11 Best Smartphones with a Stylus in 2022

Best Choice

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2021)

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Premium Pick

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with the S-Pen Case

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Best Value

LG Stylo 6

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Trying to figure out which smartphones with a stylus are the best for you? In 2022, there seems to be a resurgence in the popularity of stylus-equipped smartphone choices. We are not just talking about Samsung Galaxy Notes. Fresh on-the-shelf phones like the Motorola Moto G Stylus are leading the game this time. This would also see the hardy and future-proofed older models like the LG Stylo 6 climb back into the fore as more affordable options. In this article, we are raking the best phones with a stylus pen in 2022.

Also read: Best Apple Pen Alternatives for iPad

 

Inside this Article

  1. Why a Smartphone with a Stylus?
  2. Things to Consider When Getting a Stylus Phone
  3. Best Smartphones with Stylus
    1. Best Choice – Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G
    2. Premium Pick – Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with case for S-Pen
    3. Best Value – LG Stylo 6 – Release 2020
    4. Microsoft Surface Duo 2 with Slim Pen 2
    5. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G
    6. Motorola Moto G Stylus (2021)
    7. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
    8. Apple iPad 12.9 (2021)
    9. Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ with M-Pen
    10. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
    11. LG Stylo 5+ 
  4. What Next?

 

Why a Smartphone with a Stylus?

So, why a stylus-equipped smartphone? As smartphone technology moves forward, it changes a few things. The biggest thing that changed is how smartphone input works. What was once quick and easy to type into a physical phone keyboard now has to be typed into a flat and pressure-sensitive virtual keyboard — and that is not the only problem.

Also See: Best Android Keyboard.

Even if the addition of touch screens to smartphones allowed users to have more accurate presses and strokes, due to differing finger sizes and screen pressure, the result might not be as accurate as intended. This is especially true for things like drawing apps or electronic signatures. That is where the stylus shines! It gives users almost perfect accuracy for whatever they need to do, whether it is writing, drawing, or gaming.

And let’s admit it, a smartphone with a stylus is a joy to use!

 

What to Consider When Getting a Stylus Phone

Before picking smartphones with a stylus, let us go over a few tips when choosing the best stylus-equipped phone for you.

 

Battery-powered and Battery-free

Smartphone pens or stylus come in two types, passive and active connections. Passive pens are usually non-powered and do not need to connect wirelessly to the phone. Most of these are designed to copy the same actions fingers do on touch screen phones. Passive pens are compatible with most smartphones and models, even those that do not include one with the unit.

Active connected pens, on the other hand, like Samsung’s S-pen, connect to phones via Bluetooth and are more accurate in general. These are designed to act as though you are writing using a pen or a pencil. Active styli also offer a more varied array of features, including pressure sensitivity and tilt control.

 

Compatibility and Replacements

It is no question that styli are easy to misplace, especially those that do not have a dock integrated into the phone. So, it is good to keep in mind whether the brand and model of your phone’s stylus are easily sourced and replaced in your area. You should also remember that most active styli are compatible only with select models of smartphones.

 

Ease of Use and Comfortability

The last thing you should keep in mind when picking a smartphone with a stylus is whether the two are comfortable to use. Look at the phone’s screen size and the stylus’ length when deciding whether it is a good fit for your hand. If you can, it is best to try out the phone and stylus’s compatibility with your writing style before buying it.

 

The Best Smartphones with A Stylus for 2022

You already know what to look for on a phone with a stylus, it’s time to pick the perfect device for you! For this list, we will mainly focus on the phone’s specs and technical data, their USB connector type, and if they have a compatible active stylus. We will also mention whether the smartphone has an integrated dock for the stylus or if they have to be stored externally.

1

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2021)

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 10
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

The latest iteration of Motorola’s Moto G Stylus that was released in mid-2021 is a slightly updated version of the Moto G Stylus just six months prior. Coming in with an improved camera, a 6.8-inch screen, and the Snapdragon 480 chipset, the Moto G Stylus 5G is, by far, our first choice for a smartphone with a stylus. Not only does it combine a decent price for its speedy octa-core chipset (4×2.0Ghz and 4×1.8Ghz); it also comes with a stylus and a bloatware-free stock Android 11 OS.

Managing the fine line between quality features and affordability, the Motorola Moto G Stylus comes with several options. Our pick is the 5G capable version with a hefty 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB of ROM, enough to future-proof your smartphone for a few years at least.

 

2

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 with the S-Pen Case

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 11
Stylus Dock External (Internal with the attachable stylus case)
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

Our premium pick for smartphones with a stylus is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. One of the most high-tech phones currently on the market, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, is, as named, a foldable phone. Slightly reminiscent of old PDAs due to its gigantic 7.6-inch screen when unfolded, the AMOLED display can show up to 1768×2208 pixels at 120Hz. It is one of the best smartphone screens so far.

Aside from that, Samsung really brings out the phone’s premium features with the equipped octa-core Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 chipset (1×2.84Ghz, 3×2.42Ghz, and 4×1.80Ghz), 5G capability, 12Gb RAM, and three 12MP cameras.

Its only downside is that it may not have an internal dock for Samsung’s proprietary S-pen. But it does have a convenient S-pen case that doubles as a hardshell case for the phone itself and is usually available as a discounted bundle deal.

 

3

LG Stylo 6

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 9 or 10
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

The LG Stylo 6 is a phone that carries a great lineage and might just be the last of its kind. LG announced the mothballing of its smartphone lines and axed the expected successor to this model, the Stylo 7, in early 2021. While it may not be the latest phone in the market, the LG Stylo 6 more than holds out on its own compared to other smartphones with a stylus in 2022 with the future-proofed Mediatek MT6765 Helios P35 chipset (4×2.3Ghz and 4×1.8Ghz), combined with a reasonable 4Gb RAM and 64Gb ROM.

The Stylo 6 also has a 6.8 inch IPS LCD screen capable of displaying 1080×2460 pixels, a 13MP camera, a classic 3.5mm audio jack, and a 4000 mAh battery, all for the suggested retail price of $220 when it originally came out in 2020. Overall, there is not a lot to complain about with the LG Stylo 6 except for its lack of a 5G connection.

 

4

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 with Slim Pen 2

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 11
Stylus Dock External
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

Microsoft’s competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3 is the Microsoft Surface Duo 2. A solid smartphone with a stylus, not only can you fold the screen, but you can also use the compatible Surface Slim Pen to write across its outrageously large 8.3-inch foldable display. Chipset-wise, the Surface Duo 2 also uses the same octa-core Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 chipset that gives it superior computing power compared to most other smartphones on the market.

Comparing it to our premium pick, the Surface Duo 2’s screen is slightly inferior due to its 90Hz screen refresh rate when compared to the Galaxy Fold 3’s 120Hz. Aside from that, it also has half the RAM the Fold 3 has at just 8GB. It does have better cameras, though, with a 16MP rear camera and a 12MP front camera equipped. Overall, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is a good alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Fold 3, especially if you want to save up. However, note that the Surface Slim Pen is not included with the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 and has to be bought separately.

 

5

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 10
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G may already be two years old in 2022, but it can still give everything that gives most high-end phones a run for their money. Coming in with a dynamic AMOLED 6.9-inch display capable of 1440×3088 pixels, the Note 20 Ultra has one of the sharpest smartphone screens. Combined with the S-pen, the Note 20 Ultra is powerful enough to act as a full-fledged drawing tablet.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a few additional versions and editions available when purchasing. Only the SM-N986U and SM-N986U1 USA versions have the strong Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 5G+ chipset equipped with the global and international versions equipped with the weaker Exynos 990 chipset. While a generation old, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G still lives up to its reputation of reliability and quality as part of Samsung’s high-tech Galaxy Note and “Ultra” lines, especially due to its wide 108MP camera.

 

 

Also See: What We Know About The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

6

Motorola Moto G Stylus (2020)

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 10
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

Motorola’s original version of their Moto G Stylus line came out in 2020 and is still good at what it does in 2022. Compared to its 2021 version, this smartphone with stylus is a little smaller with a 6.4-inch screen instead of its successor’s 6.8 inches. Aside from that, the main difference between the versions is their chipsets. This version, the 2020 one, is installed with a Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 chipset that runs around 0.1 to 0.2 GHz slower than its newer counterpart.

There’s nothing lot left to say about the two versions except that the 2020 version does not come with 5G and only receives mobile data at 4G LTE speeds. If you want a Motorola Moto G Stylus and are not as picky when it comes to your mobile data speeds, the 2020 version is well worth a try!

 

7

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 9
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

Another older version of a smartphone with a stylus we covered earlier on this list, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, is the predecessor to the Galaxy Note 20. With a slightly smaller screen of just 6.8 inches, the Note 10+ still packs a punch with its installed octa-core Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 chipset, giving 2.84GHz on its primary core.

Other pros to this model include its AKG tuned 32-bit audio speakers, 5G support, NFC support, and most of all, 12GB of RAM. Due to its future-proofed RAM capacity, up to 512GB of internal storage space, and ability to upgrade to Android 12, the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G is still a solid smartphone to own in 2022.

 

8

Apple iPad 12.9 (2021)

Android Model/ iOS Model iPadOS 14.5.1
Stylus Dock External
Charging Port Type USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4)

Of course, no list of smartphones will ever be complete without one from Apple. For this list of smartphones with a stylus, we have chosen the Apple iPad 12.9 (2021) tablet. While it obviously has a far bigger screen than the smartphones on this list at 12.9 inches, the iPad is considered more of a tablet than a smartphone. Even with that distinction, though, its bulkiness might be its downfall.

While using the Apple Pencil on this device might be a breeze, everyday use is quite a hassle due to being unable to fit inside normal pockets. Overall, the iPad 12.9 (2021) is a pretty good tablet and can even double as a quality drawing tablet, but its overly large size and expensive price leave a lot to be desired.

Also read: How To Use The Apple Pencil.

 

9

Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ with M-Pen

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 10 (w/o Google Play Services)
Stylus Dock External
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

A slightly disappointing phone, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ actually has a lot of promise. It has a good OLED screen size at 6.76 inches, a 50MP Leica camera, support for both 5G and 4G LTE, as well as 12Gb of RAM and 256Gb of internal storage space. What it does lack, however, and the reason why it is to down this list of smartphones with a stylus, is Google Play Services.

Without touching on the political and economic disputes surrounding the lack of these services, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ is a very strong phone, especially with its Kirin 9000 5G chipset that boasts a primary core capable of 3.13GHz. As for its stylus, the separate Huawei M-Pen 2 is one of the better out there, with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and a low latency lag of just 11ms.

Overall, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ is a wonderful phone that is chock full of features, except for one essential feature, access to Google Play Services. If you are one of those people who do not use nor want to use Google’s services, this phone is a good alternative to even our premium choice. But for most people, this phone is a pass.

 

10

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 8.1
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

The last of the Samsung phones in this list of smartphones with a stylus, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, came out at the same time as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G. While it has a slightly smaller screen diameter at just 6.4 inches compared to its contemporary’s 6.8 inches, it does have a competitive Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 chipset. This chipset only outputs 0.02GHz less than the Note 10+ 5G.

Overall, there is not a lot going for the Galaxy Note 9, but when compared to its other competitors, it fares far better due to being upgradable to Android 10.

 

11

LG Stylo 5+

Android Model/ iOS Model Android 9
Stylus Dock Internal
Charging Port Type USB Type-C

The least desirable but still well-performing phone in this list of smartphones with a stylus is the LG Stylo 5+. Best described in 2022 as a “budget phone,” the Stylo 5+ features a 6.2 inch IPS LCD screen, the SDM450 Snapdragon 450 octa-core chipset with cores set at 1.8GHz, and a main back camera with 13MP.

While not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, the LG Stylo 5+’s 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage is enough to serve as a decent backup or reserve phone. If you need a smartphone with stylus for work and do not want to spend too much, the LG Stylo 5+ is worth a look.

 

What Next?

The smartphone market is always shifting and changing as new trends rise and fall by the wayside. Hopefully, with the worldwide shift to working from home and the popularity of the Motorola Moto G Stylus, smartphones with a stylus will make a solid comeback into the limelight.

If you already adore your current phone and are fine with a passive stylus for it, you might want to take a look at our article listing the best stylus pens for smartphones and tablets. Those looking for other accessories for their home office can also look at our list for the best phone stands to give your arm a rest from holding your phone up during those long Zoom or Google Meet meetings.