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First phone with in-screen fingerprint scanner sells Jan. 24

The Vivo phone we saw earlier this month is real, but it could be hard to get.

Vivo posted this event flyer for its X20 Plus UD phone.

Vivo

The world's first phone with an in-screen fingerprint scanner finally has a name, and a birth date. The Vivo X20 Plus UD goes on sale Jan. 24, starting in China.

We first saw the one-of-a-kind tech at CES, the world's largest technology show. Chinese phone maker Vivo showed us a preproduction device that scans your fingerprint when you place your finger on the screen. There's no home button, just a target on the lock screen that you tap when you want to unlock the device -- and then it's out of your way. Vivo calls it Clear ID.

Although Vivo's phone will be the first to market with this innovation, we expect it to kick off a trend in 2018 and beyond. Currently, almost every phone on the planet has a physical fingerprint scanner that you press to get into your phone: either south of the screen, integrated in the power button, or on the phone's back. 

Apple's iPhone X is one notable exception -- it uses Face ID to unlock the phone, and has no fingerprint scanner whatsoever.

Both the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S8 were rumored to get the embedded sensor, and didn't. With the Galaxy S9 launching in February in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung and other device makers will have a chance to show off their use of the technology, which was created by components company Synaptics.

The Vivo X20 Plus UD is a variation on the previously announced X20 Plus, so expect it to have the same 6.43-inch AMOLED display with thin bezels, a Snapdragon octa-core processor, dual rear cameras and 4GB of RAM -- the in-screen fingerprint sensor is really the standout feature.

Vivo will announce the X20 Plus UD Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. local time in China; it's unclear if it will come to other markets outside of Vivo's home country.

Now playing: Watch this: See the first in-screen fingerprint scanner in action
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