Using the world’s first phone with a fingerprint scanner built into the display was as awesome as I hoped it would be.
There’s no home button breaking up your screen space, and no fumbling for a reader on the phone’s back. I simply pressed my index finger on the phone screen in the place where the home button would be. The screen registered my digit, then spun up a spiderweb of blue light in a pattern that instantly brings computer circuits to mind. I was in.
Such a simple, elegant harbinger of things to come: a home button that appears only when you need it and then gets out of the way. I would bet several Bitcoins that in-display fingerprint sensors become one of 2018’s biggest phone trends, starting with high-end devices like the rumored Samsung Galaxy S9.
How in-display fingerprint readers work
In fact, the fingerprint sensor — made by sensor company Synaptics — lives beneath the 6-inch OLED display. That’s the “screen” you’re actually looking at beneath the cover glass. You can see it in our photos here.
When your fingertip hits the target, the sensor array turns on the display to light your finger, and only your finger. The image of your print makes its way to an optical image sensor beneath the display.
It’s then run through an AI processor that’s trained to recognize 300 different characteristics of your digit, like how close the ridges of your fingers are. It’s a different kind of technology than what most readers use in today’s phones.
Synaptics, which demoed the Vivo phone in a crowded booth at the back of an interminable hallway, says that the fingerprint reader won’t suck up much more battery by illuminating your finger, promising that its power management is equal to industry standards.
The world’s first phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor is here
For years, rumors have circulated about companies like Samsung and Apple attempting to integrate fingerprint sensors into their smartphones’ displays — and now someone’s actually gone and done it. Vivo, a major Chinese smartphone brand owned by the same company behind Oppo and OnePlus, has announced the X20 Plus UD, the first ever smartphone to ship with the technology.
The demand for in-display fingerprint sensors has grown as phone design evolves in the direction of slimmer bezels and screens taking up almost all of the front of the device. Some companies, like Samsung and Google, have gotten around this by placing the fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone, which can be less convenient; Apple, meanwhile, engineered its Face ID system on the iPhone X so that it could abandon fingerprint authentication altogether.
Reveiws about Built-in Display Fingerprint a gadget introduce by VIVO
In a post for Forbes, analyst Patrick Moorhead detailed his experience with a pre-production Vivo phone equipped with the technology. Moorhead describes the sensor as “fast and simple,” while Synaptics claims it’s twice as fast as 3D facial recognition like Apple’s Face ID — though that’d be a hard thing to realistically measure considering the different mechanisms that each system uses in practice.