Samsung may add S Pen support to the next high-end Galaxy S phone
Samsung’s next Galaxy S flagship smartphone series, which could be marketed as the Galaxy S21 or Galaxy S30 series, is expected to launch in early 2021. A new report from South Korean publication The Elec states that there will once again be 3 separate models. In a twist, the publication reports that the top model will feature S Pen support.
The S Pen has long served as a key differentiator between the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. It’s an inductive stylus with Wacom’s digital pen technology that works on all Galaxy Note devices with an active digitizer layer underneath the display. Although it doesn’t require a battery to function, Samsung did add a battery to the revised S Pen they launched alongside the Galaxy Note 9; the battery powers a small Bluetooth Low Energy chip and a six-axis motion sensor that are used for gesture detection. The most recent upgrade to the S Pen came with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, wherein Samsung significantly reduced the latency down to 9ms to make writing feel much more responsive. Thanks to the S Pen, the Galaxy Note series has long held a productivity advantage over the Galaxy S series, but that could change with the next Galaxy S flagship.
If The Elec is to be believed, the upcoming Galaxy S series, code-named “Unbound,” will come in be three models. The project names are allegedly M1, N2, and O3, with the top-end O3 model featuring S Pen support. This “O3” model may be marketed as the “Ultra” device, though that remains to be seen.
Regardless, by bringing stylus support to the Galaxy S series, the future of Samsung’s Galaxy Note line is now in question. There has long been speculation that Samsung may kill off the Galaxy Note series to instead focus on its new flagship foldable Z line. For what it’s worth, The Elec claims Samsung is gearing up to introduce a Galaxy Z Fold “3” with S Pen support, which was rumored for the Galaxy Z Fold 2 before its launch.
Adding S Pen support to Samsung’s foldable lineup makes perfect sense considering these foldable devices feature large, expansive displays. Samsung will also be able to keep Note loyalists happy by adding S Pen support to the Galaxy S series, which is among the most popular smartphone lineups on the market.
Whatever happens, bringing S Pen support to the Galaxy S line and/or ditching the Galaxy Note would be a big change for Samsung’s smartphone business. However, with the company setting its sets on a foldable future, the Note series may no longer be interesting enough to act as its regular fall flagship.
Featured image: the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Photo credits: Max Weinbach.