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Fingerprint scanner placement: Where do you want it?

Fingerprint scanners are now standard in smartphones. This biometric security feature has made our mobile devices more secure and more convenient to access. It has also improved in performance and design, which also affected how they are positioned in the device.

Nowadays, you will see fingerprint scanners placed at the back of the device. Not too long ago, it was mostly set on the front as smartphones then had thick bezels, giving it plenty of room. I’m looking at you, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Apple iPhone 5S.

It has been like this for a while until manufacturers started reducing bezels to maximize screen space. Without much room left, they decided to move the fingerprint scanner to the back. It is currently the most common fingerprint placement in smartphones, especially in the lower-priced segments.

Some, on the other hand, didn’t want to mount it on the back. Instead, the scanners were placed on the side and integrated it with the power/lock button, probably to preserve the aesthetics. Sony has done that in their Xperia smartphones. Samsung, Huawei, and Honor also have offerings with this kind of fingerprint scanner placement. It is probably one of the most underrated, in my opinion. I’ll get back to this later.

Then more recently, fingerprint scanners placed on the front have returned, but not in the same form as we remember them. It has evolved into something more cooler – the in-display type. Placing the scanner under the screen provides some benefits, including a more seamless look and it frees up space inside the device to make way for more essential components. Vivo is one of the first smartphone brands to use this technology.

However, in-display fingerprint scanners have limitations. Currently, this type is sometimes slower compared to traditional scanners and, as of writing, only works with OLED screens. That’s why it’s mostly found on upper-mid-range to flagship devices. But these are temporary disadvantages as manufacturers are working on this technology to make it better.

And there’s another option – no fingerprint scanners at all. Apple has ditched Touch ID in its newest devices and opted for Face ID which is a face scanner. However, there are reports that Apple might use an in-display fingerprint scanner in the future.

Where’s the best location for a fingerprint scanner?

I believe it depends on personal preference. In my opinion, the side-mounted scanner makes more sense since it’s the part of the phone where your fingertips naturally land when you’re picking it up. It also retains the seamless look of the phone’s back, especially if it has an attractive finish.

But how about you? Where do you want the fingerprint scanner? On the rear, front, or side? Let us know in the comments below.

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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