In-screen fingerprint sensors are bad and need to go away

I got my hands on the Galaxy S10 about a week ago, and so far I've been loving every minute of using the phone. Well, almost every minute of it.

The Galaxy S10 is one heck of a smartphone and easily one of the best you can buy right now, but it has a feature that's been causing me endless headaches — the in-screen fingerprint sensor. This is the first phone I've used with such technology, and after just a few minutes of messing around with it, my initial concerns were instantly validated.

Samsung's one of many companies that decided to get rid of the traditional fingerprint sensor in favor of one that's hidden underneath the display, and while it does look insanely cool and is a fun party trick, it's a trend I cannot stand and something I hope the industry decides to get over sooner rather than later.

Right now, there are two main types of in-screen fingerprint sensors — optical and ultrasonic.

The optical fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 6T

The optical fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 6T

Optical sensors were the first to hit the market and are seen on devices such as the OnePlus 6T. They work by capturing an image of your finger, and then each time you unlock your phone, it matches that image with what the finger you're using. Ultrasonic sensors, on the other hand, are much more advanced and use soundwaves that scan your fingerprint and then store a copy of its makeup; including things like the individual grooves and pores. As of publishing this article, the only phone to use an ultrasonic sensor is the Galaxy S10.

Both optical and ultrasonic sensors are hidden underneath a phone's display and allow you to place your finger on a small designated area of it. Ultrasonic sensors are more expensive than the already costly optical ones, but they have the potential of being faster and more secure thanks to the additional data they capture.

In-screen fingerprint sensors are slow and unreliable. Stop using them.

So far, the implementation of both these technologies has left...well...a lot to be desired.

Being slower than regular fingerprint sensors is the best case scenario. The worst is having these in-screen sensors regularly misread your fingerprint, requiring you to give multiple attempts before your phone finally unlocks.

So far, my experience with the Galaxy S10 has been a mixed bag. There are times when it registers my fingerprint just fine and others in which it completely fails to work at all. This is the best version of an in-screen sensor that's yet to hit the market, but even so, it feels like a major step backwards compared to tried-and-true traditional sensors.

That's annoying enough as is, but the annoyance of in-screen sensors goes beyond the inconsistent performance.

If your phone has an ultrasonic sensor like the S10 does, screen protectors are kind of a crapshoot. Plastic protectors work fine, but if you want to use a tempered glass one, only certain ones work. Even more irritating, using an in-screen sensor requires a bit more thought to use.

Traditional sensors are easily detectable as they usually have some sort of divot or physical difference compared to the rest of the phone — making it easy to blindly place your finger on it without having to seek it out. Since in-screen sensors don't have this luxury, you need to really think about where you're placing your finger. This could change over time as the technology evolves, but when you need to put your finger on a small, specific area of your large display, it becomes something of a chore.

These sort of problems are to be expected of new technology, but here's my question — why did we need to start using in-screen fingerprint sensors in the first place? Sure, fingerprint sensors below the display of a phone don't work anymore with the industry's quest to eliminate bezels, but here's an idea — why not put it on the back or side of the phone? You know, how we've been doing it for years.

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S10e

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S10e

That's what irks me the most about this whole trend. There's a way to have good, reliable fingerprint sensors on phones while still maximizing screen real estate — such as the power-button-mounted sensor on the Galaxy S10e — but for whatever reason, companies are set on implementing in-screen sensors that offer a worse user experience no matter how you look at it.

Despite this, it doesn't look like in-screen fingerprint sensors are going away anytime soon. They look cool, are a noticeable difference over older phones, and give OEMs something to promote when marketing their phones to people who are in need of an upgrade.

Yay technology.

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • LOL at whining about first gen technology. This is the same person rant and raved about a buttonless all glass phone and now complains about a phone that has one less button. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Worthless comment, it's not whining if it's an accurate statement.
  • Thanks for your worthless response. Accurate statement LOL. The opinion is subjective and not objective. Learn the difference.
  • ****** and worthless scumbgs like you must get lost
  • His isn't the first opinion on this experiment gone bad and won't be the last. You should get out more. !!___||\///\\_/-??\\//((---=+
  • The experiment has just started; it hasn't gone bad.
  • Sounds a lot like whining to me
  • It's whinning!
    Android central has become garbage.
  • I agree.
    The ultrs sonic sensor will just keep getting better.
    Just like capacitive fingerprint sensors got better
  • After having tried a S10+ with ceramic back, I've decided to stay with my S9+. Why? All because the fingerprint unlocking feature didn't work as fast (or sometimes at all) as the S9+. Great device otherwise. Has a few features I really wish I could have, but the fingerprint issue is a complete dealbreaker.
  • It's a Joe Maring special!
  • Bummer, I prefer the fingerprint sensor on front, so I've been looking forward to an in-screen, but I think the S10e with its smaller size, non-curved display, lower price, and side FPS would be a better fit for me. And I've always liked Sony's side FPS/Power button combo from afar.
  • It's an excellent phone..
  • I've had the s10e since last week. It's a great little phone. The fingerprint sensor is in a great spot (for me) and is as reliable as anything I've used in the past several years.
  • Well everything new has room for improvement :)
  • But it shouldn't. Samsung although a great company, has always rushed new features out the door before they're ready. Sure each gen gets better but what if you bought a new car and it was difficult to start or a new pair of pants and the zipper was always sticking? Companies owe it to us to put out consumer ready products especially at these prices. I love the new AT&T commercials. Just ok is not ok.
  • Especially when they want us to pay $1K+ for a phone.
  • This isn't a Samsung exclusive issue. This isn't even an issue specific to phones. Every computer I've had has had updates as soon as I've opened the box. So has every piece of major software. The feature we are speaking about isn't broken to the point that you can't get into your phone. The complaint here is that it isn't "perfect" and thus, they should have delayed the launch of the phone? I can't agree with that. It's not a car. A car is a whole other level in terms of cost and safety. Besides cars have glitches, too. Haha. AT&T should watch their own commercials based on the customer service that I've experienced with them. 🤣
  • Joe Maring, this was patetic and have no place on a tech site. If you had written that thech is not mature enough and needs to rapidly improve to have aspot on flagship phones I would totaly agree with you. Now you only behaved like a whiny kid.
  • Wow... I hear the frustration with the new technology, but wow. It's interesting to read opinion pieces on tech from someone that hasn't been on an engineering team or worked with anything over a long period of time that needed refining iterations. It's all gotta start somewhere. Millennials will be millennials though I guess. Gotta have it now and it's gotta be how I want it, if not: fail.
  • What's wrong with you whiners? DON'T BETA TEST ON YOUR CUSTOMER BASE...PERIOD. Give them something that works or don't do it. Is this how your want your customers on whatever product you are involved with to experience? No wonder our world is so screwed up. Joe is spot on.
  • You really think Samsung intended this to be a beta test? lol And I think what people are objecting to is the over dramatic, clickbait-y tone of the write up. Another reason the world is so screwed up. This one doesn't work as consistently as it should. Neither did the physical one first time out.
  • And that's his point. I paid C$1,500 for my Note8. At that price, I shouldn't have to fu©k around with my device for it to work properly, let alone flawlessly. And I shouldn't have to be the one to complain to the manufacturer so the can hopefully correct the problem with the next update. Regardless of if it is worth $15,000 or $150,000, imagine buying a car and the new brake system doesn't work 100% of the time, or the key doesn't always unlock the door, let alone start the car. Do you really think that's acceptable? Can someone writing an article about it really be called a whiner?
  • Cars have glitches. They have glitches bad enough that they sometimes have to be recalled. Comparing the safety risks associated with brakes to the minor inconvenience of having to put your thumb to glass more than one a bit dramatic. This is a standard in tech that first adopters don't have the benefit of a few months of updates. People know that and some make their purchase timing decisions based on that.
  • Not every feature is equal. Brakes on a car are like phone calls on a phone. Your example would be if the car had voice controls and didn't properly change the radio station 100% of the time when you asked it to by voice. *That* happens. Your analogy with brakes is stupid. Not everything works 100% of the time in anything. They all have different priorities and reliability and, gasp, luxuries like a magical invisible fingerprint scanner that works without touching your finger is not a critical requirement.
  • Yes, the brake analogy is crazy stupid. The one about the key and not opening or starting the vehicle is spot on though. If my new car decided it wouldn't unlock or start, say 3 out of 10 times, it would go back to the dealer for a full refund. Although, of course, such a flawed product would never have made it into the paying publics hands...
  • Nope, but clearly it's not what it's intended to be, rolled out a bit too quickly, marketing pushing engineering not always a good thing.
  • Rolled out too quickly? On what planet? You guys have been through this enough to know that's not how this works. New tech has to be matured, and there is no perfect timetable for that. Otherwise, software updates would never have bugs, even after several months of beta testing. New tech can work perfectly in a lab for years, roll out and still be inconsistent. It's happened from the beginning of smartphone unlocking, all the way up to Face ID. Or have we already forgotten how that didn't work in all conditions on the iPhone X. So much so that many Apple fans were begging for the return of Touch ID. Of course now that Apple has improved it substantially though a whole year of updates, people don't even remember the dark days anymore...obviously
  • In other words, they're beta testing us and will roll out improvements based on real world feedback...gotcha.
  • Its sounds like you're whining
  • Tell that directly to Google. Pixel is their beta testing platform.
  • It's not beta testing. FP scanning was first introduced to the public and was subpar as well. The difference is FP scanning alone had applications all over the place, so they didn't need to include it into phones until it was somewhat mature. In-display fingerprints has relatively few widespread uses outside of phones. It's expensive and is magical that you can unlock your phone by touching it. You don't expect things to just work when spending that much. You expect to do things no one else can when you spend that much. This technology will not improve without getting it out there and getting economy of scale on the already existing tech. It needs to be cheaper before it gets better.
  • I do not like on screen fingerprint sensors. I already have problem keeping my screen clean. I actually miss my BB PRIV which I could scroll via the keyboard. The Samsung fingerprint sensors that are on the backs are also quite good. They could pull up and down manuals without touching the screens.
  • If I use a phone lock (I normally don't), I'm a happy dinosaur with a pin because my fingers gets get extremely dry from working in the oil and gas extraction industry. No surprise first generation tech isn't perfected. I've owned cell phones for over 20 years.... The way I unlock it is no big deal to me.... On the S10... Wow, I checked one out in the store... The display is insanely good, but my next tech buy is the to be released S5e tablet, not a phone.
  • Settle down Henny Penny. Don't be an early adopter if you don't want problems.
  • He wasn't the early adopter, Samsung was. Are you suggesting, that to get reliable gear, you need to get tech that is a couple of cycles old. I completely agree that Samsung should not have transitioned to an inferior experience than already existed. This is not what Apple did with FaceID. People may not have liked the change, but for most, it works as well or better that Touch ID.
  • Seriously? People had all sorts of issues with Face ID on the X. It's much better on the XS. New tech always runs the risk of early problems.
  • And that's the point. Instead of being first out of the gate, they should have been the best out of the gate. Or, to take a page from the Apple notebook: You're doing it wrong. Learn how to use your fingerprints, people!
  • oh paaaaleeeezzz 1st gen faceID was damn-near flawless and worked about 99.9% of the time.
    the ones that are having trouble didn't set it up properly. I've seen people setting it up and they look like they are having a seizure instead of setting up faceID….
  • Yes, it's a rather ridiculous article, but let's face it, it's click-bait. With everyone effervescing over the S10, putting out an article saying, "this sucks! prove me wrong!" will get people fired up, as is evident from the response. You wanna see something bad, read Engadget's review of the Galaxy Buds. Not that's some crap right there.
  • I thought The Verge's galaxy buds review was even worse.
  • You should watch 9to5Mac's youtube on S10 review. After watching this video along with others by so-called iPhone users, they all make the home screen look like iPhone. LOL.
  • Saying to get rid of a technology because its not fast enough yet is shortsighted. You won't *get* that technology to improve without getting it out there in the first place. Only *one* annoyance raised is even remotely worth discussion. That's about the ease of placement of your finger as there's no surefire silver bullet for this problem. That being said, I'd rather someone be annoyed at the quest for a bezel-less phone before being annoyed by in-screen fingerprint sensors. The article should read, "in-screen fingerprint sensors are bad and need to get better"
  • Wouldn't a better headline be, "current in-display fingerprint sensors are bad and need to improve"? While I'm not a huge stickler about the location of a phone's fingerprint sensor, I definitely prefer having it on the front than the back. It's easier to wake up and unlock the phone when it's on a flat surface or in a car mount. Right now I use an Essential PH-1 which I mostly love, and the fingerprint sensor is great, but it's slightly annoying to wake up in a car mount. Even though I use Google Smart Lock to keep my phone unlocked when connected to my car's bluetooth, I have to either reach and squeeze the small power button or reach around the back to hit the fingerprint sensor. There are some alternate solutions for waking up the phone without having to hit a side power button or rear fingerprint sensor, like LG's double-tap to wake or Motorola's approach IR sensors on the X and Z lines. At least with these, in a car mount and with Smart Lock, I could wake the phone and swipe to unlock. But...a front fingerprint sensor, whether in the display or otherwise, solves this issue completely.
  • Pull your car over on the road before you kill somebody trying to keep the phone on your dash on.... Gezuz... Or upgrade your vehicle to anything post 2015.
  • You've never attempted to call someone or enter directions in google maps or any number of other things while waiting at a stoplight?
  • I agree with Joe. Onscreen fingerprint scanners are still very slow. The ones found on non flagship phones are horrible and with face recognition already poor on those phones, you are back to 2012 with a pin or pattern. Hope this technology evolves. Till then, it's traditional ones for me!
  • FP Scanner when first introduced were god awful. Capactive feedback was bad when they took over resistive touch. Face recognition will always suck w/o the right lighting and Iris scanner is a much better options. That what make advancement in improvement great. Samsung gives you ALL these options to unlock your phone. I hardly ever use my FP scanner on the Note 9 with the extremely fast iris scanner that, guess what, sucked on early adoptions. His rant to "just get rid of it" is asinine.
  • Iris scanning is gone on the, good luck with that. That FPS is the only secure unlock. The facial recognition has always been awful. So they're giving you a worse FPS and removing the only other viable and secure option. Note 10 is likely to follow suit. OP has a point when the argument is weighed against industry trends. Also, Samsung was the only major OEM pushing Iris scanning. Face ID is looking really attractive right now.
  • I don't early adopt. Therefore I have no reason to whine about being one.
  • You forgot about Pin as a secure unlock.
  • Pin isn't biometric, and 4 digit pins aren't that secure, esp. If phone isn't set to reset after failed attempts. It's a PITA when you u lock and have to type 6+ digits instead of just using g a secure iris scanner to instantly unlock the device.
  • Quiet down, Joe. Works perfectly on my S10+. Granted there's the occasional miss maybe every 20 or so attempts, but nothing as bad as you're making it sound like. I actually find it very refreshing and love it.
  • Glad I stuck to the note 9!
  • Hopefully some software tweaks will improve the sensor reads. My wife has the S10+ and she said misses are mostly a non-issue. I encouraged her to enter prints 2x, but she didn't find the need to do so.
  • Comments section: “I don’t have these problems so you are wrong.”
  • And suggestions for improved functionality.
  • No it's "writing off technology because you wanted to be an early adopter is stupid"
  • That’s not what it is at all. 🙄
  • Well, neither is it what you said. 🙄
  • Your user name is ironic. 🙄
  • It's not a universal problem and it is an issue already improved with more improvement incoming, so he's wrong. His conclusion is that this feature needs to go away. That is a conclusion that I feel is short-sighted and an overreaction, so I think he's wrong. Original post: I am one person and I have this problem, so I'm right...for everyone and they should get rid of this feature.
  • Got the S10. Fingerprint scanner not very responsive.
    Went into Settings. Turned up the screen sensitivity. Job done! If a 62yr old can figure it out.......
  • This.... Joe, can you read?
  • At least for me, 100% of the times that my phone can't read my fingerprint, it's because it's in the wrong spot and this happens when the screen is off. Since I'm trying to guess where the fingerprint sensor is on a black screen, it's usually hit or miss. But when the indicator comes on, telling me where to press, it works....every time. But like I said in the beginning, this is how it is for me.
  • I respectfully disagree. I've had the S10+ since the day it was released and had no trouble adapting to the in-screen reader and have had minimal occasions where it has failed to read my fingerprint. User or individual phone sensor issue? I will very carefully read reviews on screen protectors before changing out the one that came with the phone.
  • For me it works 100% of the time when just placing the finger on the dark
    screen without waking the phone up. Works well and fast.
    For some reason waking the phone up and unlocking at the lock screen
    only works by holding the finger there for second. Weird that its faster and
    100% reliable the other way around.
  • Speak for yourself. No issues here.
  • The FPS on my S10+ has been amazing, so I have no idea what this guy is talking about lol
  • It would be extremely frustrating to go from something that is extremely fast and accurate to something slower and less accurate on a newer, more expensive phone. In perfect situations they might be about as capable as the "old" capacitive fingerprint sensors but very often the situation is not perfect so they end up slower.
  • I dont usually ever comment on articles, but I made an account because this is one of the most genuinely stupid anti-technology opinions I have ever read. This article is bad and needs to go away. What makes you think that the first generation of the optical in display fingerprint reader is going to be as perfect as capacitive fingerprint readers that have existed for 10 years? Are you begging to go back 3 years when all smartphones were the exact same thing? Imagine the innovation that can be done with this new tech, even the current s10 fingerprint reader will be improved via software. You have done a great job getting me to click on this. Please dont take this as a mean comment trying to make your day worse, rather as an opportunity to obtain a better opinion. Just like all the apple fan boys who are switching to Samsung and loving it.
  • Technically the Xiamoi Mi5s had an ultrasonic sensor, it just wasn't in-display.
  • The in display fingerprint reader on my OP6T can be a bit slow, but it isn't that big of a deal since I rarely use it. The facial recognition is so good my phone is usually unlocked and on the home screen as soon as I look at it. The fingerprint only comes into play for authentication for payments or apps. It is fine in those circumstances.
  • Mines fine....learn how to use it
  • Feeling smug with my flat screen S10e.
  • Give me a front screen sensor any day over one hidden at the back of the phone.
  • Wrong.
    In-screen FPS's need improvement, and should be improved. They exist because there are advantages to them, just as their are to other solutions for biometric security. A FPS on the back is well positioned for unlocking a held device and is a mature technology. It doesn't help a person who wants to unlock their device as it lies on a desk or table. A power-button FPS can never be expanded to cover a huge area of the phone the way an in-screen FPS can.
    The idea that new tech should be abandoned if it isn't instantly better than all other options in all other circumstances is just absurd.
  • But is unlocking your phone from a desk or table something people do significantly more than anything else? I've had both front and rear fps. Rear has always been easier and more effective for me.
  • Exactly why In-screen FPS is needed.
    I lay my phone on desk when i'm working in the office, having to reach to the back of my Note 9 works, it's just abit annoying.
  • My experience on the S10+ has been 99.9% great with the in display reader. No issues reading and I'm fairly well retrained at where to place my fingers and how hard to press. I'm happy with it. The tech will only get better.
  • Use a password instead.
  • Pretty retarded opinion!!
  • Seriously? I've gotten used to it very quickly. Before this I've only ever had capacitive readers on the back of my phones.
  • I have the Galaxy S10+, and at first, the fingerprint scanner was "hit or miss". But after scanning both thumbs multiple times, using various positions, I'd say that I'm able to unlock my phone 9.99 out of 10 times successfully. Sure it's not the fastest fingerprint scanner, but as with all new technology, it will evolve and get better. It's also better than the optical scanner that was at the rear of my previous phone, the Galaxy S8. That was just irritating!!
  • Grabs popcorn for the comments 😂
  • Joe. Just Stfu! This article is pathetic!
  • It seems to about on par with my S7E, as far as speed, for the s10+. I am not using a screen protector, however, so that may be the difference. This in screen sensor even scans my thumb correctly when I hold the phone upside down.. I guess it's just different strokes for different folks, but there's always room to improve.
  • My FPS on my S10 has worked great! I was skeptical at first, but it took me no time to get used to it and had the hang of it on the first day. Can't speak for anyone else, but I really like it.
  • I've been using a four digit pin all these years. No problems and excellent security. Currently on a Note 9.
  • I use fingerprints on several sites to login. I wonder how that is going to work. If I am going to have to remember passwords again.
  • The same thing was said about physical fingerprint scanners when they were a new thing. Relax there spoiled brat
  • Was disappointed with this and AC's recent podcast. They spend so much time tearing apart the awesome S10 series because some new tech is not outstanding yet. Then they giggle when they talk about the Pixel camera that constantly crashes and can't share pics etc.
  • It's not that big of an improvement. Internal hardware improvements are the only good things for me. Fps and punch are not positives for me.
  • For logging into sites for which you have strong passwords (banking, medical, etc.) I kind of need a secure biometric login mechanic. Sorry. Not all of us use our phones like a feature phone from the 90s.
  • I agree. My Note 9 has 2 secure methods of unlocking, unlike the S10.
  • The Pixel doesn't constantly crash
  • What an absolute shocker of an article. Wow
  • What an absolute shocker of a stupid comment. Go back to playing games on your phone.
  • What an absolute shocker of a stupid reply.
  • Ay yo AC.. Fire the dullard who penned this piece before he wrecks Android Central. For a minute I thought this was BGR, The Verge or some other weak a$$ site. Like seriously.. Don't go down the click bait rubbish path. Like seriously.. Don't let him take u down this lame clickbait rubbish path. Y'all got a mad volume of readers already.
  • When I added my fingerprints, I did the same thing that I did on the S9+ - rotated the phone slightly during each scan. It took about 30 seconds longer per finger (both thumbs & both pointer fingers), but it works from most angles for me. I put my finger on the scanner, then press down firmly - I'd say I have about a 90% success rate after I figured that out.
  • Boo Hoo Hoo!
    Joe blow probably cried when there was no more removable batteries....... made of glass.......the notch........
    Get back on the nipple!
  • I think this is pretty weak to whine and complain about first gen tech. I mean how is the tech going to improve if they all stop using it? I mean come on, no 1st gen tech has worked without issues.. If this same issue is persistent 2-3 years down the road then maybe you have a leg to stand on with your complaints. 
  • You're holding it wrong.
  • I just returned an S10 and picked up an S10e which has an absolutely wonderful fingerprint scanner on the power button. The S10 scanner was slow and not very reliable at all. I also didn't see anything cool about it in the least.
  • You should go away.
  • The in display sensors are as bad as infinity displays. Nice to see. Less nice to use. People here have an innovation by any means necessary mentality. Not cute. Practicality matters. Won't be buying any of these phones. Ugh... I guess it's going to be an Apple year for me. Face ID is looking nice right now.
  • Imagine if Apple incorporated this fingerprint sensor, this type of article would be all over the internet. Fingerprintgate..........We can really see why Apple went with facial recognition. Qualcomm needs to do more work on the sensor....but Samsung is first with it.
  • Nice try.....stick with your fruit
  • Apple wouldn't put tech like this in a phone, for the same reasons the article derides it. Face ID was basically flawless when they added it, and they waited for Touch ID, as well. Being first isn't the most important thing. This isn't a groundbreaking innovation.
  • So your thoughts on moving forward with a new technology is just drop it and not push forward to improve? The in screen fingerprint sensors are great at what they were designed to do. They were designed to work under glass. The problem comes with you add additional layers of plastic or more glass to the protector and thats when read rates drop. I have removed my plastic screen protector and the whitestone dome glass and its perfect. I think a better and more responsible article woudl have read on how glass needs to become stronger to adapt with the new tech so consumers wouldnt see the need for additional protection. With this way of thinking we would have never had touch screen phones.
  • Fingerprint reader on the side power button is the best IMO. Got Razer Phone 1. Works great.
  • I completely disagree. I love my Galaxy S10, and I love the in screen fingerprint reader! It works really well for me, and I especially love that I can use it even when my fingers are wet and in the rain! :)
  • What a pathetic article. Based on other users it sounds like Joe has a defective phone or a defective finger or didn't set it up properly.
  • I think the title should have been that they need to improve, but regardless it's an interesting article on the foibles of new tech. I was expecting a whole bunch of offended Samsung fans, and I was right! ;)
    We know fingerprints are usually unique, but forget that peoples fingerprints are a variable in their depth and clarity and texture, and not every person's fingerprint reads as easily. I've been working since I was 11 years old, and some of my fingerprints are downright missing, so I would probably have a real tough time with the S10. Personally, I do prefer the sensor on the front because I used the phone on the desk or table and I have LONG conference calls. The FP sensor on the U11 was ideal for me, and combined with probably the best SLDC screen in the world (better than the Note 8 AMOLED), it was tough to give up for something with the sensor on the back. But, at least the U12+ has face unlock that is more secure than what single camera phones have.
  • How well do you prints work now?
  • He has a point. The in screen fingerprint sensors are not good enough yet. I have never tried tried the s10 ultra sonic sensor but the optical one on my huawei mate 20 pro is just OK. It works with my glass protector but I have to press my thumb against it firmly and it doesn't work everytime. I think the direction is right but they really need to improve the sensors quicker. The first generation touch id was slow too. Thing usually improve over time. For the mean time why not add a new side mounted traditional fingerprint sensor along with the in screen one?
  • From what I've seen, it's works alot better if store multiple copies of the same finger.
  • Not neccessary if recorded properly
  • The mobile phone industry is just so predictable now. Year after year it's just the same old preditctable gripes and improvements. First gen tech generally is never super reliable. The Iris scanner on the s9 is pretty hit or miss if the lighting isnt perfect. As soon as something new comes out it's better! As if the previous year was so long ago.
  • The iris scanner in my Note 9 works in complete darkness. I doubt you understand how these things work. You just have to have the phone at a reliable level relative to your eyes. Secure face scanning (Face ID) is a better experience, but the Iris scanner does work well, and is actually secure. And it isn't 1st gen tech. The first gen imploded with the Note 7.
  • The problem with the phone industry is that year after year, they keep trying to outdo themselves to appease 15 year olds, and never do anything to make the actual phones work better or get any more reliable. It constantly amazes me that in the USA, the country that invented the telephone, the most common phrase uttered over a cell phone is "you're breaking up." I guess this doesn't really matter as long as you're getting 100mbps so you can play play a game with some kid a thousand miles away.
    It's no longer acceptable to have an area below the screen to house a home button nor fingerprint sensor for that matter. No..the screen has to take up the whole surface so those 15 year olds can have an amazing gaming experience. I've also heard tech reps claim that the phone doesn't really need to be that good anymore because hardly anyone uses a cell phone to actually make phone calls.
    You're kidding me right?
  • Cell phone reception breakups are due to other factors, and have nothing to do with America. They happen in other places as well. Buildings, other electronic devices, etc. all interfere with cellular reception. Go under an overpass in some areas and your GPS may stop working :-P And Samsung isn't even a US company. The problem with the industry is that it is aiming to appease tech fanatics, which is why we have the obsession with thin, no bezels, and feature bloat that looks good on paper but has no practical longevity. Samsung has done some nice things in their devices, though. The AI thing in the camera that adjusts for different settings is genuinely useful. The button on the Note 9's S Pen is really useful. Iris Scanning was useful, especially for people like me who train in an ice rank and dare not take their gloves off in the middle of winter (your hands will NEVER recover that lost heat :-P ). Knox and Secure Folder? A lot of the features that Samsung has brought have made it into Google's Android distribution. The new quick sharing thing in Android Q comes from Samsung's Android distribution. They started using Beam over WiFi Direct before Google did (if they even do so, by now), to compete with AirDrop. MST in Samsung Pay is worth the duplication in countries like the US and Australia. However, they do have to broaden their user base. If you don't get people while they're young, you're never going to get many of them because of the investment they will make in a competing ecosystem functioning as a de facto lock-in. So, this means they have to try things like Animoji, etc. when Apple does. They had to try ChatOn and other services... Otherwise, they are not doing enough to increase their market penetration. This is something many markets are trying to crack... going after an increasingly young user base (often with great risk) in order to grow long term user bases from the grass roots of the market. Yes, many of us deplore some of those features... but many people love them. The world doesn't revolve around us. It revolves with all of us on it :-P Samsung is not OnePlus releasing their first phone. They have to appeal to more and more people in order to broaden their market. Other players are doing the same for the exact same reasons - even Apple.
  • Joe's problem was dry hands.. But problem solved after he saw how many comments his click bait enticed. Just as bad are Joe's efforts to repackage reporting done from other sources and post here.... I call it the 'Android Centralization' of tech news originally produced elsewhere.
  • Can't agree with this. Just got the mate 20 pro my first in screen fingerprint reader and I LOVE it!
    Works really well and fast!
    These tech bloggers are now at the point of measuring things a user would never even think about.
  • Need to go away? Why not we just let them improved on how it works?
  • I love the in-display scanner. It does miss sometimes but the convenience of having the scanner on the front plus the futuristic feel to it makes up for it
  • Hope the next generation will have a bigger sensor, covering a 1/3 of the screen so it will be easy to unlock the phone
  • The question people are overlooking is, "What problem is an in-screen FPS solving?" Options already exist for removing front FPS and reducing screen bezels: rear FPS, power-button FPS, face scanning, iris scanning... We now can add in-display FPS to the mix. Apple went with facial recognition and, in the process, introduced new features like Animoji/Memoji, which also leverage the face scanning technology. While perhaps those aren't must-have features, they're fun and, more importantly, they at least are another use for the technology. If I'm a consumer considering upgrading from an S8 or S9 to an S10, there is no net-new benefit from the in-display reader: the previous models already have minimal bezels and while some users might prefer a front FPS vs. a rear FPS, that's more personal preference than net-new benefit.
  • While I can agree that many are absolutely terrible (the Nokia 9 Pureview) some I've actually found to be good enough (the Oneplus 6t). My friends Galaxy S10+ honestly seemed somewhere in between. The larger question is if the S10 was truly the 1st in display sensor you have used, and if so why you believe that qualifies you to write an article about in display sensors in general. While that may sound harsh I wouldn't consider someone credible reviewing Android as an OS after using one device.
  • I wonder if LG's hand ID will be better? I'll get my coat.
  • Then don't use it. Sigh ...
  • Beautiful screen with a terrible finger print sensor, I’d rather have the notch with easy to open Face ID.
  • I find it misreads as much as the regular fingerprint readers. The goal of the ultrasonic is that it is harder to spoof and works better when your fingers are dirty or wet. I added a couple of the same finger as I used to do with iPhones fingerprint reader and I find it helps. For being first gen, it is cool and works as anyone who has used android for more than 6 months would expect.
  • This is awful journalism. The sort of rubbish I'd expect from a Murdoch owned newspaper, not Android Central. First gen tech is always slow and buggy. It is also always expensive. We techies know what we are getting into when we buy this stuff. These reviews are meant to give active criticism, that I understand, but this is just an outright attack. Give the technology time to mature please, it may pave the way for in screen cameras and finally a removal of notches and screen holes.
  • This is a fan site, not a news site. They aren't journalists. So WTF are you talking about?
  • Y'all need to calm down haha. It's the first implementation of this technology. You can't expect it to be perfect yet. Remember when cameras were first put into phones? They were trash compared to those already on the market. Should they have removed those? I think not. How about the first touchscreen phones? Unresponsive and inaccurate. Now look at them! Just give it some time 😊
  • I know someone with an S10+ and he's not having any problems with the fingerprint scanner. Either it's something that varies from phone to phone or from user to user, apparently.
  • I have problems with all fingerprint sensors. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Front mounted sensors would be more difficult for me to manage. At least a rear sensor is where I naturally want to put my finger, even if it doesn't always work.
  • I like front sensors. To me, the old iPhone round button on my iPhone 6S+ is ideal. It always works for me. Like I say below, I know someone with an S10+ who isn't having any problems, but I'd be happy with an ultrasonic in-display sensor even if it only worked 75% of the time. I just want it on the front.
  • I'm not sure that something so new should be written off so quickly. I don't think this feature needs to "go away". That's an impatient overreaction. The fingerprint scanner of the Galaxy S10 has improved already with a day one update and they have already promised more updates. There are use scenario variables including screen protectors; Some of them seem to work better than others, with the fingerprint scanner. So far with my use scenario of leaving the Samsung provided screen protector on and re-registering my fingerprints AFTER the update, I'm getting pretty good results. I hope it will get better, but it's certainly not to the "needs to go away" level.
  • Interesting post, but I disagree that the best place for a fingerprint sensor is the rear. For me, the best and most convenient place is on the front, below the screen - or, like on the S10e & Sony Xperias a few years ago, the side. I don't mind a phone having a chin, if it means I can unlock my phone with ease - like I could on my S7 - and also makes it easier to really 'grip' the phone when watching movies or playing games, without accidental screen touches. Despite my S9 Plus being a bigger phone, the rear-mounted sensor is not as convenient & is exactly the chore you mention - multiple failed attempts before phone unlocks.
  • No issues whatsoever with the onscreen sensor of my OnePlus 6T. Love it. Much more responsive than the fingerprint sensor on my old S7 Edge.
  • Instead of registering one fingerprint I've registered multiple prints of two fingers on the S10+
  • I really disagree. I guess I am lucky. On day 1, an update was available for my VZW S10 that supposedly improved the sensor. I don't know if it did, but I have had zero issues with it. I suspect a lot of the reviews were done before such an update was installed. Set up was easy and it just works, every time. It even worked fine when my thumb was kinda greasy from some food. I don't use it as much as perhaps others, since I use Google Smart Lock on the S10 with my Galaxy Watch, Bragi Dash Pros, and EarStudio ES100 (for car streaming) to keep it unlocked while paired to any of these devices. But I do use the fingerprint sensor at least several times a day and it has yet to fail. I vastly prefer it to the sensor being on the back of the phone. The only thing I had to adjust to was pushing down a bit to get most of my thumb on the display, instead of merely touching it. No biggie now that I know.
  • The only valid criticism in this is that the position is difficult to find with ease (takes time to get used to the reader's position. I've had the s10+ since launch -1, and I've still had issues where I placed my finger slightly too high, but it's SO much more convenient for me than the rear reader on my old OG Pixel. In particular, when it's mounted in my car and I need to unlock it to navigate someplace or select a new podcast to stream, etc. With the Pixel, my only option was to unlock via PIN because the reader was covered by the mount. The best experience would be both, a reader in the display and another on the back, giving the user more choice and versatility, but if I have to choose, 100% the in-display from now on.
  • I totally agree with your view.
    I think, In screen fingerprint
    0. Is unnecessary.
    1. Doesn't feel as satisfactory as when one touch a physical side button.
    2. Makes technology complicated. Technology itself should be simpler and make peoples' lives simpler.
    3. Makes it expensive hence, difficult to reach to common people. And hence, is make money oriented society rather than service oriented society.
    4. Make people blind by "WOOW" ness.
    5. Is a waste of money spend by company on research. I totally agree with side mounted fingerprint over back mounted.
  • "why not put it on the back or side of the phone?" For one thing, those sensors are not ultrasonic. So simple things like moist fingers (not even wet - moist is all you need) will cause the sensor to fail.
  • I simply cannot believe this article comes from a news editor, probably using a fruit phone himself.
    I own a S10+ and yes the scanner doesn't have 100% accuracy, sometimes it fails, yet sometimes it scans and unlocks just as fast as a traditional capacitive scanner, but if any tech that starts of finicky deserves to go away, we would probably still live in stone age now.
    The hardware is fine, it's just the algorithm that needs improvements, for now i noticed samsung's algorithm isn't smart enough to accommodate changes in finger ridges of different pressures applied, so it's important how you register your prints in the first place. Though yes i do think users shouldn't even need to worry how to register their prints.
  • no it is not. People, please quit believing these review clowns. the best way to comment something is to see and try it out in REAL LIFE. This post was really persuasive, which made me rethink about getting the S10. But I got opportunity to test it in my friends' device, It is wayy more better than other fingerprint sensors i tested. Underdisplay is the best option. It is really fast at recognizing. I dont even hold my finger there. just a quick tap and boom you're in. And all these "braggins" wont finish. Because it has a looong history. Like literally EVERY galaxy s8 review complained about the fingerprint sensor placement. I have S8+ and i gotta say it is REALLY comfortable. And I dont have "alien long" fingers. Yeah for the first few hours you misplace it, but after a while you get so used to it that you forget about that iris scanner (which im glad is removed because it caused eye strain personally.) Even with case, its impossible to misplace the camera with fingerprint scanner. But even without it i got used to it too fast and easy. I got even more examples, but if i kept talking about them too much it would never end. So dont believe those "trusted" source people. Just check it out yourself and get your very own conclusion.