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Galaxy S10 may have Samsung's answer to iPhone X's Face ID

Samsung is reportedly working on a 3D camera for the next Galaxy S phone.

The Galaxy S9's Face Unlock feature just isn't as advanced as the iPhone X's Face ID.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Work is reportedly underway to fix one of our biggest criticisms of the Samsung Galaxy S9, a mostly excellent phone. The problem? Its lack of a 3D front-facing camera makes the Galaxy S9's iPhone X-like features Intelligent Scan and AR Emoji fall flat. The Galaxy S10 could reverse that, according to a new report.

Samsung has teamed up with 3D camera startup Mantis Vision to provide 3D sensing camera technology for the next Galaxy S phone, Korean news outlet The Investor reports.

To see the importance of 3D camera tech in phones, look no further than the iPhone X. Its TrueDepth camera system uses 30,000 infrared dots to map a 3D model of your face. This manifests in practical features like Face ID, which unlocks the iPhone X using facial recognition and is secure enough for mobile payments, and animojis, which create a virtual emoji mask you can control with your face.

Samsung's efforts culminate in Intelligent Scan, which isn't secure enough for mobile payments, and AR Emoji, which we find super creepy and unfinished (play the video below to see what we mean).

Now Playing: Watch this: Galaxy S9's AR emoji: How good are they?
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Apple made accurate face scans the front-facing camera feature to beat, and Samsung, which rivals Apple for global phone dominance, is now at least one generation behind. The sooner Samsung suppliers can outfit the Korean tech giant with a 3D camera that can match features with the iPhone X and whatever Apple comes up with next, the sooner it can close the divide. 

Advanced 3D camera tech may also improve features that use augmented reality. As we start to see AR pop up in more mobile applications, we may also see phonemakers come out with better hardware to support it.

Neither Samsung nor Mantis Vision responded to a request for comment.