Samsung Galaxy S10 to Ditch Iris Scanner for Full Screen Design; May Include In-display Fingerprint Sensor

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 will reportedly ditch the iris scanner in favor of an in-display scanner, though face recognition would probably stay put.


Samsung, which usually introduces significant updates to its flagship Galaxy S series every two years, is expected to pull out all stops for the upcoming model. The Samsung Galaxy S10 will feature a lot of new technologies, but that also means some older ones would be gone. Apparently, the iris sensor that made a debut with the Galaxy Note 7 is being phased out as the in-display fingerprint technology has rendered it useless.

Iris Scanner Out, In-display Fingerprint Reader In

The prevailing trend in the smartphone industry is to achieve a high screen-to-body ratio by reducing as many components on the front as possible. This is what gave birth to notches and sliders in the first place. However, Samsung is not fond of these solutions and is apparently working on an under-the-display camera. There could be two possible reasons behind the company’s decision to remove the iris scanner from its flagship. Either the iris scanner can’t work beneath a screen as the front camera can, or Samsung is confident that the in-display fingerprint scanner has evolved to a point that it can replace the iris scanner. That is not to say that the in-display fingerprint reader would be the only means of biometric authentication on the phone, as facial recognition would most likely be there too.

According to reports, Samsung would be releasing three variants of the Galaxy S10, with the entry-level models featuring a physical fingerprint reader to dial down the cost. However, this particular variant isn’t expected to come with an iris scanner either. The iris recognition tech scans a user’s irises with the help of an infrared camera to unlock the smartphone or authenticate mobile payments. The technology is also present in this year’s Galaxy S9 (review) and Galaxy Note 9 (review).

As mentioned before, the technology will be most likely be phased out next year, and it will be replaced by fingerprint scanners. The higher-end model will reportedly feature the supersonic in-display fingerprint scanner sourced from Qualcomm. The other models will presumably sport the more affordable optical display fingerprint scanner or physical fingerprint reader. However, Samsung has apparently not finalized the design of the Galaxy S10 yet, so it may still make a few changes.

We May Have To Settle For A Pierced Display

Although, Samsung has allegedly readied a working prototype of an under-the-display camera, this technology may not be ready in time for the upcoming Galaxy S10. Recent reports have indicated that Samsung is going for a new design paradigm, whereby, a hole will be drilled at the top of the display to house the front camera. This would enable the company to increase the screen estate without going for a notch.

Other rumors have indicated that there will also be a 5G-ready variant of the Galaxy S10 which would have a whopping 12GB of RAM. This could be interesting in terms of gaming, as an all-screen design and this much RAM would greatly enhance the gaming experience.

While it remains to be seen if Samsung is actually dropping the iris scanner, most fans wouldn’t be up in arms about the decision anyway as iris recognition was not all that convenient and it certainly has nothing on in-display fingerprint scanners. The Galaxy S10 will most likely be unveiled during the Mobiel World Congress (MCW) in February 2019, so we will have to wait till then to find out more.

As we wait for more reports about the Galaxy S10, check out the Galaxy Note 9 below.