The Galaxy A8s will be Samsung’s first phone with a gorgeous Infinity-O display. That’s the kind of screen that occupies almost the entire front of the phone except for tiny bezels and a camera hole near the top. Samsung already teased the new design, and then introduced the Infinity-O screens at its SDC18 event earlier this month. Since then, we learned that other smartphone makers should have similar designs in stores soon, including Huawei and Lenovo. A new series of leaks further reinforces the idea that the Galaxy A8s will have an Infinity-O screen, but also they also deliver some bad news for Samsung fans, the kind of news they’ve been dreading ever since the iPhone 7 came out.
Samsung a few months ago said that it would no longer use flagship devices like the Galaxy S and Note series as its sole avenues for introducing smartphone innovations. Instead, mid-range phones will come out with new features that will then make it into flagship devices. That’s precisely the case for Samsung’s triple and quadruple-lens cameras, which will be available on Galaxy A phones long before the Galaxy S10 rolls out.
Similarly, the Galaxy A8s will have an Infinity-O screen before the Galaxy S10 gets it. Now, thanks to FCC documentation for the handset that GalaxyClub discovered, we have an idea of how that camera hole will affect Samsung’s One UI.
The image above reveals that the camera hole of the Galaxy A8s will be placed near the top left corner of the phone, pushing all the status bar notifications to the right. Like I said before, camera hole designs will look a lot better than notch designs on phones that don’t have Face ID support. By reducing top and bottom bezels and using Infinity-O screens, Samsung will be able to further extend the Infinity display without increasing the overall size of the phone.
But to make phones with edge-to-edge displays, Samsung may have to abandon the headphone jack, and that’s the kind of design move Samsung fans have been dreading for years. Samsung famously mocked Apple’s iPhone 7 and subsequent iPhones for not having a headphone jack. But one of the reasons to remove the port is to make room for additional components inside the phone and extend the screen all the way to the bottom without increasing the thickness of the device or decreasing battery life. Just recently, OnePlus explained that it removed the headphone jack on the OnePlus 6T because it placed a fingerprint sensor under the screen, a component that takes up additional space. By removing the jack, OnePlus was able to also put a bigger battery inside the handset.
A well-known leaker from China dropped this tidbit on Twitter about the Galaxy A8s:
Galaxy A8s Maybe cancel the 3.5mm jack.
— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) November 29, 2018
I’d venture to say that if a mid-range phone like the Galaxy A8s loses the 3.5mm jack, then so will several Galaxy S10 versions, if not all of them. That’s because, again, the Galaxy A8s will be used to introduce features that will make it into the next Samsung flagships, Galaxy S10 included.
Let’s also not forget that Galaxy S10 phones will have multi-lens cameras on the front and back, as well as an in-display fingerprint sensor. These components will take up plenty of room inside the phone, space that could impact battery size. One way to make more room is to remove the headphone jack.
Previous reports did say that Samsung is toying with the idea of removing the headphone jack from future flagships, but those stories suggested the Galaxy Note 10 might be the first Samsung handset to lose a 3.5mm audio port. Whatever the case, it’s unlikely that the headphone jack can survive for much longer on Samsung phones.