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Samsung’s Galaxy S9 looks set to retain the headphone jack

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The unloved Bixby button is still here as well

Samsung Galaxy S9 on DeX Pad
Samsung Galaxy S9 on DeX Pad
Photo: Evan Blass / Twitter

The Galaxy S9, 2018’s hottest phone until the next iPhone, has emerged in new leaked images today, and this time we’re seeing the first indication that it will still have a headphone jack. Samsung, LG, and a couple of other companies like OnePlus have remained resolute in their inclusion of a headphone jack, but that was far from a certainty for the next Galaxy S iteration. This is a phone that will compete against the iPhone X, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, and more niche rivals like Google’s Pixel 2: all of them surviving sans a headphone jack. So Samsung could have dumped the analog audio output, but it seems to have opted against it, and that’s worthy of commendation. USB-C earphones are all still either bad or expensive — or both — and phones that retain compatibility with 3.5mm connectors remain profoundly useful to consumers that aren’t yet convinced by Bluetooth.

The full information spill today is actually focused on a new Samsung DeX Pad, which appears to be an evolution of last year’s $149 DeX dock for the Galaxy S8. The purpose of these docks is to facilitate connection between the Galaxy device and a nearby monitor, with the smartphone then functioning more or less like a PC. The DeX Pad includes additional USB ports plus a full-size HDMI output and a USB-C connection for power. It doesn’t look like the prettiest accessory in the world, but then it’s not like too many things will look beautiful once you stick a bunch of cables into them anyway. The pad’s reportedly intended to allow the phone to be laid flat and used as a touchpad or keyboard, and it’s expected to be backwards-compatible with the Galaxy S8 too.

Aside from the headphone jack’s appearance in the images, we can also see Samsung’s Bixby button on the Galaxy S9, still located just below the volume rocker on the side. That button, and the Bixby voice assistant in general, hasn’t been well received, but Samsung already expressed its commitment to Bixby as a growth driver during its latest financial report, so there’s no reason to believe that the company will be abandoning it anytime soon. Even though it should.