Nine Best Smartphones with Stylus [Honest Reviews]
Back then, Steve Jobs didn’t like the use of a stylus with smartphones even before the 2010s and he even mentioned it as a failure. He may have been right back then, but with large-sized phones and sausage fingers, the stylus is trending again for all the right reasons. Moreover, people who have worse sight get precise control and fewer typos.
A smartphone with stylus is generally a choice for professional artists and drawing enthusiasts, but even if you aren’t one and need the stylus for personal reasons such as precise control & fewer typos, then you are at the right place.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Huawei Mate 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
LG Q Stylo+
LG Stylo 5
LG Electronics Stylo 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Advantages of Having a Stylus
Before we begin with the list, we’ll share few advantages of having a stylus.
- A pointed stylus makes for smoother experience while swiping for gestures, highlighting text or signing digital documents
- Increased accuracy while selecting items on the edge of the screen and in general
- The screen is free from smudges, fingerprints, and oils when you use a stylus instead of your large index finger or thumb
- No hand gymnastics while you are trying to hold your edge to edge or bezel-less screen while trying to use the phone with your large fingers
- With artists apps on smartphones and tablets, you get better control over brush strokes, sketches, and drawing over your screen
9 Best Smartphones with Stylus
You won’t find a lot of brands making mobile phones that come with a stylus. In our research, we just found 3 brands that had stylus-oriented devices, they are Samsung, LG, and Huawei. There weren’t many options too, However, we had to pick the best ones for you, that’s why we tested most of the devices and are finally here with the list! So, shall we begin?
1. Best Overall: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
You could be a drawing enthusiast, professional artist, business owner, or even a gamer. If you’re looking for a device that provides high-end performance and comes with a stylus, then this Samsung Galaxy Note should be the one you should get!
With the Galaxy Note 10+, Samsung has tried to incorporate all things best into their flagship model. The screen has been extended to 6.8 inches until there’s virtually no bezel and things look brighter and better with the AMOLED display. However, images, texts and icons mat appear to be sharper on the Mate 20 from Huawei due to 3 sub-pixels in every pixel on its IPS display.
The phone also features Snapdragon 855, one of the most powerful processors in the market, and 12 GB of RAM with a massive battery to bring out all that performance. In terms of specs, you may see a lot of similarities with the Galaxy S10 family. However, using it is a completely different experience thanks to the S Pen stylus. Along with the phone, this stylus has a new design and has some new tricks up its sleeve.
Navigate the phone while you gesture with the S pen in mid-air. Air actions are something that would grow on you and even if you don’t want to hover the stylus in the air, you can’t deny the usefulness of transferring documents and PDFs to other devices with a simple motion in the air.
The camera is one of the rare features that was disappointing. The quad-camera setup is nice and clicks great pictures. However, the competition beats it by a wide margin. The front camera doesn’t just lack in megapixels but has a narrow aperture when it comes to other models like the Mate 20.
Just like most of the Samsung Galaxy Note & S series devices, it also comes with a hybrid SIM + SD card slot. It means you can use 1 slot for SIM card, and the other slot can be either used as an SD card slot or for SIM card. So if you wish you to use it as a DUAL SIM phone then consider getting a high-storage variant.
- Dustproof and waterproof with a depth rating of 1.5m.
- AMOLED screen shows true blacks and has Gorilla Glass 6 protection.
- Powerful Processor.
- Hybrid SIM slot.
- The massive battery gives you a longer battery life.
- The camera doesn’t deliver promising photos compared to other flagships.
- Audiophiles still won’t like the lack of a headphone jack.
2. Best Runner Up: Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Apart from the smaller screen, smaller battery and lower pixel density, Samsung hasn’t really skimmed much from the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (which we talked above.) Sure, the RAM has been reduced by a few gigs. But everything from the processor in both US or global variants are the same.
Compared to most other phones in this list from Huawei and even LG, Galaxy Note 10 is a clear winner in battery and charging technology. With wireless charging, you need to place it on a wireless charging hub without bothering about cables. The call quality on this phone scores another wins with 3 microphones that pick up your voice with little to no distortions or noise.
Like its big brother, the Note 10 is optimally designed for use with an S-pen. Without the stylus, one-handed use may result in poor user experience, especially when you reach for notifications at the top. When it comes to camera performance you get almost identical results to its larger sibling, the Note 10+.
It is the same triple camera setup without the fourth one that does 3D scanning. However, if measuring real-world objects isn’t your thing, you get a lot more out of the Galaxy Note 10 with a price tag that is lighter by over $100.
A good camera setup means lots of pics for social media or some casual photography. Apps and heavy games add a lot of stress on the storage as well. However, the UFS 3.0 storage gives you a lag-free performance. The lack of a microSD slot may come as a deal-breaker for a few. However, the base storage of 256 GB should be good enough for most.
You get lightning-fast performance along with unmatched response times and a gorgeous Dynamic AMOLED display for a lot less. What else do you need?
- Fabulous design with an excellent display
- Can record slow-motion videos at an astonishing 960 FPS
- Peerless call quality
- Audiophiles and a large fan base of the headphone jack aren’t too happy
3. Best Value for Money: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
The Galaxy Note 9 is a predecessor to the Galaxy Note 10 series and was launched a way back, but even after being an old device, it outperforms the devices that are listed below when it comes to performance & camera quality.
Galaxy Note 9 is a phone crafted by Samsung for high-end performance. it has a 6.4″ display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The aluminum body is encased in Gorilla 5 protection from the rear too! It runs on Exynos chipset in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and on Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset in the USA and China.
With an Octa-Core processor, you can easily multitask on this phone. The phone comes in two variations- 6 GB RAM with 128 GB storage and 8 GB RAM with a gigantic 512 GB storage.
The smartphone is loaded with a dual rear camera and a single secondary camera boasting of 8 MP. The rear cameras support wide shots at 12 MP and telephoto shots at 12 MP. Note 9 also comes with Android 8 which is upgradable to Android 10. With Android 10 already in the market, this is kind of a backlog for this phone.
It runs on a 4000 mAh non-removable Li-Po battery and can run for a very long time. The many sensors included in this phone include a lovely Iris Scanner that gives it a very sophisticated touch! However, this smartphone is not very different from its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 8 in its specifications. The only significant differences lie in storage and battery.
Galaxy Note 9 is a very fun phone to use. Sure, it is loaded with specs to get your work done like most of the Note Series from Samsung- but the stylus feature integrates a degree of freedom while using the phone that is simply incomparable.
When you pop out the stylus and start doodling over the black screen, your artistry is recorded in tart lemon digital ink. This is a phone which will poke the artist in you to craft various things. You can also use the S Stylus to click selfies as it is loaded with a remote shutter.
Draw, write or take screenshots however you want it with the excellent, handy and playful Note 9.
- The 8 GB variant has a gigantic storage space of 512 GB which gives you enough space to carry out a significant amount of work.
- Handy stylus unit equipped with a plethora of functions unlocked whenever you pull out the stylus.
- The specifications of this phone are not very different from Note 8 and hence it is not as great a buy due to its high price range.
4. Best Under Budget: Huawei Mate 20
Being the middle child isn’t easy. But the Huawei Mate 20 still dominates over many flagships even though it has been released over a year ago. In terms of performance, Huawei hasn’t skipped on the Mate 20 compared to its older brother, the Mate 20 Pro. It has the same flagship processor from Huawei, Kirin 980 with 8 cores aggregated into 3 clusters for switching from saving power to give you the needed boost during heavy gaming.
In comparison to other phones on this list, the Mate 20 may lose out on pixel density but makes up for it with the 3 sub-pixels on each of its pixels for sharper and crisp images. Like most flagships today, it has a triple camera setup with an ultrawide, wide and telephoto lens. However, it sets itself apart with the Leica lens and supports different autofocus types including laser focus, contrast focus, and phase focus.
The phone comes with 6 GB of RAM with 128 gigs of storage. However, if you want to save some of your cash, you may consider the 4 GB RAM variant. Another interesting storage feature on this one is its nano memory card slot. Yup, Huawei introduced these cards a while back and they come with a minimum storage capacity of 256 GB. A definite win-win here.
- Super Charge support charges the phone within no time
- Video stabilization works great
- Small notch gives more screen real estate
- The top speaker isn’t loud enough
- Ultra-wide camera fails with low-light shots
5. Cheap Samsung Phone with Stylus: Samsung Galaxy Note 8
If you are clumsy and handling a touch display smartphone becomes difficult for you, it is time to shift to a phone with a stylus. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a major improvement as it is a great and safe phone that Samsung has crafted after a long while.
And the best thing is that it is loaded with a pop-out stylus which can ease your phone handling experience. A stylus is also a very useful tool if you are a designer or just like to doodle around! You get to write and draw anything you want on your phone at any time with a stylus.
Note 8 is loaded with Android 7.1.1 and is upgradable up to Android 9. You will get an impressive 6.3 AMOLED capacitive touch screen that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. You can run a single SIM and use the other card slot to expand the memory up to 1 TB.
You can also two nano-SIM cards by using the memory card slot for a SIM card. The phone runs on an Exynos processor which is crafted by Samsung in all countries other than the USA and China, where it runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. The 3300 mAh Li-ion battery ensures that this phone won’t burst into flames like the previous Note versions of Samsung.
This is Samsung’s first phone with a dual-camera on the rear side. Both the cameras feature 12 MP but one is for wide shots while the other is for telephoto shots. The combination of dual-camera sure enhances the depth in any photograph you click. The front panel is loaded with a single 8 MP camera for selfies.
Along with the normal sensors it is loaded with IRIS, heart rate, and SPO2 scanners!
- Android version 7.1.1 comes preloaded in this one and it is upgradable up to Android 9.
- 6.3” giant display gives you enough space to craft your way through using the impressive and stylish S stylus.
- Very poor quality of the battery is used that does not last long.
6. Best Budget Phone: LG Q Stylo+
The LG Q Stylo+ was released back in June 2018 and is quite an impressive phone with good features to have made it into this list. The Q series phones were particularly developed by LG to make way for a phone with a stylus.
It is a handy tool and this phone makes great use of this tool. If you like to doodle around in your free time or when you are waiting for someone or something, this stylus is a dependable tool. You can have your screen locked and still access memos with this stylus. You can also use it to crop and fine-tune images or screenshots and even capture GIFs.
The phone runs on a 1.5 GHz Octa-Core processor and has 4GB of RAM. The internal storage is a good 64GB which can be expanded using a microSD card up to 2TB. It features a lovely 16 MP camera in the back and an appreciable 5 MP front camera for selfies. With Portrait Mode and Phase Detection Auto Focus, the rear camera is capable of clicking decent photographs.
The fingerprint sensor is loaded with added functionality- one touch with the camera on clicks photos; two touches at any time takes screenshots; you can even scroll through notifications. The phone has a 6.2″ display which is mostly screen and has a 3300 mAh battery that has a good life.
- Q series phone is loaded with a lovely stylus that makes using a touchscreen phone so much more convenient.
- The 3300 mAh battery is too good for its capacity and can take you through the day once the phone is fully charged.
- Being a budget smartphone, this phone runs low on RAM which leads to occasional lags when running high-end software.
7. Best Galaxy Note 8 Alternative: LG Stylo 5
The LG Stylo 5 is a budget phone for you and can serve as a very cheap alternative to a Galaxy Note 8. In this phone, you will get an impressive LCD capacitive 6.2″ Full HD display with a stylus. It runs on a Snapdragon 450 chipset and features the Cortex A53 Octa-Core processor clocking at 1.8 GHz.
The 3 GB RAM is not sufficient to run a plethora of apps or to play games that have a high demand. This phone boasts of storage of 16 GB or 32 GB and has the option for expandable memory. The phone was launched very recently and runs Android 9 (Pie).
The main feature of this phone which makes it an impressive buy is the stylus. If you are clumsy at using a smartphone and looking for one that can run on a stylus, then this is a great phone for you. LG has made sure that they make the stylus a handy aspect of this phone and have integrated such software items that ensure it.
You get tools to crop and edit screenshots, create GIF files, and so on. You can access a memo pad to list down your activities and it can be accessed from the locked screen. You can also open the coloring book and pass some time if you are stuck in traffic or waiting for someone. The best thing about the stylus tool is that it can be used on other surfaces as well!
The camera on this phone is average. It features a single rear camera with a capacity of 13 MP. The front camera features a wide-angle lens and can take 5 MP images. The battery on this phone is very powerful and has a capacity of 3500 mAh. It can be charged employing a USB Type-C charger.
The phone has a pleasant but bulky design- the latter to incorporate the stylus, the heavy battery, and the 3.5 mm audio jack. LG uses its own modified version of Android which lags in updates. If you are looking for an affordable phone that has a stylus with no worry about its software interface, you can go for this phone.
- The phone is loaded with a 3.5 mm audio jack for your convenience.
- You can charge this phone using a Type C USB charger which is reversible implying that you can push in the USB at one go every time.
- It features a 13 MP camera that does not live up to the expectations.
8. Best Under Budget: LG Electronics Stylo 4
The LG Electronics Stylo 4 was released about the same time as the Galaxy Note 9 with the former being priced at almost ¼ th the latter! There are major differences when you use the two phones- one being a high-end premium phone while the other is a budget phone.
You will find that the main difference in use lies in the clocking speed and that is because the Stylo 4 uses the backdated Snapdragon 450 processor. Indeed, the 1.8 GHz speed is not up to the mark compared to the needs of the present-day but it is not that bad after all. This phone has quite some excellent features to boast of.
A great feature of this phone is the Camera. It cannot be as good as the Note 9 loaded with an impressive dual camera. However, the 13 MP single rear camera on this phone is quite a good shooter. You also get all kinds of features with the camera- Grid Shot for clicking collages of 4 photos; Match Shot to use both the front and rear cameras at the same time, and so on!
Another interesting feature is the stylus on this phone. It is a simple stick with a plastic top and is not close to being as fashionable as the Samsung stylus but you can still tap into the usual tricks and treats. You can customize screenshots, capture GIF files and access off-screen memos using the handy stylus in Stylo 4.
This phone features a 6.2” IPS LCD capacitive screen laid down on a plastic body. The design is quite good and does not give off a cheap feel. It runs on 2 GB RAM and has a 32 GB storage expandable up to 1 TB. The non-removable Li-ion battery packs in an impressive capacity of 3300 mAh and can last a long time unlike the 4000 mAh battery in Note 9.
All in all, this is a budget smartphone and is quite great for its price.
- Runs on a powerful 4000 mAh battery supporting the phone for a long time once charged.
- The memory in this phone can be expanded up to 1 TB without much ado or lag in use.
- LG uses their own UI ingrained in android and comes with lots of bloatware and no timely update of the android versions.
9. Latest Unlocked: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Smartphones are upgraded in every quarter of a year and each time they are loaded with something better, something bigger or something trendier. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite brings back to life an old piece of convenience- a stylus.
A stylus is a very appreciable instrument on any phone as it helps you to better glide through the screens. The 6.7″ Super AMOLED, Infinity-O screen is surely very easy to use; however, the stylus allows you to conduct intricate work such as designing on the big screen.
The Galaxy Note 10 Lite is available in two variants, 6 GB and 8 GB which is nowhere near to its older brother, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 which is a whopping 12 GB.
The storage in this phone is also loaded with only 128 GB of storage contrary to the more expensive variant with 256GB of storage. It runs on Samsung’s own processor, the Exynos but it cannot be said whether it will have an advantage over Note 10 with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor.
Note 10 Lite is equipped with 3 rear cameras: 12 MP wide-angle lens, 12 MP telephoto lens, and 12 MP ultra-wide lens. The front camera also clicks high definition photos at 32 MP. The phone runs on a 4500 mAh Li-Po battery and it is indeed more powerful over Note 10’s 3500mAh.
The option for fast charging the device is also available. It comes in three different and attractive shades – Aura Glow, Aura Red, and Aura Black. The only significant change in design that Samsung has opted for is to put the 3 rear cameras in a square patch, much like iPhone 11.
This is a less expensive version of the Note 10 and loaded with quite some appreciable features. However, only time will tell if it can live up to its name.
- Loaded with 3 exclusive rear cameras that can take brilliant photographs in bright as well as low light.
- The battery in this phone is supposedly powerful and is likely to be long-lasting.
- This phone is low on both RAM and in-built storage unlike the Galaxy Note 10.
Phones with an option for stylus are a good investment option. It expands the utility of a smartphone to a great degree. Not only does navigating through apps become more easily accessible, but all other functions do so too!
With the premium stylus in premium phones like the Galaxy Note series, you can tap into a plethora of options such as clicking selfies using the stylus. The mediocre stylus in budget phones is also a handy tool as it aids in accessing and browsing through your phones smoothly.
Did you buy any of the devices mentioned in this list? How is your experience with it? Please share it below to help other people make an informed buying decision. Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to comment down, if we think it’s worth adding, we’ll surely add it to our list!