Samsung is working on an all-screen design for the Galaxy S8, but to do so, it needs to copy the iPhone. Again. A new report says that Samsung is doing away with hardware navigation keys, which you’ll find on any Android device, and replacing them with a trick that was first introduced by the iPhone.
“Galaxy S8 will completely ditch hardware navigation keys, Samsung is switching to all soft keys with 3D touch-like functionality,” Android Police’s David Ruddock tweeted. Ruddock has often been accurate with his Android predictions.
The information he offers falls in line with what many other reports have claimed. Samsung is looking to ditch the physical buttons on the Galaxy S8 in order to offer users a screen-to-body ratio of over 90%. But Android needs three buttons to function, so adding 3D Touch-like functionality to the screen seems to be the only solution that would allow Samsung to remove the buttons.
“Soft keys may be configurable/customizable, as well,” he said. “Removing the capacitive keys/home button will give the S8 a very tiny bottom bezel.”
Apple has been preparing for years for its move to an all-screen iPhone, and we have often written about it. 3D Touch and the non-physical home button in the iPhone 7 laid some of the groundwork needed to make the transition to a bezel-free smartphone.
Samsung, meanwhile, has not yet taken these steps and apparently plans to make all of these changes at once, without having any actual time to see how they work in the real world.
The new design will force Apple to embed the fingerprint sensor under the screen on the iPhone 8, something Samsung was also rumored to be considering. But Ruddock now believes that Samsung might choose a simpler solution. “It looks like the fingerprint scanner is being removed from the front,” he said. “Will go on the back probably, exact placement not clear.”