Samsung has finally learned from the negative feedback it received over the rear-mounted fingerprint sensors of its most recent flagship smartphones: According to new leaks, two versions of next year’s Galaxy S10 smartphone line will feature in-display fingerprint sensor technology, while a budget option will place the fingerprint sensor on the side.
The in-display options are a product of the ongoing mobile biometrics arms race. After Apple swung in the direction of 3D face scanning with last autumn’s iPhone X, other smartphone makers such as Vivo and Xiaomi have opted to use innovative in-display fingerprint scanning technology to differentiate themselves from the competition. Samsung has already set itself apart with its support for iris scanning, but recent reports suggest that it’s ready to drop that technology in favor of both facial recognition and in-display iris scanning for the next standard and premium devices in its flagship Galaxy S smartphone line.
Its embrace of a side-mounted fingerprint sensor for a budget version of the Galaxy S10, meanwhile, points not so much to competitive innovation as to user feedback. Starting with the Galaxy S8, customers have complained that the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor has been situated too close to the rear-facing camera, so that they end up smudging the camera lens when trying to authenticate. Galaxy maintained that design for this year’s Galaxy S9 devices, but it looks like for next year’s lineup it’s ready to make a concession, even for a device that is too budget-friendly to incorporate in-display fingerprint sensor technology.
The Galaxy S10 smartphones are expected to launch sometime next February, with Samsung historically having taken the opportunity of Mobile World Congress to unveil its new devices.