This $70 S Pen/case combo won't turn your S21 Ultra into a Galaxy Note

It's functional, but clumsy.

Chris Velazco/Engadget

It seems more likely than ever that the Galaxy Note line as we know it is on its way out, and that's sure to be dire news for fans of the S Pen. Or will it? With the launch of this year's Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung is apparently trying to give its fan-favorite stylus a life of sorts beyond the Note — but you’ll have to find one yourself.

If you have an old Galaxy Note lying around, you’re golden — just pop that S Pen out and sketch away. If you don’t, you can buy a brand new one for $40 from Samsung, or shell out an extra $30 for a silicone case/S Pen bundle. That last option seems like the most comprehensive option because it gives Samsung’s stylus somewhere to live, but after living with it for a week… well, let’s say it’s been a mixed bag.

Mind you, that's not because of the S Pen itself. In fact, I actually really like this thing — it’s one of the most comfortable S Pens I've ever used. That comfort is all thanks to the S Pen's size. At just over four inches long, its heft and feel have more in common with a classic ballpoint than the diminutive stylus built into Samsung's Galaxy Note smartphones.

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