If one feature should make a comeback, it should be the stylusAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
I’m sure we all have days where we end up reminiscing about phones of our past, whether it’s because you became across the “cell phone graveyard” drawer or box that most of us have, or maybe because you suddenly remembered how amazing it was that we could comprehend a complex strategy like T9 for texting (seriously, when you think about it, using T9 took some crazy dedication). I know I have days like this. One of the things that I remember most about some of my favorite old cell phones, though, was the fact that a stylus was kind of the norm.
If you look at cell phones (smartphones) today and you didn’t know any better, you might assume that styluses should be a given. These phones are big (especially when compared to PDAs of cell phones’ past), and while their touchscreens might be more responsive so that they don’t necessarily need a stylus, it feels like the option to use one should be there. I may not personally use the Galaxy Note series due to sheer size, but I have always been a little jealous of the fact that Samsung thinks to include something as simple as a stylus in the phone.
Simply put, large phones are ideal for being able to type virtually and, for those moments when it’s “just better” or “easier”, the handwritten word. I feel that a stylus should be included, just in case. I mean, it’s just a fancy, pointy plastic stick, right?
And perhaps even more importantly than including the actual stylus, I feel that these phones should go back to including the stylus dock on the actual phone itself. That’s where the real trouble comes in. Styluses themselves aren’t exactly in a shortage. You can go into any Best Buy or Staples and pick up a stylus that works on your phone. The problem is that these styluses are bulky and, from experience, easily misplaced or forgotten. In phones like old PDAs or the Note, you have a special slot that makes it a lot easier to keep track of the stylus and have it handy when needed.
It would seem that LG might be making the move sometime in the future with the unveiling of the LG G3 Stylus, a mid-range G3 variant that doesn’t look like it will be released here stateside. It’s kind of a wonder to me that they wouldn’t just include a stylus with the original G3 to become a direct Galaxy Note competitor. The phone is certainly large and powerful enough. I feel like the Note, at least at this point, has proven that there’s more than just size that makes the phone great. The focus on the stylus aspect of the device has really made the phone stand out amongst other giant slabs on the market. Why isn’t anybody else taking advantage of this?
I have my days where I miss having a stylus. I didn’t use it all the time, but on every phone I had that featured one I did use it occasionally. It’s a nice feature to have when you need it, and I’m surprised that they went away as quickly as they did with the introduction of smartphones. Sure, you don’t need them, but sometimes I find that it would be easier just to physically write something down on a phone rather than type it out - or I would at least prefer it. I don’t think all phones should have it, but I do think that more companies should take advantage of the feature.