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It's been echoed since Samsung first launched the Galaxy Fold back in 2019: Integrate a built-in stylus and it'll be the best productivity device money can buy. Four years later, that dream phone is still far-fetched, but the latest interpretation of the S Pen Cover for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 may be the closest thing to a foldable Galaxy Note phone yet.
Samsung introduced the S Pen Cover for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 two years ago, and it's slowly refined the design of the optional accessory since then. But I've always had one problem with it -- the case was often too bulky, and it didn't help that the device that it protected was already the thickness of two phones sandwiched together.
This time around, Samsung has not only made the Z Fold 5 thinner than ever, dropping from roughly 15.8mm of thickness to 13.4mm but it's also toned down the S Pen Cover, with a silo on the back and a flat-edged stylus design.
Previously, the S Pen was rounded on all sides, requiring more surface area to store the thing. Having a rounded bump on the back of the Z Fold was very apparent and didn't make for the most ergonomic hand feel.
Thanks to the flatter appearance and a divot on the back of the cover, the new S Pen sits flush against the Z Fold 5, earning the accessory a new name, S Pen Slim Case. Both ZDNET's Editor-in-Chief Jason Hiner and I went hands-on with the case ahead of Unpacked and were thrilled to see and feel just how compact it's become.
For these reasons alone, it's the one accessory I'd recommend if you're buying the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5. It's arguably the phone's most important accessory yet, and Samsung may finally have a winning design.