Samsung opens S Pen ecosystem to third-parties, announces S Pen Pro

The Galaxy S21 Ultra gained S Pen support, but soon you'll have more options than Samsung's own stylus.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

During a virtual event on Thursday Samsung announced the Galaxy S21 lineup, Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earbuds and Tile-like trackers called Galaxy SmartTag. One of the headlining features of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, besides an improved display and camera, is the ability to use an S Pen stylus to write or jot down notes. 

The S21 Ultra doesn't include an S Pen, it's an optional accessory you'll have to buy for $40, or you can opt for a $70 case that includes a place to store the S Pen (the Ultra lacks a place to hold it like the Galaxy Note has). 

Samsung also announced the S Pen Pro, a Bluetooth enabled stylus that will allow S21 Ultra users to use gestures to navigate their phone or control the device from across the room. An exact launch date and pricing weren't revealed, but Samsung did say the S Pen Pro would launch later this year. 

Along with the S Pen Pro, Samsung also revealed that it's working with hardware partners to add compatibility for S Pen features to their own products, which will then work on the S21 Ultra.


The list of partners includes Uni, Wacom, Lamy and Staedtler. It's not clear when third-party pens will work with the Galaxy lineup, but it's likely something that will be timed with the release of the S Pen Pro. It's clear, however, by adding partner devices and expanding Note-like features to more Galaxy phones, the Note line is losing some of its appeal

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