It is not the first time reports are coming in about Samsung Galaxy S8 ditching the hardware navigation buttons in favor of screen-based soft keys like what Google Pixel and Pixel XL already have.
Reports from Bloomberg had indicated that the 2017 Galaxy S8 will not come with a physical home button and instead, the flagship will feature a virtual home button that will enable a design change of the phone – a change that will eventually debut an all-screen front panel almost similar to the Xiaomi Mi MIX. This change has also meant that the fingerprint scanner will find a new home, with some reports suggesting that it will shift to the back of the phone, again, like the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, but others remain adamant that Samsung will integrate this feature into the display panel.
Now, a fresh report from Android Police’s David Ruddock claims that Samsung Galaxy S8 will for sure come without physical navigation keys like before. Instead, the South Korean tech giant has plans to debut soft keys for navigation while at the same time shipping the phone with a 3D Touch-like functionality for these keys.
What does this mean? Well, it could mean the Galaxy S8 will finally ditch hardware navigation keys in favor of on-screen keys. The fact that these keys will also support 3D Touch-like functionality also add weight to previous rumors that the phone will be coming in with a pressure-sensitive screen. The good side of having soft keys is the fact that they will be easily configurable.
This move seems to be working in favor of Google, which has used the soft keys on its phones for quite some time now. Other Android OEMs have also used this feature on their phones, but Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the first phone from the Korean tech giant to adopt this feature if at all this latest report is to be believed. But since the S8 won’t be here until somewhere April 2017, it is better to take this story with a grain of salt until the phone is released.