Hands On With the Vivo Phone's In-Display Fingerprint Scanner

Pat Wise
January 12, 2018

Back in December we heard that Synpatics in display fingerprint scanner had entered production and now Vivo has shown off a new smartphone with the technology at CES.

It's really nerdy stuff - all you really need to know is that phones with fingerprint sensors on the front are back again.

The Vivo smartphone is using an optical sensor from California-based Synaptics.

"We are excited to announce Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors because they can be created to support sleeker, cutting-edge form factors, unique mobile authentication experiences, and enhanced security authentication", said Seshu Madhavapeddy, Qualcomm Technologies's vice president of product management.

Until then, what do you think of the under-screen fingerprint scanner?

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The actual phone that we demoed with vivo is still not finalized. According to The Verge, this new sensor works similar to normal fingerprint reader but it is not very fast. Last month, though, Synaptics, the company behind many of your laptop's trackpads and other input devices, unveiled an in-screen fingerprint sensor called the Clear ID (pictured). "Today's showcase of a ready-to-produce in-display fingerprint scanning smartphone featuring an optical fingerprint sensor is a big leap forward in bringing consumers this long-awaited, futuristic mobile experience". Gone will be the days when smartphone vendors have to choose between placing the fingerprint reader in the home button, behind the phone, or ditching it altogether for facial ID as Apple has done. But if you tilt the phone up to activate the "lift to wake" mode, the OLED screen shows an always-on clock and gives you a nice little animation when you press into it. That way, you'll be able to place your fingers anywhere to unlock the phone.

That's not to say it worked all the time, though - at first the sensor often didn't recognize my finger.

In-display fingerprint scanner was long awaited by smartphone fraternities since the advent of bezel-less displays.

A Vivo spokesperson told me the company picked that location because people were used to it.

The Face ID on the new iPhone X is good, but it does fail at times. This is an awkward location of the fingerprint sensor, leading to many users smudging the rear cameras with their fingers because they mistake it for the fingerprint sensor. Like right now, when it's freezing in NY and I usually have a scarf covering half my face, and Face ID won't work.

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