Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30, OnePlus 7: full-screen fingerprint readers ready for 2019

If you're going to do in-screen fingerprint readers, then this is the way to do it

Samsung Galaxy S10 fingerprint scanner

Next year, we'll see full-screen fingerprint recognition in smartphones. That's what Twitter user Ice Universe, who dedicates much of their Twitter timeline to leaking information about upcoming Samsung flagship phones, recently tweeted.

So is Ice Universe telling us that this new tech will be coming to a 2019 Samsung Galaxy handset? It seems very possible.

It's an open secret that Samsung is working on an in-screen fingerprint reader. The feature was apparently dropped from this year's new Note 9 as Samsung needed more time to get it working properly and it's now said to be making its debut on the Galaxy S10, which launches in early 2019.

In the light of patent applications by Samsung, it looked as though the in-screen fingerprint reader on the Galaxy 10 would be placed towards the bottom of the screen. That would mean that you would need prompting to know exactly where to place your finger, as detailed in this earlier patent application and this video render.

Now it seems that the new Galaxy could arrive with a system that's much quicker and easier to use. Instead of having to delicately prod at your phone until your fingertip hits the precise spot where the reader is buried beneath the screen, you'll be able to tap anywhere on the screen – without even looking at it, imagine that! – and the handset will spring into life.

This would be a far better solution. It's not the stuff of fevered dreams of a technological utopia or the overactive imagination of someone on Twitter, either. The Vivo Apex, which was first shown at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, has an in-screen fingerprint reader that works across about half of the display. A full-screen fingerprint scanner would simply enable Samsung to take things to the next logical level. A better level that would make us all happier.

What if Samsung decides not to integrate this super-useful version of fingerprint recognition into its next Galaxy S handset or if another phone maker snaps it up first? Given the pace of innovation coming from Chinese handset manufacturers at the moment, we can easily see it coming to the 5G Huawei P30 or the 5G OnePlus 7 instead.

So whatever happens, it looks as though next year we'll be able to buy an Android smartphone that we can unlock with a randomly placed fingertip anywhere on the screen while we look the other way.

Isn't progress brilliant? Now the race is on to see who can offer it first.

Lead image credit: Getty

Paul Douglas
Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director, Future

Paul Douglas is Global Digital Editorial Strategy Director at Future and has worked in publishing for over 25 years. He worked in print for over 10 years on various computing titles including .net magazine and the Official Windows Magazine before moving to in 2008, eventually becoming Global Editor-in-Chief for the brand, overseeing teams in the US, UK and Australia. Following that, Paul has been Global Editor-in-Chief of BikeRadar and T3 (not at the same time) and later Content Director working on T3, TechRadar and Tom's Guide. In 2021, Paul also worked on the launches of and PetsRadar.