Samsung is still some ways away from releasing the latest iteration of its flagship handset, the Galaxy S7, but even during the holidays the rumor mill spins apace.
The latest speculation concerns the handset's magnesium alloy frame -- the metal is used in everything from notebook chassis to airplane fuselages -- which could constitute not only the casing but also interior components, lending the smartphone a particular material toughness.
Samsung's main rival, Apple, constructs its latest iPhone out of 7000 Series aluminum, the strongest alloy the company has ever used in an iPhone. However, as the smartphone blog Phone Arena points out, its strength and durability advantages over aluminum would give Samsung's next flagship device one more thing to stand out with.
The Galaxy S7 is also rumored to have an iris scanner as an additional security feature, though that slice of conjecture stretches all the way back to before the debut of the Galaxy 5.
The handset is slated for a March debut, according to The Wall Street Journal, and while the general appearance won't vary much from the Galaxy S6, new functions are lined up for the flagship handset.
The Galaxy S7 is also rumored to have pressure sensitive technology similar to the iPhone 6s, which Apple calls 3D touch. It allows users to press more firmly on the screen to open up more interface options.
On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the 3D Touch function calls up secondary actions, information, and other content when the glass is pressed more forcefully. Apple calls some of these tools Peek and Pop. For example, a 3D Touch of the iMessage icon lets you initiate a new message or respond to recently received messages.
In another similarity with its Apple rival, the Galaxy S7 could also be arriving in two different sizes -- a 5.2-inch version with a flat display and a 5.5-inch curved-screen model, according to a report from South Korea's ET News.
The same report claims Samsung plans an initial production run of about 5 million units of its upcoming Galaxy S7, with 3.3 million units composed of the Galaxy S7 and 1.6 million of the Galaxy S7 Edge.
The South Korean tech giant is betting heavily on the upcoming its Galaxy flagship. The company recently changed executives in order to shake up the mobile division, especially after sales of the Galaxy S6 failed to live up to expectations.
Samsung's not the only smartphone giant shrouded with year-end rumors.
Apple's iPhone 6s is barely into the hands of consumers and already reports are flooding in concerning design changes for the iPhone 7, which is not likely to be unveiled before September 2016.
A recent report in Japanese tech site Mac Otakara quoted an unnamed but "reliable" source which claimed Apple was getting ready to dump the standard 3.5mm headphone jack found on smartphones the world over and use the iPhone's Lightning connector dock as the audio output jack as well.
This means of course that anyone with a set of headphones with the standard jack would have to buy some sort of dongle or adapter in order to plug in to the iPhone 7, or else headphone manufacturers will have to reconfigure their products or offer a version that will fit the newest iPhone.
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