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Sorry, Samsung fans: The Galaxy S9 won’t get an under-screen fingerprint sensor

Published Nov 28th, 2017 10:36AM EST
Galaxy S9 Rumors
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

The Galaxy S9 is coming in early January, various recent reports claimed, as Samsung looks to introduce the new smartphone at CES 2018, more than a month earlier than the expected MWC launch. The iPhone X’s popularity is apparently to blame, as Samsung is looking to release a competitor as fast as possible.

The same reports already revealed plenty of details about the phone’s hardware, suggesting that the Galaxy S9+ will be the only device to sport a dual camera on the back. They also claimed that the new phones will have the same general design as their predecessor. A new report now says the Galaxy S9 will indeed get a new fingerprint sensor, but it’s not the kind of fingerprint sensor you might want.

Let’s face it, placing a fingerprint sensor under the display, like many iPhone X rumors said this year, is a totally cool feature, especially for tech fans. Being able to use a surface to scan fingerprints and project images is brilliant, at least on paper. In real life, it’s apparently challenging to achieve. Even for Apple and Samsung. In fact, Apple will tell you that it never considered such a solution for the iPhone X to begin with and that Touch ID sensors are more or less dead now that Face ID is here.

The Galaxy S9 will have a traditional fingerprint sensor, and it’ll be placed on the back of the handset, just like the Galaxy S8. However, the sensor will have a central location which should make it a lot more accessible. It’s also supposed to be a brand-new fingerprint sensor, according to Korean-language ETNews, which says that Samsung plans to ink a deal with a Taiwanese supplier for the Galaxy S9.

The report says the final contract was not signed, but that should happen soon. The report also adds that the sensor will be placed on the rear case, though this is old news since BGR exclusively confirmed the Galaxy S9’s new design last week. It’s unclear what caused this particular change, and whether the new sensor is in any way superior to the one used in the Galaxy S8 series.

ETNews also notes the phone will come with iris scanning technology but makes no mention of a 3D facial recognition system that would rival the iPhone X’s Face ID camera. Instead, the report says the phone will have a regular camera and an iris recognition camera on the front.

Finally, ETNews says that Galaxy S9 mass-production will start in January.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.