Mobile phones have evolved from just being devices used to making calls to all-in-one devices that could enable you to listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite movie and do many more things. They are just as powerful or in some cases even more powerful than your laptop and desktop. You can do almost everything you do on a 13-inch laptop on the 6 odd inches of screen.
Screens have gone on from being boring monochrome LCDs that stretched just a little over an inch or two, to being touch sensitive touchscreen displays that can now do everything with literally just a tap or slight movement of your fingertips.
Earlier touch-enabled smartphones came with a stylus
The earliest touchscreen-enabled smartphones or PDA as they were called back them - the likes of the O2 XDA Atom, for example – came with a stylus and a resistive touch panel, meaning that they were not that sensitive to touches with the finger, but would work okay with a pen-like stylus. The stylus has been around since the beginning of the touchscreen revolution. It was seen as an accessory to control that cool sophisticated technology that only a few of us could ever buy.
When Steve Jobs said who needs a stylus
During the the introduction of the iPhone, the legendary Steve Jobs scoffed at the stylus. He was of the opinion that the human finger was the best stylus there is. After this, we had almost forgotten the stylus as smartphones moved to more touch sensitive technology.
But Samsung said wait a minute let's bring the stylus from the dead and rule the phablet market when it introduced the original Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 in 2011. Since then, the stylus has been a staple with every Galaxy Note smartphone. In fact, it is the stylus or the S Pen as Samsung likes to call it, that makes the Galaxy Note series stand apart from its Galaxy S series counterparts that have almost the same internals.
Samsung's Galaxy Note series brought the stylus from the dead
Samsung has included the S Pen stylus with every Galaxy Note launched since 2011, including the current Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus which have a very advanced S Pen which is not just Bluetooth-enabled but also brings along a host of new features and air gestures. You can now use the S Pen stylus to click a selfie and control some of the phone's features from a distance apart from the usual note taking and doodling.
There have been some other not so significant brands that provided the stylus with their phones. The Note series from Samsung is perhaps the most popular and the only one that we could think of when we say stylus. Sure, Apple has the Apple Pencil which is basically a stylus that works with iPads, but it sells it as a separate accessory rather than as a bundled one like Samsung's S Pen that is bundled with the Galaxy Note. The Apple Pencil is again another fine example of a modern-day stylus which can do a lot more than just allow you to scribble and mark stuff.
Apple Pencil with an iPhone isn't a bad idea after all
There was a report not long ago suggesting that Apple could give one of its upcoming iPhones, most possibly the iPhone 12 or maybe even the 2021 iPhones, the ability to work with the Apple Pencil.
Samsung will also reportedly include an S Pen with the true successor to its Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone. This isn't very hard to believe since Samsung will be equipping the Galaxy Fold 2 with a glass display and not a sheet of plastic that would get scratched or dented with the use of a stylus, which was the case with the original.
Motorola's upcoming flagship will come with a stylus
Now it looks like we have another big name which is rumored to launch its first flagship smartphone in years one that will come with a stylus. Motorola made headlines with the launch of the 2019 avatar of the iconic Motorola Razr, and now it appears the company could launch a smartphone with bleeding edge technology and a stylus to go along.
While some may agree with what the late Jobs had said about the stylus and don't see it as a practical tool to use with a phone, the stylus is here to stay and it's surely making a big comeback in the smartphone world and hopefully we will see a lot more phones rocking these modern-day magic wands in the future.