Over the past few weeks, there have been consistent rumors that Samsung would ditch the traditional headphone jack on the Galaxy S8 in favor of a USB-C port. A new report has indirectly confirmed that the headphone jack might indeed be on its way out. Sources familiar with the matter told SamMobile that Samsung was planning to launch ‘wireless in-ear headphones’ alongside the Galaxy S8.

galaxy s8 concept display
Image Source: TechDroider/YouTube

Samsung aims to challenge AirPods

The publication did not clarify whether these wireless buds will be sold separately or bundled with the flagship smartphone, or both. SamMobile added that Samsung was keen to bring a product that would compete with Apple’s AirPods. Apple unveiled the AirPods in September and started shipping them in December. The iPhone maker sells these wireless earphones separately.

Recently, Samsung acquired Harman International for $8 billion. The Korean company said in its press release announcing the acquisition that Harman could “greatly enhance” its future products. However, Harman’s audio technology is unlikely to be used in these wireless headphones. The Harman acquisition happened only recently, while the headphones have been under development for months.

Samsung to offer S Pen stylus with Galaxy S8

Samsung already has a pair of completely wireless headphones called Gear Icon X. In its review of Icon X, SamMobile said it was a good concept but wasn’t ideal for replacing wired headphones. Removing the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of wireless headphones or a USB-C port has several advantages. For instance, it could make the device more waterproof, free up some space that can be used to increase the battery size or make the phones slimmer.

Samsung is said to launch a 5-inch Galaxy S8 and a 6-inch Galaxy S8 Plus. The Plus version is aimed at the Galaxy Note 7 owners. The company would be offering an optional S Pen stylus to make the S8 Plus more appealing to the Note 7 users. It is not yet clear how the stylus would work on the Galaxy S8, and how much the standalone S Pen would cost.

Soft keys to replace physical keys on Galaxy S8

Sources familiar with the development told David Ruddock of Android Police that the Galaxy S8 will completely get rid of the physical keys. The device would feature on-screen soft navigation keys with “3D Touch-like functionality.” These software keys are said to be customizable. Ruddock added that the fingerprint sensor might be moved to the rear of the handset. A few other reports have suggested that the fingerprint scanner would sit underneath the bezel-less Super AMOLED display.

The upcoming smartphone would be powered by 8GB RAM and Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chipset depending on the region. The device will have Samsung’s own AI assistant Bixby, which is rumored to be compatible with all the native apps on Galaxy S8. Samsung is set to unveil the device at a special event in New York in April.