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Opinion

Samsung probably isn’t done fixing its fingerprint sensor problem yet

Yes, this is yet another of those articles about Samsung’s fingerprint sensor, although it’s been a while since we had much reason to complain. But recently leaked renders of the Galaxy S10e that confirm a side-mounted sensor embedded in the power button have made me realize Samsung isn’t done fixing its fingerprint sensor problem, at least not completely.

The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ are getting an in-display fingerprint sensor, and it looks to be quite ergonomically placed based on the freshly leaked images of an actual S10+. But at the same time, it seems the power button on the Galaxy S10e is placed a bit too high up. Now, I realize that the smaller bezels mean the Galaxy S10e will be more compact compared to the Galaxy S9 despite a 5.8-inch screen on both. It’s still a cause for concern, though.

I personally would never go for the smaller Galaxy S flagship and it will be the same this year, but how is it that Samsung continues to have issues with placing the fingerprint sensor in the ideal location?Β It was two years ago that the Galaxy S8 came along and asked us to adjust to a sensor placement that mostly favored those with ET-like fingers. Here in 2019, it looks like the problem isn’t completely solved.

Worse still, there is not going to an iris sensor on this year’s flagships. Fingerprint and facial recognition are going to be the only two options (and we all know facial recognition is far from the quickest or most accurate biometric method). I sure am hoping I’m wrong and the Galaxy S10e allows easy access to the fingerprint sensor for people of varying hand sizes. But, if it doesn’t, it may just end up defeating the purpose of a compact flagship.

What do you think?

  • Model: SM-G970F
  • Dimensions:
  • Display: 5.8” (146.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS F1.5 & 16MP, CMOS F2.2 Ultra Wide

32 Comments

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aroutis
aroutis

I think that you’re jumping the ship on this one, since the device is not yet out. Once it is, and people can actually get the device in their hands, they can judge for themselves as to if they can handle the position of the power button and if it’s good for them or if it should ‘ve been in a better position.

iceguyver
iceguyver

I have to say the best placement, which Samsung has come up with so far has to be where it is placed on the Samsung Galaxy S8 series and the Note 8. While I did think on the time of release that it would be a very bad place for a fingerprint scanner. However when I upgraded from my Note 4 to the Note 8. I was able to get use to the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Note 8 very quickly and easily. I was plesantly surprised that I could use the fingerprint scanner on my Note… Read more »

Bobbingalong
Bobbingalong

I would say wait and see when it comes out. But I actually don’t think this is an issue at all. For example if you think pragmatically about the actual size of the phone being an s8 without the top and majority of the bottom bezel. Therefore, if you line up the s10e and s8/9 flat on the bottom then the actual placement of the power button will be the similar height where the current power button resides on the s8 or s9 which is perfect height for most users. also need to take into condition that the fps is… Read more »

Anthony17
Anthony17

The fingerprint scanner placement in my opinion is ok, it’s in the natural position where we naturally stretch our thumb to unlock our phone’s, and as most comments say, there is no perfect location for the fingerprint scanner, since we all do not have the same size of hands.

emafixetf3
emafixetf3

For me, the best place where in the home button like in the S7. But now that’s not possible. So now I think the best solution is under the display.

Gunter2
Gunter2

There is no correct place. I have my first Samsung phone, S9 plus. I must reach my finger down to touch the fingerprint sensor which is a little awkward for me. I just tried my colleagues S8 plus and the higher fingerprint sensor is actually better for me. I have normal sized hands for an average German person and that placement looks ok. I think most northern Europeans will find this placement fine and in the US where people tend to be big it will be fine. The fact is no placement can ever suit everyone, it depends on hand… Read more »

Biransahin
Biransahin

The shoes is a very good analogy Gunter. I would probably find it perfect, but my wife wouldn’t. However there are alternatives such as facial recognition or pin, and even keeping the phone unlocked with your smartwatch if you have one. It’s not like you need to rely on only one method.

Biransahin
Biransahin

It all depends on the actual feel of the phone in the hand and just as importantly and impossible to guess, the length of an individuals finger, size of his or her hand and how they hold the phone. Ironically with all the complaints about the Note8 fingerprint sensor, I have big hands and my finger touched the sensor on the Note8 very naturally. Now with my Note9, I have to crook my finger to reach down to the sensor. The placement here seems to look OK for people with normal sized or bigger hands but possibly inconvenient for those… Read more »

Gunter2
Gunter2

Exactly mt point. There is no correct place unless we are all clones and the same size.

Gunter2
Gunter2

Oh by the way, the whole frame as a fingerprint sensor would be a great idea! You should get a patent! LOL. Of course there will still be people complaining that the frame is too flat, or too round. Some people just like to find things to complain about!

Biransahin
Biransahin

Ah well, that’s true enough. We are all naturally selfish when we spend money and as you said unfortunately we cannot buy a phone to suit our personal preference like we can shoes or a pair of jeans. I can imagine people with short fingers not liking this, but they don’t have to buy this phone, they can get another model or another brand. Nobody holds a gun to their heads. If it doesn’t suit you, just move on.

Gunter2
Gunter2

Yes. πŸ™‚

djcbs
djcbs

The S10 Lite is everything BUT a Compact flagship. If it was it would have no compromises and simply a 5″ screen. Anyway, you’re playing with fire with this article, mate. The blindest fanboys will NOT like that you’re questioning a clearly dumb decision made by Samsung. And that’s what this is. The S10 Lite would have to be unbelievably small (as in: the size of an Xperia XZ1 Compact) for that fingerprint scanner to be ergonomically placed for most people. But with the S10 Lite being about the size of the S7, that fingerprint scanner should be in the… Read more »

ij1232
ij1232

What about s5

Gunter2
Gunter2

What about it?

djcbs
djcbs

The S5 was better than the S4. Uglier, yes. But better. It was, IIRC, the first Samsung flagship to bring and IP rating for water resistance… Which Samsung removed on the S6 and got the deserved backlash for it, putting it back on the S7 (alongside the microSD card slot).

locarno
locarno

I think this article is not needed. We will see after we play with S10e after launch event.

Gunter2
Gunter2

Exactly. We must remember that no two peoples hands are the same size. This placement looks exactly the right place for me for example but for short finger people it might not. It’s a silly thing to discuss really unless every person on the planet has exactly the same size hands and Samsung put it in the wrong place for everybody.

Renan Caparroz
Renan Caparroz

Seems ideal for me, I have to bend my thumb to reach the power button every time on my S8, and iPhone’s button is bigger and higher too(and more comfortable).

Besides, in this position, unlock with indicator will be easier too