ICYMI: We try out Samsung’s S Pen/case combo for the Galaxy S21 Ultra

Plus, a new Game Boy horror title and a hands-on with the Fujifilm X-T4.

Samsung brought its S Pen to the Galaxy smartphone series for the first time this year. This week, we were able to check out the new S Pen/case combo for the S21 Ultra and we found it capable but not as refined as we would have expected. We also played around with Fujifilm’s mirrorless X-T4 and have good things to report about the retro looking camera. And speaking of retro, gamers who still have their original Game Boy should check out Deadus, an indie horror game which is taking pre-orders for a physical release.

Samsung's S Pen/case combo is functional but clumsy

Samsung S21 Ultra S Pen case
Chris Velazco/Engadget

Samsung fans who also want a stylus have had a good option in the Galaxy Note line, and the company’s S Pen is apparently popular enough that Samsung brought it to the new Galaxy S21 Ultra. The new S Pen/case combo aims to provide a longer life for the stylus by bundling it into a case for the Ultra handset.

But Chris Velazco found this solution to leave a bit to be desired. That isn’t due to the pen itself, which is more ballpoint pen-sized than the traditional stylus. Chris actually liked the pen: he found it comfortable to hold and use for writing notes and shortcut options. However, this version of the stylus lacks air gestures and camera controls (a Pro model coming later this year will have those features). The main drawback here was the case, which easily picked up various bits of lint and dust and made the sizable handset more unwieldy. The left-handed location of the pen made it a bit awkward for right-handed users, and Chris was concerned about the durability of some of the trim around the charging ports. Since it’s the only case that houses an S Pen, it’s still a good option for those looking to use the stylus with the S21 Ultra.

Fujifilm's X-T4 is a retro camera with good stabilization

Fujifilm X-T4
Steve Dent/Engadget

When James Trew was looking for something to update his beloved but aging Canon 550D, he naturally asked his coworkers here at Engadget. They steered him to the Fujifilm X-T4, which Steve Dent reviewed last year. A mirrorless, 26.1 megapixel camera with a flip-out screen and in-body stabilization, the X-T4 also has a retro styling that James particularly likes. In his review, Steve called out the camera’s quality handling, excellent video quality and fast shooting speeds.

Since he’s been using it, James has likewise found a lot to praise in the X-T4. He was specifically looking for a reliable camera that had a solid collection of lenses, that would work well for video and that could absorb a ton of light. He reports that the IBIS (in-body image stabilization) helped produce images with impressive clarity and balance. The X-T4 gives him a lot to experiment and work out -- a process, he says, that is as rewarding as the good photos it produces.

Deadeus is an original horror game for Game Boy fans

Adam Birch

Deadus has been available for a while now, earning fans of those who enjoy retro gaming, dark indie titles or both. Now it’s taking pre-orders for a physical release on the original Game Boy. Gamers like James Trew have enjoyed the contrast of the Pokémon-like graphics and play style with the dark themes of cult, ritual and murder. Your character has three days, and 11 potential endings, to determine how to appease an angry, flesh-hungry god.

Though James said it was possible to reach a full ending in less than two hours, he also mentions that the time mechanic in the game brings new things to find and discover with every new day. That will also change your strategy as you uncover more details about the narrative you’ve chosen to follow. The game’s creator, Adam Birch, is an artist by trade and told James that the idea for Deadus came from a comic he’s been working on. James said the macabre and foreboding design of the game pulls the player out of the cozy, RPG vibe and into the weirdness of the storyline -- and that gamers who like either the hardware or the genre should definitely play it.

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