Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will ditch the once-ubiquitous 3.5mm headphone port in favour USB-C or Bluetooth audio, according to sources speaking to Android Police (opens in new tab).
If the information is accurate, it will likely come as a disappointment to many waiting to upgrade to the latest entry in the hugely-popular Galaxy Note series. Samsung has been one of the few manufacturers that has stood by the 3.5mm, while dozens of others abandoned the ageing standard in favour of USB-C and Bluetooth – throwing in a free USB-C-to-3.5mm dongle for those who couldn't part with older headphones.
This won't be the first time that Samsung has turned its back on the 3.5mm port, with the Seoul-based already dropping the audio connection in its Galaxy A80 earlier this month. The Samsung Galaxy A8s and Samsung Galaxy Fold have also dropped the 3.5mm connection, although the latter does ship with a free pair of Galaxy Buds to help ease the transition away from the industry-standard port.
It's unclear exactly what benefit dropping the port from the Galaxy Note 10, but Samsung will need to have an answer for customers. When rival OnePlus dropped the headphone port from its OnePlus 6T flagship, it said that it made the decision because it enabled it to squeeze more battery into the frame – and that Bluetooth headphones had improved enough that it believed it was worth the trade-off.
Samsung might've made a similar call with the Galaxy Note 10.
However, it sounds like the decision is part of a larger industrial design strategy that will characterise the new Galaxy Note series. According to Android Police (opens in new tab), the Galaxy Note 10 will ditch the physical volume buttons in favour of non-moving capacitive buttons, or touch-sensitive areas, on the side of the frame. The power button is also likely to be replaced.
Apple swapped the physical Home Button that clicked into the frame in favour of a solid glass panel that mimicked the sensation of a physical depression with haptic feedback in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Based on the whispers from the supply chain, it sounds like the Galaxy Note 10 will employ a similar move.
Elsewhere, Galaxy Note 10 is expected to tweak the holepunch camera display design, dubbed Infinity-O, that debuted on the Samsung Galaxy A8s, before rolling-out to the Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus.
For the first time, the Galaxy Note series is widely-tipped to come in two different versions – a more affordable Note 10e, and a Note 10 Pro. The Galaxy Note 10e will purportedly sport a 6.28-inch display while the pricier Galaxy Note 10 will feature a 6.75-inch screen. Both flavours will ship in separate 4G and 5G versions for a total of four different Galaxy Note 10 models available on shelves worldwide.
As always, these are just rumours, so take it all with the recommended pinch of salt.