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You told us: You're deeply torn over today's in-display fingerprint sensors

News
By
November 12, 2021
The Google Pixel 6 in-display fingerprint sensor close up
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

In-display fingerprint sensors are almost ubiquitous on modern flagship smartphones. Early solutions were pretty terrible, lagging behind traditional capacitive scanners placed on the back or side of devices. However, the technology has improved massively since then, bringing bolstered security and quicker operation. But what do you make of in-display fingerprint sensors today?

We posed this question to our readers in a recent poll, and the results are now in.

What do you think of today’s in-display fingerprint sensors?

Results

Nearly 2,600 votes were cast on this poll since it went live on November 9. We provided three possible answers, and surprisingly, all three almost received an equal share of the vote. While 31.6% of respondents feel in-display fingerprint sensors are “good now,” 30.1% feel the complete opposite. However, most readers think these sensors are “better” but aren’t as good as they should be.

The three-way split demonstrates how torn smartphone users are when it comes to in-display fingerprint sensor performance. Not all sensors are made the same, and some solutions will naturally be better than others. Readers’ opinions will be shaped by the devices they own.

Judging by the comments, many readers would prefer the return of the capacitive fingerprint scanner. Peruse more views below.

Your comments

  • Kira: Basically form over function, which I am not a fan of. In-display fingerprint sensors are almost always slower to unlock, less consistent, and harder to reach as compared to traditional ones located either on the sides or the backs of phones. The only thing going their way is that they look cool and futuristic, at least when they started becoming common since 2018.
  • yassin sherif: Power Button-mounted fingerprint scanners are elite IMO. I’ve seen them on some midrange Samsung phones and they just make sense. They’re fast and reliable. On some phones, they also support swipe gestures. And I assume they’re cheaper to implement than in-display sensors. I don’t really see a downside. I personally use an S20+ with the ultrasonic sensor and it works fine but it’s not nearly as reliable as the other rear and side-mounted ones.
  • Brian Fowler: As far as I can tell they are still slower and more prone to not working than rear-mounted ones from a couple of years ago. And I personally found having it on the back more or less right where I naturally rest my finger simpler as well.
  • nigel coldwell: I prefer them located on the back. It’s the perfect location for pressing in one action when taking it out of your pocket.
  • jimv1983: I’d still rather have a rear capacitive fingerprint sensor but I’d definitely take an under the screen fingerprint sensor over face unlock. Face unlock sucks.
  • deltatux: They’re usable but a rear-mounted or side-mounted physical sensor is the faster and more accurate choice. I do miss my rear-mounted sensor, especially when you can use it to pull down the notification shade.

That’s it for this poll. Thanks for your votes and comments. If you have any additional thoughts about in-display fingerprint sensors or the poll results, be sure to drop a comment below.