Apple Pencil 1 vs 2: Detailed Comparison

apple pencil 1st gen vs 2nd gen

When it comes to putting two successive models from the same brand against each other, your first thought would be, “Well, the recent or newer model is obviously a better one!” Well, in the case of Apple Pencil 1 vs 2, the comparison isn’t as black and white.

Either stylus stand out with their unique traits and features, albeit the price difference. As it would have, the Apple Pencil 2 has a slightly higher price range. But the question is, “Is it worth paying those extra few dollars?”

Unlike the initial days of Apple’s iPad, things have evolved drastically. Features, efficiency and technological advancements are quite profound. During the 2018 release of Apple Pencil 2, it managed to create a wave of disappointment initially.

Why? Because the design and the features were more or less similar to what the users saw in Apple Pencil 1. This led to the consumers being even more excited about Apple Pencil 3, which is expected to launch with a lot of reworks.

That said, this article is all about pitting Apple Pencil 1 against Apple Pencil 2 to find out the superior one of the two.

What are the Key Features of Apple Pencil 1 and 2?

Before we move on to comparing each of these styluses, let us start with the basics. Whenever a consumer goes to buy an electronic or digital product, it is the features that stand out in the beginning.

So, lets explore the basic spec sheet of Apple Pencil and 2, shall we?

Features of Apple Pencil 1

apple pencil 1st gen

The Apple Pencil 1st Generation is a public-favorite since that’s what paved the way for styluses from the brand. It was launched back in 2015 and is still a popular contender in the market. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The stylus uses Bluetooth technology for connectivity.
  • It is designed with a magnetic cap to cover the lightning cap connector that’s relevant for the charging process.
  • The stylus measures 6.92 inches in length and has a diameter of 8.89 mm.
  • A single full-charge of the Apple Pencil 1 lasts up to 12 hours of productivity.

Features of Apple Pencil 2

apple pencil 2nd gen

The successor to Apple Pencil 1, Pencil 2 is the 2nd Generation Apple Pencil, which was released in 2018. Some of the key features include:

  • It uses the standard Bluetooth technology for connectivity.
  • It uses a magnetic connector for easy portability and wireless charging on the side of the iPad.
  • The Apple Pencil 2 measures 6.53 inches in length and 8.89 mm in diameter.
  • Similar to Apple Pencil 1, the battery life in this stylus is 12 hours.

Now that we have a brief rundown of the key features, let us move on to the comparison.

Apple Pencil 1 vs. Apple Pencil 2 – Which one is Better for You?

Price and Compatibility

If you are very stuck on the budget of the Apple Pencil and don’t want to spend unnecessarily, comparing the price of the two is crucial.

While the Apple Pencil costs around $99 on the official website, Apple Pencil 2 costs around $129, which is quite a hefty price difference. But, the difference is justified since the hardware of both these models differ.

When looking into the price point, your work is to consider the compatibility too. You can’t buy the Apple Pencil first and then buy the iPad since compatibility issues might arise.

If you have an iPad already, choosing the generation of Apple Pencil becomes easier based on the compatibility.

apple pencil 1st gen vs 2nd gen compatibility

While the Apple Pencil 1 supports the older versions of iPad, you need the Apple Pencil 2 for the newer iPad versions, including 4th and 5th generation iPad Air, iPad Pro M2 2022 models, sixth-generation iPad mini (2021), etc.

So, your aim is to focus on the compatibility first and then pick the Apple Pencil that will function on your respective iPad.

Design and Build

When comparing electronic products, there is no way you can skip out on the build and construction. From a distance, both Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 might look similar but there are certain design differences worth considering.

Both these styluses have a rounded body but they differ in their hold and feel. The Apple Pencil has a spherical body, giving it a smoother surface and grip. The Apple Pencil 2, on the other hand, has a flat body. The latter was a design improvement to offer better grip to the users.

Another design difference is on the surface. Apple Pencil has a shiny and glossy plastic surface. Apple Pencil 2, on the other hand, has a chicer look with the matte surface.

If we had to pit them based on the grip, we’d recommend you go for Apple Pencil 2 with a slightly better grip compared to Apple Pencil.


When it comes to comparing Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2, performance is that one factor we can’t compromise on.

But, what if we said that the drawing performance is more or less the same with both the styluses? Disappointed? The biggest downside to these models is Apple’s lack of transparency based on the pressure points. So, figuring out which has a better performance can be a little frustrating.

That said, both the models support the tilt and rotation detection feature. You can effortlessly choose any brush stroke and then draw to your heart’s desire.

Also, the low-latency performance in Apple Pencil 1 and 2 are pretty similar. So, what differentiates them in terms of performance? Which one is better?

To be fair, both of these pencils have similar performance result. So, distinguishing them on that ground is a little difficult. However, the Apple Pencil 2 comes with a slight technical advantage. The extra “double tap button” acts like a macro key where you can assign a specific task to it that you perform often.

This sorts out the need to consistently go back and select that option. Instead, the user can simply double tap and the feature will be activated.

However, besides that, the performance of Apple Pencil 1 and 2 are pretty similar, especially if you are a creator.


Apple is known for launching their products, gaining enough consumer insights and then improving on them in the later models. This is something that’s applicable to the Apple Pencil 2.

Following the uproar regarding the storage in Apple Pencil 1, the brand introduced a series of improvements to the next generation, which is the Apple Pencil 2.

So, when it comes to storage configurations, Apple Pencil 2 definitely takes the cake. The Apple Pencil 2 easily zaps onto the side of the iPad Pro, where it charges wirelessly too. Not just in terms of portability, this also introduced a lot of significance in terms of the user experience.

On the flip side, the storage options for Apple Pencil 1 were very bad. It attaches to a few magnetic covers but the grip isn’t that strong, which means that there are chances of the same falling off.


Moving on to the charging configurations, Apple Pencil 2 takes the cake in this one too. The original Apple Pencil charges using a lightning connector and the process is quite confusing to begin with. But, the good news is that it charges quickly. Just 15 seconds of charging provides with 30 minutes of productivity.

The Apple Pencil 2 charges wirelessly when attached to the side of the iPad Pro magnetically. So, even when you are on the go, attaching it to the side will ensure that the stylus is charged and ready for all your work in the next few hours.

Pencil Tips

You can’t necessarily forget about the precision and efficiency of the tips of Apple Pencil 1 and 2, right?

To be fair, there’s not much to distinguish when it comes to the tips. Both of them have pretty similar tips, both in terms of design and functionalities.

However, the durability of the tip is a big issue with the Apple Pencil 1 since its made with softer plastic, which also creates a lot of noise when scraping against the iPad’s display. The Apple Pencil 1, hence comes with a replacement tip that you can switch out when the initial one stops working.

Apple Pencil 2 has a more durable and sturdier tip, which won’t give you grief after a few months of rigorous usage. That said, you don’t get a replacement tip with Apple Pencil 2. But, the good news is that the Apple Pencil 2’s tip doesn’t require frequent replacements, so you are good.

In case the tips stop working or they are broken, Apple provides replacement pack of tips for $19.

Which is the One for You?

Now that you have a fair bit of idea about Apple Pencil 1 and 2, the next question is, “Which one of the two is for me?”

Despite what you think, especially in terms of price, we’d have to give the crown to Apple Pencil 2. It comes with a slightly elevated price point but its worth every extra dollar you spend.

With the rising compatibility issues, it isn’t surprising that Apple Pencil will soon become an obsolete stylus and stop working with the newer iPad models. So, if you are a creator, or artist that will probably buy a new iPad in a few years, we’d recommend investing in Apple Pencil 2 instead of the first-generation model.

If you are waiting for Apple Pencil 3, which was expectedly coming out in 2021, we’d recommend not waiting long. We don’t have any official confirmation about the model yet, so its better you choose the best that’s already available, which is the Apple Pencil 2.

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