Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 rumored to lack an S Pen slot

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 with its stylus half inserted in the slot
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20. (Image credit: Future)

What's in store from the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in 2022? If it's going to follow the example of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 then it should come with support for Samsung's S Pen stylus, but a new rumor suggests that support will only go so far.

According to Naver (via @FrontTron), none of the Galaxy Z Fold 4 prototypes currently in development at Samsung have an integrated slot to hold the S Pen, which makes it unlikely that we'll see one in the final version of the foldable. The design is apparently going to be finalized in March.

No S Pen slot isn't a complete disaster – the Galaxy Z Fold 3 doesn't have one, and nor does the Galaxy S21 Ultra – but it's certainly a lot more convenient. It's a key feature from the Galaxy Note series that hasn't yet made its way over to any other handsets.

The case continues

It's possible that you might be able to buy an official Samsung case for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 to hold the S Pen – otherwise you're going to be left relying on your pocket or a third-party case to store the stylus when it's not in use. Alternatively, you could always store it behind your ear until you need it again.

While the expansion of S Pen support to the Ultra models in the S series and the Z Fold series is welcome, it seems Samsung isn't fully committed to the switch – or perhaps it's not certain that everyone who buys these phones will want an S Pen.

We haven't heard many rumors around the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 yet, but there has been talk that some of the camera upgrades will be rather underwhelming, and that it could go on sale for a cheaper price than its predecessor. If Samsung sticks to its 2021 schedule in 2022, we should see the foldable phone around August next year.

Opinion: Samsung needs to properly replace the Galaxy Note

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

In the midst of a global pandemic and a chip shortage that has affected just about every electronics company in the world, it seems as though Samsung has decided to discontinue the Galaxy Note series: there's been no official announcement, but the Galaxy Note 20 from 2020 didn't get a successor in 2021.

With the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 on the way, it could be argued that the Note series isn't really needed – especially if these phones have S Pen support, as expected. Without an integrated S Pen slot though, that support only goes so far.

Being able to slot away the stylus in the actual phone itself is a lot more convenient than buying a separate case for the job – which is required for both the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The integrated holder was a big part of the Galaxy Note's appeal.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is expected to be more Note-like than ever when it appears next year, and may even adopt the Note name. Without a proper place to store the S Pen stylus though, it doesn't really match up to everything that the Galaxy Note offered, and that's something we hope Samsung remedies in 2023 if not next year.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.