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That heart rate sensor on the back of your Galaxy S8 can actually be useful for something

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As far as gimmicks go, Samsung's insistence on shoving a heartbeat sensor on the back of its flagships, including the latest Galaxy S8, is a pretty unobtrusive one – in fact, chances are most users aren't even aware of the feature's existence. But, as it turns out, being an unnecessary gimmick doesn't mean it can't have actually useful built-in functionality as well.

If you're anything like me, selfies can be uncomfortable to take sometimes, and particularly so with a larger device. Certain poses and angles can make the on-screen button hard to reach, while using the volume buttons often leads to blurry photos (thanks, shaky hands!) This is where the heartbeat sensor comes in play: as it turns out, you can actually use it in lieu of a dedicated shutter button, should you choose to.

The way it works is simple: if the front camera has detected a face, tapping on the heart rate sensor will take a photo. Granted, there is a very obvious problem with using the sensor in this fashion: finger smudges on the rear camera. However, this is the very same issue as with the fingerprint sensor's placement, so if you've already formed a habit of regularly cleaning the lens, you should be good to go.

As it turns out, this is not a new feature at all – it actually debuted with the release of the Galaxy Note 4. However, it's now more useful than ever, seeing as the Galaxy S8+ is the company's biggest flagship so far, and thus may present grip problems for some people. So this can be a nice alternative for those who need it, but if the feature is not to your liking you can easily turn it off from the settings:

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Samsung Galaxy S8 specs
  • Display 5.8 inches 2960 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie Samsung One UI
Samsung Galaxy S8+ specs
  • Display 6.2 inches 2960 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie Samsung One UI

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