Skip to main content

Galaxy Note 9 Getting In-Screen Fingerprint Reader After All?

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ give you multiple ways to unlock the phone, but none of them are great. The fingerprint sensor is on the back of the device, which is awkward to reach (even with the new location). And the new Intelligent Scan feature that combines iris scanning and facial recognition isn't secure enough to authenticate payments.

But the Galaxy Note 9 could make your life a lot easier.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

According to a new report from the Korea Herald and spotted by BGR, Samsung Display is prepping "three or four solutions for Samsung Electronics to embed the fingerprint sensor inside of the main display."

Apparently, a final decision on how this technology will be adopted in the handset will be made by the end of this month. And that's cutting it pretty close, given that Samsung will need to start production pretty soon in order to have the Note 9 on shelves in time for its purported August release.

MORE: Galaxy Note 9 Could Beat iPhone X With This

The Galaxy Note 9 wouldn't be the first handset with this technology. We've already gone hands on with the Vivo X20 Plus UD, which leverages a fingerprint sensor inside the display made by Synaptics. The reader pops up on the display when you have to unlock the phone or verify a payment but otherwise stays hidden.

Vivo's phone, however, likely won't be sold in the United States, so it's possible the Galaxy Note 9 will be the first to boast an in-screen fingerprint sensor stateside.

Huawei also reportedly is working on smartphones with a similar feature, but that brand reportedly just got dropped by Best Buy. And that comes after government officials warned not to buy the company's handsets over security concerns.

As for Samsung, it's not pushing for this innovation just to be among the first. The Korea Herald report says that ditching the fingerprint sensor on the back will allow the company to offer a larger capacity battery on the Note 9.

Given that Apple apparently has a two-year lead with its Face ID technology, and that the supply of the necessary lasers to pull it off is becoming scarce, it makes sense that Samsung would go in this direction But it remains to be seen if the company can pull it off in time.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for nearly 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.