Samsung is expected to make dramatic changes to the look and feel of its next generation flagship smartphone. A new report claims the Galaxy S8 will drop hardware navigation keys in favor of soft keys with 3D Touch-like features in order to allow an 'all-screen front.'

The last half of 2016 wasn't a very good one for Samsung, as the company had a disastrous release and subsequent complete recall of the Galaxy Note 7. In the months leading up to the phablet's unveiling in August, Samsung was enjoying the much-deserved success it achieved with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in the first half of the year. It was widely believed that Samsung had a hit on its hands before it even announced the Note 7 based on numerous reports of innovative features and design, while Apple's upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were widely reported to not offer any major redesign or "must-have" features.

Despite Galaxy Note 7 Recall, Samsung Fended Off Apple And Android Rivals

In fact, The Wall Street Journal just reported that Samsung held its own this holiday season in terms of smartphone sales despite the Note 7 recall.

"Samsung was able to fend off other Android competition, and Apple, too, thanks to Apple's own lack of a wowing product this year," the report said.

Galaxy S8 Will Pick Up Where Note 7 Left Off

You can be certain that Samsung is planning to "wow" with its upcoming Galaxy S8 series, which is expected to be announced in late February at the Mobile World Congress 2017 or at an event in April, according to recent reports.

A new report from a source with a reliable track record of reporting smartphone news claims that Samsung will ditch the hardware navigation keys that currently grace the front of its smartphones in favor of all soft keys on screen with "3D touch-like functionality."

This news backs up previous reports, which claimed that Samsung will ditch the physical home button and fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus and will instead embed an optical fingerprint scanner into the display, a feature also expected to be included on 2017's iPhone 8. The removal of the home and physical navigation buttons would allow for the rumored "all screen-front" bezel-less curved edge Super AMOLED displays expected on the new smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are expected to ship with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, which already has 3D Touch-like functionality baked into the OS. The new smartphones are also rumored to include the Galaxy Note's S Pen functionality, with a separate S Pen accessory available at launch.

As always, it's best to take reports of highly anticipated and unannounced smartphone details with a grain of salt for now. We'll keep you posted on any fresh Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus news as it becomes available. In the meantime, check out the video below from TechRadar to see what the Galaxy S8 may look like upon release.

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