Facial scanners and time-of-flight cameras stands out as the manner of the longer term, however till we get there, fingerprint scanners are nonetheless the preferred strategy to lock down our private knowledge. And like fingerprints themselves, all scanners aren’t created equal. So we put them to the take a look at in quite a lot of in style telephones!

The telephones

Galaxy S10+

Samsung’s latest handset dispenses of the bodily scanner on the again of the cellphone for a much more cutting-edge one. Inside the Galaxy S10+’s show you’ll discover an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that makes use of sound to learn the ridges in your fingerprint.

OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T additionally has an in-display fingerprint scanner, nevertheless it makes use of Qualcomm’s optical sensor. That means it makes use of a short burst of sunshine to light up your fingerprint and permit the scanner to learn it.

Galaxy S9

Up till the Galaxy S10+, Samsung used a bodily fingerprint scanner similar to each different Android cellphone. On the Galaxy S9 it’s positioned just a little increased than it’s on different Android telephones, nevertheless it’s manner higher than it was on the Galaxy S8, when it was to the correct of the digicam lens.

iPhone 6s

Apple was one of many first cellphone makers to deliver a fingerprint scanner to a cellphone in Touch ID, and from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone 8 it remained inside the house button under the display screen. The iPhone 6s is a three-year outdated cellphone, nevertheless it makes use of the identical second-gen scanner because the final iPhone to function a fingerprint scanner, the iPhone 8. The solely distinction is that the button on the iPhone 6s is the older one which clicks, moderately than the solid-state one on the iPhone 7 and 8.

Christopher Hebert/IDG

I used the Galaxy S10+, OnePlus 6T, iPhone 6s, and Galaxy S9 for this take a look at.

The assessments


The first take a look at I ran was a pure velocity take a look at: To see how briskly I might unlock every cellphone 10 instances. To hold it uniform, I used two arms: One to unlock and the opposite to show the display screen on and off. My dominant hand was positioned over the respective sensor to scale back fumbling, and I used three step for every cellphone:

  1. Press the ability button to show the display screen on.
  2. Unlock the cellphone with my fingerprint.
  3. Press the ability button to show the display screen off.

And I repeated that 10 instances for every cellphone. I ran the take a look at a few instances to get a mean and scored one of the best instances. I restarted the take a look at when there was a missed scan, however I let the opening animation end earlier than I turned the display screen off.

galaxy s8 fingerprintChristopher Hebert/IDG

The Galaxy S9 makes use of a regular sensor, however its placement isn’t one of the best.


The subsequent take a look at was rather less methodical. Basically, I wished to see how the sensors would work in three comparatively frequent situations: water, cleaning soap, and particles (on this case, powdered sugar). It didn’t time the assessments, however I tracked what number of instances every cellphone was capable of unlock when my finger was moist, soapy, and powdery. To conduct the take a look at, I stuffed three cups stuffed with water, soapy water, and powdered sugar, and I dipped my scanning finger in every of them, tried to unlock every cellphone various instances, after which repeated.


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