The latest leak potentially reveals what it’ll be like to use the phone without a physical home button.
Three images and a 5-second video posted by Slash Leaks show the Galaxy S8 in, uh, some of its glory. The first image shows the Galaxy S8’s leaked “Infinity Display,” with a good look at its rounded screen corners and curved edges.
The screen’s mostly off, but we can see a myriad of sensors and cameras (presumably an improved selfie camera, iris scanner, and maybe a sensor dedicated just for its rumored Bixby AI assistant) above the display.
The always-on display shows the usual clock, but also has a square-shaped on-screen button at the bottom, which suggests the phone will have a virtual home button of some kind.
Replacing the physical home button with an onscreen button might not be a terrible idea, especially with the fingerprint sensor expected to move to the backside of the phone.
While the leaked images don’t reveal how the digital home button will work, I’ve got a guess. It’s possible — and this is just a guess — that when you tap the square button it’ll do one of two things: 1) display the PIN/pattern code unlock screen and/or 2) activate the iris scanner and unlock.
Having reviewed the Note7 (RIP), I can tell you the iris scanner was neat and pointed towards the future, but activating it was a pain in ass. You’d have to wake up the display, swipe up to launch the iris scanner, and then line up your eyes. It was faster to just use the fingerprint sensor.
If Samsung reduces the number of steps it takes to launch the iris scanner, fingerprint sensors might have some serious competition, and might eventually become a secondary method of authentication.
We’ll know official details on March 29. For now, these leaks might suggest Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is going to be a beast of a phone.