Samsung S Pen Pro vs. Fold Edition: Which should you buy?

Despite being announced alongside the Galaxy S21 Ultra, Samsung waited until the Galaxy Z Fold 3 was introduced before making the S Pen Pro available. But launching at the same time was S Pen Fold Edition. There are a few key differences when comparing the S Pen Pro vs S Pen Fold Edition, so let's break down which is the best for you.

Few similarities between S Pen Pro vs S Pen Fold Edition

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Spigen's Thin Fit P case on the Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 with the S Pen

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

You won't find many similarities between Samsung's two latest S Pen offerings. However, there are just a couple that you should be aware of. First, the pressure levels are the same, coming in at 4,096, and both sport a retractable nib to help accommodate the softer PET screen on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 4.

The only other feature these two share is the inclusion of Air Command support. With this, you can use a menu that appears when hovering the tip of the S Pen over the display of your phone. From there, you can quickly jot down notes, create a Live Message, or translate text, all with your S Pen.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 S Pen ProS Pen Fold Edition
Dimensions6.8 x 0.4 inches5.2 x 0.3 inches
Pen Tip0.7mm1.5mm
Pressure Levels4,0964,096
Compatible DevicesAny S Pen-enabled deviceSamsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and 4 only
Battery Life16 daysN/A
SmartThings CompatibleYesNo
Gesture CommandsYesNo
Air CommandYesYes
Air ActionsYesNo

The S Pen Pro is longer, heavier, and offers a slimmer Pen Tip, despite it being retractable like the Fold Edition. However, with the Pro version, those who own the best Samsung tablets or any other S Pen-compatible device will be able to enjoy the fruits of Samsung's labor. There's even a switch on the side of the S Pen Pro to differentiate between using the stylus with the Z Fold 4 and any other S Pen-compatible device.

Thanks to the built-in Bluetooth chip, Samsung also included Air Actions with the S Pen Pro, something that won't be available with the Fold Edition. With Air Actions, you can actually use the stylus to navigate through different applications, almost acting like a wand for your phone or tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

This Bluetooth capability has an added "cost", as you'll need to charge the S Pen Pro, whereas the S Pen Fold Edition does not need to be charged. Luckily, Samsung claims the S Pen Pro will last for up to 16 days on a single charge, uses USB-C (hidden in a cap on the bottom), and can go from 0-100% in less than an hour. That's pretty solid battery life, but it can still be a bit of a pain as it's yet another device that you'll need to keep charged up every once in a while.

The S Pen Fold Edition does have another benefit for those who are dead set on getting the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Z Fold 4. Over the last two foldable iterations, Samsung has released one of the best Galaxy Z Fold cases with the S Pen Folio case. This offers a holster for the S Pen Fold Edition that rests along the hinge when the phone is folded. But when you're done using it, you actually have somewhere to keep it, without having to throw it in your pocket or bag. The convenience factor alone is enough to warrant consideration over the S Pen Pro.

Fold Edition is for the Z Fold only

Retractable S Pen tip on Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

By this point, you might be asking yourself why the S Pen Fold Edition can only be used with the Z Fold 3 or 4. This doesn't boil down to just one root cause but instead is for a few different reasons. The first of which is the same reason why you can't use older S Pen models with the last two Z Fold models.

Samsung implemented a new digitizer on its foldable phone that allows for the S Pen Fold and S Pen Pro to be used. But this is made possible thanks to the redesigned retractable tip found on both models. It's the same reason why you have to actually flip the switch on the side of the S Pen Pro to "Fold S Pen" mode before using it with the Fold 3 or 4. If you apply too much pressure to the screen, there's a chance that you could end up puncturing the screen and rendering the display broken.

That's a situation that nobody wants to end up in, and why Samsung took the necessary steps to not only introduce a dedicated S Pen for the Fold 3 but also added the S Pen Pro to the mix.

S Pen Pro vs S Pen Fold Edition: Which is the best?

Writing with the S Pen on the large display of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

From a feature perspective, the S Pen Pro simply blows the Fold Edition out of the water. Air Command and Air Actions support are two key features that Galaxy Note fans will be interested in, given that's where these originated from. Also, despite the heavier weight, the longer stylus with the S Pen Pro may be a bit more comfortable to hold when you're taking a lot of notes or if you plan on using the stylus to draw something.

Meanwhile, the S Pen Fold Edition is only tailored for Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Fold 4 owners. You can't use it with any other devices, which is fine if you don't have any, but it also hinders the ability to "future-proof" yourself. It's also a bit shorter, which could cause those with larger hands to have to worry about cramping. But if convenience and accessibility are the names of the game, then the Fold Edition takes the win thanks to the S Pen Folio Case for the Z Fold 3 and 4.

There's really no "wrong" answer here. It just comes down to whether you want all of the features possible from an S Pen, or if you just want something to jot notes down on two of the best foldable phones.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.