Artist Review: Stilo 2A Stylus

Stilo is a new company that makes styluses. I've not actually heard of them until they contacted me and said they want to send some stylus over to let me review them. A quick check shows me that they are currently selling two models, the 2A and 6R. 2A is the hard tip active stylus and 6R is the rubber tip capacitive stylus (which I'll review separately).

My review is going to be from the perspective of an artist who uses this for drawing purposes. So far from my collection of styluses, I've not found the perfect stylus yet, except for the Apple Pencil but that works only with the iPad Pro.

Build quality


The packaging is nice and simple, very minimalist. You slide out the cardboard holding the stylus and push the back to pop out the stylus.


First impression is it has a bigger diameter compared to other styluses in the market. It's something akin to holding a graphic marker, but it's not so thick like those fat markers.



It comes with a click-on cap that protects a 1.9mm tip. You can post the cap behind so that it doesn't get lost.

The overall feel is quite solid with a nice weight. When drawing, I actually feel like I'm drawing with a felt tip marker, but here it has a hard tip instead.

Highlight

The highlight of Stilo 2A is the 1.9mm tip, a tip that's smaller when compared to many other similar sized styluses, especially those rubber tip ones. There are competitors, of course, that feature the 1.9mm tip, such as from Wacom and Adonit. So this small tip feature is not exactly new.

A smaller tip does allow you to see more of the screen and hence what you're drawing. A plus for digital artists.


The Stilo 2A is an active stylus that's powered by one AAA battery. I like batteries that can be replaced. Of all the styluses I've tried, battery failure is the most common problem I face. In fact, today when I wanted to test the Adonit Jot Dash, a direct competitor, I found out that the battery charging failed. That's not the first time I've faced with a battery/battery charging failure. Sigh.

Compatibility

So anyway, an active stylus is one that sends electric signals to trick the tablet into thinking that there's a stylus working on the screen. No Bluetooth is required. There is no palm rejection though.

On Stilo's website, it says...

Stilo 2A works with virtually all iOS, Android and Windows phones, tablets, tablet PCs, and touch-screen 2-in-1 PCs.

I've tried it on my iPad Pro and there were a lot of line skipping and breaking. On the iPad Mini, my Android phone, Windows tablet, the stylus works fine. From all the information and reviews I've read online, it seems that as long as you're using a tablet that's not the iPad Pro, it should work fine. There's no list of compatible devices listed on Stilo's website unfortunately. If it's using the same technology as the Adonit Jot Dash, then it should work on a lot of tablets.



Another feature of the stylus is the ability to adjust the strength of the signals its sending out by adjusting the tip. You can twist to retract the tip and this will send out a weaker signal to the tablet. Stilo says that some tablets prefer weak signals. I usually leave the tip all the way out for the strongest signal and it works all the time except on the iPad Pro.

Battery life

It's marketed to last for 10 hours of non stop use. Since it's replaceable, my recommendation is to get rechargeable AAA batteries because it's more economical in the long run.

Drawing performance

The downside of active or digital stylus is they suffer from the slow-diagonal-jittery-line problem. That problem is present here. However, some apps do correct for that problem by smoothing out the lines. However, this jittery line problem is less obvious compared to Adonit Jot Dash.


That's Wacom Bamboo Paper app on my Android phone. The stylus draws quite well with minimal lag. Lines are slightly wavy but not a big issue.


This is still Wacom Bamboo Paper app but on a Windows 10 tablet. There are some broken lines. You have to draw a bit slower to prevent broken lines.


This is the Sketches Pro app on iPad Pro. Earlier I mentioned I had problems with iPad Pro. I find that when I hold the stylus exactly vertical like a Chinese brush, I can get it to sort of work. It's tiring to draw like that and sometimes I still see broken lines. Anyway on the iPad Pro, you should be using the Apple Pencil.

Conclusion

The Stilo 2A should work well on Android and iOS devices except the iPad Pro. I'm not sure of compatibility with Windows tablets because it did not work well on mine.

Overall, I think it's quite a decent stylus. If you need drawing stylus but don't require pressure sensitivity, Stilo 2A is a good choice. I like that it has replaceable batteries, and the wavvy-diagonal-lines problem is not that obvious, when I tested at normal drawing speed it's almost non-existent.

My experience from drawing with it is mostly favourable so this is something I can recommend.

Availability

You can find the Stilo 2A on Amazon, or check out more reviews there.

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