In April 2010, I wrote the article, What is wrong with using a stylus? About a year later, I followed it up with another titled,

Re-cycling Mobility – the stylus may be back in fashion

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In April 2010, I wrote the article, What is wrong with using a stylus? About a year later, I followed it up with another titled, The return of the Stylus?. At the time of the second article, only HTC had produced a mobile device with a stylus (the Flyer tablet) on any of the new generation smartphone platforms. A number of people did argue that the stylus was largely redundant and probably dead and buried.

Samsung Galaxy Note

The world’s largest mobile manufacturer, Samsung, recently stepped up to the stage with a device that has a stylus too – the Galaxy Note (pictured above). It is interesting that many reviews of the Note extol the benefits of the stylus in use with it. So far, the Samsung Galaxy Note seems to be making a good splash in the pond. Will the use of the stylus catch on?

Sony Ericsson P800
Sony Ericsson P800

Personally, I would love to use a stylus for taking notes via handwriting recognition and for drawing. I remember that I was a fan of Sony Ericsson’s Symbian UIQ smartphones because of handwriting recognition via the included stylus on each of those devices. I owned the fantastic P800 (above), and a little later the P990. The last symbian UIQ smartphone that I owned was the P1i pictured below (brym! do you still have yours?).

Sony Ericsson P1i
Sony Ericsson P1i

With a heavyweight like Samsung pushing a stylus device, perhaps I might yet laugh last. I also suspect that the Galaxy Note and devices after its mold will gain the prestigious status that Nokia’s Communicators used to have. They have the muscles, size, wow factor and exclusivity required to be the top dogs in the smartphone jungle.


  1. When I see a Stylus attached to a number of devices, I’ll believe it MIGHT be making a comeback. As it is, the Galaxy Note is looking like the Lone Ranger.

    As it is, you can buy a separate Stylus for some touchscreens but they’re ridiculously expensive.

  2. I have the Samsung Galaxy Note and although i initially thought that i wouldn’t use it much but i’ve found myself using it more and more daily. I take Notes on the Note(pun not intended), even when i go to church i just hold only the Note on which i scribble everything on.

  3. In that case , you might just want to read this article about Apple working on an advanced stylus
    Just like fashion, when the big players ‘decide’ that something is fashionable and cool, every other person follows.

    I won’t be suprised to see tablet makers attaching a stylus to their offerings in the coming months

  4. So far, the Samsung Galaxy Note seems to be making a good splash in the pond


    Now- a splash -that is a COLORFUL one.!

    I hate the inconvenience of styluses. But, to scribble with bare fingers is a pain in the derrière. Capacitive screens are also not for the grubby dirty fingers of mechanics, etc

  5. When input systems are mentioned these, the talk is generally about productivity. That’s where present day stylus seem to be superior when compared to the old stylus input.

    If you have ever used the Sony Ericsson Xperia I & II, apart from the slide-out QWERTY keyboard, using the stylus to pick characters on the onscreen keyboard at best is a novelty but in practice a pain. That is what Apple got very right with the iPhone at launch.

    The stylus on the Samsung Galaxy Note is designed to do a different kind of input – drawing/sketching on your screen. The handwriting recognition system on the device is also superior to the old systems given better hardwares and software and so it won’t so much be a novelty anymore. It would even beat what we have on desktop systems in those days since you now draw/write directly on the screen.

  6. Yes Yomi, I still have them. I checked the P1 graveyard today to see two dead veterans and one injured veteran that refused to die even after been buried alive. I
    i am posting this with the surviving vet armed with a stylus.
    Realy good seeing the stylus coming back to a top device like the Galaxy Note. Hope Sammy can create more ways to use it more productively(deeper integration).
    Whose next to toe the line?

  7. the galaxy note 2 is all of a sudden becoming attractive now. Will wait at and see what it will offer.

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