2017 may be the year when physical home buttons go away. The home button has been a prominent feature of many phones from Samsung, but it is said to be eliminated in favor of squeezing a bigger display within a compact form factor.
ETNews first reported in October 2016 that the Galaxy S8 will have no physical home button as Samsung wants to increase the screen size and achieve "a truly full-screen smartphone". SamMobile also agreed that the home button will be removed. Where will the home button go?
Bloomberg reports that there will be a virtual home button. Android Police also added that Samsung "will completely ditch hardware navigation keys" and switch to "all soft keys" for the Galaxy S8. Leaked schematics and 3D renders confirm that there is no physical home button.
As the current fingerprint sensor is integrated with the home button, the shift to a virtual home button would mean that the fingerprint sensor follow a similar fate or be relocated somewhere else. Most rumors suggest that the fingerprint sensor would be embedded within the display, but it is likely to be relocated to the rear as revealed by the first leaked photo of a purported Galaxy S8 handset. Another 360-degree video of the two handsets shows no physical home button at the front and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Citing information from its industry sources, The Investor claims to know the real reason why the Galaxy S8 has a rear fingerprint sensor. Apparently, Samsung ran out of time to integrate Synaptics' optical fingerprint sensor technology and made the tough call of relocating the fingerprint sensor to the back.
It seems that the Galaxy S8 is highly likely to come with a virtual home button and a fingerprint sensor located at the rear.