Yesterday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 9, its biggest and most powerful Note handset yet. The Note 9 in many ways embodies what a Note device truly stands for: a big bad-ass smartphone filled to the brim with top-notch features. While the Note 9 itself is pretty impressive, the S Pen is even more impressive this time around.
Samsung has given the S Pen on the Note 9 its biggest upgrade in years. While the Note series has always been popular among consumers, the S Pen despite all the marketing from Samsung has never really had a lot of takers. This will possibly change with the Note 9 as the new S Pen bundled with the device is a massive step up in terms of functionality. So what exactly makes the Note 9’s S Pen so special? Let’s find out.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 S Pen: Top 5 Features
The new S Pen on the Galaxy Note 9 now features Bluetooth LE and uses it to communicate with the phone. While this allows the S Pen to do more, it also means the S Pen needed to be actively powered. Adding a battery to the S Pen would have made it heavier and it would have also created an issue of charging the stylus regularly.
To solve this issue, Samsung has used a supercapacitor on the Note 9’s S Pen. This allows the stylus to charge in just 40 seconds when inserted into the phone. While supercapacitors are quick to charge, they can hold a charge for a relatively low amount of time.
Due to this, the new S Pen on the Note 9 has a standby battery life of just 30 minutes. Yes, 30 minutes and not days. Nonetheless, based on its testing, Samsung says that the 30-minute standby time on the Note 9’s S Pen is going to be good enough for most people. Plus, they can always charge the S Pen in less than a minute by simply inserting it into the device again.
The positive side of adding Bluetooth Low Energy to the S Pen on the Note 9 is that it can work from over 30 feet away without any issues.
Regular Old S Pen
The new S Pen can continue to function like the S Pen found on previous Galaxy Note devices once it runs out of battery. This is a small but insanely useful feature to have as it will ensure that the Note 9 S Pen’s does not turn into a plastic junk when it runs out of battery.
Launch Favorite Apps
The physical button on the S pen can be assigned to any action that one likes. A simple long press is enough to open an app of your choice.
Even better, the button on the S Pen can be customized depending on the application you are in. So, if you are in the camera app, a single press of the S Pen button will take a photo while a double press will switch to the front or rear camera. Depending on the application you are in, you can customize the shortcut as you wish to.
Change Presentation Slides
Thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy, the S Pen can be used as a remote to change presentation slides. This can come in handy if you are using the Note 9 for presentation purposes. Apart from PowerPoint and Google Slides, the S Pen on the new Note 9 can be used to change slides in the stock Gallery app as well.
The new S Pen can also be used to unlock the Note 9 remotely which can come in handy in certain scenarios.
Handy in DeX Mode
Samsung has vastly improved the DeX mode on the Galaxy Note 9. Instead of requiring a dock, the DeX mode can now be activated on the Note 9 by simply plugging an HDMI cable directly to the device.
To make it easier to use DeX mode on the Note 9 without a keyboard or mouse, Samsung is turning the device itself into a touchpad. With the Note 9’s massive 6.4-inch display turning into a touchpad, navigating around the UI in DeX mode will become easy. And if you want to write or sketch something, one can still use the S Pen for drawing directly on the Note 9’s display which will then be mirrored to the display connected to the device.
What do you think about the all-new S Pen on the Galaxy Note 9? Do you think it will be a handy tool to have for day-to-day use? Or do you find it to be just a gimmick? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.