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Biometrics cage fight: Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner vs iPhone 5s Touch ID

Biometrics cage fight: Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner vs iPhone 5s Touch ID
With the way our mobile device biometrics poll is going, people don't mind having things like fingerprint scanners on their phones, as long as they add convenience, and are built with security in mind. We've had fingerprint readers on electronics before, most notably on business-oriented laptops, and even on an Android phone, like Motorola's lovable ATRIX 4G.

Apple, however, shifted the mobile biometry paradigm with the unique Touch ID sensor, embedded in the home key of the iPhone 5s, that actually "senses" your fingerprint the second you lay your digit on the home key. This method provides more convenience during the everyday interaction with your phone, as it avoids the extra "swipe" motion that we've come to associate with such finger scanners so far. Besides unlocking the display, you can also use the sensor to ID purchase authorizations for your iTunes account, instead of keying in credentials, fast and easy.

Samsung was apparently bent to respond, and integrated a swipe Finger Scanner in the Galaxy S5's home key in its turn. Queue the copycat jokes here, but the two sensors actually work in quite a different manner. The iPhone's dimensions make Touch ID way easier to use with one hand, plus it only requires you to land your finger on the home key to work. The S5's size, and the the fact that its Finger Scanner works as, ahem, scanner, means you are at risk of dropping the handset while swiping over the home key with one hand, so it takes longer to muster. Samsung leverages its Finger Scanner for secure payment authorizations when purchasing content from Samsung services, too. It, however, also adds a convenient PayPal authorization, which works in 26 countries, namely US, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Upon initial setup, Apple's creation takes a “snapshot” of your fingerprint in all possible positions, so you can unlock the phone with the slightest touch, no matter how crooked your digit lands. The fingerprint scanner on the S5 stays true to its title, requiring you to swipe directly over the home key for it to work, which means that you usually have to hold the phone with the other hand. If you register your thumb by swiping it diagonally over the home key in the first place, however - the S5 will record this position, and you will be able to unlock the phone with one hand, where your thumb swipes slightly at angle to the home key. It worked most of the time for us, as you can see in the video below, so the Finger Scanner is indeed usable with one-handed navigation, just not as seamless as Apple's Touch ID method.

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posted on 11 Apr 2014, 08:42 9

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2524; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


iPhone has a clearly better one. Not that I really care though.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:14

12. stealthd (Posts: 932; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


You cared enough to leave a comment about it

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 20:44

17. vincelongman (Posts: 1052; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


I wish Apple didn't buy Authentec (company that made the Atrix's fingerprint reader)
Now only Apple products will have Authentec's fingerprint reader

I read that another company is developing a fingerprint reader which is built into the screen

Authentec's the best for now, until someone integrates it into the screen

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 08:49 11

2. darkkjedii (Posts: 10552; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Apples implementation is clearly better, but oh well. No ones gonna go one way or the other based on it.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 08:54 1

3. jad.boutary (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


Still in my opinion the place of the sensor one the one max is the best place (to a swipe scanner) .. i can unlock it easily with one hand

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:29 4

6. tech2 (Posts: 1911; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Its difficult to use One Max's implementation:

1. When the phone is lying on a desk,

2. When you wanna quickly glance at the notification without taking out the entire phone out of the pocket

3. It may also leave smudges on your camera lens often.

Its better than Samsung's implementation but not better than Apple's IMO.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 13:49

10. jad.boutary (Posts: 107; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


1. you can switch to password mode with one click
2. how can you do it with samsung??
3. at first yes but when u get used to it no

And I agree thats why I said "swipe scanner"

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:02 8

4. Anshulonweb (Posts: 304; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)


really hate the swipe type scanner....Samsung should have gone with scanner similar to touch id.....from non apple fanboy ....

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:19 2

5. HansGoneInsane (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)


Sure, but Samsung simply did not have the time to develop such a thing. Apple worked on his scan quite some time. Samsung had to catch up fast and that is why the implementation is not as good as in the iPhone.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 06:02 1

18. Finalflash (Posts: 1590; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Yea, drawing up the legal agreements to buy a small company does indeed take a while. Also, I bet patents alone are the reason Samsung can't make something similar.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:33

7. SupermanayrB (Posts: 151; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


"The S5's size, and the the fact that its Finger Scanner works as, ahem, scanner, means you are at risk of dropping the handset while swiping over the home key with one hand, so it takes longer to muster."

"The fingerprint scanner on the S5 stays true to its title, requiring you to swipe directly over the home key for it to work, which means that you usually have to hold the phone with the other hand"

Yea.........no. I tested it on our S5 at my store & it works seamlessly. Our demo 5S doesn't allow TouchID use so I can't say how accurate it works but to debate your comment, unless you have Smurf hands, you made an untrue statement.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:15 3

13. stealthd (Posts: 932; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


If you have a 5S demo there should be a demo app for it. The demos I've tried all have it.

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 09:41

8. bodzio1809 (Posts: 66; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


That cutting scenes when unlocking S5 :D

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 11:18 2

9. Dante216 (Posts: 25; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Biased video. And notice towards the end when he cut scenes when unlocking the 5S

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 13:59 2

11. applesucker (Posts: 81; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)


touch ID was a pure gimmick very easy to hack and certified copied technology from motorola

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 14:18 3

14. stealthd (Posts: 932; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)


They bought the company that made the fingerprint scanner for the Atrix. Nothing was "copied", at least not in any sort of unethical way. And it's only easy to hack if you're able to get a 4000+ DPI image of someone's fingerprint, and then know how to make a fake plastic fingerprint. Not exactly "easy" for the majority of people.

posted on 12 Apr 2014, 06:23

19. TechFreak123 (Posts: 83; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


But for people doing it for life it would be really easy!

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 18:41

15. flipjzn (Posts: 130; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


This is why I like the ease of one hand use with iPhone plus jailbreaking it makes it perfect.
I'm not an iphone fan , I had an s3 and now have lg g2.
I just like the ease of one hand use sometimes :)
Still searching for a dual sim high-end android phone with top specs and not more than 5inches :)

posted on 11 Apr 2014, 20:43

16. opencrownmargin (Posts: 3; Member since: 08 Apr 2014)


I had iphone 5s and now i traded it to htc one max. iphone 5s touchID takes 1-2 secs on average to unlock, and once in a while takes 5-10 secs. HTC one max fingerprint scanner works almost instantly. It is faster than touchID, and its not any less accurate than iphone touchID. The only downside would be being in the back but with my gel case with cuts for camera and fingerprint scanner, I never swipe my camera lens. I cant comment on galaxy s5 since i havent used it.

posted on 15 Apr 2014, 13:45

20. mariow2015 (Posts: 8; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)


It seems like the s5 works faster in my opinion, but both have great scanners!

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