While the S Pen has been a hallmark feature for the Galaxy Note range since its inception, the handy stylus hasn’t altered that much down the years.
That will change next month with the launch of the Galaxy Note 9, a US Federal Communications Commission filing has confirmed.
The next-gen S Pen will have Bluetooth capabilities for the first time (specifically 2,4GHz Bluetooth LE), suggesting Samsung has some big changes planned for the functionality beyond scribbling on and prodding at the screen.
It’s possible the S Pen could now be used to unlock new features that don’t require the accessory to be near to the phone. For example, it could control media playback, summon a tone to locate the phone or even summon the Bixby personal assistant.
The confirmation comes a couple of days after reliable tipster Ice Universe revealed the S Pen would be Bluetooth-enabled for remote control of the Note 9.
However, the new functionality also creates some challenges for Samsung. Because the stylus will need a battery to enable Bluetooth, the company will need to find a way to keep the new S Pen charged.
Samsung could offer wireless charging through a compatible Qi charger, add the ability to charge via the phone’s internal battery or provide another solution. Regardless, it’ll be interesting to see how Samsung plays it.
It’s also good to see Samsung pushing the S Pen forward. Of course, it was forced into a design change following the Note 5 when it was became possible to insert the pen upside down, breaking the release recognition feature.
An S Pen revamp has been heavily tipped in the run up to the Unpacked event, which will take place in New York on August 9. Even the firm’s official invite appeared to show a yellow/gold S Pen with a large button on the surface.
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