Samsung wants to reclaim its throne as the king of Android hardware.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the company will build in a pressure-sensitive display (much like the the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus’s display, which allows for a new range of gestures called 3D Touch) and a fast-charging USB Type-C port into its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
It’s unclear how the 3D touch-style integration would perform at this point, as it’s not a native feature of Android. Just like Huawei did with its Mate S, Samsung would need to build in these capabilities to the TouchWiz software.
The other major rumor is the inclusion of a retina scanner, which could add another layer of security on top of fingerprint authentication.
Samsung is expected to show off the phones in March 2016 to get a jump on the next year’s crop of competing devices. It’ll serve as an early test for new mobile chief D.J. Koh, who was brought on to reverse two straight years of underperforming sales.
The Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+ won a lot of praise for their hardware. But Samsung keeps getting squeezed by lower-cost manufacturers who can often produce a solid phone for nearly half the price. By comparison, the $400 Moto X Pure Edition and $500 Nexus 6P are both devices with good cameras. They lack wireless charging, but oftentimes buyers can live without some top-of-the-line features.
Why this matters: Samsung showed that it can build great hardware with its Galaxy S6 family, which ditched a legacy of plastic phones. Now the company needs to find a way to compete in a market that is saturated with low-cost devices. It appears Samsung’s plan is to try and convince buyers that it has the hardware and unique features worth paying for—this year’s sales will tell if that strategy actually works.