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Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 won’t have stylus support like the Fold 3

Published Aug 5th, 2021 11:21AM EDT
Fold 3 Stylus
Image: Samsung via Evan Blass

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The foldable phone is no longer just a gimmicky device targeting a particular niche of the market. Samsung wants the form factor to go mainstream. And the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 certainly feel like mainstream smartphones. They’re not official until next week, but we think we know everything about the two foldable handsets already. The rumors say that both handsets will be more durable, just like traditional smartphones. They’ll also be more affordable than their predecessors, with the Flip 3’s price reportedly in iPhone 13 Pro range. Samsung will also try transplanting the S Pen stylus to the Fold 3, a first for foldables. That’s another trick that might make foldable phones more like their flat counterparts.

Reports last year said that Samsung wanted to bring S Pen functionality to the Fold 2 but ultimately ditched the feature. The foldable display’s fragility might be the reason the Fold 2 did not get a stylus. But almost every Fold 3 rumor we saw this year said Samsung will bring stylus support to its best foldable.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s S Pen support was another indication that the stylus’s reach was expanding. Add to that the Note 21 cancelation, and you end up with Samsung fans looking for a brand new stylus-ready device that isn’t a Note.

Only Fold 3 gets stylus support

More and more confirmations have been coming in. We saw it all, from renders to documentation that Samsung filed with regulators and Samsung’s surprise announcement that the stylus is coming to foldable phones. Samsung did not say at the time which 2021 foldable devices would work with the S Pen

Rumors also said that Samsung will unveil new Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) on the 2021 foldables. The new glass panel is more durable, and that might be why S Pen support is possible. Rumors also said that Samsung will make the same UTG screens available to other companies ready to launch new foldable handsets this year.

But rumors usually mentioned the Fold 3 in connection with stylus support. Even though the Flip 3 and Fold 3 might have the same strong UTG panels, S Pen support isn’t in the cards for both.

As seen above, a brand new leak from Evan Blass shows us the purported preorder page for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3. The image features the same Fold 3 and Flip 3 press render that the leaker provided in the past. A look at the picture will tell you the Fold 3 will get a stylus, while the Flip 3 will feature a larger external display.

But there’s also a fine print on the Samsung preorder page that has this to say:

The S Pen Fold Edition sold separately and is only compatible with Z Fold 3.

As I mentioned before, it’s not a huge surprise to learn the Flip 3 won’t work with the S Pen. Bundling the S Pen with the smaller foldable seems like a logistical hassle.

The S Pen costs extra

No case would let you carry both of them in a single package. At least, not as long as the S Pen design is so long. And Samsung is all about offering buyers cases that will let them carry both the handset and the stylus. We saw it with the S21 Ultra, and we already have case leaks for the Fold 3.

Finally, that fine print tells us the S Pen costs extra. So you might have to pay close to $2,000 for the Fold 3 this year, but you’re not getting a free stylus to go with it.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.