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Galaxy Note 9 might not have an on-screen fingerprint reader after all

Analysts say that despite previous speculation, the upcoming Samsung phone won't get an in-display fingerprint sensor.

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
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Right now, the Vivo Apex is the only phone with a fingerprint sensor in the display.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET
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It looks as if the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 may not sport a fingerprint reader underneath the screen after all. 

According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider), who previously speculated himself that the phone would have the sensor, Samsung is postponing the feature due to technical difficulties.

An embedded fingerprint scanner that reads your prints through the display has been rumored to come to Samsung's Galaxy phones for awhile. In December 2016, there was speculation that the Galaxy S8 would have it (instead, it featured a fingerprint sensor on the back). Suspicion continued for the Note 8, but that phone ended up having a scanner on the back, too. Now that the current Galaxy S9 flagship phone sports the same design, we're continuing to wait for Samsung to adopt the new tech.

Watch this: Samsung's Galaxy S9 is nice, but the Vivo Apex Concept is nicer

The KGI analysis reported that Samsung may be skipping this feature for the Note 9 because current ultrasonic and optical sensing solutions do not "meet Samsung's technical requirements." Samsung may include the feature in another phone in the future though, possibly on the next Galaxy S phone at the earliest, according to Kuo.

Currently, we've seen only one phone with an under-display fingerprint reader. Known as the Vivo Apex, the phone also allows two fingerprints to be read at the same time for extra security. Vivo unveiled the Apex at MWC 2018 as a concept phone, but it was reported on Thursday that it will go into production mid-year

If Kuo's prediction about the Galaxy Note 9 is true, it 'll mean that Samsung will have to find another way to differentiate the Note 9 from the Galaxy S9. CNET's Jessica Dolcourt came up with six ways that the Note 9 could still beat the Galaxy S9. Perhaps we'll see one of these ideas come to fruition.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  

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