Samsung has finally released its latest Android flagship – the Galaxy S21 family. This year, Samsung gave its flagships a big design change, better cameras, faster internals, and a host of new software tricks. The most noticeable upgrade, however, was the introduction of a feature that was previously limited to the Galaxy Note family. This function has been the distinguishing feature since the first member of the product range was launched. We’re talking about support here.
Does the Galaxy S21 series support the S-Pen?
Yes, but you have to pay extra!
Yes. The Galaxy S21 series offers pen support. But there is a catch here. Only the Galaxy S21 Ultra has the necessary hardware to support S-Pen inputand not the standard Galaxy S21 or the Galaxy S21 +. And unlike the Galaxy Note family, the Galaxy S21 Ultra does not have a docking slot for the S-Pen. Fortunately, Samsung sells cases with a special slot for the S-Pen, which you can see in the picture below:
S-Pen is not supplied with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Instead, Samsung will sell it separately in the US market for $ 39.99. However, when you buy the folio case for $ 69.99, Samsung throws in the S-Pen too. The company has also redesigned the pen for its Ultra flagship. At the top there is no longer the click-based button you can press to take the pen out of the docking slot.
On the surface, only the design seems to have changed, but the core functionality remains the same as the pen that comes with the Galaxy Note range, with one 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:
The optional S Pen for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. (Image: Samsung)
S-Pen Pro with Bluetooth support is coming later this year
On the brighter side, Samsung will be releasing an updated version called the S-Pen Pro in the coming months, which supports both Bluetooth and air gestures. And oh, it will be bigger than the regular S-Pen. If you’ve got a replacement S-Pen from a pen device like the Galaxy Note 20 lying around, you can use it with the Galaxy S21 Ultra with all of its tricks in tow, too.
S-Pen versus S-Pen Pro. (Image: Samsung)
In addition to pen support, the Galaxy S21 has some extras such as WiFi 6E support, which uses the 6 GHz spectrum for improved wireless connectivity, and two telephoto cameras on the back (one of which is based on a periscope system, around 10th -x hybrid zoom to provide ultra wideband (UWB) output and support. We’ll soon be putting the Galaxy S21 through its paces to see if it’s worth the staggering $ 1,300 starting price.
I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years, having worked with names like NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from the latest news, I’ve checked out my fair share of devices that range from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I’ve also interviewed tech managers and appeared as a moderator on YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets.