Samsung Finally Made The Galaxy Note’s Capacitive Buttons S Pen-Compatible [MWC 2013]


mwc2013bug-coaBARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — I’ve used both the original Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Note II for fairly lengthy periods, and although I’ve quickly gotten used to their super-sized displays, there was one thing that never failed to frustrate me. Samsung didn’t make the capacitive buttons beneath the display compatible with the S Pen, so when you’re working with the stylus, you have to move it out of the way and use your fingers to go back or access a menu.

Sure, it’s only a small flaw, but it’s still a frustrating one — as I’m sure anyone who’s ever owned a Galaxy Note will tell you. Thankfully, Samsung has fixed this with the new Galaxy Note 8.0.

I didn’t notice it during my hands-on with the device on Monday, but I attended a Samsung demonstration earlier today where the company was showing off the new tablet’s features and capabilities. “Physical Keys” was the one that caught my eye.

It’s a slightly misleading name, because the keys aren’t actually physical — they’re still beneath the front panel, and they’re still sensitive to touch. But now they’re sensitive to the S Pen, too. So now you can use the stylus to go back or access menus while you’re working with it — you now longer have to move it out of the way and use your fingers.

The feature is only available on the Galaxy Note 8.0 for now, of course, but it will almost certainly make its way to Samsung’s future Galaxy Note devices.