Front, back, or side: Where does the fingerprint scanner belong? (poll results)

Front, back, or side: Where does the fingerprint scanner belong? (poll results)
Just two years ago, a fingerprint scanner on your smartphone would have been a unique selling point. Today, it's increasingly becoming just another part of the package — at least so long as it's a high-end one. Given enough time, these will likely be present even with lower-end models. And because of that, it's important that, as a community, we come to an agreement as to its optimal placement. If there is one.

As it turns out, it's down to personal preference. That, at least, is what the results of our Monday survey, which attracted over 2,100 votes, suggests. Of those, 39.69% prefer having the fingerprint scanner located at the front, while 40.16% would rather have it on the side. This parity is striking, and suggests that we'll likely never reach a consensus. Finally, the remaining 20.16% of voters would prefer to have the scanner mounted on the rear, alike to the Nexues 6P.

Quite frankly, if we were to bet on this one, we'd say that scanners integrated with the side of smartphones are likely to grow in popularity, given how underrepresented that particular solution is (just Sony's Xperia Z5 family comes to mind). It seems reasonable to assume that as more and more makers decide to test this one out, its popularity will grow.

Front, side, or rear: Where does the fingerprint scanner belong?

Front
39.65%
Side
40.17%
Rear
20.18%

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29 Comments

1. baldilocks

Posts: 1542; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

I like where it is on the Nexus 6P/5X. Much more natural after a few days of use.

2. Android_Lollipop

Posts: 155; Member since: May 05, 2015

how do you unlock you phone to check the notifications if the phone rests in the table? You pick them every time? Just Curious.

3. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

side it is.

9. aymnga

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 19, 2012

you must be a very lazy person that you are unable to pick up your phone.... it's not the end of the world.... so quit the drama about receiving notification while the phone is on the table...

13. Landon

Posts: 1247; Member since: May 07, 2015

...first world problems.

18. jellmoo

Posts: 2645; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

End of the world? No. But it can interrupt a person's workflow, whereas a scanner placed on the front won't cause such an interruption. Wanting a more efficient solution isn't laziness.

22. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

You can still use a pattern unlock or password when it is on the table. I just double tap my LG V10 screen and enter the pattern, or I pick up the phone. It's just as fast as unlocking my work iPhone with the fingerprint scanner on the front.

27. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

i use smart cover, just like LG's screen tap, it show lockscreen and from there i can see any notification

16. rubyonrails3

Posts: 375; Member since: Oct 01, 2014

No matter what everyone says front is best place... phone is not always in hands

19. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Both side and rear fingerprint sensor feels much more natural than the front sensor but the fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone has no real disadvantages in any position.

4. aashis.sapkota

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

It would be best suited on the front. At most times, our phones rest on table facing up and it would be easier to unlock without having to lift and hold it.

6. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

you dont have to lift to unlock with phones that have side scanners too

5. Feanor

Posts: 1410; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Considering how many Samsung Galaxy S6 fans this site has, the win of the side mounted scanner is even more impressive, considering that there is only widely available model having this position, the Xperia Z5.

7. hansip87

Posts: 228; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

for hardware buttons on front, no doubt the front is the best. but when you go all software, the side is the best. the rear will take too long for the finger to rub to search for the position. Out of topic, but if you do mouse and keyboard operation on your phone/tablet, hardware button doesn't make sense at all. that's where Software buttons is more useful in such scenario.

8. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Front is still the best as you can anytime unlocked it even put on desk. Side and real is not possible and you need up pickup the phone to unlocked.

10. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Speaking based on my experience of using both iPhone 6 and Xperia Z5. The fingerprint sensor in the Xperia Z5 can detect up to 5 different finger but even so I just registered four of my fingers, thumb and middle finger on both hands. So i can unlocked my Z5 by using my thumb on my left hand or middle finger on my right hand without need to pickup the phone. it means your logic about the fingerprint sensor on the side is wrong. Another important note I do not have to do thumb gymnastics when the first time I unlock my phone and my hand also feels more comfortable because my hand is in a natural position.

24. Fardon

Posts: 96; Member since: Nov 24, 2014

Are you handicapped lmao??? No you do not need to pick up the phone to unlock when its on the side. You unlock it same way you do with other phones with powerbuttons on the simply reach over and press it with your index finger.

11. aimkul

Posts: 33; Member since: Nov 07, 2015

Back is the perfect option

12. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

basically SONY won the fingerprint placement debate. :)

14. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Front makes the most sense for everything if the design and space allows it. However, like front facing speakers, it's not completely necessary on the front.

15. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

I still wonder why manufacturers limit the number of registered fingers.

20. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Maybe because some hardware or software limitations but i don't know for sure.

21. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Maybe because some hardware or software limitations but i don't know for sure.

17. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Side position is most efficient. From the table, you simply grab it to unlock. From your pocket, grab it to unlock. Front sensor requires some degree of thumb gymnastics from the pocket, you have to crane your finger or flip over the phone. Back sensor loses obviously.

23. sentinel336

Posts: 46; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

I've been using the back sensor for about a month and it beats the front placement in every day use; I wouldn't go back.

26. tute.95

Posts: 14; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Then how about one on the front and one on the back or any combination of the two, hell maybe even one on the top of the phone...

28. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

You don't have 2 or more fingerprint combination, the fingerprint on the side of the phone is the best because it has no significant disadvantages in any positions.

29. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

It would be a waste to put so many fingerprint sensor and it can make the phone looks ugly as f**k.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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