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Report: Galaxy S6 to feature improved touch-based fingerprint sensor

Samsung first used a swipe-based fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5 and continued with the Note 4. If this report from SamMobile is accurate, the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S6 will be larger and touch-based, which should improve accuracy and ease of use.
By
January 16, 2015
Spigen Screen Protector 0.2mm Ultra Nano Slim Samsung Galaxy S5-11

Fingerprint sensors have been a controversial addition to the feature set of modern smartphones, but as the technology evolves, it’s gaining acceptance as a convenient solution to the problem of securing our devices.

Samsung first used a swipe-based fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5 and continued with the Note 4. If this report from SamMobile is accurate, the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S6 will be larger and touch-based, which should improve accuracy and ease of use.

A little recap on the difference between touch and swipe sensors: as the name implies, the former type requires the user to simply place their finger on the sensor, while the latter requires the user to actually move their finger vertically so more of the fingerprint is scanned and registered. The difference is small, but in practice, touch-based sensors are not only faster to use, but they require fewer tries to unlock.

Apple is championing touch-based sensors with their Touch ID system embedded on the iPhone, but some Android companies have adopted it as well – for instance, the Ascend Mate 7, which I currently use, uses a touch fingerprint sensor mounted on the back that works really well and is faster and more convenient than pushing the power button and entering a code or pattern.

huawei ascend mate 7 unboxing initial setup aa (3 of 20)

Samsung (as well as HTC, on the One Max) opted for a swipe-based system, that some users complained didn’t work very well. If the report is accurate, that could be a thing of the past on the next Galaxy S6, expected to launch at MWC in early March.

According to the same report, all the software features taking advantage of the fingerprint sensor will be returning to the Galaxy S6. That includes Pay with PayPal, which lets you sign in to PayPal from mobile with just a swipe. A recent report claimed that Samsung is trimming down software features, but it seems that this particular corner of TouchWiz will be spared the spring cleaning.

For an up to date roundup of Galaxy S6 rumors, check out our roundup.

What’s your experience with fingerprint sensors, both on Samsung and on other devices?