Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

A brand you’ve never heard of will release the first phone with an in-screen fingerprint sensor

Synaptics Clear ID

A few days ago, Synaptics announced that it’s ready to mass-produce a fingerprint sensor that can be placed under the display of a smartphone, teasing that a top five smartphone maker is going to use the technology later this year. Synaptics’ press release made it look like Samsung may be the first company to make use of its technology. But it looks like that won’t be the case, as a new report reveals the company that will make this hotly anticipated handset… and if you’re in the United States, you’ve probably never even heard of it.

Apple last year was expected to place the Touch ID sensor under the iPhone X’s display, but that never happened. Apple later said that it never intended to include both fingerprint and 3D face recognition sensors in the iPhone X, signaling the death of fingerprint sensors inside iPhones.

More recent reports said that the Galaxy Note 9 will be the first Samsung handset to have a fingerprint sensor under the screen, and then Synaptics’ announcement came along, suggesting there’s a chance the Galaxy S9 will make use of its technology. Since then, we’ve seen a bunch of leaks that show the Galaxy S9 will be a Galaxy S8 with a redesigned back when it comes to design. The fingerprint sensor is also placed on the back.

Meanwhile, Forbes claims to have learned that Vivo will make the first smartphone to use Synaptics’ Clear ID sensor.

Vivo, a company whose name might not be familiar to you, is actually a top-five smartphone maker thanks to its large presence in Chine. Forbes contributor Patrick Moorhead got to test the Clear ID sensor:

The Clear ID experience was fast and simple- I pressed the right side button to wake, a fingerprint image illuminated at the bottom of the phone, I touched it, and it let me in. I am expecting Vivo to modify the experience, so I just have to “hold to wake” so I do not even have to use the button.

That’s pretty much you can expect from this sensor, and you’ll have to take his word for it for the time being.

It’s unclear when Vivo’s phone will be released, but it might not make it to all markets. Even so, Synaptics is ready to ship 70 million sensor units next year, and it’s unlikely that Vivo will buy them all.

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.