Modern smartphones feature multiple finger touch input, but only a handful have proper support for latency-free styluses. There aren’t many options for those who like to sketch, draw and take notes, but fortunately, the technology received several upgrades in the past few years, making them ideal for all sorts of work and entertainment.
In this guide, we collected some of the best smartphones with stylus support in 2022. We have a few high-end devices, a single foldable, and two few mid-rangers to complete the list. All of these devices are ideal for taking notes, and drawing, although the more premium models offer the best experience when it gets to latency-free input and functionality.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the highest-end flagship on this list, and it’s powered by the premium Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset (in North America). It’s capable of much more than just taking notes, and it has an excellent array of cameras on the back, on the front, and it has a long-lasting battery. It has everything you need and is one of the best devices in 2022. One of the main reasons this phone stands out, however, is due to the fact that it has excellent support for the included stylus – the S Pen – which is safely stored inside the dedicated slot on the bottom. You can watch our review video of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The device has a massive 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with 120Hz, and it’s one it’s protected by the latest Gorilla Glass Victus Plus panel. It’s one of the best and most responsive displays, and it’s currently one of the best if you want to take notes, draw or do any other pen-related activities. The Galaxy S22 Ultra packs at least 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage and 8GB of memory, but it’s also available in different configurations ranging from 128/256/512GB and even a 1TB model. Everything above the 256GB model also receives 12GB RAM as a bonus.
There are multiple sensors on the back, including a 108MP f/1.8 primary sensor, a 10MP f/4.9 periscope telephoto sensor capable of 10x optical zoom, a 10MP f/2.4 standard telephoto providing 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP f/2.2 sensor for all of those ultrawide shots. The selfie shooter is no joke either; there’s a 40MP f/2.2 sensor, allowing you to capture better photos and video in low-light environments. When it gets to longevity, the phone has a 5,000 mAh battery and supports 45W fast wired charging.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best high-end flagship with a stylus
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the most advanced smartphone in the Galaxy S lineup. It has a massive display, a flagship chipset, plenty of RAM and storage, and the beloved S Pen. If you’re looking for the ultimate and best smartphone experience, you can’t go wrong with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S21 Ultra might be a year old at this point, but it’s still an excellent alternative if you want to save some money, and you don’t need the “latest and the greatest”. It supports all of the S Pen functionalities you can find in the current Galaxy S22 Ultra and previous Galaxy Note series of devices, and it’s powered by a still very capable Snapdragon 888 chipset, paired with 128GB base storage and 12GB of RAM.
It has a large 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s an excellent choice for artists and note-takers due to the large size, color and responsiveness. The phone is also receiving timely updates from Samsung, and it’ll be updated in the coming years to support the latest Android OS versions and security patches.
On the back, it sports a 108MP primary, a 10MP periscope with 10x optical zoom, a 10MP standard telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide camera. Like on the Galaxy S22 Ultra, you’ll also find a 40MP selfie shooter on the front punch-hole. The phone can last a comfortable full-day, depending on your usage, thanks to the 5,000 mAh battery. It supports 25W wired charging, helping you top up slightly faster.
The bottom line is that if you want to save money, this is one of the best high-end devices you can pick up today for a fraction of what it used to cost.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The best from 2021
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first Galaxy in the S-series lineup to support the S Pen functionality, and although the stylus is sold separately, it’s still one of the best smartphones you can pick up today. The design, camera, software, and overall everything has stayed up-to-date, and you can save hundreds of dollars by sticking with the best of 2021.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is one of the best-selling foldable smartphones on the market today, and although the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is right around the corner, it’s still one of the best smartphones you can pick up today that supports the S Pen. The 7.6-inch inner display also makes it one of the best devices for drawing, note-taking, and sketching.
Both panels sport a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with support for 120Hz refresh rates, and while the outer display is narrow and tall at 6.2-inches, the inner 7.6-inch display is where you’ll most likely get work done. The major downside of the fold is that it doesn’t have a dedicated S Pen slot for the stylus, and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 will reportedly not have one either. You can purchase the S Pen separately, and pick up a case that lets you carry the pen.
It’s powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset, and it has 256GB and 512GB storage variants, and there’s 12GB of RAM for all your editing needs. There are also three cameras on the back, a 12MP primary, a 12MP telephoto with 2x optical zoom, and another 12MP for ultrawide shots. There’s a 4MP under-display camera for conference calls, and a 10MP selfie shooter.
The device can last about a day on a single charge, but that will vary on your usage. It has a 4,400 mAh battery, and it supports 25W fast wired charging. If you’re looking for a device that can do it all, and more, the Galaxy Fold 3 is expensive, but it covers everything that you’d want in a foldable smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Best Foldable with a stylus
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G is the latest foldable flagship from Samsung. It has an IPX8 certificate, supports the S Pen, and comes with the powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset.
Moto G Stylus 2022
The Motorola Moto G Stylus is a large device, like most other devices on this list. It packs a 6.8-inch IPS LCD panel with 120Hz refresh rate and FHD+ resolution. It’s responsive, and it’s excellent for multitasking and drawing. It also has a built-in stylus, letting you sketch and take notes on the go.
It’s equipped with the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, which is excellent for multitasking and running multiple apps simultaneously. It’s plenty powerful for playing a few modern games. There’s 256GB of built-in storage, and 8GB of RAM, and if the space isn’t enough for you, you’ll be glad to know there is a microSD card slot.
The Moto G Stylus has a 5MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 2MP depth sensor. It has great overall quality and performance, but it won’t break any records in low-light or brightly lit environments. There’s also a 16MP selfie camera, and it can last a full day on a single charge, thanks to the 5,000 mAh battery.
If you’re on the budget and have basic stylus needs, the Moto G Stylus is currently one of the best mid-ranger on the market that gives you that, for less than half of the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s price. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack, which may be a dealbreaker for you.
Motorola Moto G Stylus 2022
The best mid-ranger with a stylus
The Motorola Moto G Stylus 2022 is one of the best mid-rangers on the market that support and come with a built-in stylus. It lets you take notes, draw, and do sketches. It’s perfect for signing documents, and noting down all of the important information at school or work. It also costs less than half of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, making it an easy recommendation.
TCL Stylus 5G
The TCL Stylus 5G is an affordable device. It has an embedded stylus. It comes with a 6.81-inch IPS LCD display with 60Hz refresh rate, and it’s powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 chipset. It’s paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and it’s perfect for taking notes, sketching, and signing documents. It has an expandable microSD card slot, and it also features a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is rare to see nowadays.
The TCL Stylus sports a 50MP primary camera, a 5MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro, and an additional 2MP depth sensor. There’s a 13MP selfie camera on the front, placed in the punch hole.
The phone is excellent for some light multitasking and gaming on the side, and while it won’t break any benchmark tests, it will be more than enough for your daily needs for surfing the web, scrolling through your social media pages, and making calls. A few paid applications are preloaded on the device, letting you take notes using the Nebo app, and the MyScript Calculator 2 for doing maths.
The device packs a 4,000 mAh battery, which is on the smaller side, but at least it features 18W fast wired charging to juice up quickly. If you’re looking for an affordable smartphone with a stylus, the TCL Stylus starts at just $258 at T-Mobile.
TCL Stylus 5G
Affordable & Stylus support
The TCL Stylus is an excellent affordable smartphone with stylus support. It has a great camera setup, a large display, and it even includes 18W fast wired charging. At this price, it’s hard to nit-pick about missing functionality. If all you need is a cheap and reliable smartphone with stylus support, TCL has you covered.
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
We included the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra as the last device on this list for a few reasons. Since the introduction of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it’s becoming harder to find, as Samsung is phasing it out in favor of its more recent flagship, which makes sense. However, it’s still one of the best devices that you can pick up today, and it’s the last smartphone in the Galaxy Note series.
The phone was released back in 2020, and it’s powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset, paired with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of base storage. While the phone is nearing it’s second birthday in August, it held up exceptionally well, and it’s still receiving updates and security patches.
The camera setup is also excellent, and it sports a 108MP primary sensor, a 12MP periscope telephoto with 5x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. There’s also a 10MP selfie camera. It has a 4,500 mAh battery and it supports 25W fast charging.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is one of the most affordable devices today, and if you don’t require the latest hardware and software, this will serve you well in the coming years. It has all of the S Pen functionalities that you come to expect and want from Samsung’s flagships, and it’s still an excellent phone in 2022.
If you don’t rely on the S Pen as much as some users, and you only want to use the S Pen on a few rare occasions, we recommend the Galaxy S21 Ultra. It’s a more recent device, and although it doesn’t have a dedicated slot to store the stylus, it has a better camera and might also be more comfortable than the wide and boxy Note 20 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The best from 2020
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might not be the highest-end flagship in 2022, but it held up exceptionally well, and it’s one of the best devices on this list despite its age. If you’re looking for an affordable high-end device with an excellent stylus, this is one you should consider.
First Galaxy Z Flip 4 Color Sells Out
The entire suite of new Galaxy products has been up for pre-order since Wednesday and we keep checking to see if any of it is selling out. So far, not much has outside of a single online exclusive color of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, while the Fold 4 and both Galaxy Watch 5 watches can still be had with August 26 launch day delivery.
The first color of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to sellout is the “Navy” colorway. The pre-configured version with navy is listed now as “out of stock,” plus if you try and use the Bespoke tool to capture a Flip 4 entirely in navy, it’ll show there as soldout too. Interestingly, if you Bespoke tool a Flip 4 and only put navy as a single panel, you’ll get a 3-4 weeks estimate.
The only other item with even a slight delay is the goofy burgundy Fold 4, but it appears to be sticking to the advertised 3-4 week delivery. I wouldn’t actually consider it much of a delay.
Whatever the situation is here, I’ve got to admit that I’m surprised that more of the new Samsung devices aren’t soldout or with extended shipping times. As of right now, all four of the main Flip 4 colors will arrive on time (see here), as will the three main Fold 4 colors (see here) and the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro in all configurations (see here).
Compare this launch to the Galaxy S22 from earlier in 2022 and they couldn’t have hit differently. Samsung’s dates for the exclusive online colors of the S22 Ultra started slipping almost immediately, which we know first hand because of Tim’s struggles to land one. Within a week, the dates further moved with estimates a full month out or even later.
We’ll keep an eye on shipping times over the next week or so to see how this launch changes. Will the situation start to match the Galaxy S22 launch or are the minor improvements in this year’s foldable line-up not enough to get people to bite? In my first couple of days with the Flip 4, I can tell you that the phone is very much like the Flip 3, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying the hell out of it.
Telegram’s Big Update is for the Emoji Lovers
A new update is rolling out to Telegram today and it is all about emoji. If you love emoji, custom emoji, animated emoji, or any other type of emoji, you are in for a special treat.
Telegram announced its new Emoji Platform “where anyone can upload custom packs with unique art styles and characters for Telegram Premium users.” Folks can use these uploaded custom emoji packs in messages or captions, plus premium users are getting access to another 10 emoji packs.
To make it more obvious that all of these new custom and animated emoji are available, you’ll see the sticker shortcut in the message box turn into an emoji shortcut as you type. That shortcut leads to a new emoji panel, where you’ll see suggestions and be able to browse your various packs. To make things (potentially) easier, typing shortcuts like :smile or :lol will give you all of the available options too.
And finally, custom emoji can be interactive in 1-on-1 chats, so “any user can tap to play synchronized, full-screen effects” from all of the emoji you spam off to friends.
For iOS users, there are new sticker, GIF, and emoji panels “with separate tabs for stickers, GIFs and emoji – just like on the Android, desktop and web apps.”
In other Telegram Premium feature news, users will find a setting that allows them to control who is able to send them voice and video messages. The options now are Everyone, My Contacts, or Nobody.
There are additional controls that will let you choose specific people or groups, and of course, you can always convert audio messages in to text. The settings for all of this are in Settings > Privacy and Security > Voice Messages.
The last new feature for Premium users is an option to “share the experience with friends, family and coworkers by sending them a prepaid subscription for 3, 6 or 12 months – at a discount.” To do so, you can tap on the profile image of someone in a chat, then the 3-dot menu to “Gift Premium.”
These updates appear to be rolling out right away, as I’ve already seen the update on Android.
First Early Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Review Arrived
Of the two new Galaxy Watch 5 models announced, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the one we’re most interested in. Not only is Samsung marketing it as an “outdoors” watch for the active type, they also gave it “Pro” name, as if it packs a number of extra features over the regular model. We don’t have one in for review (we did order one) yet, so we’re doing that thing we often do with Samsung launches – looking elsewhere for early impressions.
Thanks to Ray from DC Rainmaker, one of the best at reviewing sports watches, we have a first early Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review to analyze. He took the watch for a run to test GPS and heartrate accuracy, as well as battery life. The video he posted also compares some features of the Watch 5 Pro to the Watch 5, in case we didn’t do a good enough job of that earlier in the week.
The takeaways from this early and not-at-all-final review, show that the new Compass feature might have some initial issues, GPS accuracy is not bad and performs far better than the Apple Watch Series 7, heartrate accuracy was quite good after a slowish start, and that GPS battery life is probably closer to half of what Samsung is advertising. Daily battery without GPS is likely closer to 2.5 days vs. the 3.5 days advertised. Again, these are all early, first look numbers that could change over the coming weeks with more testing.
The video also dives into “Pro” features here and laughs a bit at what that even means because there aren’t really any pro features when you compare to other outdoor-focused sports watches. And I would tend to agree with that. In fact, Tim and I were joking earlier in the week about Samsung’s forced “outdoors” push for this watch, when almost nothing about the watch makes it better for outdoors than other Samsung watches except for GPX support and backtracking when navigating. These are not “pro” features and the rest of the watch is just the same as the Watch 5. It’s just silly branding.
Anyways, we’ll have our Watch 5 Pro soon enough and will do out own testing. If you were trying to decide now to get in on this awesome pre-order promo ($50 credit, free Charger Duo, and $240 off trade-in) , give the video below a watch.
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