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Here's why Samsung Galaxy S9 lacks an in-display fingerprint sensor

Samsung has a strong reason for not adopting the in-display fingerprint sensor on its Galaxy S9 smartphones.

  • Published: March 6, 2018 11:07 AM IST
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Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ with a lot of fanfare at its Galaxy Unpacked on February 25. The smartphones are described as being built for the way we communicate today, and hence do not bring major design changes. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ is more of a refinement over their predecessors, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

In terms of design changes, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ come with a re-positioned fingerprint sensor placed right below the rear camera module as opposed to being placed on the side. Samsung could have actually bettered itself by using an in-display fingerprint sensor, but there is a reason why the South Korean company didn’t adopt the new technology. Samsung says it didn’t include an in-display fingerprint sensor since it wants to perfect the tech before deploying it on its smartphones.

Mark Notton, Director of Product Portfolio & Commercial Strategy, Samsung told AndroidPIT that they want to release it when it works 100 percent of the time. Notton that it can frustrate customers if the feature does not work as advertised. The statement suggests that Samsung is still working to integrate the technology. Ahead of the launch of Galaxy S9, analysts predicted that we will see in-display fingerprint sensor on Galaxy Note 9.

However, a rumor from last month claimed that we might not see the feature even on the Galaxy Note 9. Samsung might be saving the technology for release in 2019. Notton also added that it listened to its users, and moved the fingerprint sensor on Galaxy S9 to a more accessible location and also upgraded the device in areas where it work faster than its predecessor.

Vivo is the only major smartphone brand to launch smartphones with in-display fingerprint sensor, and the technology is widely expected to become mainstream this year. The feature was first showcased on Vivo X20 Plus UD at CES 2018, and later the company also showcased Apex smartphone at MWC 2018, which uses nearly one-third of its screen as the fingerprint sensor. While the technology is innovative and makes it easier for smartphone makers to adopt a full-view display, it is not as intuitive as that of a traditional sensor.

Apple was also rumored to debut the tech on its all-display iPhone X in September last year, but the technology could not be developed for the device on time. Some reports indicate that Xiaomi is planning to implement the feature on its flagship Mi 7 later this year. Synaptics is the only supplier offering sensors that can be embedded under the display, but Qualcomm is expected to add its own sensor with better recognition and accuracy later this year.

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  • Published Date: March 6, 2018 11:07 AM IST