What’s new with the S-Pen?

A Note just isn’t a Note without the S-Pen. It is an essential component to the Note line up that helps set itself apart from the competition. As such, Samsung is always looking for ways to make it more useful and add more features.

Over the years we’ve come to appreciate the S-Pen for navigating the phone and writing notes. Most recently we’ve come to love Off Screen Memo and Live Messages. The good news is, those features are still there and with the Note 9 Samsung has found a new way to innovate. For the first time, the S-Pen will include Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

Once the S-Pen is removed it pairs automatically with your phone using Bluetooth LE, even when Bluetooth is turned off. With the use of this new wireless technology, the button on the S-Pen gains new abilities.

What Can it Do

With a press of a button, you can pause or play videos, snap selfies with the camera, or control a Powerpoint presentation. When taking photos a single click will snap the photo while a double click will switch between the front and rear camera.

Controlling media playback and the gallery works similarly. A single click will play/pause the song or video and a double-click will go to the next track or photo in the gallery. The S-Pen can even be used to launch an app with a customizable long press shortcut.

What’s even better is Samsung has plans to open up the SDK for developers. Soon developers will be able to add more functions to their apps making the S-Pen even more useful.

A Couple of New Tricks

Last year Samsung introduced Live Message and AR Emojis. This year they have combined them allowing you to write messages on your own custom AR Emoji and share it with friends.

Another cool trick is your Off Screen Memos will not watch the color of the S-Pen you are using. For example, yellow for the Ocean Blue model or light grey for the Midnight Black model, as well as matching colors for the Lavender Purple and Metallic Copper models.

Battery Life and Distance

If you’ve ever used a Bluetooth device before then I’m sure you are familiar with charging the battery. The S-Pen will be no different in this respect. To charge the S-Pen all you have to do is slide it into your phone.

It only takes 40 seconds for the Super Capacitor to reach a full charge, and that lasts you for 30 minutes or up to 200 clicks. Thirty minutes might not sound very long, but don’t worry all of the original S-Pen features work fine even with the battery fully drained.

Another aspect of Bluetooth you’re probably familiar with is the limited range. The new Bluetooth LE S-Pen has a working range of 10M or 32ft. Fortunately, in most instances, you wouldn’t be anywhere near its maximum range while using it.

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