The rumors around Samsung's phablet (is the term still around or is everything a phablet these days?) made rounds earlier in March and PhoneArena also came up with some interesting renders, but now there is stronger evidence to suggest that this year's Note 10 is looking to spice things up in terms of hardware design with two major changes. Both of which are likely to receive the love or hate treatment by fans of the device.
Before the Galaxy Fold fiasco, which is taking its sweet time for a re-release, the Note series was the Samsung flagship that usually got the limelight. Bringing everything but the kitchen sink for top dollar to an enthusiastic fanbase, the latest model might be taking things a bit too far for the sake of change.
The design updates involve letting go of the headphone jack, the inclusion of which has now become an exception rather than the rule. Even the company's latest Galaxy S10 models came with one (and were praised for it) but Samsung apparently has had some of Apple's 'courage' and deems the feature unnecessary to make way for other hardware changes that will then be possible.
Speaking to Android Police, a source close to Samsung's plans for the device revealed that the headphone jack and all physical buttons will be removed. Expect the volume, power and Bixby actuation through capacitive buttons or haptic sensors like those found on the HTC U12+.
The hardware changes could potentially improve structural rigidity of the device and offer increased protection against dust and liquids. Space saved from removing the headphone jack could allow for a bigger battery, but not by much as it would still need to have a slot to make room for the S Pen, its signature stylus that gets more feature-rich with each model update.
The absence of physical buttons mean fewer parts to go wrong and make way for a more seamless body. Though it remains to be seen how Samsung can successfully replicate the tactile feel of physical buttons that are crucial to the overall user experience of the device, if these rumors turn out to be true. Until then, keep your salt cellar nearby.