Does the Samsung Galaxy S21 fingerprint sensor work with screen protectors?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Fingerprint
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Fingerprint (Image credit: Android Central)

Best answer: Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S21's fingerprint sensor will work with the pre-installed screen protector and most third-party film screen protectors. However, Samsung's ultrasonic fingerprint sensor has had trouble with tempered glass protectors in the past, which may continue with some models.

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Underscreen fingerprint sensors are the way of the future now. Most premium smartphones carry them and Samsung is no exception. However, just two years ago, after the debut of Samsung's ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, reports came out that some third-party tempered glass screen protectors caused the sensor to fail. So, it's important that you protect your screen, but it's also important to pick the right screen protector for your phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 comes with a film screen protector pre-installed on the device, and that will most assuredly work with the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Third-party options can get a little dicey, but we'll narrow down some good options for you below.

What are the options?

First and foremost, we recommend leaving the pre-installed screen protector in place. It will be a film protector and capable of repelling minor nicks and scratches. If factory-installed screen film is not for you, we have some other ideas for you to consider.

There's always the option of not using a screen protector at all. Many of the best Galaxy S21 cases will have lips over the front of the phone that will keep the screen safe should you drop it. That's a good solution to prevent breakage, but it won't do you much good if you accidentally drop your phone in the same pocket or pouch as your keys.

Your fingerprint sensor should work just fine with any of the best Galaxy S21 screen protectors, be they made of plastic or film. Some third-party film protectors will be a bit thicker than the factory-installed film which will help protect your screen against deeper scratches. They can sometimes be tricky to get on bubble-free, so that's something to be aware of.

If you would prefer a tempered glass protector, you might want to look at the company Whitestone Dome. When fingerprint sensors started to fail on the Galaxy S10 line of phones, Whitestone Dome came to the rescue with its own glass screen protector that worked perfectly. Whitestone uses a unique curing system in its glass construction that allows the fingerprint sensor to function properly.

Overall, we definitely recommend some kind of screen protection for your S21. The phone is pretty great, and you will want to keep it as safe as possible.

Adam Doud

Adam has been writing and podcasting the mobile tech space for almost a decade. When he's not writing, he hosts the Benefit of the Doud podcast, spends way too much time on Twitter, and redesigns his office space over and over.