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Samsung S4 Design Reportedly Finalized, Physical Home Button Stays and No S-Pen Present


Rumors circling the next Samsung flagship device, the Galaxy S4, have been going on for months. As we get closer to a date when Samsung is actually going to announce the thing, trustworthy leaks will slip here and there, with most of them focusing on the specs and overall look of the device. Apparently, according to sources in Samsung, the design for the device has been finalized and it’s exactly what we thought it would be. No major changes. 

According to a Korean publication, the well-known home button is here to stay, whether you love it or hate it. It’s become a staple on their devices and it was suggested previously that Samsung wasn’t looking to make major aesthetic changes to the S4 over the S3. Furthermore, it was rumored that Samsung would implement their S-Pen and matching suite of apps in the device, but I never believed that for a second. From what is being stated, it looks like there will not be an S-Pen present when the S4 launches.

Can’t say we are at all surprised by this new info, especially since separating both devices (GS4 and G-Note 3) is the smarter move in terms of the S-Pen thing, but did anyone really think they would drop the home button? This is Samsung we’re talking about!

Via: Phone Arena

  • meeester

    I’m replacing a phone now because the 4 Soft Keys are responding erraticly. A clicker switch sounds like a good alternative ( as long as the software responds to that still) though I prefer not giving up screen space -ESPECIALLY if it means avoiding a huge phone. I’d like something a little smaller than the S3’s overall dimensions.

  • Elliot Kotis

    Man, just Samsung just lost my possible buy. (maybe if they removed touch wiz, updated faster)

  • If this is really the next galaxy s phone then I’m really disappointed.


    Looks like they are copying the iPhone again…

  • ye…. imma just go get the Moto X phone.

  • Count me as a fan of the home button. Maybe it’s because I came from an iPhone, but I love having a physical home button on my Note 2. I also love that I don’t have on screen buttons taking up space when web browsing, reading articles, etc.

  • i rooted my galaxy note ii added soft buttons, disabled the home button and bought a skin to cover the whole front of the phone completely hiding the home button. best thing i did!!

  • jzwerlz43

    i honestly dont mind the physical home button on my galaxy s3. Granted, having a droid x for 2 and a half years made me used to physical buttons but still i really don’t see the issue. its still going to be an amazing device

  • Dan Churco

    I love the Home Button.. Good Work Samsung!

  • thedanks

    went from a galaxy nexus to a a note 2… love the home button and i now want one on my next tablet.

  • Butters619

    The Optimus G Pro looks identical.

  • viewthis66

    not a fan of the home button, but i one can’t have everything. i do like the the menu and back c-touch buttons on the device rather than taking up space on the screen like the G-Nex does. i never liked that aspect of it. anyway i’m looking forward to what’s inside the phone. the official specs.

    • It doesn’t take up one lick space, as the app is written to fit in that space. When the space is needed, the buttons disappear. SMDH

      • viewthis66

        actually it does. i don’t like it on the screen period. that’s the point. i had the phone. i know it goes away based upon an app being used. my point was and is, i would rather have those c-touch buttons on the device itself. that’s it. that’s why i will overlook the physical button on the S3 along with the c-touch buttons in favor having them on the screen taking up real estate. good day to you sir. btw no need for your snarkiness either.

  • zacomaco

    The physcial & capactive buttons seem like a massive turn-off (I would never by a GS3 or one x). Am I worrying about nothing or are they actually crap.

  • vitriolix

    Love my Note II, except that damned home button. It’s the number 1 reason I almost drop that thing.

  • nightscout13

    Bring on the downvotes, but the home button is a COPY from the iPhone. There is definitely truth to Apple’s claims that Samsung attempted to copy many aspects of the iPhone. This coming from an S3 owner. I mean, S-Voice???? come on…. that was blatantly copied.

    • Voice actions have been around far longer than the iphail, if your going to call s-voice a copy of siri then siri ripped off voice actions from Google just like apple ripped off the pulldown notification bar.

      • nightscout13

        Look at the layout of S-Voice. Pure rip. Yes iOS has many things taken from Android too, multitasking, etc. But Samsung still copied Apple. Can’t deny that

    • Tim242

      No doubt. However, all companies copy. Apple copied the home button, and many other aspects with the OG iPhone. Look at them now. Notification drop down comes immediately to mind

  • Jimmyrustler

    The home button makes it look like a clone phone. So unappealing.

    • Tim242

      I guess the display and rounded corners disgust you as well.

      • Diablo81588

        Don’t kid yourself, the s3 and note 2 home buttons are direct rip offs of the dumb phone. An intentional copy cat move to make it familiar for dumb phone converts.

  • Robb

    Screw your buttons. That’s why I’m waiting for the x-phone :]

    • Captain_Doug

      That and the M7 give me hope.

  • Just confirmed I will not be buying one. Physical/Capacitative buttons FTMFL. Leave those to the fruit company.

  • No S-pen is good because then it gives a consumer a choice of getting the Note or the GS.

  • EC8CH

    Go home physical button… no one likes you.

  • Only Nexus

    So is this the Galaxy S3S? grrr….

    • LionStone

      Pretty much… 🙂

  • I am beyond tired of the physical/capacitive buttons. Trying to use Google Now on my S3 is nowhere near as intuitive as it is on my Nexus 7 or wife’s Nexus 4. Plus, I keep pressing the menu button when I mean to go back. On screen buttons mean more customization, which is why we all use Android in the first place.

    • Tim242

      They also mean wasted screen space.

      • Explain. They waste literally zero space, when the space is needed the buttons disappear. Otherwise they dont take up a single extra pixel. Everything you’re meant to see, you can see. Otherwise, you’d just end up with a larger/geriatric looking version of apps designed for the standard screen space/ratio.

        • Tim242

          They turn a 4.7″ screen into a 4.4″ screen. They only disappear for SOME videos. I prefer to not have them wasting my browsing space

      • Not really. The space currently taken up by my phone’s capacitive buttons could easily extend the screen and make up for the space of the on screen buttons. More than worth it.

  • I’m hoping for a new 10″ or bigger tablet with s-pen!

    • Tim242

      Then go buy the Galaxy Note 10.1

  • I don’t understand the need for a button, especially when considering that Google is now using the home button swipe to pull up Now. A friend has an S3 and Now is much less usable when you have to long press and click to get to it.

  • jcampbell474

    I’ll take a physical home button anytime, just wish they didn’t insist that I have icons at the bottom of my screen ALL THE TIME. my s3 has multiple screens to arrange things, but Samsung thinks i have to have 4 shortcuts. lemme turn em off!!!

    • jcampbell474

      nb4 “get a launcher”‘. I like a somewhat stock experience.

    • Tommy Thompson

      every launcher works that way…

      • Tim242

        Most give you the option to remove the dock.

        • Tommy Thompson

          HTC doesn’t, LG doesn’t, Moto doesn’t. I mean, you could remove the icons if you didn’t want them there, but the dock with the app drawer launcher would still be there…

          • Tim242

            I’m talking about launchers…Nova, Apex, ect.

      • jcampbell474

        most launchers give you the option of having them. i always removed them via launcher or root…

    • Tim242

      I use Nova launcher to remove the dock

  • yo

    I.have a indestrucable s3 and the home button sucks, the thing is hard to hold onto in landscape due to the slick curved edges. I guess we are all running roms everyone forgot about the multi window update.

  • Cory Larson

    Maybe a good compromise on the physical home button would be to make it capacitive in addition to being pushable. Users would have to fully depress the button to wake the screen, but once it’s on, simple skin contact would trigger the “home” action.

    • M3D1T8R

      Great idea.

    • Evan Fleming


    • roberthenderson

      patent that before Apple steals it and says they created it.

    • CapnShiner

      Even better would be if the physical home button could recognize gestures. I remember some phones had optical trackpad buttons instead of trackballs, like Blackberries and the Samsung Omnia. With that, a swipe up could launch Google Now, just like the on-screen button would.

  • M3D1T8R

    Sigh. Overall my S3 has been decent, but I hate the physical home button. And I hate Samsungs skin messing with and slowing down things. My Nexus 7 just works so much smoother, and now just got the 4.2.2 update.

    I am seriously considering selling my Verizon S3 while it is still worth something, and waiting out with my trusty old OG Incredible until the X phone hopefully arrives by July. Get it on Verizon with microSD (or 128 built in), big Moto battery, top antennae quality and overall build quality, stock latest Android with working WiFi hotspot, and I’ll forgive a non-removable battery. I’ll buy outright direct from Google and keep my unlimited data, thanks.

    May that come to pass, Samsung S3 and for that matter S4 as well will be already easily forgotten.

  • ceejw

    I really hope they choose a nicer looking and feeling plastic for the S4.

  • 80am


  • EvanTheGamer

    Even if the physical buttons are staying put, there’s still no denying those very impressive specs(if true). I don’t like physical buttons, but I’m still going to upgrade to the SGS4.

    • Captain_Doug

      You haven’t even seen it yet. Is that faith or fanboyism?

      • EvanTheGamer

        Naw…I just want to upgrade to a new phone. lol And I’m a believer. The S3 was the #1 Android phone of 2012, and so that makes me believe that the S4 will be even MORE impressive and awesome and could possibly be the #1 Android phone of 2013.

        I just believe that the S4 will be great, with or without a physical home button.

    • Greyhame

      “No one cares”

      Not very cool.. right?

      • Captain_Doug

        Yeah. Who says that?

        • EvanTheGamer

          I did, or the monkeys in the sky did. Or someone did. I think I did.

          • Captain_Doug

            How classy of you.

          • Greyhame

            Haha. I’m sorry myself.. not trying to be the internet police here, just promote positive community involvement.

          • EvanTheGamer

            Absolutely agree with that, sir. I just hate when someone comes to these parts and starts throwing out negativity where negativity doesn’t belong. I just don’t like it is all. But I must learn that everyone has an opinion, whether I like it or not. haha

      • EvanTheGamer

        Actually, I disagree…that’s very cool. 🙂

  • drewbie_al

    The X Phone is looking more and more appealing.

    • EvanTheGamer

      If the X Phone is even real.

      • Booyah

        Have faith, my friend.

      • The X Phone is real for sure, the phone everyone wants the X Phone to be likely doesn’t and will never exist.

        • EvanTheGamer

          That’s a very good point. Perhaps the X Phone really does exist somewhere in some basement at the bottom of the ocean, but the REAL X Phone that everyone really, really desires…just does not exist anywhere in the bloody Universe!

    • snowblind64

      Don’t get too excited now.

      Nobody (except a few industry insiders) really knows what the X Phone will be like as far as appearance, specs and software are concerned. I remember when the Bionic was being hyped all day every day and we all know how that turned out.

      • ERIC REED

        X Phone=Bionic

        Same hype, with probably the same results. A phone can only do so much!!

        • Tyler

          For starters, the bionic was unveiled, then redesigned then re-unveiled, press haven’t seen this phone at all so how does it compare? Lots of phones get the rumor treatment such as the galaxy nexus which was rumored to have a high quality 5mp (haha the joke was on us) camera, among other things for the longest time. Galaxy phones get rumors all the time as well. So enlighten me as to how they are the same.
          Secondly, Google now controls Motorola things have the potential to be different for better or worse. We don’t know what the new Motorola has up their sleeves and only time will tell.

          • ERIC REED

            Thanks for the education, but I knew all of that. So to begin, the Bionic was shown and hyped for I believe nearly half a year. When new phones were announced every post had the “get this phone, or wait for the Bionic” comments. Fast forward to today, and you are now getting the “get this phone, or wait for the X-Phone”. Sure all phones get rumored, but not all get mentioned in every single comment thread here on DL. Same thing was happening to the Bionic before it was released. So there you have it, same hype, probably with the same results.

            And so what if Google is behind Motorola now? From what I have seen they have made a great operating system only to put them on crippled phones. And given Motorola’s track record with terrible cameras and horrible screens I don’t see that changing!

          • Tyler

            Ok so the phone may be overhyped at the moment, after all we are talking about the phone on a s4 post if that says anything, but I don’t agree that we will necessarily have the same result. Sure Motorola phones have had awful cameras and displays compared to its completion in the past but companies change. LG had no good phones a year or so ago, and i believe their first decent phone was the LG Nitro HD on att and they have only been getting better. What I’m getting at is that companies change and if Motorola ever wants to get out the whole they dug they are going to have to step up their game, something I believe the new CEO from Google can do. Google’s nexus phones show that they have an understanding for what makes a good phone and im hoping some of that knowledge is used when the X Phone is/was designed. Personally I think that the X phone is going to be great but will have one shortcoming/dealbreaker. Whether that’s a locked bootloader, carrier exclusiveness, some spec, or this “game changer” idea that turns out bad, I don’t know. What I do know is that when my contract is up at the end of the year ill get whatever phone I like best on Verizon. If that happens to be a X Phone so be it. Hoping for a nexus on Verizon but i’m not getting my hopes up. /endrant

          • DeziLu

            If Google keeps the Indians away from this then you have a chance at a good phone. But if they let some idiot Dezi make decisions then it will no doubt be another Bionic.


      iPhone 4 has higher specs

      • I still have a StarTac with OEM battery & OEM Extended battery. I had a custom cable made for it well over a decade ago that provides network connection to a Palm, Palm T3 & the T5. To this day, I can do just about everything on it that any iPhone can do. Unlike the iPhone however, after 10+ years, both still work flawlessly. Not to mention my Blue Angel, which is still faster than most Android & iOS devices, if not quite as capable.

    • LiterofCola

      This physical home button is a buzzkill

  • Walter Bennett

    Will not buy it with that ugly ass button on it.

    • EvanTheGamer

      No one cares.

  • DonDemon

    I think it will look extra nice when Verizon plasters there logo on the home button.

    • This might be my number 1 issue with the home button. Sure, I can get used to it even if I’d prefer to have on-screen, but the thought of Verizon branding it going forward makes me want to vomit on myself.

      • Gi

        S3 doesn’t have Verizon branding anywhere besides the backplate, so I am not sure why S4 would

        • Because the Note did which came out after. Though the S3 didn’t have branding there, there’s no reason to think VZ won’t push for it and succeed like they did with the Note. No one knows though.

        • PhillipCun

          Note 2 was released AFTER, maybe this is verizon’s new thing. it’s not up to samsung, it’s up to verizon.

  • hfoster52

    Going from a GNEX to a Note 2 the only thing I would change is that home button (Besides the vzw logo). So not sure why they kept it.

  • Booyah

    Saves Verizon the trouble of finding a new place for their logo.

    • Lte_Addict


    • Gi

      The only logo on the S3 is the backplate, which is replaceable.

      • Mack

        Duh, but this article is about the S4 and I’m sure Verizon will try to find a spot on the front this time.

  • I know these things will sell like hot cakes…but that doesn’t mean I like them

  • RedPandaAlex

    I’d rather they drop the physical menu button.

  • PyroHoltz

    Physical buttons can go to hell.

    • EvanTheGamer

      Second that.

    • TheCheapGamer

      On screen buttons can GTFO.
      I still don’t grasp the concept of people wanting to lose part of their screen.

      • Captain_Doug

        You only need 16:9 when you watch movies, the rest of the time 16:10 makes more sense. On screen keys can also enable the phone to be smaller. Less chin under the screen.

        • Greyhame

          And OH the customizations we can have WITHOUT physical keys. That’s the bigger deal for me.

          • Captain_Doug

            Paranoid Android with Pie functionality will be sweet.

          • roberthenderson

            don’t care about having a Twilight theme on my buttons and I can already customize both my dock and capacitive buttons on my galaxy s3.

          • Greyhame

            You’ll have to explain to me how customizing physical buttons to be anything other than what they’re designed for wouldn’t be confusing as heck. Also how you’d add more of them, or make them disappear. You can say you can customize them, but sorry, I’m not buying it.

          • roberthenderson

            home2 shortcut is free on the app store. I’ve used it and it works great. with it I can, for instance, have the menu button function normally on a regular tap but program it to perform a different function or open up a different app when long pressed. free, easy to set up, and no ugly on screen buttons. More? I have fluctuated between adw and nova launcher depending on my tastes. Most of the better ones allow you to set up gestures(1 finger up or down,2 fingers up or down ect) to perform actions or open apps at least one of the launchers it’s also programmable in that you can do the same mods by stopping up on the dock icons ( and no ugly on-screen black bar or having to tap your screen to bring up buttons to perform an action and then tapping the button. instant action access). Sorry but on-screen buttons are inefficient screen wasting technology for technoposers who just want some fad thing because it’s new, while ignoring efficiency logistics and looks.

          • Greyhame

            Sure Bob, whatever you say.

          • roberthenderson

            Thanks,I knew you’d see the light. 0 🙂

          • Greyhame

            How’s that swipe gesture to start Google Now working for ya? 😉

          • roberthenderson

            Glad people haven’t lost their sense of humor.

          • Flortrin

            I swipe google now on my lock screen…all u have to do is add it as an icon…duh.

        • Tim242

          Have you seen the bezels on the Nexus phones? Most phones, including the Note II, with capacitive/physical buttons have smaller bezels.

          • Captain_Doug

            They don’t have to. I agree that they do but they could avoid it and lower the screen a bit.

          • roberthenderson

            try repeatedly teaching down to the very bottom of your phone. it’s not comfortable and would quickly turn to painful for anything more than light use.

          • Greyhame

            Try swiping up from your home button to access Google Now, the coolest thing to happen to smart phones since, ever. Who wants to long press these days?

          • Tim242

            There has to be a certain amount of bezel, to house cameras, sensors, earpieces, and antennas.

        • roberthenderson

          and where have we seen less chin? I think there’s more stuff under there than just buttons. plus, ergonomically reaching all of the way down to where the phone meets your thumb ( with no bezel) is sure to make some ligament problems if it ever occurred.

          • Captain_Doug

            My thumb starts at the bottom of the screen. The ZL has a pretty small amount of bottom break. It can be done.


          Except the Nexus 4’s chin is just as big as the GS3, and than you have on screen buttons taking up space…fail.

      • The on-screen buttons would be in place of the physical buttons.. No screen real-estate lost. Actually you gain some if you root and my the navigation buttons smaller. The Gnex only did it sort of wrong because they left too much bezel at the bottom.

        • Tim242

          You do lose screen space with on screen buttons. They don’t make the screens bigger to compensate. The Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 displays are 4.7″. However, only 4.4 usable.

        • Dont forget apps can request to use said space and hide them too


          actually on the Xperia Z it still has a huge bottom bezel and then the buttons on screen just add to that…

      • C-Law

        It’s minimal. Plus with rooting u have many customizations u can make. Going from my gnex to an s3, my only complaint is the physical home key. If they wanna do capacitive, fine. But I really do miss on screen nav keys. You don’t need the extra screen room anyway on the screen size we have now, plus it goes away on movies

      • devator22

        I use PA with the new PIE feature. I have no physical buttons or on screen buttons. It’s like the coolest thing ever.

        • Captain_Doug

          Super jealous.

        • Elliot Kotis

          I would but i dont like root 😛

      • nightscout13

        I have to agree with you here. My favorite setup of buttons was on the Droid-X. no accidental clicks.

    • Gi

      Except for keyboards! Gimme a keyboard! 😛

      • CapnShiner

        If you want a keyboard, get a Blackberry Q10. Flagship Android phones don’t have physical keyboards anymore.

    • Austin Warren

      Oh and let’s add the volume button on screen also. /s

      • Tyler

        OH and the power button too!!!! BUTTONLESS PHONE MWAHAHAHAH

    • Ray

      Get yourself a Nexus 4. Problem solved.

      • Gary

        Nexus 4 is old news at this point.

      • PyroHoltz

        The Gnex is working well enough but if all the new phones have physical buttons I’ll have to hold on to it.

    • Mack

      I know I don’t speak for everyone but if a phone does not have on-screen buttons, I’m not buying it.


      Yeah i love on screen buttons that are easier to accidently press and take up screen space. Just look at the bottom bezel on the new Experia Z, nasty.

  • Home button is expected, but unfortunate.

    Still will be a great device

  • double fail