We expect the Samsung Galaxy S23 phones to bring a host of upgrades from the cameras to the processors, but there’s apparently one key spec that won’t see an improvement: the fingerprint sensor.
Reliable leak Ice Universe (opens in new tab) appears to have secured a layer of protective glass for the Galaxy S23 Ultra model, revealing a spot where the fingerprint sensor will reside – a spot that’s the same size as on the Samsung Galaxy S22 handsets.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with the fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S22, but as a Notebookcheck (opens in new tab) points out that it had been hoped that the sensor on the Galaxy S23 would be bigger and better. Now it seems unlikely that this will be the case.
Same old same old
Specifically, the Galaxy S22 is equipped with the capable Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, while the Galaxy S23 was thought to carry the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max – a sensor that is more accurate, more secure and can scan two fingers at once.
Perhaps Samsung has decided it wants to stick with the same fingerprint sensor to keep costs down, or maybe the original rumor of a fingerprint sensor upgrade was wrong from the start – but this is an upgrade that now looks unlikely.
You could argue that fingerprint sensors aren’t the most important part of a smartphone, but considering how many times we unlock our phones every day, they can have a significant impact on the user experience.
Analysis: Fingerprint sensor upgrades
Go to the official website of the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max (opens in new tab) and you will see improvements in a whole range of areas. It’s the largest ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor to date, using sound waves to scan fingerprints at a rapid rate and with incredibly fine resolution.
It is much more difficult to counterfeit a fingerprint with this technology compared to standard optical fingerprint sensors, Qualcomm says. Fingerprints are scanned faster when they are wet, and thanks to the acoustic scan used, it is also more reliable if your fingers are not perfectly clean.
Due to the larger surface, two fingers can be scanned at the same time and, according to the manufacturer, the sensor has an error rate of 1 in 250,000. However, based on the leaked protective glass we’ve seen appearing online, we’ll have to wait until 2024 to see it in a Galaxy S flagship phone from Samsung.
It’s not all bad news though, as the Galaxy S23 will bring several improvements over the phone that came before it. This week we’ve already heard that the handset will feature a modified version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that delivers even better performance.