This brilliant iPad stylus also works with iPhone [Review]


Zagg Pro Stylus 2 review★★★★
Zagg's new iPad stylus is just right for students and businesspeople.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is ready to help you take handwritten notes on an iPad and sketch out your ideas, too. Or you can use it on your iPhone — don’t try that with Apple Pencil.

It wirelessly charges on the edge of an Apple tablet, and that’s just one of the tricks it can do.

I tested the Pro Stylus 2 with my iPad Pro and iPhone 15 and came away pleased.

Zagg Pro Stylus 2 review

iPad and iPhone are designed to work with a fingertip, but drawing without a stylus is too much like fingerpainting. And handwriting notes is nearly impossible without one.

Many artists love Apple Pencil, but that’s overkill for students or businesspeople. If you want to sketch, take notes, sign documents or even enter text in any application with Scribble, the Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is a better fit.

As a bonus, flip it around and use the iPhone stylus tip on they opposite end.

iPad stylus that’s also for iPhone

On one end of Pro Stylus 2 is an active tip for writing and drawing on an iPad. The tip is narrow enough that you can accurately place it just where you want it.

On the opposite end is a soft, capacitive tip that supports iPhone touchscreens. It can be used for swiping around or even signing documents.

But to be clear, the narrow tip does not work on iPhone — the handset doesn’t have the right type of screen. (Apple Pencil doesn’t work on handsets for the same reason.)

The barrel of the Pro Stylus 2 is 1.1 inches in circumference and the whole accessory is 6.5 inches — almost exactly the same as Apple Pencil. I find it comfortable to hold, like using any pencil.

There’s a flat side of the barrel that helps prevent it from rolling. Also, magnets under this edge enable Zagg’s product to cling to the side of recent iPad Pro and iPad Air models, as Apple Pencil 2 does.

The third-party stylus comes in either blue, grey, pink, white or yellow. My review unit is that latter option, and reminds me of a standard pencil, especially as it’s labeled “No 2” just for fun.

As a bonus trick, press the soft, capacitive end to make your iPad return to its Home screen.

Take the stylus in hand

Zagg Pro Stylus 2
The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 does most of what Apple Pencil does, but costs less.
Photo: Zagg

The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 writes on any iPad released since 2018. That includes Air and Pro models, too.

It works very well. I did extensive tasting and can assure you that you don’t have to worry about lines skipping. And the digital ink appears exactly where the tip touches the screen.

That’s because the iPad does most of the work. All Zagg needed to do was meet a minimal set of hardware requirements to have their product work as well an Apple Pencil.

But it’s not 100% comparable to Apple’s product. Unlike an Apple Pencil, Pro Stylus 2 doesn’t offer pressure sensitivity. But it does have tilt detection, and it is compatible with apps that support Apple’s stylus.

I’m not an artist so I primarily use a stylus like this one to touch up images. And for me, pressure sensitivity is not only unnecessary, it’s an irritant. I want to set line width and color saturation in my application and have it stay there. The same is true when I’m writing with the stylus.

But the limitation probably makes Zagg Pro Stylus 2 a better fit for students and businesspeople rather than artists.

Battery life and so many charging options

Zagg Pro Stylus 2 charging
Put the Zagg Pro Stylus 2 on any wireless charger to juice it up. Or use the one that comes with it.
Photo: Zagg

An active stylus like the Zagg Pro Stylus 2 requires power to run. Press and hold the soft, capacitive end to activate it. Repeat the process to deactivate.

Zagg says the battery is good for six hours of use. In my testing, 30 minutes of continuous use drained the battery 5%, which leads to 10 hours of use on a single charge.

You can can potentially drain the accessory in a day of heavy use, so it’s good that placing the accessory on the edge of a compatible iPad charges it up.

But that’s not the only option. Zagg bundles a wireless charger specially designed for the stylus. In my tests, 20 minutes connected to this brings a 35% charge to the stylus.

And you can’t criticize the product for being difficult to charge because there’s even a third option. Any iPhone wireless charger will juice up the accessory.

But there is a problem with charging. And it actually the only significant complaint I have with Zagg Pro Stylus 2. There’s no LED on the device to indicate when it’s getting power. Or to tell when it’s on or off.

That said, you can use the iPad’s battery widget to check the exact battery level at any time. This also shows whether the accessory is getting power. If it isn’t listed on the widget, it’s not activated.

For this to work, you need to Bluetooth pair the accessory with the tablet. That said, just using the stylus with the iPad doesn’t require Bluetooth — simply activate it and start writing.

Zagg Pro Stylus 2 final thoughts

Zagg Pro Stylus 2 vs Apple Pencil
Zagg Pro Stylus 2 offers some features Apple Pencil does not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There’s no doubt Apple Pencil is the 500 pound gorilla of iPad styli. To be successful, any rival has to be better in at least one way, and more is better. Zagg’s offering includes much of what makes Apple’s great: on-tablet charging and excellent performance. And then it stands out by adding an iPhone stylus and more charging options.


That said, it doesn’t offer pressure sensitivity. And it’s missing a status LED.


The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is now available for $79.99. That’s a typical price for a top-quality iPad stylus not made by Apple.

Buy it from: Zagg or Amazon

For comparison, it’s well below the list price of the Apple Pencil 2, which is $129.99. Another option for anyone who’s shopping around is the new Apple Pencil with USB-C connectivity. It’s generally comparable to Zagg’s and costs $79.

And don’t miss the Cult of Mac review of the original Zagg Pro Stylus, which is still available for $40.88.

Zagg provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.


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