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You may not see it, but the Galaxy S8’s home button moves around, and that’s a good thing

By Adrian Diaconescu April 28, 2017, 10:27 am
Galaxy S8+ hands-on

You should all be familiar with the main features and key selling points of Samsung’s beautiful new Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones by now. Huge screens, tiny bezels, great durability (at least from certain standpoints), three methods of biometric authentication (with varying degrees of security), good cameras, premium sound, even Bixby assistance, and non-exploding batteries.

But sometimes, it’s the little things that separate the trusted, highly satisfying brands from the rest of the pack. Case in point, a home button optimization literally invisible to the naked eye, which may save both the new flagships’ users and manufacturers a world of trouble in the long run.

You know how you can make the Galaxy S8’s physical-replacing on-screen home key stay permanently turned on? That would be both a blessing and a curse if it wasn’t for a hidden, secret feature ever so slightly moving the virtual square thingy around.

We’re talking a few pixels in different directions each time, which sounds trivial, random, even potentially buggy, but is actually an essential enhancement aimed at avoiding possible screen burn-in issues with long-term use.

For those unfamiliar with the age-old term, screen burn-in, image burn-in or ghost image is, according to its dedicated Wikipedia entry, a “permanent discoloration of areas on an electronic display such as cathode ray tube display or computer display monitor or television set caused by cumulative non-uniform usage of the pixels.”

Yup, it’s a thing that dates back to the CRT TV era, but at least Samsung has found a nifty, elegant way of containing it. So, no, you probably don’t need to worry about the pressure-sensitive home button leaving an everlasting mark on the S8’s “Infinity” OLED screen.

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