Samsung's Galaxy S7 may include a pressure-sensitive display and other innovative features designed to win back consumers.
Next year's phone will add a screen that responds to the strength of your touch, "people familiar with the matter" told the Wall Street Journal for a story published Monday. A new high-speed charging port, a higher-quality camera and a retina scanner on certain models may also be part of the package, the Journal's sources added.
The Galaxy S7 needs to capture consumers' interest after this year's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge failed to provide enough of a boost to Samsung's struggling smartphone sales. The company has been bitten by budget-friendly Chinese phones on the low end and by Apple's iPhone on the high end. The challenge for Samsung, which last month shook up the leadership of its mobile business, is to outfit its flagship phone with modern, enticing features yet keep the price competitive.
As with the Galaxy S6 lineup, the new phone is expected to come in two flavors: a Galaxy S7 with a standard display and a Galaxy S7 Edge with a display that curves on both the right and left edges. Expected to be announced at the Mobile World Congress in late February, the device will reach consumers in the US in mid-March, according to the Journal's sources.
The pressure-sensitive screen would be an attempt to match the 3D Touch feature in Apple's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Lightly tapping the screen produces a different result than does holding down the screen more firmly.
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The high-speed charging port would use a USB Type-C technology, the Journal's sources said, which would allow the phone to get a full day's charge in less than 30 minutes. That feature has already popped up on such devices as Google's Nexus 5X.
The Galaxy S7 is also expected to include a camera that can perform better in low-light conditions and that doesn't stick out of the back of the phone, as does the one on the Galaxy S6.
Finally, Samsung is eyeing a retina scanner for some versions of the phone, though apparently those plans aren't yet finalized, the sources said. The scanner, which would look at the retina of your eye, would provide a layer of security beyond a fingerprint reader to unlock your phone and potentially authenticate payments through Samsung Pay to help you purchase items.
Samsung declined to comment on the report.