Update, July 4, 2018: Yesterday’s FCC filing confirmed the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen will have Bluetooth, but how will it be charged?
A dive into an FCC test report shows the S Pen stylus will be juiced up via the phablet itself. This presumably means the stylus is charged via the S Pen slot rather than an annoying cable. The regulatory filing also notes that the S Pen can enter charging mode when the phone is wirelessly charged.
Hopefully, the charging S Pen doesn’t significantly impact the battery life of the Galaxy Note 9. Then again, it shouldn’t require a ton of juice to charge in the first place, given its small size and lack of other components (e.g. a screen and modem).
Heck, this all sounds somewhat similar to the Apple Pencil, which uses Bluetooth and charges via the iPad’s Lightning connector. Apple’s stylus is rated for up to 12 hours of usage, while a 15-second charge yields 30 minutes of use. If Samsung can deliver this kind of fast charging and endurance, I’m sure Galaxy Note 9 owners will be happy.
Original article, July 3, 2018: Samsung will launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 on August 9. When Sammy announced the date, it included a closeup image of a new button the Note 9’s S Pen stylus, which many speculated meant some sort of Bluetooth functionality.
Now, via a filing with the FCC for the new S Pen, we know for sure that the stylus does, in fact, have Bluetooth. However, we don’t know for sure what that really means.
The most prominent rumor right now points to the idea of the S Pen having the ability to create digital signatures. Samsung admitted to working on a digital signature feature last year, so it makes perfect sense if the S Pen does have that capability.
It is also possible that the Bluetooth connection will enable users to manipulate media players on their Note 9 – playing music, skipping tracks, starting/stopping video playback, etc. It’s also possible that you could launch Bixby – Samsung’s virtual assistant – using the Bluetooth button.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen will have the model number EJ-PN960 and use 2.4GHz Bluetooth to connect to the main device. The Note 9 itself is the SM-N960, so it looks like the model numbers match up quite nicely.
In related news, the United States’ unlocked variant of the Note 9 passed through the FCC today as well, which gives us information on the radio bands the device will support. That list is below: