The head of R&D at Samsung Mobile explains why it is not a priori tomorrow the day before that we will see an S Pen directly integrated into the Galaxy Z Fold.
Every year, it’s the same tune. Samsung is releasing a Fold model that works with an S Pen stylus, but the accessory still can’t be stored directly in the smartphone. The newly unveiled Galaxy Z Fold 5 is no exception to the rule.
During an interview with Won-Joon Choi, Executive Vice President and boss of the R&D branch of Samsung Mobile, the latter was able to give us some explanations on the challenges encountered by the company vis-à-vis the S Pen and the Fold.
Samsung is not deaf
First of all, Won-Joon Choi explains that Samsung is very aware of the requests from the public. He says that when the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the first foldable model compatible with the stylus, was released, this was the first question he was asked: when will we be able to insert the S Pen directly into the Fold? And since then, this question has constantly come back to him.
Faced with this challenge, Samsung lets hear two stories. On the one hand, journalists present in South Korea were able to see dummy models of a Galaxy Z Fold incorporating a location to store the S Pen. Proof that the manufacturer is looking quite seriously at this track. On the other hand, Won-Joon Choi wants to highlight some major constraints… literally.
When we got started with the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, we mentioned a 41% thinner S Pen on this generation compared to last year. Won-Joon Choi explains that to achieve this miniaturization, it was necessary to mobilize many R&D efforts and in particular to change certain materials of the stylus.
We could then say that that’s it, all that remains is to integrate the S Pen into the Fold. It is not so simple. There is obviously the question of the internal space occupied by components that may need to be repositioned (and all the technical problems that this would cause). But above all, you should know that Samsung has other priorities.
Refine the Fold above all
Won-Joon Choi indeed delivers information that is important: the priority of Samsung Mobile’s R&D department is to continue to refine the Fold so that it continues to take up less space – especially when folded, a format that stays thick.
Between the first Fold and the Galaxy Z Fold 5, we lost 21% in thickness and 29 grams. A trend that the leader wants to maintain in the years to come. However, by integrating the S Pen into the phone now, this momentum would undoubtedly be considerably slowed down. Or, the S Pen would have to be reduced in size even further so that it could fit in a very narrow slot. However, in the current state of things, this would especially risk weakening the stylus.
Everything in its time therefore: Samsung will mainly focus its efforts on reducing the thickness of the Galaxy Z Fold before fully investing in the integration of the S Pen in the folding phone.
In the meantime, the S Pen for Galaxy Z Fold 5 has the merit of being able to store quite easily in its dedicated case (but to be purchased separately).
Where to buy The
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 at the best price?
NEW: rent the Galaxy Z Fold 5 without obligation
NB. Our journalist Omar Belkaab was present in Seoul and Suwon in South Korea as part of a press trip organized by Samsung from July 23 to 28, 2023.