source
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
  • The upcoming OnePlus 6T smartphone from OnePlus is
    confirmed to feature a front-facing fingerprint sensor built
    into its display.
  • An “invisible” fingerprint sensor on the front will
    allow the OnePlus 6T to come with a sleek, modern design with
    narrow bezels while keeping the fingerprint sensor on the
    front.
  • Other smartphone makers have resorted to moving their
    fingerprint sensors to the back of their phones to allow for
    narrower bezels around the display.
  • Rear-facing fingerprint sensors can be more comfortable
    to use, but they also force users to pick up their devices to
    unlock the phone, which can be seen as a regression in
    usability.

The upcoming smartphone from OnePlus – the OnePlus 6T – will have
a fingerprint sensor built into the display called “Screen
Unlock,” the company confirmed to
CNET
.

That means the fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 6T will be on
the front of the device, which is a return to the original
location of fingerprint sensors when they first started appearing
on smartphones.

OnePlus’ Screen Unlock feature will likely look similar to

Vivo’s s in-screen fingerprint sensor
, which I saw at CES
earlier this year:

For many, this move will be a cause for celebration.

Over the last couple of years, smartphone makers have opted to
place the fingerprint sensor on the backs of their phones to
allow for ultra-narrow bezels, or borders around the display. In
several ways, rear-facing fingerprint sensors were a step
forward, as it can be more natural and comfortable to place an
index finger on the back of a phone to unlock them compared to
twisting a thumb to hit a front-facing fingerprint sensors.

But rear-facing fingerprint sensors were also a regression in one
key way: It added more steps for users to unlock and use
smartphones that laid on a surface. Users now had to pick up
their phones to reach the fingerprint sensor on the back of the
phone, instead of simply pressing their thumb on the front of the
phone. For anyone who likes using their devices while it’s
resting on a table, the rear-facing fingerprint sensor is a bad
idea.

galaxy s8 and s8 plus backs 2

caption
The Galaxy S8’s rear-facing fingerprint sensor was especially hard to use as it was so close to the camera.
source
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Some users with self-proclaimed “smaller hands” also say that
rear-facing fingerprint sensors, which are usually close to
smartphone’s camera, are harder to reach than the traditional
front-facing sensor that’s usually found below the display.

Smartphone makers surely considered this compromise in usability
when moving the fingerprint sensors to the backs of their phones
in favor for ultra-sleek designs with narrower bezels around the
display. But ever since the
Essential Phone
and
Apple’s iPhone X
came out with their near-bezel-free designs,
any smartphone that came with traditionally large bezels would
appear antiquated.

red oneplus 6

caption
The OnePlus 6.
source
Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

From my experience, OnePlus’ fingerprint sensors are the best in
the business, as they’re extremely fast and accurate when
unlocking a OnePlus smartphone. We have yet to see how well
OnePlus’ Screen Unlock feature will work.





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