Samsung might have a secret in store for its upcoming Galaxy S9 facial scanner.
Senior XDA member "mweinbach" was analyzing the APK for the Settings app in the Galaxy Note 8's new Android Oreo update and discovered a reference to a new feature called "Intelligent Scan," he said. Realizing that the Galaxy Note 8 already comes with its own iris and face scanners and no Intelligent Scan," the XDA member reasoned that it could be making its way to the Galaxy S9.
But there's more to it than that. The XDA member, whose claims were earlier reported on by SamMobile, said that Samsung had hidden a brief help video to acquaint users with the new feature. The seven-second clip shows a cartoon figure holding a phone in front of his face. One of the beams from the phone focuses on his eyes and the other on his face. The feature appears to work just as well in daylight as nighttime.
The company's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 come with 2D face scanners that don't work as well and are not as secure as Apple iPhone X's Face ID, which features 3D scanning. Samsung was hoping to get 3D scanning to the Galaxy S9, according to reports, but failed after it was met with technological challenges.
The new Intelligent Scan, however, could be Samsung's answer to Face ID. With Intelligent Scan, Samsung would be combining the scanning capabilities of its Iris Scanner and Face Scanner to create a dual scan. It appears that the Galaxy S9 would only unlock if both the iris and face match the data the phone has on file.
Samsung hasn't discussed the feature and it's unknown just how much of an improvement it would deliver. Since the face scanner is still 2D in the Galaxy S9, it still leaves open the possibility of being duped.
We'll find out for sure when Samsung announces the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on Feb. 25. Once it's announced, the handset is expected to be made available for pre-order in early March and go on sale in mid-March.