokia does. Lumia 920 can work with pens, gloves, car keys, knives, forks basically anything metal and anything with a bit of heat..
Larry Hanks
Larry Hanks Short answer: yes
Nathan Campbell
Nathan Campbell Why would anyone need a stylus when you have God-given styluses from birth called fingers?
Rick DeChiara
Rick DeChiara A stylus is stupid for a phone.
Calvin Antione Lacrete
Calvin Antione Lacrete Yes. Soley for the option. Everyone knows and loves the S3.. The note became a hit because the stylus is another option on top of the already familiar look and feel
Vincent Tilghman
Vincent Tilghman Phonedog.. i'm dissapointed... Nokia n900? was the n900 the first? Right now i'm dual booting Android Gingerbread and Maemo 5... leaps and bounds ahead... 4 years old.
Dee Ross
Dee Ross The funny part is all the people judging the stylus without using it. You kids are cute in your silliness.
Francis Alain Konan
Francis Alain Konan Coz it sucks
William Sanchez
William Sanchez I loved it on my old HTC Touch Pro 2.
Raul Garcia
Raul Garcia If u dont like big phones then u dont get a big phone but if the stylus comes with one then i just might use it but im not gunna go out and buy one
John Edward Santos Totah
John Edward Santos Totah The idea if the touch screen was to kill they stylus..
Camar Green
Camar Green Only if you can write and the phone makes it neat for you. Just leave it to the Note 2 and 3
Leo Lin
Leo Lin cause it's an stupid i dea
Herwin Torres
Herwin Torres Sure. Why not?
Nick Catelli
Nick Catelli because styli suck
La Tortuga
La Tortuga If it comes with the phone, I don't care. It's like ear buds, if it's free then I don't care.
Charlie Ebner
Charlie Ebner No! Quit making them too large and they won't need one.
Jim Marshall III
Jim Marshall III Nope. My wife and I used ours for the first week and haven't taken it out since.
Matin Raj
Matin Raj no...it will spoil the note's uniqueness
Fernando Diaz
Fernando Diaz I need my Stylus..sometimes my ear itch.
Joseph Anthony
Joseph Anthony For phablets, yes.
Vicente Reyes
Vicente Reyes On a tablet yes, like the tablet/laptop windows surface pro. Its freaken awesome.
Rick Fowler
Rick Fowler no.
Jason Vargas
Jason Vargas Because its too late. Everybody else is ready to lay down and die
Tito Cruz
Tito Cruz Because everyone else will fail.
Robert Urriza
Robert Urriza nobody wants to get sued by samsung. lol !!!
NemOry Oliver Martinez
NemOry Oliver Martinez it's not useful
Jeff Griffith
Jeff Griffith You got that right!
Neil Leisenheimer
Neil Leisenheimer I don't think phones should be large enough to make a stylus practical.
Raiyan Hishamuddin
Raiyan Hishamuddin Samsung thrives on gimmicks
George Millhouse
George Millhouse dont talk for the rest of us
Audrey O'Donnell
Audrey O'Donnell Personally, I think the stylus is a little pointless. Its kind of like the physical keyboard. Its neat, but no one really uses it. You have to take it out to mess with it, and it is just quicker over all to use your finger. Unless you are drawing something for detail, I doubt I'd use it.
George Millhouse
George Millhouse u dont
Glenn Rubio Urrea
Glenn Rubio Urrea The Palm Centro comes to mind.
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz wacon tech
Lashonda Jones Neal
Lashonda Jones Neal I took my Note 2 stylus out of it's cubby...once
James Norwood
James Norwood No.
Matthew Swanson
Matthew Swanson So far I think the stylus is mostly ghimmicky. Other than occasional handwriting I haven't found my Note II stylus to be all that useful.
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz pressure sensitive screen patented by samsung. I dot know
Ken Reil
Ken Reil Works great on my Note 2
Anthony Charles Boyd
Anthony Charles Boyd nope
Jason Bleich
Jason Bleich The words happy and iPhone 4s shouldn't be in the same sentence.
Stewart Tan
Stewart Tan Because......Samsung is awesome? Perhaps that's why they are at the top.
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski the only two stylus devices ive owned and the htc touch vogue and the note 2.
Wilfrenn Novino
Wilfrenn Novino no ! do a sensor likely in samsung s4. improve that likely just remove the touch screen do more bigger screen and faster and enhanced feature of sense touch.
Raiyan Hishamuddin
Raiyan Hishamuddin Co's It's not needed in smaller phones?
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis No..
Josh Sussman
Josh Sussman Nobody has used a stylus before? Isn't that the main way people used those old resistive screen-based units from the WinMo error? Er, I mean, era?
Michal Polak
Michal Polak Sure, and later on, we could also include hard rubber keypads and monochromatic screens... Wait, that's actually not what we want.
Dounutz Sesar
Dounutz Sesar because their afraid of trying new things samsung played it 50/ 50 and look at them the note and note 2 are a great hit i love my samsung galaxy note
Gwendolyn Suzanne Harris Kight
Gwendolyn Suzanne Harris Kight I don't want a stylus, I'm perfectly happy actually touching the touchscreen of my Apple iPhone 4S.
Francis San Pedro
Francis San Pedro Most will lose it eventually.
Brian C Moreno
Brian C Moreno Nooooooo
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen stop calling it a stylus...
Matt Penner
Matt Penner The curse forbids them.
Brian McGuinness
Brian McGuinness the samsung stylus is a very nice thing to have but i dont really use it that often lol.. definitely rather keep it though sometimes i forget i have one in my Note 2
Armando Aranda
Armando Aranda No. It's all about using our fingers to touch the screen.
Thomas Burke
Thomas Burke I personally think they're a waste of time. It's less efficient IMHO
Roger DeOliveira
Roger DeOliveira Because I have a finger?
Kenneth Maneeley
Kenneth Maneeley Yes more phones should include the stylus!
Steven Franklin Jr.
Steven Franklin Jr. cAUSE WE DONT DRAW AND DONT WRITE NOTES ON A SMALL SCREEN
Orlando Songwrites
Orlando Songwrites cause samsung is trying desperately too hard. nobody has the time -_-
Rupan Hossain
Rupan Hossain Yes, it's always good to have options.
Elias Castillo
Elias Castillo NOOO!!!!
James Avery
James Avery No . I dont want a stylus so i can lose it in 1 day .




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