Opinion

Samsung needed consumer feedback to realize Galaxy S8 fingerprint placement was a mess

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ bring a slew of new features to the table and also make improvements to what Samsung started with the Galaxy S8 and S8+. One major area of improvement over the S8 duo is the placement of the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Like the Galaxy A8 (2018), the S9 and S9+ have the fingerprint sensor located below the camera sensor. Still a tad too high for convenient access, but it’s a far cry from the ergonomic nightmare that was the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 and, later on, the Galaxy Note 8. Samsung was quick to point out the more logical fingerprint sensor placement on-stage when it was announcing the Galaxy S9, but the company’s words made it seem like it needed the consumers to tell it what was wrong in the first place.

Consumer feedback? How about improved in-house testing?

Sure, consumer feedback is what drives the smartphone industry – or any industry, for that matter – forward, but I find it silly that Samsung had the guts to say that it listened carefully to our feedback and moved the sensor “directly below the camera, where it’s even easier to reach.” Well, the statement followed what can be considered a minor jab at Apple for removing the fingerprint sensor with the iPhone X, but why is it that Samsung didn’t realize the fingerprint sensor’s location was out of whack on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ when the handsets were undergoing internal testing during the development process?

Yes, design and time limitations may have been to blame for the awkward placement, but the Galaxy Note 8 didn’t change anything, either. And I’m perfectly fine with that, at least if Samsung really did run into obstacles trying to put the fingerprint sensor below the camera on the S8 and Note 8. But I’m not down with the fact that the company has never owned up to the real reasons behind why it messed up. Instead, all we got was a marketing statement to show that Samsung cares about consumer feedback, and while the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are all the better for it, I’m not sure sweeping one of the company’s biggest design mistakes under the rug this way is the right thing to do.

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