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Samsung patent shows off buttonless phone design, may also feature a fingerprint scanner

A new Samsung design patent has surfaced describing a handset that is without physical buttons. Even more interesting, the back of the handset has an unidentified 'object' that we believe may be a fingerprint reader.
January 22, 2014
Samsung Brand Shots CES 2014-6

After the Samsung Galaxy S4 debuted last year packing essentially the same look as the GS3 with only a few minor differences, we instantly started hearing complaints about how Samsung’s design needed to be revamped. To make matters worse, handsets like the HTC One were praised for their premium metal-bodied designs.

Since then, Samsung has changed up their design language a bit, starting with the Galaxy Note 3. As you likely know already, the Note 3 features a different kind of plastic from its predecessors that was designed to mimic the look and feel of leather. Will this design language continue to be used going forward? While we don’t know officially one way or another, there have been a number of patents filed by Samsung that suggest changes may be heading our way.

Earlier this month we reported on two concept devices based on Samsung design patents that contained no physical buttons. Now it looks like another such design has surfaced, this time with an intriguing twist: the back shows an unidentified object on the top right side that may possibly be a fingerprint scanner.

Interestingly enough, a recent report out of Korea claims that the Galaxy S5 will feature a fingerprint reader, instead of the previously rumored iris scanner. Although we have no real way of knowing if the object in the image is actually a fingerprint reader and not something else entirely, we wouldn’t be too surprised.

Even if this design patent really does pack a fingerprint scanner, there is no guarantees that the patent is actually describing the Galaxy S5 or any actual Samsung device. Companies often file design patents like this in order to cover their bases, and yet many times the design never makes its way directly into any real product.

What do you think of the latest patent design from Samsung? Do you feel its time for Samsung to move on from physical buttons? Let us know what you think in the comments below.