Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra with an integrated S-Pen shows every smartphone needs a stylus – News9 LIVE

25 April 2022 3:51 AM GMT
The ‘Neat shapes’ mode is great for Futhark, but the ᛏ turns into the ↑. (Image credit: News9/Aditya Madanapalle)
Samsung has bravely stuck to a capability that phones lost over 15 years ago, with the advent of smartphones, and that is the stylus. It was at first a unique capability available only on the Note series, but has now been incorporated into the Galaxy S series with the S22 Ultra. Now the messaging might make it look like the S-Pen is only meant for designers, artists, architects and the creative types, but that is totally not the case. Every smartphone needs a stylus, because fingers are just incredibly clumsy and inaccurate when it comes to using a smartphone. Once you get used to using the S-Pen, it is really difficult to switch back to a phone without a stylus. This can range from using photo editing apps such as Snapseed, drawing apps such as Sketchbook by Autodesk, to getting an absolute advantage when playing Gartic or Drawing Wars.
Then comes all the everyday stuff that you do with the phone, like hiding phone numbers or people’s names in a screenshot or circling out important details in an image. These just look much more better and polished. Then there is the incredibly useful ability to precisely copy paste text, and who has not struggled with that one when using their fingers?
I found myself doing things I have never done before like sending people handwritten notes, writing down shopping lists, and drawing maps with just the amount of details required for someone to understand where they needed to go and how to get there, without all the extra clutter that comes free with a Google Maps screenshot or location.
Just writing on the screen with the stylus is a very pleasant experience, and it is bound to give the newer generation some much needed handwriting practice, if every smartphone comes with a stylus. The device makes a slight scratching sound that mimics the experience of writing on paper, and provides an impressive illusion about tactile feedback, without there actually being any. I found myself practicing ancient runes, and attempting to draw my own tarot cards.
Then come the drawing capabilities. I accept I’m not very good at this, but I found myself drawing everything from dreams to characters for D&D campaigns, just because I could. Sketchbook by Autodesk has this really cool feature that lets you sketch on top of an image, which can be used to produce some pretty impressive artwork.
There is a small button on the S-Pen, which really pushes the capabilities of the incredibly versatile camera of the Samsung Galaxy S-22 Ultra. This is because no matter how hard you try, there is always a small shake introduced when you press the shutter. The S-Pen works as a remote trigger! You can just set up the camera, zoom it in to the required level, and minimise the shake by using the S-Pen to take the snap. This capability is also incredibly useful for taking selfies, and make it look like it has been shot by someone else. You can double tap on the button to switch from the primary shooter to the selfie shooter.
You can also actually wield the S-Pen like a magic wand, and execute all sorts of commands with something known as ‘Air actions’, depending on the app you are using. One of the really cool capabilities is with media apps such as YouTube and Spotify, flicking up and down to adjust the volume, flicking left or right for previous and next tracks, or single press to pause.
Apart from all of these, there is the Air command menu, which extends the capabilities of the stylus and totally changes how you do the device. The most useful of these include Screen select, allowing you to screenshot and save a portion of the screen, Screen write for quick annotations, and Translate, that can be applied globally across social media posts for example, as well as web pages. We only wish that there was an integrated dictionary function, as well as the capabilities to convert units between say miles and kilometres, or Fahrenheit and Celsius.
After just about a month of using the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra as my primary device, I cannot imagine using a phone without a stylus. Hands just don’t work as well for many of the existing functions, and a stylus really expands what the device is capable of. However, it took that long to figure out all the capabilities, and it is something that can be easily missed if you just take the device through its paces for reviewing purposes. It’s great that the S-Pen works with other Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S22 Plus 5G and the Z Fold 3. I’m looking at Apple here, and it is really a pity that the Apple Pencil works only with iPads.
Every phone needs a stylus.

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