It looks like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 may get an S Pen slot

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 S Pen use
You can keep the S Pen with the Galaxy Z Fold 5... if you have a case (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 works with Samsung's S Pen stylus, but there's no integrated slot for keeping it in the phone, like there is on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Now there's evidence that this might be changing on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6.

As spotted by Studimo (via Android Central), a Samsung patent has emerged, showing some potential locations where an S Pen could be housed on a foldable phone – perhaps the foldable phone Samsung is due to launch next year.

There are a couple of ideas here: one is to have the S Pen slot embedded into the back of the phone, below the rear camera. The other is to extend the bezel of the phone to the side, and have the S Pen kept there when it's not in use.

The usual patent caveats apply here: these patents are no guarantee of products or ideas actually appearing in the real world, but they do offer an interesting insight into what companies are thinking about and exploring at the design stage.

Stylus innovation

Considering that Samsung hasn't yet introduced a built-in S Pen slot on its foldable phones, we can only assume that there are engineering reasons not too: perhaps it makes the handset too thick or too heavy, and the trade-offs aren't considered worth it.

As noted in our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review, you can buy cases that have room for storing the S Pen in them, but it's hardly an ideal solution. Having a proper slot for the stylus when it's not being used is definitely preferable.

The patent also includes a possible innovation for the S Pen: physical buttons on the side. It's likely that these would be customizable, and could be used to launch specific actions on the Galaxy phone the stylus is being used with.

We haven't heard too much in the way of rumors or leaks around the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 so far, but if Samsung sticks to its usual schedule then we should see it around August time next year, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6.

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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.