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Report: Galaxy Note 9 in-screen fingerprint sensor in limbo

Samsung is allegedly debating whether to include the new feature.

Gordon Gottsegen CNET contributor
Gordon Gottsegen is a tech writer who has experience working at publications like Wired. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters.
Gordon Gottsegen
2 min read
Josh Miller/CNET
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Will Samsung put a fingerprint sensor within the Galaxy Note 9 display? That's been a topic of debate for weeks now as arguments both support and contradict the rumor. 

Enlarge Image

The Vivo Apex concept phone shows what an embedded fingerprint scanner would look like.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

But a new report says that Samsung is likely to adopt in-display fingerprint scanning for the Note 9, according to Korean news outlet The Investor and citing industry sources.

"Samsung Display has prepared three or four solutions for Samsung Electronics to embed the fingerprint sensor inside of the main display, and both are seriously considering one of the solutions," The Investor reported. 

If Samsung does decide to go with the in-screen sensor, it'll have to act quickly to give itself enough time to work on the new feature. In past years, Samsung has finalized the concept for its upcoming Note phones five months in advance, says the report, so the company reportedly expects to make its decision by the end of the month.

As of now, Chinese company Vivo is the only company that has embedded a fingerprint sensor into a phone's display. This means you can unlock the phone by pressing your finger on the screen, without the need for a physical scanner on the bezels or back of the phone. 

Samsung had been rumored to be including this feature in its phones starting with the Galaxy S8, but that never happened. Instead, Samsung included a physical fingerprint scanner on the back of the S8, irritatingly close to the phone's camera. Having an embedded sensor would solve this problem by getting rid of the scanner altogether.

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

Putting an embedded sensor into the Note 9 would also help Samsung compete with Apple's iPhone X. Although the iPhone X doesn't include any fingerprint sensing, it relies on advanced 3D facial recognition , Face ID, to unlock the phone and make mobile payments. Recent reports put the iPhone X's facial recognition years ahead of the Android competition, but if Samsung includes an embedded fingerprint sensor it may not need the most advanced facial recognition.

Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.

This Vivo phone could launch a smartphone trend

See all photos