The Galaxy Note 3 impresses through its size, but there are many other large phones on the market that are nowhere nearly as successful. What really makes the Note 3 stand out is the S Pen, the stylus that adds a lot of functionality to the phone, allowing you to really make use of that expansive screen.
You can use the S Pen in numerous ways on the Note 3, ranging from strictly business tasks, such as drafting a table, to fun and games, like pinning a YouTube video to the screen or doodling a cartoon. But it’s precisely this variety of settings and functions that can make the S Pen a bit intimidating, especially if you’re a newcomer to the Note series.
In this Feature Focus, we take a close look at the functionality of the S Pen and show you how it can enhance the way you use your Note 3.
To get started, we recommend that you go through the S Pen Settings on your Note 3, to configure a slew of related options.
You can set your phone to detect the removal of the S Pen from its holder and play a sound, open the Air Command menu, or a specific app. If you want to conserve battery life, you can disable S Pen detection altogether.
Another feature you can enable is S Pen keeper, which alerts you when you walk away without the S Pen, thus sparing you from a potential headache. You can also toggle the pointer (similar to a PC cursor) and the Direct pen input option, which lets you input handwritten text throughout the system.
Now that you’ve configured the S Pen to your liking, it’s time to dive in.
The stylus is symmetrical and more squarish than the Note 2’s S Pen, so you can insert it in its slot in any orientation.
The new S Pen preserves some of the features present on the Note 2, such as S Note. However, there’s a big change right of the bat – gestures are no longer available, and drawing on the screen with the S Pen button pressed now lets you “clip” text or media.
Clicking the button while hovering the S Pen over the screen opens Air Command, the new palette menu that groups five of the most useful features of the S Pen.
Hovering over some elements of the interface triggers a contextual action, such as displaying the contents of a folder or a preview of a gallery.
Finally, hovering over a text box, such as in the messaging app, shows the button for Direct Pen Input, which uses the Note 3’s excellent handwriting recognition to turn your chicken scratch into text. It’s simple and accurate, and we think you’ll find it quite useful.
Two apps that are specifically designed for S Pen use are S Note and Sketchbook from Autodesk, which comes pre-installed on the Note 3. The revamped S Note lets you jot down your ideas and reminders, but it’s much more than that. You can soup up your note with charts, images, videos, voice memos, or maps, turning it into a powerful little tool for road warriors.
Sketchbook is for the moments you want to get creative. Basically, it’s a great drawing app that the more talented amongst us will find suitable for art creation on the go.
Getting back to Air Command, arguably the biggest addition to the S Pen functionality on the Note 3, the menu gives you five options:
These are some of the most useful ways you can use the Galaxy Note 3’s S Pen stylus. As you can see for yourself, the S Pen really adds to the experience of using the Note 3, being much more than a scribbling tool.
Of course, if you dislike the stylus, you can simply ignore it and still have a great user experience on the Note 3, but we strongly recommend that you give the S Pen a try before you decide it’s not your thing.
This phone is a beast. Best phone I’ve ever owned.
how is the battery life for you?
I get about 10-12 hours of medium to heavy use
It’s pretty freakin good. I use it a decent amount (facebook, instagram, email, calls, text) and usually get 2 days out of it. I charge over night and make it through that day and the next with battery to spare. My note 2 was the same way. Just need to be sure to close apps and clear the ram every once in a while.
I am getting in excess of 12 hours with heavy use. Very impressed with battery life.
I love it more than you do. Hihihi
phone has been awesome so far.
the darthstalker rom allows any app to be included in the pen window list.
Can I user Nova and still use spen features?
From what I’ve been able to tell thus far, yes. Air Command works, Action Note works, clip and scrapping works…
If Nova didn’t work, I would have been distraught.
Nova Prime + Touch Wiz = FTW
Here’s my layout http://mycolorscreen.com/2013/05/09/minima/
Yes, there are others that are using Nova, and really impressed me with fancy home screens!
GREAT article. Next time I see a, cough cough review, saying that few people will bother with the stylus and it’s a niche phone that’s too big, I’ll refer them to come right HERE! I couldn’t wait until I got my hands on the first Note, finally a screen I could read for ages and no eye strain! I fell in love with the S-pen and all the organization and research, etc. that I could literally keep in the palm of my hand! Hats off to you for so clearly showing how others can make the most of this wonderful ….. so much more than a mere phone!!!
Does anyone here know how to quick change color of writing in S NOte? On Note 2, you just put your favorite color styles and also eraser tool, into quick settings , and change it by double clicking.