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Does the Galaxy S21 series support the S-Pen stylus?

By Nadeem Sarwar January 15, 2021, 2:00 pm

Samsung has finally unleashed its latest Android flagships – the Galaxy S21 family. This year, Samsung has given its flagships a big design change, better cameras, faster internals, and a host of new software tricks. But the most noticeable upgrade was the arrival of a feature that has so far been limited to the Galaxy Note family, one that has been its distinguishing trait ever since the first member of the lineup was launched. We are talking about support here. 

Does the Galaxy S21 series support the S-Pen stylus?

Yes, but you gotta pay extra!

Yes. The Galaxy S21 series does offer stylus support. But there’s a catch here. Only the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with the necessary hardware to support S-Pen input, and not the standard Galaxy S21 or the Galaxy S21+. And unlike the Galaxy Note family, there is no docking slot on the Galaxy S21 Ultra to house the S-Pen. Thankfully, Samsung is selling cases that have a dedicated slot to keep the S-Pen that you can see in the image below:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra with S Pen in the slot

S-Pen won’t come bundled with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Instead, Samsung will sell it separately for $39.99 in the US market. however, if you purchase the folio case for $69.99, Samsung will throw in the S-Pen as well. The company has also redesigned the stylus for its ultra flagship. It no longer has the click-based button at the top that you could press to take the stylus out of its docking slot.

On the surface, only the design appears to have changed, but the core functionality remains the same as the stylus that comes with the Galaxy Note lineup with a major exception – Bluetooth. You can’t use the air gestures with it either. Here’s a closer look at the new optional S-Pen for the Galaxy S21 Ultra:

Optional S-Pen for the Galaxy S21 Ultra
The optional S Pen for Galaxy S21 Ultra. (Image: Samsung)

S-Pen Pro with Bluetooth support is coming later this year

On the brighter side though, Samsung will launch an updated version called the S-Pen Pro in the upcoming months that will offer support for Bluetooth as well as air gestures. And oh, it will be bigger than the regular S-Pen. Also, if you have a spare S-Pen from a stylus-toting device such as the Galaxy Note 20 lying around, you can use it with the Galaxy S21 Ultra with all its tricks in tow.

S Pen vs S Pen Pro
S-Pen vs S-Pen Pro. (image: Samsung)

In addition to stylus support, the Galaxy S21 comes with a few extras such WiFi 6E support that takes advantage of the 6GHz spectrum for improved wireless connectivity, two telephoto cameras at the back (one of which relies on a periscope system to offer 10X hybrid zoom output and support for UWB (Ultra Wideband) technology as well. We’ll soon be putting the Galaxy S21 through its paces to see if it’s worth the eye-watering starting price of $1,300.


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