Apple Pencil Vs. S Pen: Does Apple or Samsung Make The Better Stylus?

Apple and Samsung have their own versions of a stylus, but which one is better? The stylus is not new to touch screen devices, however, both companies have made proprietary pens and pencils to communicate with specific devices. Although the main objective of a stylus is to draw and write on a touch screen, Apple and Samsung have put their own unique spin on these accessories and what they can do.

Samsung’s S Pen first popularized the stylus with its Galaxy Note smartphone in 2011. Samsung subsequently introduced the S Pen to Galaxy tablets soon after. In comparison, Apple did not release its first stylus until the original iPad Pro launched in 2015. Since then, the Apple Pencil has remained exclusive to iPad models and is not compatible with any iPhone.

The Apple Pencil is currently available in two generations that function similarly, but look different. The first-generation Apple Pencil is compatible with older iPads and has a glossy, round design while the second-generation Apple Pencil has a matte, flat edge design and only works with newer iPad Pro models and the fourth-generation iPad Air. Apple ensured that both models have identical performances in writing and drawing, however, the second-generation Apple Pencil features wireless pairing and charging, as well as touch controls to change tools. Samsung’s tablet S Pen is based on the Galaxy Note series version, but it had lacked behind the Apple Pencil until the S Pen was updated with the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+. The updated S Pen features a flat edge design for wireless pairing and charging, and its performance is comparable to the Apple Pencil. For budget-minded consumers, it is important to note that the S Pen is included with the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ whereas the Apple Pencil is sold separately.

As mentioned, Samsung also has an S Pen for the Galaxy Note smartphone series and it is expected to become compatible with more Galaxy phones in the future. The phone S Pen is smaller in comparison to the tablet version as it needs to fit within the body of the smartphone, but it is just as advanced. Due to the usage differences between smartphones and tablets, Samsung has programmed the S Pen for the Note series to be efficient in writing while also equipping it with remote control features. Apple has no known plans to release a Pencil for the iPhone.

Samsung’s S Pen is the better stylus as there are options for both smartphones and tablets. The Apple Pencil is a great accessory, but it is not necessary for using an iPad and therefore not included in the purchase. In contrast, Samsung’s inclusion of the S Pen with the Galaxy Note and Tab S models makes it more useful and accessible to consumers. Ultimately, both are solid options and which one is best for a specific consumer will likely come down to whether they favor iOS or Android, especially as a stylus is designed to complement the device experience and not define it.

 Source: Apple, Samsung

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