Update (1/12/17): A more recent report from SamMobile suggests that the headphone jack might not be gone after all. More details can be found here.
The 3.5mm headphone jack has already disappeared from a number of high-end smartphones this year, and it appears that Samsung could be the next manufacturer to follow suit. According to SamMobile’s sources, the Galaxy S8 will not only feature a USB Type-C port for data, just like the Galaxy Note 7, but will also use it exclusively for audio too.
If true, those hoping to use their existing 3.5mm headphones with the Galaxy S8 will likely have to faff around with a USB Type-C adapter to extract audio from the port’s side pins, as we’ve seen from the likes of the Moto Z and the iPhone 7. Hopefully Samsung will include an adapter in the box, but it’s unlikely that the company will provide customers with a way to charge and listen to their phone at the same time. On the plus side, the Galaxy S8 will be compatible with upcoming digital USB Type-C headphones, that may offer up some advanced features for listeners. The inclusion of a USB Type-C port should also allow Samsung to support a selection of fast charging methods too.
3.5mm audio vs USB Type-C: the good, bad and the future
One of the other potential upsides of ditching the 3.5mm jack is that it will allow Samsung to save some space inside the Galaxy S8. This could be used for a larger battery or some other hardware features. Given that the Note 7 battery fiasco now looks to have been caused by a lack of space for the cell to expand in, this might be a safe move by Samsung.
As part of this new batch of leaks, the Galaxy S8 is also expected to stick with a QHD display resolution, rather than making the jump to 4K as previously rumored. However, Samsung is apparently using a new material to lower power consumption and will opt for a standard RGB pixel layout rather than a Diamond Pentile array. This increases the number of pixels from 7,372, 800 to 11,059,200, which should provide more vivid colors and will increase the pixel density for use in virtual reality headsets. The handset is also tipped to come with integrated stereo speakers provided by its latest acquisition; Harman.
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We won’t know all of the official details about the Galaxy S8 until around the Mobile World Congress 2017 in February, but the phone is shaping up to make some key changes from its predecessor. What do you think about this report, is the loss of a 3.5mm headphone jack a deal breaker for you?