News: The Galaxy S10 Doesn't Have a Notification LED — Here's Why

The Galaxy S10 Doesn't Have a Notification LED — Here's Why

Samsung just announced the Galaxy S10 lineup, but we already knew each device's every nook and cranny. Thanks to leaks and hands-on demos, we know the OEM kept the coveted headphone jack, but omitted one treasured feature in its place — the notification LED. Why did Samsung strip the S10 of this light, and can users expect something to replace it?

Notification LEDs have been an integral part of Samsung devices for years. Android fans might not remember a time before these lights, and for good reason — they're super cool. Notification LEDs offer an easy, unintrusive way to know whether or not you have alerts on your phone. No sounds, no light-up displays, just a small, convenient blink.

Then why get rid of it? Well, it most likely isn't an intentional omission, at least not in the sense of, say, an outdated port. Rather, the notification LED is simply a casualty of Samsung's bold new design. In order to create that seamless edge-to-edge infinity display, something had to give. You can't have a traditional notification LED when the space it needs to take up is currently occupied by that coveted screen real estate.

Undoubtedly, long-time fans will be disappointed. While they can still boast over most of the smartphone world with their intact headphone jacks, the new S10 is just another device to lose the notification LED.

So, where do we go from here? Well, perhaps around the display. Samsung's Edge Lighting is much like a notification LED, except instead of being one single light, the entire border of the display lights up. While the feature only works while interacting with your phone, it's a cool replacement for notification popups, and offers a lot in the way of user customization.

Those who know Edge Lighting's past limitations should find comfort that Samsung has updated the feature with One UI. Still, it's not quite a true replacement for the simple nature of the notification LED. Hopefully, Samsung includes an always-on display version of the notification LED, or, better yet, utilizes the ring light around the selfie camera as a notification LED. Sadly, there are no official plans for either of these replacements at this time.

Cover image by Jacob Mendel/Gadget Hacks

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1 Comment

Id like to see the LEDs returned rather it lights up the edge every few seconds would be fine or add the light near or around the frame of the front face camera. Honestly, my s8+ has the exact same camera options as the 10+ so no change there really except i have the edge lighting and i have clearer pictures on the s8.

I have the s8+ so adding an extra camera took that away?

The other loved feature has also been removed. Adding a background photo to my text messages screen. Last but not least, the photos look faded. I tried all the settings and the vivid, yet my s8+ still showed better color and contrast to the s10+. I have switched back to the s8+ and am returning the s10+. Here's to hoping for better photo and features in the note 10.

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