The Galaxy S8 launch is just weeks away at this point, and the leaks are coming thick and fast. We’ve seen basically everything there is to see about the outside of the phone, so it’s about time we peeked under the hood.
Thanks to a series of images ripped from a new APK of Samsung Smart Switch, an app that helps you transfer data between devices, we have a good idea of what the software will look like on the S8 and S8+.
The images show the main home page and and the app launcher, along with a bunch of app icons. It confirms that Samsung’s sticking with the same slightly skinned version of Android that it’s favored for its last few devices. Despite rumors surrounding the integration of Samsung’s own AI, called Bixby, it looks like the S8 will stick to offering an Android-first experience.
The images also confirm another rumor, that Samsung is moving to virtual navigation buttons for the S8 and S8+. Earlier leaked images showed that Samsung is planning on losing the physical navigation buttons in favor of on-screen controls, but these images taken from a Samsung app go a long way to proving it.
Moving to virtual nav buttons makes sense considering the overall design theme for the S8. As with most other flagship phones this year, Samsung seems to be targeting an all-screen, no-bezel front display, with the biggest possible screen size in a manageable form factor.
Nice as they are for ease of use, buttons take up valuable screen real estate, so they’re an obvious thing to go. Even Apple is rumored to be ditching the physical home button with the iPhone 8, so it makes sense for Samsung to get an extra half-inch of screen size by axing its physical buttons.
Removing the home button from the front of the phone is likely to have one unfortunate consequence, though. It seems that the fingerprint sensor is going to the back of the phone to live alongside the camera module. It’s a necessary move, as the technology to have an under-screen fingerprint sensor is still in the works. But it means you’re going to have to deal with a perma-smudged camera lens as a result, which isn’t exactly ideal.
In either case, we won’t have long to wait to find out the rest of the details, as the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are set to launch by early April, with an in-store availability by the end of the month.