Just like how the Apple Pencil is so synergistic with the iPad Pro, the same can be said with the S Pen and Samsung’s Galaxy Note series of handsets, where the synergistic nature of the S Pen and the phone is one of its selling points. Samsung has been slowly upgrading the S Pen over the years, and now a recently discovered patent hints at its most radical overhaul yet.
The patent describes how Samsung is looking into a redesigning of the S Pen stylus where they would fit a camera with optical zoom inside of it. An external button on the S Pen would also be used to control it. According to Samsung, while digital zoom does help keep devices slimmer, optical zoom is said to be more superior, so fitting an optical zoom in the S Pen does seem like a good compromise.
It also allows Samsung to potentially kill off the notch because the front-facing camera could be placed inside of the S Pen, thus eliminating the need for the notch or a hole-in display completely. We imagine that fitting a camera into the S Pen has the potential to increase the price of the accessory exponentially, but for now, it is only a patent which means that there is no guarantee that Samsung will make it a reality.
In the meantime, while that glorified S Pen may or may not come to fruition, Samsung is exploring other ways of dealing with the notch. The most recent rumor suggests that Samsung could be taking a page out of OPPO’s book by creating a phone with a popup front-facing camera in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy A90.