A leaked image of one of Samsung’s new A-series smartphones is making the rounds, and it seems to point to a full-size screen and a bigger role for Bixby.
The features are being inferred from a couple of small hints in the image, which shows the upper rear of the device. Under a camera system in the upper center of the device there is a small fingerprint sensor, suggesting that Samsung is ready to get rid of the physical home button on its mid-range devices to make room for a larger screen along the lines of its Galaxy Note8 and Galaxy S8 designs (not to mention Apple’s big new iPhone).
Meanwhile, some are speculating that a small button on the side of the device is meant to let the user activate Bixby, Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri AI assistant. The company has been keen to promote the sophistication of its Bixby technology, and recently teamed with a computer vision specialist to further improve it, suggesting that the company is planning to make the platform a major part of its mobile ecosystem. Putting Bixby at users’ fingertips on its mid-range smartphones will probably help that project along.
Of course, this is all just speculation at the moment, and it will be clarified when the new devices are officially unveiled. This year’s Galaxy A-series smartphones were launched in January, so it’s fair to expect the 2018 editions of the devices around the start of next year, unless a ramped-up production schedule for the Galaxy S9 shakes things up.