5 Best Phones with Stylus – Best Deals you can get in 2021

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Best phone with Stylus

If you would have asked me a few months ago which is the best phone with a stylus I would have told you why even bother with one as you can do anything just with your fingers. I didn’t really see the need to have an additional “pen-like thing” as I can use my phone efficiently without it.

But boy did my world change when I got into argument with my uncle. He has owned every Galaxy Note phone ever since they first came out and said he would never want a phone without a stylus again. To change my mind he offered me to use his “backup” phone Note 10 for a month. And I had to promise that I would try and use the S-pen as much as possible. The bet was on.

For the first week, I kinda struggled to find the benefit of using a stylus as I was still getting used to its functionalities and learning how to use it efficiently. After two weeks I was already starting to really enjoy it and soon got hooked 😅. After a month I was already using Gestures, AR Doodle, Quick launching my favorite apps, using the stylus as a remote, and more and more. Anyway, I lost the bet with my uncle, returned him his phone, and bought myself a brand new Note 20 Ultra ups 😆.

I got intrigued with the stylus so much that I decided to do research on which are the best phones that support it. I know not everybody has a budget to go for the latest flagships so I also researched some phones that came to the market earlier, still have top-notch hardware and can be bought at a very good price nowadays.

If you want to read a full detailed review of our recommended phone with stylus click here. Or if you are more interested in our top budget pick we got you covered here.

DID YOU KNOW: Stylus was first introduced into the mobile phone world in 1993 with Simon Personal Communicator. This was one of the first mobile devices to feature email, text messages and calendar functions.
NOTE: Below you can find a comparison table and a detailed description of the best phones with stylus.


BUDGET RECOMMENDED
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Samsung Galaxy Note20 Samsung Galaxy Note10+ Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Note20

Samsung Galaxy Note10+

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Display 6.4 inches 6.7 inches 6.8 inches 6.9 inches 6.8 inches
Main camera 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 16 MP ultrawide 108 MP wide, 12 MP periscope telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide 108 MP wide, 10 MP periscope telephoto, 10 MP telephoto, 12 MP ultrawide
Video max. 4K@60fps, HDR max. 8K@24fps, HDR10+ max. 4K@60fps, HDR10+ max. 8K@24fps, HDR10+ max. 8K@24fps, HDR10+
Front camera 8 MP + 2 MP 10 MP wide 10 MP wide 10 MP wide 40 MP wide
Battery 4000 mAh, non-removable 4300 mAh, non-removable 4300 mAh, non-removable 4500 mAh, non-removable 5000 mAh, non-removable
Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Amazon

* International and US hardware.


OVERALL RATING

We evaluated the phones based on several key factors that are important to capture high-quality photos. The most important being camera megapixels, resolution, and lens zoom performance and capacity. And we must not forget the display as you don’t want just to capture an image in high quality but to also look nice on the screen.

We tested and evaluated all mentioned features and compiled results to a single score number. Please note that the final score does not take the price into the account. So obviously the budget phones will not perform as well as the high-end flagship. But we make sure that all our recommended phones will give you a great camera experience.


What are the best phones with stylus?

SAMSUNG Galaxy NOTE 9 – Top Budget Phone with stylus

One of the best phone with stylus
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Dual with 12 MP wide and 12 MP telephoto Dual with 8 MP wide and 2 MP dedicated iris scanner camera Up to 4K 60 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 used to be Samsung’s top flagship. It was released in 2018 so it seems a bit outdated right now. However, back then it was best of the best and it can still compete with today’s top phones, especially as it costs less. It is a great and affordable choice in the field of Note phones, which can deliver a great user experience. Therefore, we decided to put in on the list of the best phones with stylus.

Note 9 has a double camera setup on the back. It features one 12 MP main camera with dual pixel autofocus system and one 12 MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom. Thanks to HDR you get a wider dynamic range. Daytime photos look great. The colours look decent and a pretty much accurate. Furthermore, the scene optimizer can make colours pop out a little more. You also get a lot of detail and the overall sharpness is good. Using zoom on telephoto camera won’t reduce quality of the photos. You still get a nice amount of detail with very little noise. Low light photography is okay. Dynamic range is good and there is very little noise. Night mode works really well for highlights and shadows, however, this time there will be more noise and the overall quality will decrease. Selfie camera offers a lot of detail and gives nice colours. Note 9 supports 4K video recording at 30 fps. They have nice 1080p resolution with a good overall quality. Videos are detailed with very little noise. The colour output is great, while dynamic range here is simply impressive. There are also no issues with focus.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • It is an older high-end flagships so the price has been reduced by more then 50%. But the specs are still better then some new upper mid-range phones. It is a bargain powerhouse
  • S-pen features and screen are amazing
  • Though not the newest the chipset will run any game without stuttering
  • Autofocus operation is fast and accurate indoors and out
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Not the newest device on the list
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 20

One of the best phone with stylus
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 12 MP wide, 64 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide Single 10 MP wide Up to 8K 24 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is a well designed phone with a lot to offer. In terms of performance and other features it definitely one of the top phones to buy. It is a bit smaller than Note 20 Ultra and is also less expensive. It has different camera set up and a slightly smaller battery. However, we still need to treat Note 20 as a high end phone; after all, it still is one of the top choices out there. So without any hesitation, we list Galaxy Note 20 as one of the best phones with stylus.

The camera setup on this phone is fairly similar to the one on Galaxy S20, rather than the one on Note 20 Ultra. Here you get a 12 MP main camera with Dual Pixel PDAF. You also get a 12 MP ultra-wide camera and 64 MP telephoto camera with 3x hybrid zoom. In general, photos taken from the main camera look pretty good. Daytime photos look excellent. The camera captures a lot of detail with almost no noise, so shots are really sharp.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • We really like the fingerprint reader on the screen. It’s super fast and accurate
  • Multitasking is smooth so it never freezes or slows down.
  • Great and large screen. Perfect for playing games, watching videos or scrolling social media or web pages
  • Design wise, that phone looks really good. It feels bad putting any covers on it so we recommend only a thin transparent case.
  • Excellent ultra-wide and close-range zoom shots
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Under heavy load the battery may get drained quicker then some other phones on this list.
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy Note 10+

One of the best phone with stylus
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 12 MP wide, 12 MP telephoto, 16 MP ultrawide and 0.3 MP depth camera Single 10 MP wide camera Up to 4K 60 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ is more premium version of Note 10 phone, which means it’s more expensive as well. It is definitely an upgrade, as you get more features and the phone is bigger than the standard Note 10. This is one of the top phones in terms of performance, camera quality and battery life, so it make our list of best phones with stylus.

The camera setup looks pretty much the same as on a regular Note 10. However, the standard version is missing some features that Galaxy Note 10+ has. But to start with the basics, Note 10+ has a 12 MP main camera with Dual Pixel PDAF. It also has a 16 MP ultra-wide camera and a 12 MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom. The camera produces shots with little noise and a lot of detail. The dynamic range is very good and the image processing is excellent. It is surprising just how well it works in low light and night photography. It captures a lot of detail and the colors are just amazing and very accurate. We also noticed that shots made in portrait mode are much better on Note 10+ than on the regular version. One thing that 10+ has than regular Note 10 is missing is Tof 3D (time of flight). This gives better depth in photos and you can also make some cool 3D shots.

Video quality is above standard. You can make 4K videos at 30 fps or 60 fps, which in general all look pretty decent. The colors look good, you capture a lot of detail and the dynamic range is good as well. You also get a “Super steady mode”, which allows excellent stabilization that will make your videos look very smooth while you are moving.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Nowadays its price has dropped. So you are getting premium hardware for a very good price
  • Big screen gives a very enjoyable experience whether you are playing games, watching videos or scrolling social media or web
  • The S pen brings a lot of cool features like for example remote control. It is very responsive and accurate too
  • Impressive battery life and paired with 45W fast charging which can recharge your phone to full as fast as 30 min
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • The fingerprint sensor could be a bit quicker. But it is still ok though and not a dealbreaker by any means
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

One of the best phone with stylus
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Triple with 108 MP wide, 12 MP periscope telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide Single 10 MP wide Up to 8K 24 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a huge new addition to the Note line of phones and is an upgrade from regular Note 20. It is one of Samsung’s most premium phones and it is truly the best of the best in terms of performance, camera quality and battery life. However, it is a bit pricy as well, but you do get extra features in return. The really cool feature is the S Pen of course, which you can make a great use of. Especially now, that the Samsung introduced some new additions to it. Therefore Note 20 Ultra is certainly one of the best phones with stylus.

Note 20 Ultra has a triple camera set up. The phone is equipped with a 108 MP main camera, 12 MP ultra-wide camera, a 12 MP telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom, and 50x hybrid zoom. Photos taken with the main camera have excellent detail, the colors are very accurate and the noise is reduced to a minimum. The quality in general is outstanding. The same goes for the telephoto camera which has higher native zoom than other models. Nighttime photography is also awesome and has a wide dynamic range. It also captures a lot of detail and has great color saturation. In low light photography, you might get reduced quality while using zoom, as it will just crop from the main camera. You also have the option of using night mode, which improves shadows and highlights.

As for the videos, you have an option of filming in 4K at 30 fps and 60 fps. Regardless of your choice, the videos look very good and the quality is decent. There really are no major complaints in this department. You also have an option of filming in 8K which gives you more detail, however, the file size will be considerably bigger.

If you are interested in more details about the phone you can read more by clicking here.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • The premium chipset paired with 12 GB will handle any task you can think of
  • The camera setup is amazing and will make a perfect photo in almost any lighting conditions
  • Large 6.9 inch screen makes this phone an absolute pleasure to work with. Great for everyday tasks as well as gaming and watching videos and similar
  • Accurate exposure with wide dynamic range
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Battery is ok but if you are a heavy user, you may need to charge the phone twice per day. It comes with a 25W fast charging feature so it won’t take long though.
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

SAMSUNG Galaxy S21 ULTRA

One of the best phone with stylus
CUSTOMER REVIEWS

KEY CAMERA FEATURES

MAIN CAMERA FRONT CAMERA VIDEO
Quad with 108 MP wide, 10 MP periscope telephoto, 10 MP telephoto and 12 MP ultrawide camera Single 40 MP wide camera Up to 8K 24 fps

PHONE DESCRIPTION

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is brand’s showpiece and has some amazing new features. It is an upgrade from regular S21 model, which is actually a cheaper version of this phone. The S21 Ultra is one of the best phones ever to be introduced to the market. This is a high end and well performing device that you would be proud to own. It is definitely one of the best phones with stylus.

As far as the camera abilities go, this phone is definitely a step forward. The S21 features a 108 MP main camera and a 12 MP ultrawide camera. It also has two 10 MP zoom lenses. One supports 3x digital zoom and the other one supports 10x digital zoom. All of the cameras and lenses have amazing autofocus that will allow you to take very sharp photos and will capture a lot of details. The images are high quality and have a wonderful resolution. The colors are amazing and you can even take some incredible low light photos. Additionally, the S21 Ultra features a 40 MP frontal camera that will allow you to take some awesome selfies. The frontal camera is a clear upgrade from other S21 models that have 10 MP frontal cameras.

About the video capabilities, the phone can make some awesome 4K recordings at 30 fps or 60fps. Your videos will be sharp and clear. You can also make 8K videos at 24 fps. For more details click here.

Please note that the S-pen stylus does not come included with the phone and you need to purchase it separately.

WHAT WE LIKED
  • Super fast and responsive performance thanks to Snapdragon 888
  • Great display that is perfect for gaming and everyday use
  • Amazing 5000 mAh battery with 25 W charging capabilities, wireless charging and wireless reverse charging
  • Lots of RAM that will allow any game to run smooth
  • The camera has tons of features and produces amazing results
WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED
  • Because it is a Samsung product it comes with some preinstalled Samsung ‘bloatware’
LEARN MORE OR CHECK PRICE

Additional hardware information

Cameras

The phones these days feature multiple-camera setups. In fact, it is very difficult to find a phone with just one camera. Usually, they have at least two in the back and some even feature four. Now there is a logical explanation behind all this. The companies aren’t just stacking cameras left and right. Each camera is different and serves its own purpose. This is how we get the best results and enhance our photography experience. The most common camera types you will find are wide camera, ultrawide camera, telephoto camera, macro camera and ToF sensor.

Wide camera – It is also known as the main camera that we find on the rear side of the phone. You will notice differences in Megapixels that a certain camera has. A good main camera should have at least 12MP. Furthermore, it is also good if it has good autofocus and an optical image stabilizer, also known as OIS.

Ultrawide camera – It offers a wider field of view than the main camera. This way you can capture more into the image and it is more similar to what our eyes see. It can offer a great advantage when taking wider images such as family reunion photos for example. However, sometimes a photo can appear curved due to a wider angle and some objects might appear abnormally shaped.

Telephoto camera – It is normally used for zoomed-in shots that are taken from a distance. You can zoom in on a scene or subject and get closer without actually having to move. This can serve us well when we don’t want to approach the subject. A telephoto lens increases focal length. It brings objects closer to you.

Macro camera – It is used for close-up shots. We can capture images of small objects, such as insects or plants. These objects can appear big in a photo and we can capture a lot of detail. In fact, we can capture things that are too small to be visible to the naked eye.

ToF sensor – It is a piece of equipment that most flagship phones these days have. A ToF sensor can help you determine the distance between the camera and the object. It is actually a depth sensor that helps the phone create a three-dimensional map of the world. It uses infrared light to determine the distance between the objects and maps 3D space.

Dynamic range

The understanding of dynamic range can really help us improve our photos. Dynamic range describes the ratio between the maximum and minimum light intensities. In simple words, it tells us the difference between the lightest and darkest tones in an image.  Each device has its own dynamic range, which affects the output – that is our image. The wide the dynamic range, the better. You will stumble across this topic a lot in photography. So just remember that a wider dynamic range gives you better results. A wide dynamic range will allow you to capture more detail in brighter or darker areas. Otherwise, those areas will just appear very bright, nearly white or very dark, nearly black. So to create a good exposure, there must not be too bright or too dim parts.

An interesting fact is that human sight has a relatively high dynamic range. No camera can match it. Therefore some pictures of sunsets for example appear different than they are in real life.

Sharpness

Sharpness in photography stands for the overall clarity of the image. This combines focus and contrast. The subject must be clear, lifelike, and have a lot of details. This is when we can speak of sharpness.

Sharpness is very important in photography. Better sharpness means more detail. Furthermore, it also emphasizes the textures of the subject. You should always try and make your photos as sharp as you can. This way the images will appear more professional and interesting for the viewers.

For the best results, you will have to have good equipment as well as the right technique and well-developed skills. However, with the right gear, it can be much simpler. It is also important to know that sharpness is related to the resolution, as the number of pixels and their size affect overall sharpness.

Resolution

The image resolution relates to the number of pixels that are featured in an image. Higher resolutions simply mean that there are more pixels in the photo, whether lower resolutions mean that there are fewer pixels in a photo. The number of pixels also determines how much information is captured in an image. Or in other words, how much detail it can hold. So, the more the better, as it usually results in higher quality photos.

Changing the resolution, you are basically saying how many pixels you want to have per square inch. So it is always good to have a little more than less. After all, it affects the sharpness of the image as well, and you don’t want blurry photos. You want to capture as much information as you can. Cropping the photo, while keeping the same resolution will significantly drop the quality of the photo. That happens because you remove a certain amount of pixels, which basically means you lose a certain amount of information that should occupy that space. So avoid doing that.

There is a lot of talk about Full HD resolution these days. Here we have 1920 pixels wide and 1080 pixels high image. Such resolution is very common among televisions these days. However, there is also Ultra HD, which is also known as 4K. This means that the resolution here is about 4000 pixels, although is usually a bit less – 3840 pixels.

Contrast

Contrast represents a visual ratio between different tones in an image. It defines color characteristics and affects areas such as highlights, shadows, colors, clarity, and textures. A simple way of putting it is to say that contrast is the scale of difference between black and white in the photo. High contrast means that there will be bright highlights and dark shadows, whether low contrast images have little difference between light and dark tones.

We also know different types of contrasts. There is Tonal contrast, which refers to dark and bright areas in the photo. Then we have Color contrast which means pairing warm and cold colors to make them stand out more. We also know Conceptual contrast, which helps us add depth and encourages viewers to engage with the photo. Then there’s also Texture contrast, where we combine rough and soft elements for an extra punch. All of the contrasts are very important if we want the image to look professional and appealing. So we must know how to use them if we want to achieve that magical result. They can help us tell a story and make certain things stand out more. So we can really be artistic with the contrast.

Best phone with stylus – CONCLUSION

As you have learned choosing the best phone with stylus is not a trivial task. The phone cannot compare to a professional DSLR camera with its small sensor size. Therefore, it is important that the sensor quality is at the top level and you will also need to play with some manual camera settings, as standard auto mode usually won’t cut it.

Any phone from our list will give you the best camera experience. So if you stay within our selection of best phones with stylus you are good and ready to go. Have fun taking photos.

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