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Samsung Galaxy S10 in-display fingerprint sensor will survive scratches, but not cracks

JerryRigEverything's stress test shows that the Galaxy S10's new in-screen fingerprint sensor can work with a lightly damaged display.

Published onMarch 1, 2019

Both the new Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10 Plus have in-display fingerprint sensors that use ultrasonic technology. In other words, it uses high-frequency sound waves to read your unique fingerprint pattern. But will this new and cool tech work if the phone’s screen gets scratched or cracked?

That’s the question posed by the folks at the JerryRigEverything. In the channel’s latest video, Zack Nelson tests the durability of a standard Samsung Galaxy S10. The video demonstrates that Samsung’s handset can handle a bend test without sustaining damage. Additionally, the display showed no apparent harm after a flame was held to it for roughly 30 seconds.

We don’t recommend you abuse your phone in this way at all.

But what about if the display gets a lot of scratches, or even breaks, around the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor? In the video, we see the screen first get hit with more scratches than is normally possible with regular wear and tear. The good news is that even with lots of scratches, the fingerprint sensor still works 100 percent.

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Samsung Galaxy S10 front

However, that changed when Nelson put deeper grooves into the Galaxy S10’s display to simulate a cracked glass screen. After that damage was inflicted, the in-screen fingerprint sensor failed to work. The bottom line? Don’t drop the phone and crack your Galaxy S10’s display in the lower half or you might need some other way to unlock your phone. That may be part of the reason why Samsung chose to install its own screen protector on the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus.

The Galaxy s10 series is scheduled to start shipping March 8, and you can pre-order them directly from Samsung. What do you think of the phone’s use of the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor as opposed to an optical-based scanner?

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