Galaxy Note 9 may get under-display fingerprint sensor, replace back-mounted sensor

The Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8 are Samsung’s best “Galaxies,” but there’s one controversial point about them that has persisted since VentureBeat reporter Evan Blass leaked the first official photo of the Galaxy S8: that is, the back-mounted fingerprint sensor.

The photo leak from Blass seemed unbelievable at the time, particularly because of Samsung’s use of the front-mounted, fingerprint sensor-embedded home button on earlier Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models (including the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and the Galaxy Note Fan Edition (Note FE). And yet, Samsung said that its decision to place the fingerprint sensor on the back was a last-minute design change to accommodate the OEM’s Infinity Display on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Well, the beginning of 2018 may bear the same disappointing result as Samsung’s 2017 lineup, as the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ could ship in January (too early for any major design changes). The Galaxy Note 9, however, could prove to be the phone to own, as a new report from KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the Galaxy Note 9 could be the first high-end Android-powered smartphone to get the under-display, optical fingerprint sensor.

Ming-Chi Kuo, in his analyst report, says that a few companies are potential manufacturers of the upcoming under-display fingerprint sensor: Synaptics is one, but their association with Apple and Apple’s own plans in the same department may prevent them from being of any use to Samsung. Synaptics was in talks with Samsung when it was rumored that the Galaxy S8 could boast the feature, but it never happened.

Samsung LSI, Samsung’s own subsidiary that has produced the company’s ISOCELL camera sensors in years past, may be a key company behind the production of the under-display sensor; after all, Samsung would want to save some money, and using its own workers to produce the sensor would cut costs while making the Korean giant even more self-sufficient in its phone technologies. Samsung already makes its own AMOLED panels (deemed the best in the business by top panel experts), produced Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC with its own 10-nm FinFET process, RAM chips, batteries, smartphone antennas, and its iris cameras for the iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Adding “under-display sensor” to its list of capabilities wouldn’t hurt.

Two other companies in the mix are BeyondEyes and Egis, the company known for supplying standard fingerprint sensors to Samsung as they have in days past. Kuo says that BeyondEyes has already shipped optical fingerprint sensor samples to Samsung, which means that the company could very well have won contract agreements for next year’s Galaxy Note 9.

The under-display, optical fingerprint sensor would prove to be a welcome change for Samsung customers who disagree with the current, adjacent camera position of the back-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Implementing an under-display, optical fingerprint sensor would allow manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple to maintain bezel-less smartphone designs while making the most of tall smartphone displays. Since customers have grown accustomed to touch screens, physical buttons on smartphones will soon become obsolete. And the death of the fingerprint sensor-embedded home button is just the beginning of more changes to come.

SOURCE [Business Insider]

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