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.

Related phones

Galaxy S5
  • Display 5.1" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 2.1 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2800 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

20 Comments

1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

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

12. stealthd unregistered

You cared enough to leave a comment about it

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5692; Member since: Feb 10, 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

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31036; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

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

3. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 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

6. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

10. jad.boutary

Posts: 107; Member since: Sep 04, 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"

4. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

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

5. HansGoneInsane unregistered

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.

18. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 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.

7. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 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.

13. stealthd unregistered

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

8. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

That cutting scenes when unlocking S5 :D

9. Dante216

Posts: 32; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

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

11. applesucker

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

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

14. stealthd unregistered

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.

19. TechFreak123

Posts: 85; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

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

15. flipjzn

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 22, 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 :)

16. opencrownmargin

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 08, 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.

20. mariow2015

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

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

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