Why a rear finger scanner on the Galaxy S8? Samsung ran out of time with the 'in-display' tech by Synaptics

Why a rear finger scanner on the Galaxy S8? Samsung ran out of time with the 'in-display' tech by Synaptics
If you, like us, have been wondering why is Samsung going with a rear finger scanner for the S8 that is in one unorthodox place right next to the camera on the back, a new report out of Korea sheds some light on the matter. It turns out that Samsung may have simply run out of time to implement Synaptics' new in-display finger sensing technology. This one is still in its nascence, and there is no manufacturer that has fully implemented it yet. Moreover, the Galaxy S8 is likely to come with a unique curved display with a new resolution in order to fit in the trendy 2:1 aspect ratio, like the LG G6 does, so Samsung might have focused on getting the more important screen characteristics right first. 

According to one insider source: "Samsung poured resources into Synaptics’ fledgling technology last year but the results were frustrating. With the production imminent, the company had to decide to relocate the fingerprint scanning home button to the back of the device at the last minute." There you have it. Synaptics is indeed talking about in-screen finger sensing at a preset area as the current step in its developments of the technology, which would imply it is still not completely out of the testing phase, while the next and final step would be placing a finger scanning area anywhere on the screen that the manufacture chooses. 

That's still some time off, but, given that Apple will have a bit more time before it announces an eventual OLED iPhone 8, we are curious if it will have the in-display sensing tech that the Galaxy S8 eschewed. That could steal a bit off the Galaxy thunder, but Apple has never been one to jump on nascent technologies ahead of the pack before they have been proven in the market, so we'll see how it all pans out.

Related phones

Galaxy S8
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(30h talk time)



1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

We know what happens when Samsung rush things...

19. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

their fingerprint sensor will explode? /s

24. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 609; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Considering they make alot of components for Pixel, Iphones, Huawei im sure it be ok. Yes samsung even make batteries for iphones. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/oops-samsung-sdi-is-in-apples-supplier-list.1994723/ Yet people still wanna bring up the past and not the future. Maybe all these other companies should find someone else to make the components for them?? Guess even after them rushing things and exploding phones companies like Apple, Google, Huawei and Snapdragon need SAMSUNG!!

25. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Its the pre explosion list. Things might have change especially when choosing the battery supplier.

27. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 613; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

i will never understand how anyone figures the N7 was rushed. all Notes were released withen the same 3 months...

36. Plutonium239

Posts: 1239; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

What contributed to the note 7 problem was the sharp curve on the edge of the phone and tightness of the chassis. This squeezed the anodes and cathodes together inside the battery often causing a short, which then results in a non-passive thermal event.

30. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

lol......... yes the world know that.

32. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 613; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

"We know what happens when Samsung rush things..." seems someone doesnt.

2. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Maybe saving that and 4k screen for the note 8 to make up for the note 7

3. haruken

Posts: 307; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

So basically it was just bad timing, and Samsung is involved in the development of the tech. Yet I can already see the S9 reviews mentioning how "Samsung copied Apple" next year.

12. Clars123

Posts: 1078; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

LOL..Samsung copied Apple next year..the accuracy.It's ridiculous isnt it. Saw an article saying that the curved 'all screen' design of the S8 is copying the anniversary iPhone

31. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

That's how world works. Apple also had bad times like that. Don't get depressed over that.....lol

4. mobiledigger

Posts: 110; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Guess we'll see it on the Note 8, then

15. torr310

Posts: 1690; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

And guess some people will skip the S8 for Note 8 then.

18. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

And guess those who wanted the Not8 weren't even considering getting the S8 in the first place.

33. phonearenarocks

Posts: 607; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

I was

5. btbotimtim

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

daniel p, do you translate articles from korean newspaper or internet media?

6. Cat97

Posts: 1969; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Placing the fingerprint scanner on the back was a very big mistake from Samsung. A better move would have been to place it in the small bottom bezel, without a clickable button maybe. Sony placed it in the power button, so a narrow fingerprint scanner is possible. Iris scanner could save the day, but the front-placed fingerprint scanner remains the best option by far.

7. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Placing the fingerprint scanner on the back was a very big mistake from Samsung." Just like how people slammed LG for putting the volumes button at the back of the G2...yet it later became the G2's selling point, with reviewers and comments on YouTube praising it. SMH

9. Cat97

Posts: 1969; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Actually LG reverted to putting the volume buttons on the side since more than one year ago, due to criticism (imagine adjusting the speakerphone volume in a variety of situations like when on the table or on a car cradle). If this was the selling point, they would have kept it. Same with the fingerprint sensor. When it's on the back, you can't unlock your phone while in a table or on a car cradle. SMHx2

11. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

"Actually LG reverted to putting the volume buttons on the side since more than one year ago, due to criticism" What proves that LG ditched the volume buttons at the back due to criticism? LG simply could have felt it was time to change design, as the volume buttons at the back stopped being a selling point in 2015, probably because LG's consumers wanted something different, or because it wasn't practical enough on the G5's metal build... or perhaps, because the back of the G5 was already occupied by dual-cameras and a fingerprint scanner. But it was a selling point back in 2013 with the highly acclaimed LG G2, as well as the LG G3. So, my point still stands. SMHx3

17. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

How many shakes does one SMH count? A SMHx3 would be crazy.

34. bigcjm

Posts: 57; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Ummm but since they have the iris scanner they get rid of the redundancy of having finger print scanner that was way more convenient than the iris. now if folks don't want to pick the phone of the desk they tap the screen and scan the eyes.


Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

There is iphone in every phone arena article, i have heard about on screen fingerprint scanner since 2 years and many renders but what apple gave is actually same sh!t with different colours.

13. AronWunarso

Posts: 244; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Well, that's Phone Arena.

10. ciprian.ruse

Posts: 320; Member since: May 13, 2014

I understand this but why tf did they placed the fingerprint scanner that hight?

14. cornel222

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

to be honest we so far havent seen any pictures with the back of the phone and finger print scaner or camera or flash , all the leaks ive seen so far are with the front of the phone , for me personaly its a little awakard the finger print scaner position near the camera

16. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

First of all, this is not one of those things that need to be proven in the market. Either it works or it don't. Either it's ready for production or it isnt. Also, this has been rumored for the iPhone for a couple of years now. With the rumor that the phone will possibly be delayed until November, there is plenty of time. One thing you won't see is Touch ID on the back!

20. drifter77

Posts: 402; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

So why not keep the home button on the front and minimize the bottom bezel? This back location is pretty weird, not even centered like most phones with a rear fingerprint scanner.

21. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Just don't rush the Note out. Too late for the S8 but still have time to do right with the Note 8.

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