Samsung’s stylus upgrade does not include S Pen storage.

Samsung's stylus upgrade does not include S Pen storage.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5: A Thinner Design and an Evolving S Pen

Samsung’s latest book-style foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 5, has taken the market by storm with its sleeker design and impressive folding capabilities. However, it’s not just the phone that has undergone a transformation – the accompanying accessory, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 S Pen Fold Edition, has also received an upgrade.

At a press roundtable held in Seoul, South Korea, Samsung revealed that the S Pen Fold Edition has undergone a significant change. The stylus’ radius has been reduced from 7.4mm to 4.35mm, almost the same size as the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s S Pen. This makes it 41% thinner than its predecessor, last year’s S Pen Fold Edition. Samsung achieved this by exploring how to embed the S Pen into the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Samsung is not stopping there, though. The company is currently exploring the possibility of creating an even slimmer stylus that can be conveniently slotted into the foldable phone itself. Won-Joon Choi, head of Samsung R&D Office Mobile Experience Business, emphasized that they are not only considering the technological aspects but also the user experience. The goal is to ensure that when writing with the S Pen, users feel as if they are using an actual pen. Going too thin with the stylus may compromise this familiar writing experience.

While Samsung has supported the use of the S Pen since the introduction of the original Galaxy Note in 2011, designing a stylus for a foldable phone presents unique challenges. Choi explained that the design of the S Pen must take into account factors such as developing new tip materials that won’t damage the flexible display of the foldable phone and avoiding magnet interference from the device.

One crucial consideration highlighted by Choi is that designing the S Pen differs from designing a foldable phone. Samsung believes that portability is one of the three prerequisites for a foldable phone to become mainstream. However, incorporating the S Pen without compromising usability poses a tough balancing act. The stylus was designed to replicate the experience of writing with a real pen, and making it too portable could sacrifice this sense of authenticity.

The Quest for a Permanent Home for the S Pen

Despite the anticipation surrounding the integration of the S Pen into the Galaxy Z Fold 5, the device does not yet have a dedicated slot for the stylus. Samsung’s current solution is the $100 Galaxy Z Fold 5 Slim S Pen Case, which allows users to attach the stylus to the back of the phone. The case itself has undergone a slimming down too and could serve as a stylish alternative for those eagerly awaiting the dream of built-in S Pen storage.

During the roundtable, Choi discussed the dilemma Samsung faces in designing the future of the Z Fold lineup. On one side, some users desire an even thinner book-style foldable phone, which would require an even slimmer S Pen to be embedded. On the other hand, there are those who want a thicker Z Fold to accommodate the stylus. However, a thicker device would compromise Samsung’s core design philosophy of portability.

Choi emphasized the importance of finding the right balance between form factor and user experience. Samsung is committed to delivering a device that meets the various needs and desires of its customers. Striking this balance will require careful consideration to determine the best direction to take for future foldable phone designs.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 and its accompanying S Pen Fold Edition showcase the company’s continuous innovation in the realm of foldable devices. By prioritizing user experience and maintaining the functionality of the S Pen, Samsung aims to provide users with a seamless and intuitive writing experience. As the technology develops, we can expect to see even more impressive advancements in foldable phones and accompanying accessories.