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OnePlus details the history of the most exciting feature of the OnePlus 6T

Published Oct 3rd, 2018 5:09PM EDT
OnePlus 6T Screen Unlock
Image: OnePlus

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While Apple, Google, and Samsung repeatedly try and fail to keep even the smallest details about their new phones under wraps until they’re officially unveiled, OnePlus is taking a different approach. The Chinese vendor has managed to carve out a rather impressive niche for itself over the past several years, and one element of its strategy that keeps fans engaged from generation to generation is its willingness to be open with the community.

For example, on Wednesday, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau shared an extensive forum post about the story behind Screen Unlock, which is shaping up to be one of the premiere features of the upcoming OnePlus 6T. Rather than force users to wait until later this month, OnePlus is ready to start spilling the beans ahead of the reveal.

If you’ve been keeping up with all of the OnePlus leaks (and subsequent confirmations from the company), you’re likely aware of the fact that the OnePlus 6T will feature an in-display fingerprint sensor called Screen Unlock. If you want to know exactly how it works and how it keeps your phone secure, here’s Lau’s explanation:

Screen Unlock is much more than a module attached to the back of the screen, it encompasses a wide array of software processes and hardware components that were carefully tuned to work perfectly with the OnePlus 6T. It all starts with a new optical fingerprint module, which houses a small lens that can accurately register your fingerprint as it presses down on the cover glass.

The screen is used as a light source to enhance the outline of your fingerprint, enabling the sensor to accurately read its exact dimensions and shape. We use a dedicated ‘Trust Zone’ found in the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 to store your fingerprint information, which serves as an isolated virtual space for the sake of confidentiality. Whenever Screen Unlock is used, your fingerprint is compared to the information stored in the Trust Zone to ensure authenticity and actively defend against false patterns.

The CEO goes on to say that the company spent months shaving milliseconds off the unlock time, which is the one drawback I experienced when I demoed an in-display fingerprint sensor for the first time earlier this year. OnePlus claims that Screen Unlock isn’t just fast, but delivers “unmatched speed and convenience.”

Screen Unlock was initially intended for the OnePlus 5T, but Lau says that the recognition rate wasn’t high enough to ship the phone with the feature in tow. Nearly a year later though, Screen Unlock is ready for action, and we’ll be able to see it in action when OnePlus unveils the 6T on October 17th.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.