How the Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner differs from Apple’s Touch ID

s5-iphone-5s-specsSamsung unveiled its flagship Galaxy S5 Monday at Mobile World Congress. Similar to the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 features a fingerprint sensor that can be used to unlock the handset and perform other functions on the device. The scanner on the S5 is not a clone of Apple’s Touch ID, as there are a few subtle differences that make it unique. Read on to learn how the two fingerprint sensors compare.

Scanning motion

First and foremost, the Galaxy S5 is not a static scanner like the iPhone 5s. With the iPhone, you place your finger on the home button scanner and hold it still for a fraction of a second while the hardware scans your finger and the software recognizes it. The Galaxy S5, though, uses a motion scanner that requires you to swipe your finger over the top of the sensor. Those who tested the sensor at MWC reported that the scanner sometimes failed to recognize a scan, but that might be the result of using a demo device. Other hands-on reviews noted the scanner was awkward to use one-handed as you had to hold the phone and move your thumb at the same time.

Multiple Fingerprints

Samsung, like Apple, allows users to scan multiple fingerprints so you can use the scanner with a choice of fingers. While iOS 7 supports up to five fingerprints, the Galaxy S5 will store eight.

Integration with apps

The Touch ID fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5s has limited utility as it only can be used to unlock a device and authenticate a purchase in iTunes. It’s a different story with the Galaxy S5, which goes beyond a home screen unlock function. In the Galaxy S5, owners can use the feature to restrict apps on the phone, making them unavailable to users who don’t have a fingerprint stored on the phone. Entering in a fingerprint scan also can be used to authenticate payments on the phone. PayPal has already announced that it will be first global payments company to support Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner. This will allow Galaxy S5 users will be able to use their fingerprint, no passwords or logins required, to shop at any merchant that accepts PayPal on mobile and in-stores.

Which one do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.