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Phones you can unlock with your fingerprint (pictures)

With these five handsets, all it takes to secure your phone is a scan of your digits.

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Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 5 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Fingerprint-scanning phones we have known

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.
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2 of 5 AT&T

Motorola Atrix 4G

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.
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3 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 5S

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.
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4 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

HTC One Max

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.
004SamsungGalaxyS5_35833441_MWC2014_GS5scanner.jpg
5 of 5 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S5

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.

See the Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner in action.

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