Steve Jobs was wrong. Having a stylus for your phone is great | Digital Trends

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

In the past, before the iPhone, there were a myriad of PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) devices that came with a stylus. Every time you pulled that stylus out of your Palm or other PDA, you might have felt good and people would have thought, Wow, that guy means serious business.

But when Steve Jobs took the stage for the original reveal of the iPhone in 2007, one of the things he said was: Who wants a stylus? You have to take them, put them away, you lose them. Since the iPhone introduced smart multitouch displays that required just your finger, virtually every other smartphone company has followed suit.

These days, it’s hard to find a smartphone that still has a stylus. In fact, off the top of my head, the only ones that really come to mind right now are the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) that I recently reviewed.

I’ve been an iPhone user for over a decade and have only dipped my toes into the world of Android for less than a year. But after my time with the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G, I realized something. I actually like having a stylus! Here because.

A less smudged screen and easier navigation

Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Jobs was right, the best pointing device in the world is our fingers and we don’t need extra accessories when we have 10 built into our hands. But I’m on my iPhone 14 Pro most of the day especially when I’m trying to complete the monthly pass of missions in my Disney Emoji Blitz game and noticed one thing: my phone screen is absolutely disgusting by the end of the day. It’s covered in blobs that match all the swipes and taps I make when I play games or just use my phone on a regular basis.

Not sure if it’s just me, but I can’t be the only one out here with a smudged screen after a few hours, right? I often find myself furiously trying to erase smudges on my shirt or leggings when I’m out and about, only to sometimes end up with a cloudier screen (if it makes a difference, I use a screen protector). At home, I tend to use mine


cleaning cloths several times a day to get a pristine screen again.

With the Moto G Stylus 5G, I noticed that after mostly using the stylus for navigation, the screen would be less smudged than if I were to use my fingers. It ends up looking cleaner after extended use, and there are fewer times I have to clean the screen during the day. Basically, one less thing I have to worry about, even if I have to remember to put the stylus back in the slot (but that wasn’t a problem for me).

Can you be more specific

Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Sometimes I feel like I have fat finger syndrome, where I accidentally touch something that was next to what I meant to touch. This is especially true if app developers have made the target tap zone smaller than it should be.

With a stylus, I’ve found that it’s harder to make those accidental taps on things because the finer tip of the stylus is more precise. It’s easier for me to close those annoying pop-up ads in mobile games and websites, for example, because sometimes I accidentally tap the ad itself, which I never want to.

And while I’m not a heavy mobile gamer these days, there are certainly some games that benefit from the precision afforded by a stylus, especially if you have the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the S Pen.

Great for handwriting or drawing on the go

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Handwriting seems like a lost art these days. I almost never get out a pen and piece of paper now, but I loved writing with a high-quality pen in a stylish notebook. In fact, I don’t write quite by hand anymore, so when I really need to write something, it feels like I’m scratching chicken.

I think using Moto G Stylus 5G reminded me of those days of using pen and paper. When you take the stylus out of the Moto G Stylus 5G, a menu of shortcuts that would take advantage of the stylus automatically pops up, including a blank note. I’ve found myself pulling out the stylus when I’m bored sometimes just to draw or scribble, and if I need to write something down, I like the feel of jotting it down with the stylus. It might sound silly, but it’s one of those things that I can’t quite replicate with a finger tip.

It’s also handy to have a smartphone with a stylus so you can easily sign any document digitally. Yes, it’s something that’s easier to do on a larger screen device like a tablet, but what if you don’t have the tablet with you? Having a phone with a stylus would be great for those times when you need to e-sign a document.

Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

While I myself have no experience with it, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultras S Pen has several remote capabilities, including taking photos, playing media, using certain app actions, and even unlocking the device using the remote. stylus.

I love the idea of ​​using a stylus as a means of capturing photos, especially. I have small hands, so the large phone size these days can make taking a selfie difficult for me. Even my iPhone 14 Pro, which is the smallest size iPhone, is pretty hard if I didn’t have a PopSocket turned on. I wish I could just hold the phone in one hand and then press a button on a stylus in the other hand to take a selfie because that way I don’t have to try finger gymnastics or keep turning on the timer.

While the main draw for me would be taking photos, the S Pen with the other features is nice too. I can imagine scribbling something or just using the S Pen for navigation, and with a push of the button on the stylus, I can play or pause my audio without skipping a beat.

It’s really just a matter of convenience

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

I feel like I’m in the minority here, especially among my colleagues. But using a phone with a stylus—even an inexpensive one that doesn’t have the fancy active stylus capabilities of the S23 Ultra S Pen—made me appreciate having one around.

Personally, I just like the precision they offer, less smearing all over my screen, and the lost art of handwriting or doodling on the go without a full tablet. And if you do everything with the S Pen, just being able to use it as a remote for multiple functions just seems like a nice feature to have.

Jobs may have hated styluses and convinced everyone else to think that way too, for the most part, but maybe they should come back.

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