Samsung Galaxy S4 S-Pen Inside Scoop - New Clue?


A fresh new development could spell "S Pen" for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S IV smartphone. Evidently, Samsung has invested $58.9 million in Wacom. This is the company who supplies the S Pen stylus found in the Galaxy Note series.

Does Samsung owning a 5% stake in Wacom mean that they believe the stylus will become the defacto user interface tool for all smartphones and tablets, or does it simply mean they are tightening up the future supply for the Note series?

I have flip-flopped on this issue at least 3 times now. First, I truly believed there would be a stylus with the Galaxy S IV. Then I truly believed they would not, due to the thinness issue and the fact that the Galaxy S4 would directly compete with the Note II and make it obsolete. But now my faith in the S Pen for the SGS4 has come back again.

I don't see Samsung plopping down this much cash just to support 2 devices in their lineup. This is the kind of investment that tells us the stylus is the future of their front line products. Maybe this is the kind of cash Wacom needed for research & development purposes to provide a thinner stylus for the SGS4.

Looking at the trends, we pretty much saw the stylus die back in the ending days of the Palm Treo. Nobody would have ever predicted a comeback after the induction capacitive screens were invented. But Samsung pulled it off with the first generation Note.

Maybe the stylus never died, spiritually. Maybe the hordes of "precision-minded smartphone users" like myself never really disappeared. I was one of the faithful stylus-toting Treo users, and I've missed the accuray of a stylus ever since those days.

Could it be that fat-fingering and screen-finger-buttering is the trend that might be coming to a close? I think it could be. As smartphones become more and more capable, the demand for pinpoint accuracy will only grow, in my opinion.

So, let it be known that I am officially waffling. Again. My current position on this issue stands upon the inclusion of the S Pen stylus for the Samsung Galaxy S IV breakthrough device coming to shelves in the near future.

I just hope I'm not wrong... because my hopes are up again.

Carlton Flowers
Stylus Mogul

Samsung Galaxy S IV Rumors - S Pen Taunting Me


The rumors keep swirling about the smartphone coming to Android Nation that will likely be the most advanced ever released. It's the Samsung Galaxy S IV.

And as we watch closely for leaks on details, there's one thing that really gets me keyed up... rumors about an S Pen.

This is starting to get a little ridiculous. At first, I wrote off the Galaxy S IV S Pen rumors as fiction, because I did not thing that Samsung would want their new flagship smartphone to compete directly with the Galaxy Note II. It just didn't make sense.

But the rumors are persistent. There are several sources out in the blogosphere, many of which have credibility, who keep droning on about the Galaxy S IV including an S Pen.

It's hard for me to put my biggest dream about the S IV aside, with all these fresh rumors circulating. I want to be able to let myself down easy if it doesn't turn out to be true.

But now that I think about it, there could actually be some sensible reasoning for Samsung to include the S Pen on the Galaxy S IV.

If they view this as the new minimum standard for their devices, then it shouldn't be a threat to the Galaxy Note II. Plus, the size of the Note II is still bigger, albiet slightly.

Add to this the fact that the rumors swirling around about the Galaxy Note II are completely insane, stating that the next Note in the seriies will come with a 6" or larger display.

The only way I can see them pushing the bubble and creating a monstrosity like this is if they keep the smartphone/phablet people happy with a more sensible jumbo-sized device with an S Pen.

So if this all pans out, and we see a 4.99" Galaxy S IV with an S Pen along with a 6" or bigger Galaxy Note III, then hats-off to Samsung for pushing the limits of the imagination and carving out new niches that could make a lot of people happy.

All I can say is that the Galaxy S IV better have an S Pen, or I will be seriously let down. My hopes are up, and I can't go back to my previous thinking. I want my theory to ring true, and I want a Galaxy S IV with an 8-core processor and S Pen in my hands come May of 2013.

Come through for me Sammy, please come through for me. Make my dreams come true.

Carlton Flowers
S Pen Finatic

Five Bucks That Might Save Me $299 For Three Months


Today I made a bee-line to Walgreens after work to spend five bucks on something that will save me $299 and a new contract... for a little while, anyway.

While at work, my fellow engineer and good buddy Deronn Williams was poking around on his Sprint Samsung smartphone with a brightly colored stylus that caught my eye. With a big grin on his face, he showed off the little $5 capacitive touch stylus that he purchased from Walgreens.

Upon inspection, I noticed right off the bat that it was 100% better than the box of 100 styluses that I bought directly from China that I thought would make me rich a couple of years ago.

Surfing the Alibaba site one night, I discovered the rubber-tipped stylus that I had my sights set on for a seriously low price. Instead of the going rate of $15, I was able to land a whole case of these little wonderful things at fifty cents apiece. I planned on selling them for $5 each and making a handsome profit.

Big mistake...

When I got the box, the styluses had a rubber ball-shaped tip that skidded across the screen of my then-iPhone 3GS, and the performance was less than crappy. The way they were made caused them to skip, and made using them nearly useless.

Fast-forward a couple of years and the new and improved rubber-tipped smartphone styluses started popping up that had a thinner hollow tip. They worked perfectly, but were priced at around $20 each. I wanted one, but was too cheap to buy them at that price.

Today, after trying out my buddy's stylus and discovering that they actually glide smoothly across the screen of the display while working perfectly with no skipping, I decided to rush to Walgreens and get my own.

I arrived at the store and went straight for the jug of $5 brightly-colored styluses and picked up a florescent orange one that would give me the best chances of seeing when placed within the piles of junk on my desk.

While using it, I was so pleased with the performance and how it made using my Samsung Galaxy S2 so much easier. Pecking on the keyboard was a snap, and gliding through apps and screens was almost flawless.

If you haven't noticed, I've been salivating over the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 through AT&T Wireless for months on end. I've lost sleep dreaming of the day that I would pick one up for $299 on an early 1-year upgrade, to enjoy the magical and highly advanced S Pen stylus. But I don't have a spare $299 sitting in my pockets to be the first in line (iPhone commercial joke) to get one.

But with this wonderful cheap $5 Walgreens capacitive touch smartphone stylus, I think I can survive a few more months with my beloved Samsung Galaxy S2 while I wait for my wallet to fluff up to the tune of $299.

Using my Samsung Galaxy S2 with a docking station, bluetooth keyboard, and fantastic day-glow orange rubber tipped stylus is pure smartphone enjoyment. It's so easy that I use my laptop a lot less. Writing emails is super easy, and gliding through my apps is seriously fun with the stylus.

Don't get me wrong, I would still like to have all of the amazing features of the S Pen stylus on the Galaxy Note 2. Namely, the ability to have a pressure sensitive effect that has 1,200 levels of sensitivity. Plus, the hovering effect for previewing content and the ability to crop out screen shots would be fantastic.

But this little five dollar wonder will definitely hold me over for at least a few months. I don't care if it only lasts 2 or 3 weeks before wearing out. All I would have to do is make a Walgreens run and pick up another one, or buy one on Amazon for a buck.

The good thing is, this might help me to extend the use of my current smartphone and slow down my upgrade fever, thus giving me more value for my money.

If you haven't tried the newer soft-tipped hollow rubber tipped styluses for your smartphone, I would highly recommend that you give it a try. Sure, they don't have the accuracy of a pointy tipped S Pen, but they certainly have a great amount of functionality for the money.

I would even recommend these lovely little things for iPhone users, especially since you won't be seeing anything like an S Pen (or shall we call it and iPen?) anytime in the near future.

If you are bent on using a stylus like I am, go grab one and tell me what you think. Or if you currently have one, tell me if you are a fan of the new and improved capacitive touch styluses in the comments section!

Looks like I will be able to spend an extra $299 on Christmas presents this year!

Carlton Flowers
Stylish Stylus Enthusiast