Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with S Pen

The clicky part doesn’t do anything aside from help you take the pen out of the phone.

Samsung isn’t offering a new Galaxy Note phone this year, but it has brought S Pen support to the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Unfortunately, both of these phones lack an S Pen slot though. That means you need to buy a case in order to securely stow away the stylus.

The S Pen slot is really convenient, but it does seem to come at the cost of battery capacity on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. The phone is similarly sized as other Ultra phones but has a 4,500mAh battery versus a 5,000mAh battery on the S20 Ultra and S21 Ultra. That got us wondering whether readers would be happy to trade battery life for an S Pen slot.

Would you trade battery life for a Samsung phone with an S Pen slot?


Just over 3,500 votes were cast after the poll was posted on August 30, and all choices received a significant number of votes. But the winner was the “yes” camp, with 45% of polled readers saying they would trade battery life for an S Pen slot. Interestingly, some of the reader comments suggest they’ll leave Samsung if a phone with an S Pen slot isn’t incoming.

Meanwhile, 29% of readers say that it depends on the final battery capacity of the phone. In other words, an S Pen slot is important to these readers but their devotion to the feature has limits. This makes sense too, as it’s one thing to go from a 5,000mAh capacity to 4,500mAh but another matter entirely to go from 4,000mAh to 3,500mAh.

Related: The ultimate guide to Samsung’s S Pen

Finally, just under 26% of readers say they wouldn’t trade battery capacity for an S Pen slot at all. This is an understandable choice as the S Pen is a pretty niche feature in the overall smartphone market, while battery life is more important for most consumers.

Interestingly enough, just under three-quarters of polled readers are either willing to make the trade or are open to it until a certain point. Looking at it another way, just under 55% of respondents are open to it until a certain point or aren’t willing to make the trade at all.


  • NightHawk29: I’ve ready decided I’m buying the Pixel 6 Pro when it comes out. This will be the first time in a decade I’ve bought a non-samsung device. I’ve honestly been getting sick of Samsung lately but no more Note sealed the deal to take my business elsewhere.
  • Shizuma: Yes, without an internal storage slot pens for phones are mostly useless as they get relegated to the bottom of a bag/get lost, any device I’ve had with a stylus without a slot I ultimately never use them cause they aren’t readily available, but on the note series phones I’ve owned I have used them.
  • Dave Stern: No spen silo in the fold 3 helped push the no purchase decision over the edge for me. Hoping they find a way in the fold 4.
  • friguy3: I’m literally leaving Samsung for now bc of this. If there’s no pen, for me I’m going pixel and seeing how that life is
  • Fredrik Seglem: I’m converted after the S21ultra I have with just the normal pen
  • Juan S: Abraham lincoln once said, a battery you can charge, a pen you can lose.
  • Jermaul West: It depends on how much battery life. Currently fold 3 is on the small side. If you have to lower that just to have the spen built in. I might pass on that and just carry the spen in a case.   

Thanks for voting in our poll and for leaving comments. What do you plan to do if Samsung doesn’t offer a Galaxy Note or a phone with a dedicated S Pen slot next year? Let us know below.