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Galaxy S8 said to feature optical fingerprint scanner beneath its display

by Killian Bell | October 26, 2016October 26, 2016 5:09 am PDT

fingerprint scanner iphone 5s

The Galaxy S8 could become Samsung’s first smartphone with an optical fingerprint scanner, according to new claims. The sensor would allow Samsung to finally eliminate its physical home button by placing the scanner beneath the phone’s display.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Samsung is planning to ditch its home button for the Galaxy S8, leading fans to ask what will happen to the fingerprint scanner. Would Samsung move it to the back of the phone like Google, or eliminate it altogether and focus on iris scanners?

New claims out of China, published by a tipster on Weibo, say that Samsung will embed the fingerprint scanner beneath the display using an optical sensor. This kind of technology is said to be faster and more accurate than ultrasonic fingerprint recognition.

But it might not be as secure. Android Authority reports that during its rundown of the different types of fingerprint scanners available, it found optical scanners — which are “the oldest method of capturing and comparing fingerprints” — to be easiest to fool.

“This is because they rely on a glorified camera that only captures a 2D image,” writes Kris Carlon, who expects Samsung to adopt Qualcomm’s ultrasonic Sense ID scanner instead “considering the Galaxy S8 will feature chipsets” from this company.

Don’t get your hopes up just yet

Either way, if the Galaxy S8 does feature a fingerprint scanner beneath its display, it’s going to be insanely cool. It could allow Samsung to reduce its bezels even further and deliver a near “edgeless” design like that of the new Xiaomi Mi MIX.

Bear in mind it’s still early days, and we shouldn’t read too much into these claims for now. Even if they are genuine, there’s still time for Samsung’s plans to change before the Galaxy S8 makes its official debut at Mobile World Congress next February.

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...