Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone may ditch the physical buttons in favor of on-screen navigation keys. David Ruddock of Android Police has learned from his sources that the Korean electronics giant would adopt software navigation buttons with “3D Touch-like functionality.” The on-screen keys would help reduce the bottom bezel significantly. The Galaxy S8 is rumored to have a 90% screen-to-body ratio.
Fingerprint sensor likely to be moved to the rear
It’s not the first time the removal of physical keys for the Galaxy S8 has been speculated. Ruddock’s report corroborates with past rumors that claimed Samsung was planning to ditch the physical home button and embed the home functionality in the display itself. Ruddock said the fingerprint scanner would be moved to the rear of the handset, though “exact placement is not clear.” Previous reports indicated that the fingerprint scanner could be incorporated into the phone’s display.
Source: Galaxy S8 will completely ditch hardware navigation keys, Samsung is switching to all soft keys with 3D touch-like functionality.
— David Ruddock (@RDR0b11) December 28, 2016
The Korean company has been working on in-screen fingerprint scanner for years. Recently, Samsung’s partner Synaptics unveiled its own fingerprint sensor that sits under the cover glass. The on-screen navigation keys would have pressure-sensitive capabilities for gesture control or extended navigation. Ruddock added that users would be able to customize and configure the soft navigation keys.
Samsung to offer optional S Pen stylus with Galaxy S8
Another report coming out of China claims that the Galaxy S8 would support the S Pen stylus. The new flagship smartphone is said to arrive in two different sizes: 5-inch and 6-inch. The 6-inch model is aimed at the Galaxy Note 7 users. One reason Galaxy Note users love the Note is the S Pen stylus. Offering an optional stylus could make the Galaxy S8 Plus more appealing to Note 7 owners.
It’s unclear how much the standalone stylus would cost. The post on Chinese website Weibo does not offer details regarding how the S Pen would work on the Galaxy S8, considering it is not part of the Galaxy S line. The upcoming phone is widely expected to feature Samsung’s own AI assistant called Bixby. Inside sources told SamMobile that Bixby would work with all the native apps on Galaxy S8.
Galaxy S8 to feature 8GB RAM, Beast Mode
The handset is rumored to pack a huge 8GB RAM, UFS 2.1 flash storage, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 processor. The higher RAM, coupled with graphics improvements, could help enhance the virtual reality experience. Virtual reality would be one of the biggest focus areas of the Galaxy S8. A trademark filing by Samsung indicates that the Galaxy S8 will also have a dedicated “Beast Mode” for enhanced performance.
Samsung will take the wraps off the Galaxy S8 at a special event to be held in New York in April. The release date has been pushed back from February to April to avoid a Galaxy Note 7-like disaster, and regain consumer confidence.