Samsung S Pen Pro vs S Pen: Which stylus should you buy?
Samsung introduced the S Pen with its Galaxy Note smartphone back in 2011. It was revolutionary for a lot of people who wanted a large smartphone with a stylus to either take notes or just scribble away. While a stylus used to be pretty common with resistive touchscreen phones some time back, capacitive screens meant you could use your finger instead of an additional tool. However, Samsung brought back the stylus with a unique take by using a Wacom digitizer for precision mapping.
Ten years later, Samsung has ditched the Note series of phones but the S Pen continues to stay, moving on to the Galaxy S series and now the Galaxy Fold series as well. The new Galaxy Z Fold 3 has support for two types of styluses — the standard S Pen (Fold Edition) as well as the new S Pen Pro. If you’re wondering which one to get and what the main differences are, we’ll help you out.
S Pen Pro vs S Pen: How do they differ from each other?
Let’s begin with the most obvious difference between the two — the size. The S Pen Pro is considerably larger than the regular S Pen. The S Pen resembles the stylus we’ve all been seeing from the Note series of phones. It’s small, slim, and easily pocketable. In fact, Samsung is even selling a dedicated Fold Edition of the S Pen for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, alongside a dedicated phone case with a cylindrical cavity that you can use to house the S Pen with the phone. The S Pen Pro, on the other hand, is much larger, similar to a conventional writing instrument like a pen. You can’t house it inside a case or attach it to the phone and you’ll have to carry it separately.
The next difference is in terms of functionality. The normal S Pen can be used to take notes and draw on the screen and even has a button to erase. If you remember the S Pen prior to the Note 9 without Bluetooth, this is exactly similar to that. The S Pen Pro takes features of the stylus to the next level. It has Bluetooth so it can connect to your phone and provide support for multiple gestures. It has a 0.7mm tip with 4,096 pressure points that can be useful to artists. It charges via USB-C and can connect to multiple devices simultaneously.
If you have the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Galaxy Tab S7+, and a Galaxy Book, you can use the S Pen Pro on all these devices. You can even copy something on one device and paste it on another device thanks to onboard memory on the Pro version. The S Pen weighs in at 8g while the S Pen Pro has some extra heft to it and measures 14g. It feels more natural to use the S Pen Pro since it resembles a real pen or pencil.
The standard S Pen (Fold Edition) can’t be used with any other device or even older Samsung devices since the frequency it operates at is different, plus it has a retractable nib to prevent any pressure damage on the foldable display. The S Pen Pro has the ability to switch frequencies that allow it to work with multiple devices. The Pro version also has air commands and the ability to click photos from within the camera app if you’re into that kind of thing.
The S Pen Pro is compatible with a host of devices from Samsung including some older smartphones, tablets, and notebooks.
List of devices from Samsung that are compatible with the S Pen Pro. Click to expand
Here’s a list of compatible devices:
- Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Galaxy Note series
- Galaxy Tab S7 FE
- Galaxy Tab S7/7+
- Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Galaxy Tab S6
- Galaxy Tab S4
- Galaxy Tab S3
- Galaxy Tab Active Pro
- Galaxy Tab Active 3
- Galaxy Tab Active 2
- Galaxy Tab Active
- Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2019 with S Pen
- Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 with S Pen
- Galaxy Tab A 9.7 with S Pen
- Galaxy Tab A 8.0 2015 with S Pen
- Galaxy Note Pro – 12.2
- Galaxy Note 8.0
- Galaxy Note 10.1 2012/2014
- Galaxy Book Pro 360
- Galaxy Book Flex 2
- Galaxy Book Flex S Pen
- Galaxy Book Flex 5G
- Galaxy Book Flex α S Pen
- Galaxy Book 10.6
- Galaxy Book 12.0
- Chromebook Plus V2
- Chromebook Pro
- Notebook 7 spin
- Notebook S51 Pen
- Notebook 9 Pen
- Notebook 9 Pro
The regular S Pen Fold Edition retails for a price of $49.99 while the S Pen Pro would cost you double at $99.99. Depending on your use case and whether you have other Samsung devices that are compatible with the stylus, you can decide which one to get for yourself.
Which stylus should you buy?
If you’re a normal user who just wants a stylus to take notes and scribble around while you’re in a meeting, the normal S Pen (Fold Edition) should work just fine with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. If you’re serious about note-taking on your phone/tablet and have multiple Samsung devices compatible with the Pro stylus, you can invest a little extra. If you’re someone who does digital artwork or you’re a graphic designer, you’ll appreciate the extra features you get on the S Pen Pro.