Do you use a stylus?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: March 21, 2014

When we look at our smartphones these days, it's usually still just about the phone itself. The device we're so eager to get our hands on, to get out of that box, turn it off, and fiddle with until we learn all of its tricks. Considering how impressive manufacturers are making our phones these days, that should be just about standard. It really gets exciting when you find the little thing, that small detail you may have looked over (or maybe you did look over) on any given day, until that moment you didn't and suddenly your phone is brand new all over again.

That's just one of the reasons why I love our mobile devices so much. The companies go out of their way, usually with a lot of money spent in the process, to show off their shiny new gadgets to us, and to show us all the new things they can do, but we all know that they won't, they simply can't, cover it all. So it's up to us to find out all the cool stuff our phones can do, and hopefully make it even cooler the more we use it.

A lot of different devices over the years have done that for me. Had that one little thing that made my phone feel special all over again, even a few months after owning it. I think it's one of the greatest things about our devices -- that they can keep us surprised, even way after the initial purchase.

For one device in particular, it wasn't a feature that kept me coming back, but actually an accessory.

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note II, I just knew the device wasn't for me. I couldn't get over the huge display. While I can freely admit that I'd love to have an iPhone with a display around 4.7-inches, and I love other phones with that particular screen size, anything bigger than that just doesn't seem to make much sense to me. So I ignored the Galaxy Note II for quite some time, until I finally convinced myself I needed to see what all the hubbub was about.

The phone was too big, but it wasn't as ridiculous as I thought it would be. Samsung had done a great job with the Galaxy Note II, making sure it was still comfortable to hold despite the large display. But, it wasn't the phone that made me want to keep coming back to the device stuck between a phone and a tablet. What kept me using the Galaxy Note II for quite some time was the S Pen. That's right. The included stylus.

Up until the Galaxy Note II, and subsequent Note models after that, I had only used a stylus probably once or twice. More than that, though, I had been ready to see them go away with the introduction of the iPhone's new display. I was ready to give all stylus the boot, and for a long time it looked like the industry was on board that thought process, too.

Granted, while we haven't seen a huge influx of stylus in the last couple of years, there's definitely a growing sentiment towards the small accessories, and obviously Samsung is a big reason why. With their Galaxy Note lineup, including the "phablet" and full-on tablets available for consumers, they've made a stylus make sense again.

It doesn't hurt that it works really, really well, too.

I never thought I'd use a stylus again, but I can tell you that the only reason I ever kept using the Galaxy Note II was the S Pen. The same can be said for Samsung's Galaxy Note 3, and I've used the Galaxy Note 10.1 -- 2014 Edition quite a bit, thanks to the stylus, too. I know a couple of other people who have swung over to Samsung's ecosystem entirely due to the Note lineup of devices, and they don't have any plans to go back any time soon.

I just wanted to get a feel for the stylus love, or hate, around here. I don't use a stylus every day, and I don't go out of my way to use one even when I have one handy, but I want to know if you do. If you've picked devices in the past, and even more recently, because they've offered a stylus in the box (or as an accessory in general). Does standard stylus support, like we see in the Note lineup, mean anything to you? Let me know!

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