Since last year, tech nerds were all hyped up about the Synaptics fingerprint scanner. Finally the “James Bond” like fingerprint sensor would be available to the masses, and we were expecting Samsung to be one of the first to unveil it here in the States. So you could imagine our reaction when Samsung left it out of the Galaxy S9. And then after they passed on putting it in the Note 9, despite other manufacturers giving it a try, it seemed like Samsung was just holding back. Now that I have my One Plus 6T in hand, here are my thoughts on the under glass fingerprint scanner.
Let’s start with the obvious, yes it works. Not only does it work, but it looks as cool as you can imagine. This is that “Iron Man” tech that people are wanting to sport, because it just looks so cool. Put your finger on your screen, and the phone unlocks. So why in the world would Samsung pass on this?
As cool as the under glass fingerprint scanner is, it is not a better option than the current scanner. Some of the limitations I have noticed with my One Plus 6T was how slow the unlocking process was at times. For the One Plus 6T, it makes up for that with its super fast face unlock. But for everyday use, the time it takes to unlock, as well as it just not unlocking at times, will frustrate users. Cool tech wears off it do not provide a better experience than the current method. And right now it doesn’t. Some of the issues I faced are issues that are not a problem with my current phone.
An example of an issue has to be at night. Many of us use our phones as an alarm clock. But there are a few times you want to grab your phone to take a note, or to check on something. With my Pixel phone, which uses the standard back panel scanner, I can unlock my phone by touching the scanner, whether dark or light, without blinding me with a bright screen. The One Plus 6T cranks the brightness as the screen reads your fingerprint. You can imagine how annoying that could get.
So after using the under glass fingerprint scanner, I understand now why Samsung passed on it. The current scanner found on phones are just better. This not an indictment on the under glass scanners, the technology is still new. And it is going to take at least a year, or two, to make the technology as efficient as the current fingerprint sensors.
Overall I think the technology is cool. It is one of those things you can’t wait to show off around people, especially those who do not follow tech. But at the end of the day, I would rather have my fingerprint sensor on my Pixel. It’s fast, work every time, and isn’t distracting in a dark environment.