Samsung Galaxy S22 and its S Pen stylus: what we know so far

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
A Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Image credit: Future)
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The Samsung Galaxy S22 range is likely to be one of the next big smartphone launches, as while we don’t expect these phones until 2022, they could land in January, and there’s not much more expected in 2021.

As such, there have already been lots of leaks about these handsets, and many of those leaks are focused on the S Pen stylus – a feature which is likely to be supported by at least one model, given that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra supports it.

With there not being a Samsung Galaxy Note 21, the Samsung Galaxy S22 range could therefore also be the closest thing to a new Note model that we see for a while, especially if Samsung carries out some rumored changes to the range.

Below we’ll run you through all the S Pen leaks and rumors so far, to paint a picture of which models are likely to include stylus support, and how big a feature it could be for Samsung’s next flagships.

Evidence of the S Pen

There’s a whole lot of evidence that the S Pen will be a feature of the Samsung Galaxy S22 range, but so far this evidence points to it once again only being the Ultra model that will get it.

We first heard that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra might support the S Pen back in July 2021. This came from a wide-ranging leak, and only the Ultra model was mentioned as getting this support.

The leak didn’t provide any additional details about it though, such as whether the stylus would come as standard with the phone, and whether there would be a slot for it, neither of which were the case with the S21 Ultra, despite these being features of the Note range.

More recently though, prolific leaker Ice Universe claimed that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra would have an S Pen slot, and that it would also have a similar design to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

A render showing the possible design of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: @OnLeaks / Digit.in)

They didn’t share any imagery, but we didn’t have to wait long for that, with another leaker (@OnLeaks via Digit.in) sharing unofficial renders of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra just a couple of days later. You can see one of these above, and it shows an S Pen slot in the bottom left corner (when viewing the phone from the front).

These renders also show the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra as having a squarer design than its predecessor, giving it a Note-like look as suggested by Ice Universe.

The same source then came back with renders supposedly showing the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, and these had a more S21-like design, with no S Pen slot.

Next up, we’ve seen case renders for cases seemingly designed for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, and these include a cut-out that’s likely for the S Pen slot, backing up the renders above. You can see one of these below.

A render of a case seemingly designed for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

(Image credit: Ice Universe)

And most recently of all, a leaker shared images and videos of what’s apparently a dummy unit of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Dummy units are sometimes used by accessory makers to help them design products prior to a phone’s launch, and this one is light on details – with no S Pen slot or any other ports, but the source of the leak claimed that the finished phone will have an S Pen slot.

The case for the S Pen

Beyond the leaks suggesting that S Pen support is planned for the Galaxy S22 range, there are also good reasons Samsung would include it.

As noted above, there wasn’t a Samsung Galaxy Note 21, so fans of that range will have been left clamoring for a suitable handset. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could potentially fill that role – especially if as has been rumored it has an S Pen slot and a Note-like design.

In fact, some sources suggest it will even be called the Samsung Galaxy Note 22 Ultra, meaning the Note range might not be so dead after all, and instead we could simply see a new model launch alongside a reduced S22 range.

What will Samsung do?

So will the Samsung Galaxy S22 range support the S Pen? We won’t know for sure until Samsung unveils these phones, but the evidence so far strongly suggests it will – though only with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

That would follow the pattern of what the company did with the Galaxy S21 range, but this time it looks as though Samsung will make the S Pen a more fundamental part of the experience – including it as standard with the S22 Ultra and including a slot for it.

Given that multiple sources have suggested this and that there aren’t any dissenting voices, we think that’s likely, especially given the lack of a new Note model.

That would still leave a gap in the market where the standard Samsung Galaxy Note 20 sat, as based on these leaks you’re going to have to spend an awful lot to get a new Samsung phone with a stylus. So we’d like to see Samsung expand support to the rest of the S range, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen this time around.

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.