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OnePlus 3 vs iPhone 6S: Which fingerprint scanner is faster?


Touch ID

The OnePlus 3 has arrived with, among other things, a super-fast fingerprint sensor. But is it faster than the iPhone 6S and Touch ID?

Apple's current flagship is renowned for having the slickest biometric authentication system in town. And really, for the price Apple continues to charge for it, you'd expect as much.

The OnePlus 3 comes in at around half the price, yet the Chinese manufacturer is claiming great things about its fingerprint scanner.

Read also: iPhone 7

YouTube channel SuperSaf TV has put these claims to the test in a video that pitches the OnePlus 3 fingerprint scanner against the iPhone 6S with Touch ID. Which is faster? Check it out:

The result is a pretty clear win for the OnePlus 3. Both from sleep and from the lock screen, the cheaper phone is noticeably quicker to authenticate and jump to the home screen.

There's some question over whether it's those sluggish iOS animations that are actually slowing things down, so the video also performs the same tests with animations turned off. The result is the same - a clear win for the OnePlus 3.

Related: OnePlus 3 vs Nexus 6P: Which is best?

Of course, we're still talking fractions of a second here, so this shouldn't be the basis upon which you make a purchasing decision. It also remains to be seen how consistent and accurate the OnePlus solution is over time compared to Touch ID.

But for now, this is another example of OnePlus punching above its weight.

Which phone do you prefer, and why? Let us know in the comments.


June 23, 2016, 12:00 pm

Couple of things. First, Apple is purposely slowing things down in iOS 10 to enable users to make better use of notifications that today disappear when you make contact with the Touch ID and the phone unlocks. So, in this case, Apple has concluded speed isn't providing the best user experience. Second the vendor is quick to point out speed differences in 10th of seconds but makes no mention of compatable functionality and capabilities found in Apple's Touch ID beyond simply unlocking the phone. Lastly, unlike Apple, we're given zero info by the company on how the fingerprint is stored and how it fits into a broader security framework such as Apple's secure enclave. All of the above would have been nice to see asked by the author.

The Racket

June 23, 2016, 12:27 pm

Massive difference between the two. TouchID is a far more complex biometric authentication system, and there are far more authentications that are occurring in total. OnePlus 3 is a very rudimentary system. A simple home screen unlock versus authenticating a security pipeline that includes ApplePay, Health, AppleID are two radically different things. SuperSaf knows this, but he doesn't get views for being thorough. He gets views for creating controversy and debate.

Mike Cerm

June 23, 2016, 5:00 pm

This was a speed test, not a "which system is more secure" test. Clearly, design decisions by OnePlus (and Google, who created the framework) have created a faster system, and that's all that was tested here.

Mike Cerm

June 23, 2016, 5:13 pm

Slowing things down on purpose seems like a dumb idea to me. I don't really see the benefit of enabling interaction with the lock screen when you could just unlock the phone and let users interact with the unlocked phone. If you want to see notifications, you can hit the power button, or the home button with a non-enrolled finger.

As for how fingerprint security is handled in Android, this is all documented by Google as part of AOSP. The information is there, if you want to look at it. I do know that there is a framework for apps to request users to authenticate with the OS, and the apps themselves have no access the bio-metric data, just like how TouchID works. I have no idea which implementation is more secure.

But this was just a speed test, meant to answer the question, "how long before I can use my locked phone?" It has nothing to say about the security of the system.

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