MagSafe probably isn't safe for Galaxy S22 Ultra or S23 Ultra, either

A Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S24 Ultra with Carved, Caseborne, and Pitaka MagSafe cases
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Using a MagSafe accessory with a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, S23 Ultra, or S24 Ultra could cause the S Pen to malfunction.
  • The magnets in some MagSafe cases and accessories cause interference with the way the S Pen writes on the phone's display.
  • It's unknown whether this could cause long-term issues.

Right after the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra was announced on January 17, we learned something interesting about our favorite MagSafe accessories: many don't play nice with the S Pen.

But it turns out that this has been a problem for years and very few people knew about it. If you're using a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, S23 Ultra, or S24 Ultra with a MagSafe case, it's entirely possible that your S Pen will not work properly when you have a MagSafe accessory attached to the back of the case.

This issue doesn't affect every case or every MagSafe accessory, but we recommend not using MagSafe accessories with any Galaxy S Ultra phone for the foreseeable future. Here's a video I put together showing what happens:

The problem lies in the magnetic nature of MagSafe and the S Pen's writing technology, itself. Samsung's S Pen technology is powered by a Wacom digitizer, the same kind you can find in a dedicated Wacom tablet used for digital drawing.

Wacom tablets — and Samsung's S Pen, by nature — are powered by magnets. Bring the S Pen close enough to the screen and the powerful magnets inside the phone can detect the pen before it even touches the screen. It's how Samsung Air Commands work and one of the reasons the pen knows how much pressure you're applying.

The S Pen's Wacom digitizer works by using magnets, which is why MagSafe accessories are causing interference.

When a MagSafe accessory is put on the back of the phone, the magnets in it can negate the magnets in the phone, much as you might find magnets pushing against each other when the opposite magnetic poles get too close.

Many of the best Galaxy S23 Ultra cases have MagSafe rings on the back but not all cases are created equal, and using a MagSafe case will likely not harm your Galaxy S Ultra device on its own. MagSafe rings, in cases, are just metal rings, but MagSafe accessories contain magnets that interfere with the S Pen inside your phone.

Samsung was very coy about why it wasn't launching the Galaxy S24 Ultra with MagSafe and now we understand why.

So far, the only cases I've tested that exhibit no issues when using a MagSafe ring are the Carved Traveler case and CaseBorne Clear Slim case, but your mileage may vary. A PopSockets MagSafe adapter ring and MagSafe PopSocket also worked with the S22 Ultra in our testing.

Some MagSafe cases might have enough padding or a protective layer that keeps these magnets from interfering with your phone, but it's wise at this point to stop using any MagSafe accessory with your S Pen-enabled phone to ensure the best working order.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • fuzzylumpkin
    Isn't safe? oh my click bait! Crawl back under your rock, chicken little. It should protect you from errant pieces of sky.

    There are also magnetic cases for the Z Folds, S21 Ultra and Note 20s and 10s at least if you would like to milk this fearmongering a bit longer.
  • waqqas31
    It's been 100% safe for both my S22 Ultra and now my S23 Ultra. I had a bit of a heat issue with metal rings with adhesive, but no such issue with MagSafe-ready cases by Toru, Ringke, UAG, and Spigen.

    No issues whatsoever.

    Edit: I forgot to chime in on the S-pen. In order of increasing "issues" with the s-pen not registering with the case on:

    Spigen OneTapRing (virtually zero issues.)
    Ringke Fusion Magnetic
    UAG Plyo Pro
  • jermwhl
    I have a magsafe case for my s23U and it works fine with s-pen.
  • dbpaddler
    Thank you for giving me a reason to delete you from my Google feed. Stupid clickbait article that further shows blog sites are as far removed from what was once known as journalism.

    Multiple cases including my current nilkin (or however it's spelled), and I have zero issues. I use a wallet every now and then and haven't had issues with it. But honestly, junk on the back of the phone while trying to write would just be annoying.
  • Village_Idiot
    I have a MagSafe case for my S22 Ultra and everything works fine, including the S Pen. The person who wrote this doesn't know a whole lot about how magnets and wireless charging works.
  • drzeller
    This is a poorly written, irresponsible, clickbait article. There have been well designed cases that handle this for several years now. And even those that didn't were just hassle and didn't cause damage.

    The greatest actual damage associated this article is the further erosion of this site's reputation.
  • mfoulkes
    What a terrible report. I'm beginning to think you're an Apple fanboy. My s23 ultra and now my s24 ultra have absolutely no problems with my Mag safe cases and the s pen. There are many many manufacturers who have solved this issue. Do some actual real reporting on Androids