Samsung commits to improving the Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor

galaxy s10 plus fingerprint
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung has vowed to continue improving the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus smartphones, following the device’s launch with the new technology in February. If you’re still having problems with the new sensor, this will be welcome news.

Fingerprint sensors are common on smartphones today, but Samsung opted to include Qualcomm’s new ultrasonic sensor on the S10, rather than one of the more common capacitive or photographic sensors. It is set underneath the display on the front of the phone, and not on the rear panel.

New technology often brings new problems, and some have found the fingerprint sensor less reliable than alternative systems, or had negative experiences. Samsung has been listening to the complaints and already sent out a software update to address some of the problems, but won’t be stopping there.

“The accuracy has been improved through the first update of the software recently just in one week since the launch,” Samsung told the Korea Herald, adding, “We will continue providing updates to make the scanner work better.” Qualcomm, which makes the scanner and is apparently also aware of the feedback, said that because this is new technology, “it needs time for improvement.”

Our experience with the scanner has been positive, with Digital Trends mobile editor Julian Chokkattu saying, “It takes some getting used to, but it’s the best in-display fingerprint sensor I’ve tested. I’d love if all phones switched to this design. It’s not the quickest, but it’s more convenient,” in his review of the Galaxy S10 Plus.

The Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor set under the display, which may put some people off before even trying it, due to the poor accuracy and unreliability on other devices launched recently. The Galaxy S10’s system is not the same as those sensors, and the ultrasonic technology — which uses inaudible sound waves to map your fingerprint — works in a different way, and is not only more secure, it is not put off by damp or oily fingers either.

Samsung sent out the first software update for the Galaxy S10 on February 27, which among other features including Instagram mode for the camera and remapping of the Bixby key, tweaked the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor’s performance. Posts made to the official Samsung community forum have noted this changed the experience for the better. From its statement, Samsung isn’t satisfied, and appears to believe further improvements are possible.

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