In-display finger scanners do work with protectors, so what's up with the Note 9?



While Samsung reportedly ran out of time to implement in-display finger scanner on the Galaxy S8, and, now, the Galaxy S9, one could reasonably expect that the Note 9 would be the high-end gear that this type of unobtrusive fingerprint recognition technology would make a cameo in

The Note 9 back may end up looking a lot like the Galaxy S9+ here

The Note 9 back may end up looking a lot like the Galaxy S9+ here

Not so fast, advised reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo last week, informing us that the Note 9 won't have a reader hidden under its display glass. While a few of the reasons he cited sound familiar, the one that said such scanners won't work with screen protectors was a new thing, at least as far as Samsung's efforts are concerned. We've heard before that the first phone with such in-display optical scanner, the Vivo X20 Plus UD, may have issues with screen protectors that are above certain thickness, as that would mess up with the light reflections needed for correct readings. 

The screen protector layer, however, apparently has to be very thick for the reader not to work properly. Synaptics, the creators of the optical in-display fingerprint scanning technology, reached out to us, and mentioned that Kuo may be confusing optical with ultrasonic technology regarding the Note 9, as Samsung may have experimented with both, in addition to its regular capacitive tech. 

As you can see in the video above, the X20 Plus UD's scanner works sufficiently well even when a few screen protectors are stacked on top of each other, so that can't really be the excuse for Samsung to put the breaks on implementing it in the Note 9. Moreover, as exemplified in the video below, it would work even if you scratch the cover glass on top of it. So, what other reasons could there be for Samsung to implement such a sensor on the Galaxy S10 at the earliest, instead of the Note 9?


One answer may be marketing - the S Pen-touting phablet line from Samsung has enough differentiating features to cater to its niche market of loyal fans, while the S10 will need more than a few "wow" factors after the "tock" upgrade that is the Galaxy S9. Other reasons might be the ones cited by Kuo and Korean media before him. 

Samsung has reportedly been developing the optical finger reader tech for two years, and has narrowed down its potential suppliers, but due to issues with speed and accuracy when implementing it under its curved panels, the R&D efforts will continue until it is certain that employing it on a mass scale for millions of potential units won't impede the user experience that its acclaimed Infinity Display design offers. 

Oh, well, it's too early in the game to know anything about the S10 but that it will sport 7nm chipsets, and come with 5G-compatible modem inside, and we should know more on the in-display finger scanning front for Samsung's next high-end wonders as time progresses. For now, let's just settle down with the thought that the Note 9 will employ the same horizontal elliptical fingerprint reader under its vertical dual camera that we are currently witnessing on the Galaxy S9+. Some like it on the back, after all.

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33 Comments

1. drunkenjay

Posts: 1625; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

maybe they wan't to wait until the technology matures abit.

6. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

But Samsung is known for using technology that hasn't matured. Using technology once its has time to mature and be fully functional is Apples deal, not Samsung's...

7. nodes

Posts: 1136; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Samsung is more and more like Apple right now, playing safe. hence the S9, safe play, same design, higher price.

12. bucknassty

Posts: 1263; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

i thought the s9 cost as much as the s8?

25. nodes

Posts: 1136; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

the S9+ costs more than the Note8. S9 is more like an S8+ last year, and the feature cuts, like single camera setup on smaller brother, sounds familiar, right?

28. fyah_king unregistered

It does not cost more than the Note 8. You need to stop spreading false rumors. The S9+ is $840 at TMobile and the note 8 is $870 atm.

11. Bankz

Posts: 2460; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Meh, they're probably waiting to launch it on the galaxy X (or whatever), as there'll be nothing else that's new to market their galaxy S 10th anniversary. Even at that, it'll still be old news anyway. Face ID is the new shiny..

21. tedkord

Posts: 17047; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Face ID - slower, less accurate, less secure. Shiny!

26. kiko007

Posts: 7385; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

You can list all the potential shortcomings you please. Still won't change the fact Facial Recognition is in right now, and FaceID is the current gold standard.

19. RoyalMike unregistered

You definitely didn't read what samsung ceo said on s9 questions. They've changed their direction

20. tedkord

Posts: 17047; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

So, innovating versus copying. Got it.

8. adecvat

Posts: 593; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Or they wait until Apple made it to copy it.

2. Jacksie66 unregistered

It's getting to a point now where the only difference between the s plus line and the note line is an s pen and a €200 difference in price.

30. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Which is still a difference, and a noticeable one at that.

3. DRS1977

Posts: 678; Member since: May 27, 2015

Samsung should just install one from the factory that they know works. If people don't want it on there, they can peel it off. Some people like them, some don't. This current tech does not look very reliable at all. Samsung says they are getting away from "being first" all the time, instead wanting to perfect the technology.

4. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

Samsung only copy, they are waiting to copy it

10. drunkenjay

Posts: 1625; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

they already have the tech so theres no point copying something they have.

16. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

Where is the technology? I do not see her

13. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1497; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

Yes. They are waiting for the whole mighty god “SONY” to do it.

15. Ciro1900

Posts: 591; Member since: Dec 17, 2017

if you copied enough sony stuff and the last 960 fps

23. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1497; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

& even when after being first, Sony still isn't able to do anything game changing since past 4-5 years and their market is just going down year after year.

22. tedkord

Posts: 17047; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You should join the rest of the world in 2018.

29. fyah_king unregistered

"Apple only copy, and they are waiting to copy it!"

5. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

it is an optical sensor it is obviously gonna work the thing is it reduces is the accuracy and increases the timing it needs to work anyhow the in(under) display sensor will be kept for the anniversary device next year which is obvious really

9. haruken

Posts: 303; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

Maybe because Samsung makes millions of phones and can't afford another Note7? I mean it's way easier for Vivo and all those other random companies to rush the technology knowing that there won't be any consequences if something goes wrong...

32. Poptart2828

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I think it's because vivo is more of a risk taker than anything. They only sold around 50 to 70 million handsets last year so being a random company and knowing there won't be any consequences pretty much makes sense. I think

14. surethom

Posts: 1561; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Probably waiting for the ultrasonic version rather than the current one that uses an optical sensor?

17. CEDEOTB

Posts: 317; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Makes sense for them playing it safe, while saving it for the S10 which will have minor changes.What other major feature would the S10 have? An IR blaster? 32bit DAC?

18. torr310

Posts: 1609; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

The fingers and nails in the picture are more beautiful than 90% of girls/women.

24. tedkord

Posts: 17047; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

From the second video: "Apple will probably invent this in a couple of years." lol

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