20 Cool Things You Can Do With S Pen on Samsung Phones

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In 2020, there is no dearth of big and powerful phones. What primarily differentiates the Note-series from all other phones is primarily the thin plastic strip it houses within – the S Pen. The S Pen on Note series now gets a unibody design and a 6-axis gyroscope motion sensor. It also retains Bluetooth connectivity that was introduced with the Galaxy Note9.

But how much of a difference does the glorified S Pen make? Is it something that you’d never draw out of your phone, or is it indeed a productivity tool? Well, the answer depends on the way you use your phone. Here are things you can do with the S Pen on Galaxy Note 10 plus or other Note-series devices.

Also Read: 5 Apple iPhone X Features That Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Already Had

18 Cool Things You Can Do With Samsung S Pen

1. S Pen Gestures

You can now assign S Pen motion gestures to different App actions. For instance, you can zoom in by circling S Pen clockwise or zoom out by circling S Pen anti-clockwise when the camera app is open.

S Pen gestures work when you press the S Pen button, which is why they can interfere with a single press and double press actions. Assign your gestures wisely.

2. AR Doodle

Using AR Doodle, you can doodle stuff on the camera viewfinders or draw AR objects in virtual space. When your viewfinder moves, these doodles stay put. This works surprisingly well and is quite fun.

AR Doodle option can be accessed in the Air Command menu.

3. Quick launch your favorite app

With Bluetooth, the S Pen can be used as a remote. Just go to Settings>> Advanced Features>> Spen and open Air commands. Now assign long press action to an S Pen feature that you frequently use or an App that you frequently use with your S Pen.


4. Unlock With S Pen Remote

You can also unlock your phone using by pressing the S Pen button. However, this works only if the S Pen was out of the holster when your phone locked.


To enable or disable S Pen Unlock, you can go to Settings>>Advanced Features>> S Pen Features. Now turn on ‘Unlock with S Pen Remote’ option.

Once enabled, you can simply press the S Pen button to unlock your phone. This works only when your phone locks with the S Pen drawn out. The option is quite helpful when your S Pen usage sessions have long time duration.

Tip: Combine S Pen and Face Unlock

Another trick you may use is turn off screen lock memos, and configure Face unlock. Now you can simply draw your S Pen out (only partially) to wake the phone screen, and then let face recognition complete the process.

5. Live Messages

This is one of the most popular S Pen feature this year. You can use Live Messages to scribble a word or emoticon or anything else and then share the GIF across different messaging or social media apps.

6. Voice Read Text

You can also use the translate tool in the Air command and your S Pen to read out text on your phone’s display. Just select translate, select complete language translate option and then tap the Volume icon. You can find the complete steps to do so here.

7. To read hidden notifications and Messages

You can also hover your S Pen over the message list or notification list to read the complete notification in a pop-up preview window.

8. Glance

Glance is for when you need to keep checking an app or a page. For instance, you might be working in another app but would like to keep tabs on live updates of an ongoing cricket match, or when you are on a payment page but want to keep an eye on the message app for the incoming OTP.

With Glance, you can minimize any app to a thumbnail on the right corner. You can then hover your S-Pen over it to expand it or drag the mini window to the delete icon to get rid of the glance screen altogether.

9. Smart Select

This is another tool that exemplifies the power of Samsung’s S Pen stylus. You can use it to smartly or conveniently grab a portion of the screen or even a video playing on your phone (as GIF), to write on whatever you have captured (screengrab or GIF) and to share it with friends through different apps.

If you come across an interesting video and want to share bits of it, this is a quite convenient way of doing so.

10. Take Notes – With display locked and unlocked

Another obvious use of the S Pen is to take notes. Samsung’s Note App works very well. You can pull out the pen, take notes, and then put it back in. The note will be minimized to a shortcut icon on top. You can later pull out the pen again and start off where you left.

You can also scribble on apps like One Note with your S Pen, Or even pull out the S Pen when your phone is locked and jot down notes on the off-screen itself. You can also pin these notes on the always on display.

11. Translate and check pronunciations

By selecting the translate option in the Air command, you get to translate specific words or the entire sentence just by hovering your pen over a word.

If you don’t translate that often, you can simply hover your pen over a particular word and prompt a Google pronunciation.

12. Magnify

Your S Pen can also double as a magnifying glass. You can just hover it over anything on your screen and magnify objects under it up to 300 percent.

This can come particularly handy for designers and other professionals who need to closely look through patterns and other details. Or simply if you wish to magnify and have a closer look at things that aren’t properly highlighted.

13. Screen Write or Screenshots done right

Most often when you take a screenshot, it is to highlight and share a piece of information on your screen. This is something you can do seamlessly with your S Pen.

Just tap on screen write option in the air command to take a screen capture and to draw on it in any which way.

Also Read: Top 8 Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Features

14. Fruit Ninja

Yup, slashing those bananas and melons with your samurai sword, aka S Pen, can be immensely gratifying. If you haven’t played Fruit Ninja for a while, try it with the S Pen.

15. Navigating  and scrolling through cluttered apps

Ever came across an App that made you feel that I’d rather do this on a laptop? For instance, the WordPress app that we often have to use on our phones isn’t easy to maneuver. Once the keyboard pops up, there is very little space left for you to view the text editor, and scrolling through the page can lead to inadvertent touches.

This is where S Pen comes in handy. Its fine tip helps with precise cursor placement, selecting text is very convenient, and you can easily scroll through (just hover your S Pen towards the bottom edge to scroll down). The scroll down feature also works in apps like WhatsApp, Gallery, etc.

Similarly, doing stuff like dragging stickers, rotating image object, etc. is simpler using your S Pen.

16. Gallery App

Scrolling through the Gallery app with the S Pen has its benefits too. You can just hover it over any picture to see a bigger thumbnail of the image. You’ll also find the options directly edit, Delete or share the image on this bigger image preview.  You can also tap open an image and directly draw on it using an S Pen before you share it.

Also with S Pen remote, you can use the S Pen button to navigate through your gallery.

17. Google handwriting Input

Google has a very efficient handwriting input keyboard tool. If you use Gboard, you can switch to it by long-pressing the space bar and scribble your sentences instead of typing.

Handwriting input works well if the input language is English. So, if you still find tedious to type long sentences on a phone, you can instead use S Pen, at least for casual conversations.

18. Drawing and Coloring

If you are passionate about drawing and coloring, you can have loads of fun with the S Pen. Apps like Art flow, Auto Desk, and Samsung’s own coloring book provide with ample options to exercise your creative skills

19. Signing Documents

Signing documents is a practical necessity for professional users. And the S Pen is the best way to put your signature on digital documents. You can use apps like Sign Easy to save your signatures and to put them on documents that you can import from Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, and Dropbox.

20. Bixby Vision

The Bixby Vision option can be accessed from Air command. This option basically doubles up as a handy OCR tool. You can use it to extract text from an image, scan QR codes on your phone’s screen, or look for similar images to whatever object is on your home screen (still work in progress).

It could be a picture you come across on the internet, an image in your gallery or simply a hoarding you just clicked to know more about the area around you. This is how you summon the powers of Bixby (which will get better with time) using your S Pen.

These are things you can use your S Pen For

The S Pen is not a gimmick. It’s a very productive tool for power users who carry their personal and professional worlds on their phones. These are some of the cool things you can do using your S Pen on Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra or other Galaxy Note series devices

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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Angela Knigge
3 years ago

Can I get this list in a video to further understand the spen options]?

Annie Chaudhary
4 years ago

Samsung has invented a pen for its galaxy series, It has lots of features which are illustrated in this blog all are amazing and especially I like the blog about how its written and editing style and the topic is also amazing. I hope you can write on apple pen and get views.

4 years ago

My s-pen note 10 plus feature only “Action memo, Smart select, screen write and view all note” can some one help me to add AR Doodle, Translate, Glance etc ? thank you

Riya Patel
4 years ago

The feature #7To read hidden notifications and Messages is really cool and helpful. No need to open it.