Samsung

The eyes have it: is the Galaxy S8 fingerprint sensor designed with discomfort in mind?

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Written by Kamil Arli

According to the Forbes’s report the Galaxy S8 better have a fast and easy eye-scanner to offset that absurd fingerprint scanner.

Back in January I wrote an opinion piece expressing concern about the placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Samsung Galaxy S8. At the time, the leaks of how the phone would look were still early, so there was hope that they were inaccurate, that Samsung isn’t really thinking of putting the fingerprint sensor that far up the phone.

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It’s time to worry about the fingerprint reader

But now that the leaks have been all but officially confirmed to be accurate, it’s time to worry about the fingerprint reader. It’s so high up on the phone — especially the taller S8+ — it’s going to be hard to use. Think I’m overreacting? Try picking up your phone right now and see if your index finger can reach the spot right next to the camera with ease. Unless you’re using a small phone like the 4.7-inch iPhone or Huawei P10 (or unless you’re an NBA player), chances are it requires a bit of a reach. It’ll be worse for people holding the phone with their right hands (fingerprint reader is on the left side of the phone). I know I’m not alone in this thinking — there have been vocal concerns and op-eds on this from the gadget-writing community. Mashable’s Raymond Wong wrote that the location “awful,” Droid-Life’s Tim Wrobel called it dumb.

Look at the location!

Venture Beat

 Samsung had better improved on the Galaxy Note 7’s gimmicky iris scanner

I suggested earlier that Samsung should offer some variation of LG’s “Knock Code” for faster unlocking when the phone is sitting flat on a desk (stubborn fanboys keep arguing with me that unlocking a phone via PIN is just as easy, so I made a video showing that no, it’s not. The Knock Code is way easier and faster), but the more I think about it, the more I realize that Samsung had better improved on the Galaxy Note 7’s gimmicky iris scanner.

Samsung introduced the eye-scanning unlocking method in last fall’s Note 7, which most reviews agreed was a cute novelty trick without much real world usage value: You had to press the power button, swipe up on the lock screen just to even begin the process of eye-scanning. And even then you have to line up your face just right. There is just no real world situation in which unlocking with the iris scanner would be faster than the fingerprint sensor.

 Samsung had better improved on the eye scanner

And so with the S8’s fingerprint reader objectively in a harder-to-reach spot than the Note 7’s reader, Samsung had better improved on the eye scanner, because otherwise unlocking the phone would be a slight nuisance every time.

With that said, the S8 is a really sexy looking phone (those bezels are so much slimmer than the S7, which already had small bezels), and it even comes in matte black, which should tone down the terrible grease/dust/fingerprint-attracting shiny gloss back.

About the author

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Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

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