Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could drop headphone jack and all physical buttons

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Often praised as a steadfast holdout amongst smartphone manufacturers for its refusal to cave to handset trends that negatively impact the end user (i.e. removing the 3.5mm headphone jack), it now seems Samsung is planning to do just that, if a new report from Android Police is to be believed.

Citing a "source familiar with the company's plans", the site is reporting that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 10 may finally (and regrettably) ditch the headphone jack that it's held onto for so long.

Additionally, the report states that Samsung may also drop all physical buttons from the Galaxy Note 10, including volume and power keys, opting instead to use "capacitive or pressure-sensitive areas" which may or may not be "highlighted by some kind of raised 'bump' and/or texture along the edge."

But why?

Along with LG, Samsung is one of the few Android phone manufacturers to reject the headphone jack removal trend that was spearheaded by Apple with 2016's iPhone 7. Brands such as Huawei, OnePlus, Google and Motorola have all dropped the 3.5mm socket from their current flagship devices. 

Of course, there are numerous reasons why Samsung might want to remove the headphone jack it's long fought for: it could provide additional room for an even larger battery in the Note 10, and may also allow for a thinner form factor. 

That said, the latter reason seems unlikely, given the device will always need a place to hold its signature S Pen, which is far larger than the 3.5mm area taken by the headphone port. 

While rumors of Samsung ditching the headphone jack and buttons from its phones are hardly rock-solid, it's not the first time either has cropped up – South Korean technology site ET News reported on Samsung's supposed desire to remove the 3.5mm port back in October, and we reported on the possible removal of all physical buttons back in March.

At present, there's no word on whether Samsung is planning to do the same with next year's Samsung Galaxy S11.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.