Fingerprint scanners for securing mobile devices under biometric lock and key migrated to handhelds back in 2011, but the trend has been slow to pick up since then. In the last year, though, we've seen three new smartphones tackle the task, using three different approaches for capturing your personal code.
Back in 2011, Motorola's Atrix 4G experimented with a fingerprint scanner that folded into the power/lock button at the top of the smartphone's back panel. It didn't work well consistently and barely made a splash, overshadowed by the phone's pricey companion laptop dock.
The feature was largely ignored until Apple flipped the fingerprint scanner around to the front side in its iPhone 5S of September 2013. The company also gave it a name -- Touch ID -- and integrated the system into the handset's home button beneath the screen. A final touch, scanning the entire surface of the profile finger, makes it easier to read prints placed at most any angle.
Two months after Apple's Touch ID touched down, HTC followed suit (mostly Motorola's) by placing its fingerprint scanner on the back of its supersize One Max rather than on the front. Hitting the spot blind, below the camera lens, is somewhat of a challenge for unpracticed hands, but supporters cite the placement as more ergonomic.
In late February 2014, Samsung joined this tiny cohort with its own variation of fingerprint security. The Samsung Galaxy S5 brings forth a new approach in making the screen area above the home button an active sliding zone. Like HTC and Motorola's methods, you'll need to keep your finger pretty vertical to nab an accurate reading.