There’s a lot that makes the Samsung Galaxy Note a special phone. For one, its enormous screen size makes it fall somewhere between being a smartphone and being a full on tablet. Another thing is its fast 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor that lets you run through your apps and widgets on Android with virtually no lag. But what really differentiates the Note from all of the other phones and tablets out there is its S-Pen. You may be thinking, what’s the big deal? It’s just a capacitive stylus, right? Wrong:
While the S-Pen can do everything a regular capacitive stylus can do (which is just simple input), there are several things that a regular stylus can’t do that the S-Pen can. Before I go into what those things are, let me give you the two reasons for its advanced capabilities:
- The S-Pen has a button on it that you can press and hold. Doing this allows for a completely different type of input.
- The tip of the S-Pen allows for up 256 different levels of pressure sensitivity. It is a hard plastic that like a ball point pen that allows for amazing precision.
So, what exactly does having a button and a pressure sensitive tip on the S-Pen bring to the table? A whole set of features that we’ve never seen on an Android phone before (with a stylus):
- Take a screenshot by pressing and holding the button while pressing and holding on the Galaxy Note’s screen.
- Bring up the menu, go back, or go home by pressing and holding the button while swiping up, left, or down (respectively).
- Open a quick memo by pressing and holding the S-Pen’s button and double tapping the Note’s screen.
But that’s not all. That just covers what the button on the S-Pen can do for you. The pressure sensitivity, on the other hand, allows you to draw a thin line (while in a memo for example) and/or a thick line simply by pressing on the screen lightly (for a thin line) or firmly (for a thicker line). This really makes it feel like you’re holding a real pen or pencil in your hand.
Overall, I have to say that I absolutely love the S-Pen. I haven’t had any problems with it whatsoever. It makes doing things like copy and paste super easy because I can control exactly what words (down to the letter) I copy without ever having to adjust the sliders (as is the case when I use my fat fingers).
And the best part is that all this great functionality is only the beginning. Samsung has already released the SDK for the S-Pen for developers to start tinkering with. And as we’ve seen with apps in general, giving developers an SDK unlocks unlimited possibilities.