Samsung GALAXY Note 3 – The return of the stylus

Jan 15, 2014

The past decade has witnessed remarkable developments in smart phone technology. Originally used as a communications tool for the corporate elite, the first smart phones (commonly referred to as Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs) combined two simple functions based on the key requirements of the time - email and mobile phone. Today, smart phones have become an essential part of our every day lives providing access to information, entertainment and social networks at the touch of a button and connecting us to the world around us.

Larger screens, motion sensors and a vast array of entertainment and productivity applications are now the most important USPs for smart phones. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars studying human behavior to help them design user interfaces that are seamless and easy to use. Over time, touch screens have pushed aside hard buttons, and in many cases, text and video capabilities are of higher priority to users than the ability to manage voice calls.
The evolution of the smart phone is one of the most impressive in technological history – a progression that would no doubt have earned a nod of approval from philosopher and ‘natural selection’ theorist Charles Darwin. Smart phones are now being designed to appeal to an ever younger demographic which could be viewed as the perfect example of technology mimicking life through a battle of ‘survival of the fittest’ where a market leader is often overthrown by the latest mutation (or in the world of technology - innovation).

The Stylus Revisited 
Despite developments in technology, old trends have often resurfaced and been drawn upon to enhance the user experience and to cater for our growing thirst for information and communication. Mobile phone screens became smaller in the early nineties in an effort to provide a sleeker, ‘modern’ look, only to grow larger again, and once criticized for their size, larger handsets have now become the norm. Perhaps once viewed as a relic of the late 1990’s the ‘stylus’ is another reemerging feature of the smart phone world and takes centre-stage with the launch of the Samsung GALAXY Note 3.
The word ‘stylus’ can be traced back centuries and in ancient times was used as a tool to write on tablets of clay or wax. The stylus surfaced in the world of technology in the 1990’s and became widely used providing precision for touch screen devices. Shortly after, the concept of the stylus pen became redundant and multi-touch screens became the most popular means to interact with these devices. The GALAXY Note 3 takes the precision prowess of the stylus one step further and reinvents it for the needs of today’s smart phone user. 

The S Pen – making your everyday easier
So does making a stylus ‘smart’ prove how a pen can be mightier than the finger? Making common, every day tasks easier, the GALAXY Note 3 combines a large screen and ‘S Pen’ which provides the ultimate precision and enables users to select and navigate their smart phone more efficiently – perfect for the multi-tasking consumer of today. Now an even smoother experience, the new S Pen reinvents and modernizes the classic note-taking experience by providing the ability to accomplish everyday tasks with just one click. Samsung consumers can use it to activate ‘Air command’, a menu panel that offers access to a range of innovative functions including: 

• Action Memo - which instantly initiates a call, adds to contacts, looks up an address on a map, searches the web and saves a task to a to-do list, all in a flash.
• The Screen Write feature, which allows consumers to scribble comments or additional information onto an image.
• Scrapbook, which enables users to collate information from various sources including the web, YouTube and their smart phone Gallery, in one place for easy viewing. By drawing a circle around an image or photo from Facebook with the S Pen for example, the GALAXY Note 3 will instantly add it to your scrapbook.
• S Finder - Browse a variety of content on your phone in an instant including items in Gallery, S Note, Action Memo, S Planner, Communication threads. etc. Using the handwriting search feature, you can also search for hand-written symbols in personal contents and solutions to formulas
• Direct pen input which enables users to write instead of typing and with advanced handwriting recognition technology across all of the handset’s functions, this provides greater versatility and flexibility.

For more advanced note-taking, the new and improved S Note means that users have the ability to write and browse notebooks through the simple interface and extensive canvas. The new ‘S Note’ can be synced with ‘Evernote’ or a Samsung account, which enables access to these notes from different devices. The S Note function can also turn scribbled notes and doodles into digital text, professional charts or beautiful imagery, instantly.

The Samsung GALAXY Note 3 perfectly merges convenience with technology and provides a more personalized user experience – could the stylus be back for good?


About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. 

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology; opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 236,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. To discover more, please visit