OnePlus 6T Teardown Revealed Secret Behind Its In-display Fingerprint Sensor, Watch the Video

The OnePlus 6T has an in-display fingerprint scanner and this is what it looks like.


The OnePlus 6T is the first smartphone from OnePlus to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner. The technology is not exactly new and has been in use since early this year. However, OnePlus claimed that its Optical scanner is faster than competitors. OnePlus definitely hasn’t left no stone unturned hyping the feature. The company even goes as far as saying that it is the fastest way of unlocking a phone.

In reality, an in-display fingerprint scanner is not the fastest way to authenticate yourself, but it is still a really cool feature to have and OnePlus has done a really good job incorporating it at the price range. Now, YouTuber JerryRigEverything has performed a tear-down of the OnePlus 6T to see what the scanner looks like.

The OnePlus 6T In-display Fingerprint Sensor

OnePlus uses an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, which is basically a camera sensor placed underneath the display panel. This camera is placed right under the display, allowing it to take macro shots of your finger. It captures your unique fingerprint, ridges and everything, and uses it to unlock the phone. The screen lights up during the process to light up your finger. There is a small hole in the display panel, which can be seen from the inside, where the camera is placed.

The camera sensor is quite small and is attached to a chip. The scanner is securely placed under a protective plastic case. All of this takes up quite a bit of space near the USB Type-C charging port, below the larger battery. No wonder OnePlus had to get rid of the headphone jack, or it wouldn’t have been able to include this sensor. In the YouTube video (below), you can also see that the display doesn’t shine on the backside when the scanner is removed. This is nice, as you cannot see the hole from the front when the display is turned on.

In another video, JerryRigEverything also tested the durability of the in-display fingerprint scanner by scratching the glass above it. This had no effect on the sensor and it continued to work normally. It does take a little longer to unlock when compared to a traditional fingerprint scanner, or Face Unlock on the OnePlus 6T.

Traditional Fingerprint Scanner vs In-display Fingerprint Scanner

In a bid to make the front of the smartphone all screen, OEMs had to get rid of the Home Button and the fingerprint scanner. The iPhone X, the OnePlus 5T, the Google Pixel, and several other smartphones now feature a fingerprint scanner at the back, or use a different means of unlocking. Apple has completely gotten rid of the fingerprint scanner and is solely relying on its FaceID facial recognition technology.

The front facing fingerprint scanner is actually more ergonomic and can be used even when the phone is lying flat on a surface. With rear mounted scanners, you have to lift up the phone in order to unlock it. Front mounted scanners are just easier to use, but the in-display technology is not completely there yet. It is nowhere as fast as the traditional fingerprint scanner. However, the in-display fingerprint scanner seems to be the way forward and will get faster with enough time and R&D.

Samsung and a few other players are also working on in-display front cameras and other sensors. In a couple of years, or even months, we could have an all-screen phone equipped with sensors of comparable efficacy. For now though, we believe that the traditional fingerprint scanner is still the fastest and most secure way to unlock a smartphone.