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Samsung Galaxy S10 to Feature Optical Fingerprint Scanner, Expected Launch in February 2019

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Huawei announced the Mate 20 Pro with an in-display fingerprint sensor it is Samsung’s turn to hit back. According to a report by LetsGoDigital, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is expected at the start of 2019. Although this phone will have more unique features, it seems to be the first Samsung smartphone with a fingerprint scanner behind the screen.

Samsung Galaxy S10

It has long been assumed that Samsung will use the Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner from Qualcomm for the next flagship device, the Galaxy S10. In addition, two Galaxy smartphones would follow in 2019 with an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, as reported by the generally reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo halfway through this year.

Strangely enough, however, we see that the Korean manufacturer is increasingly applying for patents for an in-display fingerprint scanner. Did Samsung decide to develop an in-display sensor?

Samsung smartphone with an optical fingerprint scanner behind the display

This time it is a patent for a ‘Biometric sensor and device including the same’. The patent from Samsung Electronics was requested in April this year and was published by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) on 18 October 2018. The patent describes an optical sensor and therefore no ultrasonic sensor. This was also the case with the patent that was discussed last month by our colleagues at Android Headlines. But then it was about countering false fingerprints.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Patent

This time, the patent focuses on the placement of the sensor. A disadvantage of an optical sensor is that a certain distance between the display and the sensor must be maintained. As a result of shocks or aging, this distance may vary in the long run, which may impair the performance of the sensor, as the patent describes. To prevent this, the fingerprint scanner is mounted on a printed circuit board, in which an opening is formed for the sensor. In this way, the fingerprint sensor can be placed at a safe distance from the display.

The fact that more and more patents are being requested by Samsung regarding an in-display fingerprint scanner seems to indicate that the Korean manufacturer is increasingly looking to develop such a sensor instead of buying it from a third party. Remarkable here is that Samsung has only applied for patents for an optical sensor. This is the same type of sensor as that of Goodix, which are used by Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi.

An ultrasonic sensor has a number of advantages, so it is theoretically possible to use the entire display as a fingerprint scanner. An ultrasonic sensor also works better if the screen is dirty or wet. Nonetheless, an ultrasonic sensor can deteriorate against temperature fluctuations and wind. An optical sensor is also faster and more accurate. It is possible that Samsung will opt for an optical sensor.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Smartphone

The Galaxy S10 is expected around February 2019, so we will have to wait a bit before we can buy a Samsung smartphone with an in-display fingerprint scanner.


Samsung Electronics has filed a patent with WIPO for a ‘Biometric sensor and device including the same’. The patent was published on October 18, 2018, and describes the use of optical in-screen fingerprint scanner.

When using an optical sensor it is necessary to maintain a constant distance between the sensor and the display. Due to external shocks and aging, the distance between the sensor and the sensor may vary. To prevent this, the fingerprint scanner is disposed on the printed circuit board, in which an opening is formed for the sensor. In this way, the fingerprint sensor can be placed at a safe distance from the display.

Lately, Samsung has applied for various in-display fingerprint scanner patents. Could this indicate the Korean company is developing a fingerprint scanner by themselves? Remarkably all of these patents have an optical sensor, instead of an ultrasonic sensor.

An ultrasonic sensor has a few advantages, theoretically, the entire display could be used as a fingerprint scanner and an ultrasonic sensor works better when the display is wet or dirty. However, ultrasonic sensors are more susceptible to temperature fluctuations and wind. Also, an optical sensor is faster and more accurate. Could this be the reason for Samsung to incorporate an optical sensor after all?


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