The first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor is here. It comes not from Apple, nor Samsung, but from Chinese manufacturer Vivo.
The little-known firm has deployed the recently revealed Synaptics optical sensor within a 6-inch handset, which it’s showing off at CES 2018.
The 6-inch bezel-less smartphone, which doesn’t appear to have a name yet, makes use of the Clear ID FS9500 sensor within an OLED display.
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Vivo, which says the phone will enter a full consumer production run, has positioned the sensor in the most logical place, where Home buttons once resided.
Synaptics has said the sensor takes just 0.7 seconds to authenticate the fingerprint, and that seems to have played out in various hands-on tests at CES.
Over the past 12 months, it was heavily rumoured that both Apple and Samsung were seeking to deploy similar technology.
With the Home button sacrificed for a full-frontal display, Apple reportedly sought to integrate the sensor within the screen itself.
However, speculation suggested Apple was unable to perfect the system in time for the iPhone X launch. The company itself denied it ever planned such a solution.
Whether or not the reports were accurate, the iPhone X now relies solely on the Face ID security tech for biometric security. That hasn’t been popular with all users, many of whom are concerned about the privacy ramifications of facial recognition.
It’s a similar story with Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, although the Korean firm has shifted the fingerprint sensor to the rear of its devices, rather than dispense with it completely. The positioning has proved unpopular with many Galaxy S8 owners.
It’s unclear yet whether the Galaxy S9 will implement an in-display solution, but recent leaks suggest it’s unlikely. A slight repositioning of the fingerprint sensor – to sit beneath the camera, rather than adjacent to it – appears to be on the cards.
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