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Galaxy S10 Will Get Qualcomm's Best In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor (Report)

Samsung has signed a deal with Qualcomm to finally bundle an in-screen fingerprint sensor in its upcoming Galaxy S10, according to a new report.

The Vivo Nex S has a in-screen fingerprint sensor, but it's not reliable. (Credit: Tom's Guide)

(Image credit: The Vivo Nex S has a in-screen fingerprint sensor, but it's not reliable. (Credit: Tom's Guide))

The Korean tech giant has decided to use the best Qualcomm in-screen fingerprint sensor available to supply biometric support for next year's Galaxy S10, ETNews is reporting, citing sources. The report, which was earlier discovered by SamMobile, adds that Samsung is opting for the third-generation version of the sensor, which is believed to be more reliable and generally faster than its predecessor.

Samsung has been rumored since the Galaxy S8 to be thinking about bundling a virtual fingerprint sensor in its smartphones. However, in 2017, the company found that the technology wasn't yet ready and couldn't get it to reliably work. As its work continued with the Galaxy Note 8 last year and the Galaxy S9 line this year, Samsung again decided against a virtual sensor and instead went with a physical sensor on the back of the device.
The Galaxy Note 9 that launched recently also has a physical sensor.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy S10 Rumors: Everything You Need to Know

It's unclear exactly how well the fingerprint sensor might work. However, Qualcomm has touted its technology as a reliable alternative to physical options. It uses ultrasonic pulses and sensors to get a 3D model of the ridges of your fingertips and compares those results to the fingerprint it has on file. The 3D representation means the sensor should be less likely of being duped than 2D alternatives.

Rumors have been swirling for months that Samsung has decided to reserve its virtual sensor for the Galaxy S10 it plans to launch early next year. That device, according to reports, will come with a variety of upgrades over the Galaxy S9, including a new design, better software, and improved cameras. It'll also be more powerful than this year's models. Adding a virtual fingerprint sensor to the device — a first for a Samsung smartphone — could cement its place as a major upgrade.

The upcoming iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone Xc (rumored names) aren't expected to offer a fingerprint sensor. Instead, they will all likely stick with Apple's Face ID unlocking feature. But Apple may decide to deliver an in-screen fingerprint sensor for its 2019 iPhones.

Looking ahead, there's some debate over exactly when Samsung could launch the Galaxy S10. Some reports have pegged its release at CES in January and others say Samsung could wait until February for Mobile World Congress.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.