As we spend more time using our touch screen devices, be it a smartphone or a tablet, stylus pens are a helpful tool that gives us more control over how we interact with our screens. For individuals who need to write or draw, a stylus pen is essential to create a more accurate output compared to just using fingertips.
You can find a wide variety of stylus pens in the market today, making it harder to choose one that will suit your needs. To help you make a smart purchase, we will provide you with the top stylus pens to consider and guide you in choosing the right one.
What Is a Stylus Pen?
In case you’re not familiar with the term, a stylus is a pen-shaped instrument that absorbs current. It is used with smartphones and tablets with capacitive touchscreens. You can also use it to draw images or navigate menus on resistive touchscreens that react to pressure. It has a tip that screens can detect, like the way they detect fingers.
There are two types of a stylus. Each type has a different construction and compatibility. See what their differences from one another are.
With its tip made from rubber or foam, this type of stylus aims to replicate human fingers. Some capacitive styli also use metal like copper. You can use a capacitive stylus on any multi-touch surface where you can also use your fingers, including capacitive screens you will normally find on smartphones and tablets.
A capacitive stylus doesn’t require power. It is made of a conductive material, like a metal rod or barrel, to transmit electrical charge between your hand and the material used for the tip. Since it doesn’t have digital components, manufacturing them can be cost-effective. You can even make your own using materials found in your home.
Manufacturers of active styli have different protocols when it comes to interacting with a device’s digitizer. It is vital that the digital protocol of the pen matches the device digitizer. If not, the digitizer cannot recognize the actions of your active stylus.
Some of the protocols used in active styli include:
- Apple Pencil Active Projected Capacitive (APC)
- Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP)
- Wacom EMR
- Universal Stylus Initiative (USI)
- Wacom AES 1.0 and 2.0
Top Stylus Pens for Your Phone and Tablet
Choosing from a wide range of stylus pens can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what to get. We have listed seven of the best stylus pens you can find in the market today to make your search easier and make the most of your budget.
Wacom Bamboo Sketch
Wacom’s Bamboo Sketch is ideal for sketching and lettering using an Android or iOS tablet. You can connect it via Bluetooth to experience a natural and precise pen feel. It also has a pressure-sensitive fine tip for better input.
When it comes to the design, Wacom Bamboo Sketch has a matte surface and triangular design so you can have a better grip of the pen. It also has two buttons for exchangeable pen nibs and output control. You can charge it using USB and keep it in its own carrying case.
Check out the Wacom Bamboo Sketch to get a stylish stylus for your device.
Meko Universal Stylus
As the name suggests, Meko Universal Stylus is an all-purpose stylus compatible with a variety of touch screen devices, such as Kindle, Android smartphones, and Apple iPads and iPhones, among others.
The materials used to build this stylus include aluminum and stainless steel, giving you an authentic non-plastic pen-like feeling. It is 5.5 inches long and the tube is about 9 mm. across so you’ll have a comfortable in-hand grip.
This product has a clear disk that allows users to see where their inputs go. It also provides you with a precise point tip, which is ideal for taking notes and drawing. The diameter of the disk is about 6.8 mm., including a 2-mm. rubber point, while the fiber measures around 6 mm. You can replace the tips and replacements are included in the package.
Check out Meko Universal Stylus if you want a multi-functional stylus.
Friendly Swede 4-in-1 Stylus
The Friendly Swede offers a stylus that is a great fit for digital artists. When it comes to the construction, this stylus pen has an aluminum finish and the appearance resembles a normal pen. You can fit it in a pencil case or simply carry it in your pocket.
The stylus comes with four different tips:
- Paintbrush – this tip functions like a real brush, making it an ideal tool to achieve a perfect painting.
- Precision disc – this tip is ideal or projects that need pinpoint accuracy or fine-line drawing.
- Regular ballpoint pen – this tip is perfect taking notes on your touch screen device.
- Micro-knit fiber – you can use this tip for general stylus use.
You can replace each tip. The package also comes with replacement tips in case you need them. However, don’t expect it to have the same level of responsiveness or pressure sensitivity that is featured on more premium styli.
Check out Swede Friendly 4-in-1 stylus for an adaptable pen for your touchscreen device.
Adonit has established a name in the industry for its affordable and well-built styli. Mark is one of its remarkable products. This stylus is multi-purpose and is compatible with smartphones, tablets, and even laptops.
One thing that makes Adonit Mark stand out is its build. Built using anodized aluminum, the Adonit Mark gives you a good grip and a clean end product. The stylus also has a triangular shape, preventing the pen from rolling.
This stylus works well for drawing. It’s not ideal for note-taking, however. Since its tip is made of mesh, it doesn’t provide the preciseness you would need when taking notes. Also, if you’re working on the finer details of your drawing, don’t expect this stylus to give you precise input.
Check out Adonit Mark for an amazing deal.
Adonit Dash 3
Here’s another stylus by Adonit. The Dash 3 is an ideal stylus for note-taking, whether you’re using an Android or iOS device. This stylus is not active, which means you don’t need to connect it via Bluetooth. This makes it usable anytime and anywhere.
Adonit Dash 3 has a fine tip, making writing on your touch screen device feel natural. It only has one button that functions as the power switch. The stylus contains a rechargeable Li-Ion battery that can last up to 14 hours of continuous use.
Expect that it doesn’t have some of the advanced features you would normally find in an active styli.
Check out Adonit Dash 3 to level up your note-taking experience.
Staedtler 180 22-1 Noris Digital
If you’re an artist, you’re probably familiar with Staedtler’s iconic traditional pencils. Staedtler 180 22-1 Noris Digital is its digital counterpart that you can use for your digital projects. It feels like the traditional ones, giving you a natural writing and drawing experience.
The stylus is built with passive EMR technology. Yes, batteries are not needed to use this stylus. It also has wide compatibility across devices, be it iOS, Android, or Windows. If you accidentally rest your palm or wrist on your device while drawing, don’t worry because it has a palm rejection feature.
Like other styli, the Staedtler 180 22-1 Noris Digital also comes with spare nibs.
Elzo 3-in-1 Stylus
Elzo 3-in-1 stylus is a perfect cost-efficient alternative to some of the premium styli available today. As the name says, it has three tips in one body.
- Soft nanofiber – general stylus use
- Precision disc – for tasks that require precision
- Gel pen – to make it function as a real pen
The built of the stylus consists of an aluminum body and a soft grip that provides comfort when writing. It is also compatible with a wide range of devices, including iOS and Android devices with capacitive touchscreens.
Check out Elzo 3-in-1 stylus for an affordable alternative.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Stylus Pen?
Using a stylus pen provides multiple benefits to people using touchscreen devices. For example, such a tool makes it easier to take notes on your smartphone or tablet compared to using your fingers. Using our fingers can be difficult to achieve the precision we need for certain tasks.
Knowing the top stylus pens available in the market may not be enough to help you find the right stylus for your project. That’s why we’ll give you the important factors to consider when shopping for a stylus pen.
One of the important things to consider when buying a stylus is construction. It affects the overall performance of the pen and its lifespan. Consider getting a stylus that is well-constructed and made of sturdy long-lasting materials. Keep in mind that this tool is small in size, making it prone to bends, breaks, and careless accidents. Choose a stylus made from robust plastics and metals, and treat it properly.
As discussed above, there are different kinds of stylus pens. Some require batteries, while others don’t. You can also find rechargeable styli. Choosing a stylus based on its power needs depends on your personal preference. But it may affect the overall deal.
If you value convenience, you may opt for a rechargeable stylus. This, however, may cost more. Choosing pens with no integrated power source means you need to get disposable batteries from time to time.
Your stylus is a helpful accessory for your touch screen devices. But its reliability depends on its features. Make sure that you get a stylus that fits your needs. Certain styli are designed for drawing and some are best for note-taking. You can also find multi-purpose styli that come with different types of tips.
If you’re not sure what features to look for a stylus, here are some features that can help you make a smart decision.
- Protective cap
- Palm rejection
- Pressure sensitivity
- Built-in eraser
- Programmable shortcut buttons
- Convenience strap
- App support
In line with this, you should also consider these features to make the most of your purchase.
- Natural feel – get a stylus that feels good in the hand. It should also be comfortable to use, especially if you’re planning to use it for long hours. Stay away from a stylus that cramps your fingers or hands.
- Friction – your stylus should allow you to form letters and draw lines seamlessly without lag. Find the one that has enough friction between the stylus nib and the glass. It prevents your stylus from dragging or moving slickly that it skips. You also don’t want a stylus that you have to push hard for it to register or that doesn’t work with your screen protector. Find the right screen protector for your device so your stylus may work properly.
- Balance and weight – it’s ideal to choose a stylus with medium height for easy handling. Weight, meanwhile, should be distributed evenly throughout the body. Using a heavier stylus will make your hand get tired quickly, but if it’s too light, it will be harder to control.
Connectivity and Compatibility
The connectivity and compatibility of the stylus is another vital factor to consider when buying this tool, especially if you want to invest in a more technologically advanced stylus than a basic one. Some styli require additional pieces to connect to your device and function, while others you can just connect via Bluetooth.
When it comes to compatibility, make sure you get a stylus that is compatible with your device. There are styli that are only compatible with iOS devices and some are only for Android.
We put aesthetics at the last spot of our list because it is not as vital as the ones above it. But it’s still important to consider the look of your stylus. Whether you’ll use it for your digital art projects or to tap away on your smartphone, you will probably carry it around with you. Choose a stylus with an impressive aesthetic appeal that you can show off.
Enjoy Your Tablets and Phones Using a Stylus Pen
Stylus pens are a worthy investment if you use a touchscreen device most of the time, whether it’s for work or for school. It is easy to use and provides better input. But not all of them offer the same features and performance. Make sure to do your homework and research about the kind of stylus you need before going shopping. Use our guide to help you find the right stylus that suits your needs and your budget.
To learn more about other mobile accessories, you can check out our other articles and buying guides.