Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 probably won’t have an S Pen slot

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 (Image credit: Future)

One feature of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 that we’re almost certain of at this point is support for Samsung’s S Pen stylus, previously offered by the Galaxy Note range and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. This support has been widely rumored, but it’s not been clear whether there would be a slot for the S Pen or not, and now that’s looking unlikely.

According to Ishan Agarwal (a leaker with a decent track record) there will be an “S Pen Fold Edition” of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, and there will be a “Note Pack” case for storing the stylus with the phone.

Presumably this S Pen Fold Edition comes with both the stylus and the case, but that’s not totally clear from the wording of the tweet.

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In any case, if Agarwal is right then there won’t be a slot for the S Pen in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 itself, since if there was you wouldn’t need this case.

It’s worth noting that this claim is slightly at odds with at least one leak, which suggested Samsung had made the cover screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 slightly smaller in order to leave space for a stylus slot. So we’d take it with a pinch of salt, but equally no leaked images of the Z Fold 3 have shown a slot for the stylus.

Agarwal also claims that in addition to the Note Pack case there will be silicone, leather and aramid cases for the foldable.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 with its stylus half inserted in the slot

A stylus slot takes up quite a lot of space (Image credit: Future)

Analysis: no stylus slot is a good thing

While some (notably those who want the S Pen stylus) will probably be disappointed by the lack of a dedicated slot for it, the move makes sense.

There will probably be a lot of people who don’t care about the stylus, and for them a slot would be wasted space in what’s already going to be a big phone. Making the phone even larger for this slot, or shrinking the secondary screen as one leak suggests, would probably be undesirable.

If Samsung built the slot in it would also likely be more motivated to include the S Pen with the phone as standard, but this wouldn’t come free.

It would almost certainly add to the price of what’s sure to be an expensive handset. So giving people the choice of a stylus or not, and a case with a slot for it or not, means it can design a foldable that’s fit for a lot more people.

James Rogerson

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, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.