There are optical fingerprint readers you can tuck under the screen of a "bezel-less" phone, and then there are superior ultrasonic ones. The Galaxy S10
will eventually use the second type, and their third generation at that, which has never been used in a smartphone so far, claims Korean media.
Qualcomm's third-gen ultrasonic sensor is reportedly going to be a major selling point of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S10, as it will be embedded in such a high-profile handset and in such mass quantities for the first time.
Granted, there are phones with in-display finger scanners on the market already, like the recent Vivo NEX
with its pop-up selfie camera, but it carries an under-glass reader from the Chinese firm Gudix, which is of the optical variety. Samsung will be equipping its midrange A-series with in-display scanners made by Gudix, too, keeping the high-end Qualcomm ones for the S10.
Qualcomm's second generation sensor can work accurately through glass up to 800 microns thick, compared to 300 microns in the first one. We could see what this finger scanner is capable of as soon as the Mate 20 Pro
hits the tape, as Huawei has reportedly entered a license exclusivity deal with Qualcomm for it. What will the third-gen specs be, though, could remain a mystery until the Galaxy S10 hits the proverbial shelves.
According to some analysts, Samsung has been reportedly choosing between three types of solutions, a summary of which you can see below, offered by different companies. It may have stopped at Qualcomm's ultrasonic tech, since it works through up to 1.2mm OLED display package, supports navigational gesture recognition, can wake up and unlock your device underwater, and, last but not least, can even detect blood flow and heartbeat for the ultimate in finger biometry identification. As you can see from the comparison table below, Qualcomm's invention can work through thicker layers, so the screen quality and performance is most likely to stay intact compared to the other in-screen finger scanning solutions.