I’ve tried to paint on my phone with my finger, but it just doesn’t work for me. I need to feel like there is something in my hand, an implement that I use to create the paint strokes and sketches. On top of this I find the experience uncomfortable and after a session of dragging my finger across the screen the friction begins to take its toll. On top of this I can’t see the area I’m painting because, well, there’s a finger in the way.
I have tried a stylus in the past, in fact I’ve used a few, but they never really did the job. You see, I’m used to painting on a Wacom device where I have a comfortable working area and a high level of pressure sensitivity.
As I’m now painting more I’m feeling the need to be able to paint on the go. I don’t mean with an iPad, I’m looking at something even more portable that I carry every day.
When Procreate Pocket 2 was recently released with its redesign to bring it closer to its big brother, I decided to give painting on my phone another go, and so begins my search for a good stylus to use.
Over the next few months I will be testing a handful of pens to see which works best on my phone and the first is the Meko stylus.
So, will this be my new companion as I venture out into the world? Read on to find out…
The Meko stylus comes well presented, in a sleek black box.
On opening the box, you are presented with the two pens, and in this case, I was sent the gold version which also came with an additional black stylus too.
In addition to receiving a second stylus you’re also given a selection of replacement tips too. There are four disc tips and two extra touchscreen tips. Again, this is a nice touch as the tips can wear out or get damaged over time so with these you don’t have to replace the whole stylus.
All these extra tips are identical, but I would have liked to see some variety, maybe a softer or harder tip?
The stylus itself is well balanced and has a nice weight to it. It doesn’t feel too light or hollow like some of the cheaper pens. It also feels higher quality than you would expect, with its chrome ends and rubber strip which makes it more comfortable to hold.
What I like about these compared to other pens I’ve tested is you essentially get two styli in one. At one end you have the precision disc tip for drawing and note taking and at the other you have a standard touch screen tip, which you get on any basic stylus.
You also have a cap, so when you’re using one end you can use the cap to protect the other. It’s a small thing but a nice touch, especially as the disc tip could easily get damaged if your traveling and its sat at the bottom of your bag.
Touch Screen Use
Most styli with the larger, ball type touch screen tips are large, and rubber based, simply because they must mimic a finger. I find that these don’t often move smoothly across the screen because there’s too much resistance, plus after a while the rubber can get warm and eventually tear.
The Meko stylus offers an alternative, fabric tip which glides effortlessly over the screen giving you a much nicer experience.
I have tested this not only on my phone but on the iPad too and it is nice to hold. The tip is firm yet flexible and because its fabric it won’t leave any greasy marks on your screen.
Digital Art Use
At the opposite end is the precision disc, a small, flat, plastic circle which is transparent, so you can see through it. Again, the disk is this size because it needs to trick the device into thinking it’s a finger but the bonus here is you can see more of the screen so can work on finer details.
Now this isn’t a new idea and has been used many times before, so it all comes down to how well it works.
Using Procreate Pocket 2 wasn’t just a good test of how well I could paint and how precise I could be, but with the new update comes pressure sensitivity. You can now use 3D Touch to vary your stroke, which was another way I could test the stylus.
Initially the precision disc took some getting used to but working in Procreate soon began to feel natural. The tip felt good against the screen, with just a little bit of friction to give you that all important feedback, and I could easily vary the stroke by applying pressure.
In short, it worked well and after a period of adjustment I found I could happily use it to paint.
The only issues I had were with how the disc is attached to the tip. Meko use a small rubber strip which gives the disc the flexibility to move around as you work, but I did find that this would stay bent into one position. So, if you put the pen down and came back to it, you needed to rotate it to get the disc flat with the screen. It’s a small thing but when your painting it can break your concentration.
I also found that it wasn’t that precise. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge step up from the alternative tips but when working on finer lines, like eyelashes, I would find that I had to undo and redraw it several times before I hit the area I wanted.
Should You Invest?
For the money, which is £13 at the time of writing, you can certainly get a cheaper stylus. Even if you consider the fact you get two pens, plus all the extra nibs, it could still be expensive when you can get 10 budget pens for £5.
With that said I did like this stylus. It looks and feels like a quality pen and it gives you the option of two tips, depending on what you want to do at the time. It’s also great to paint with and the issues I had were probably more down to my own painting style than the stylus itself.
Given the choice of ten budget pens or one Meko stylus, I would buy the Meko every time.
Although Meko supplied the stylus for me to test, the opinions offered in this review are my own.