You’ll Be Able to Use a Stylus With Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3

You’ll Be Able to Use a Stylus With Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3
The S Pen Pro is the grown-up sequel to the S Pen and will include support for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. (Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo)

If you were a fan of Samsung’s phablet-sized Galaxy Note, you can rest easy knowing at least its companion stylus will remain available for other devices. Samsung’s most tablet-like phone may not be making an appearance this summer at the company’s upcoming Unpacked event, but an FCC filing indicates that its best accessory will be.

The S Pen Pro, which Samsung announced at the beginning of the year, is ostensibly a more pen-like variant of the S Pen and not a little stylus that docks into the side of a device. The S Pen Pro is expected work with the unannounced Galaxy Z Fold 3, rumoured to be the next model in Samsung’s foldable lineup.

The FCC listing includes a copy of what is presumably the outer label of the S Pen Pro. It indicates the stylus will be compatible with any Samsung smartphone, tablet, or PC that already supports the S Pen. Air Actions, which let you wave the stylus around like a wand to take pictures and program other shortcuts, will only be available on the devices that support One UI 3.1 or later.

Samsung is aiming to expand by wielding its most powerful weapon: the peripheral. The ability to buy the stylus off the shelf and have it work with any Samsung device gives the company’s products more appeal, especially for Android users. For comparison, Google’s current stylus-supported products are either third-party or via a convertible laptop through its Chrome OS platform. And Apple’s stylus only works with iPads, not iPhones.

It’s also no surprise this is coinciding with the launch of the next foldable product by Samsung. The company was one of the first out of the gate in the U.S. to bring foldable smartphones at a consumer-approachable level. They still have to sell the rest of us on utility, however. Why not sell an accessory alongside an ideal use case? The Galaxy Z Fold is, after all, a smartphone that flips open into a tablet. That’s essentially fusing the Galaxy Note smartphone and a Galaxy Tab S tablet.

Samsung has made no secret of its plans to expand S Pen support outside the Note smartphone. We’re expecting to hear more at the upcoming Unpacked event. The date remains unannounced, though some rumours have pointed to it taking place on Aug. 11. We’re expecting to see at least one new smartphone from Samsung, plus more details on how the company will build upon Google’s Wear OS smartwatch platform with its twist. We might see upgraded accessories like Galaxy Buds and maybe even a new tablet to demonstrate the new S Pen Pro.