Are physical buttons on smartphones passé? The newest rumor about the Samsung Galaxy S8 makes it seem so.
Two videos, one published Sunday by Slashleaks and the other on Monday by MobileFunTV, showcase Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones with customizable on-screen buttons.
According to the newest leak about the devices, the company might opt for virtual buttons, accessible even when the device is off, for the S8. This feature could be an extension of Samsung’s AlwaysOn feature. The company had earlier been rumored to ditch its signature home button in the next iteration of its flagship smartphone.
The sea change in Samsung’s design strategy seems to be because of the setback it suffered due to the Note 7 crisis, which makes it crucial that the next Samsung Galaxy device does well and generates high sales numbers, repairing the company’s image and balance sheet. Ditching physical buttons seems to be just one of Samsung’s moves. The S8 is expected to come with an edge-to-edge display, a Snapdragon 835 processor, which has been reserved especially for the company, an artificial intelligence-based Bixby voice assistant and a multi-sensor camera.
But the lack of physical buttons on flagship devices is slowly becoming a trend — Samsung’s major rival Apple’s 2017 flagship, the iPhone 8, is also expected to ditch physical buttons, although the company is expected to employ a strategy entirely different from Samsung. Apple is expected to employ its 3D Touch pressure sensing technology throughout the body of the device — iPhone 8 is expected to have pressure sensitive buttons embedded inside its body, replacing the physical volume rocker, power and Apple lock buttons.
Although similar to the S8, the iPhone 8 too is expected to ditch the home button for a display-embedded fingerprint sensor.
If the two videos are to be believed, we might be moving towards a future where smartphones don’t have any physical buttons.
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