Eric Zeman / Android Authority
We have now seen leaks of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. This week, serial leaker Evan Blass came up with images of both phones, which are expected to arrive later this year. Of note, photos of the Z Fold 3 included an S Pen stylus. What wasn’t obvious in the photos? Where the Galaxy Z Fold 3 S Pen stylus lives.
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
The beauty of the Samsung Galaxy Note series is that the S Pen stylus is included. Not only is it included with the price of the phone, the S Pen is garaged directly within the chassis. This ensures that the S Pen is always available when you need it.
Over the years, Samsung has gone over the top to incorporate the S Pen stylus into the Note series. It’s more than a passive piece of hardware. It has become an active piece of the Note experience thanks to its Bluetooth connection and camera shutter release button, among other similar features. When you remove the stylus, the phone buzzes, launches dedicated stylus software, and otherwise assumes the stylus is part of the phone itself.
That’s clutch stuff that is part of the Note series’ appeal.
A pen apart
The S Pen stylus pictured with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is standing next to it. It’s a large stylus, and it’s clearly thicker than the Z Fold 3 chassis can accommodate.
If the Z Fold 3 cannot garage the stylus directly, that makes the S Pen an accessory that’s to be carried separately. Does it attach to the back magnetically, as the S Pen does on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S7 tablets? Does it slot into a case that we haven’t seen? These are questions that need answering.
With no direct home, that leaves people to come up with their own solutions. Backpack? Briefcase? Purse? I guess so.
Economics of the S Pen
The clicky part doesn’t do anything aside from help you take the pen out of the phone.
We don’t know where the S Pen stylus will live in the Galaxy Z Fold 3. We also don’t know if it will be included with the phone or if it will be an optional accessory. Considering how Samsung treated the S Pen with respect to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, it’s most likely we’ll see it as an accessory for the Z Fold 3 to be purchased for an extra fee. Remember, Samsung sold the S Pen as a $40 accessory for the highest-end S21 earlier this year. We doubt Samsung would include a free S Pen with the Z Fold 3 if the phone doesn’t have a slot for it.
So who would buy the S Pen? Probably most people who can afford a Galaxy Z Fold 3 to begin with. Remember, the price of the outgoing Z Fold 2 is a whopping $2,000. If you can afford that much for a phone, you can pony up a little more for a vital accessory such as s stylus.
The good news is more people may be able to afford the Z Fold 3. A recent report suggests the third-generation device may be up to 20% cheaper than the second-generation. That would drop the price to about $1,600. Still a very pricey phone, but closer to affordable for the masses than before.
Whether or not the S Pen stylus is included with the phone, or if the stylus has a place to call home on or in the phone, we expect the Z Fold 3 to be a popular device.