Using a drawing tablet with an Android device


Depending on the android device you have and the specific tablet you may be able to use your android device with your drawing tablet. Overall though, there will be limitations - and some very severe ones - and you should be aware of them before trying to use a tablet with an android device.


Do not assume a drawing tablet works with an android device. Check with the tablet manufacturer before trying this.


With a pen tablet, your android device will be able to provide enough power for the tablet.

With a pen display, your android device may NOT be able to provide enough power. You may need to get additional power from an adapter. Even if the android device can provide more power, be aware that the pen display reduce your battery life.

Active area for pen tablets


A pen tablet may not be able to map the active area as you would intuitively expect to your android device. With some tablets only a portion of the tablet's active area will be usable for drawing when connected to an android device.

Proportional drawing and lack of it

The mapping may (likely) be non-proportional and create a distortion. This means that tracing out a circle on the pen tablet may result in an oval on the android device.


With a PC, to use your tablet you normally install drivers provided by the manufacturers.

But for Android devices, you don't install any drivers (and manufacturers don't provide any Android drivers). Instead, you will rely on the built-in support in your android device.

While this seems like a good thing, it also means you cannot configure the tablet or take advantage of some specific features.

Buttons and Dials

Because there is no manufacturer driver on an android device, there is no way to control what the buttons or dials on the tablet do. They are inactive when using an android tablet.

Pressure curve

Because there is no manufacturer driver, there is no way to control what the pressure curve within the driver.

You will have to rely on the pressure curve control in your applications - if it has them.


  • For a list of applications that work on Android go here: Applications.

Considerations for a pen tablet

  • Bluetooth. I don't know if this will work. I haven't ever tried.

Connecting a pen display

  • Your android device must have a USB-C port that supports DP alt mode. Not all Android device support have such USB-C ports.

  • The USB-C cable you use to connect the tablet to the android device must be capable of transmitting a display signal.

Android setups I have tried

Setup 1: Huion Kamvas 13 + Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra

The following setup below worked for me.

  • For this setup, I used a Microsoft Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock

  • Samsung S8 Ultra connected to the dock via the dock's attached Thunderbolt 3 cable

  • Huion Kamvas top USB-C port connected with Huion 3-in-1 cable:

    • 3-in-1 cable red USB-A end (for power) connected to dock.

    • 3-in-1 cable black USB-A end (for data ) connected to dock.

    • 3-in-1 cable HDMI end not connected

  • Huion Kamvas 13 lower USB-C port connected to the USB-C port on dock using a Thunderbolt 3 cable.

Step 2: Samsung Galaxy S9 FE

Samsung Galaxy S9 FE does not work with an external monitor. Because of this, I was unable to get it to work a pen display.


Pen tablets

Pen displays

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