Before the iPhone X launched, there were rumors of Apple using an in-display fingerprint scanner on the handset. As we all know now though, the Cupertino company ultimately ended up going with Face ID on the iPhone X and completely ditched Touch ID from it.
Since then, we have seen Chinese OEM become the first smartphone to demonstrate a smartphone with in-display fingerprint scanner and a few phones also making their way to the market with the technology. However, there has been no word on how good or bad in-display fingerprint scanner is compared to traditional fingerprint scanners that have been found on smartphones over the years.
Popular YouTuber MKBHD has taken Vivo’s X21 handset featuring an in-display fingerprint scanner for a spin to test its limits — how good or bad it is, and how it stacks up to Touch ID.
The first thing to note with in-display fingerprint scanner is that in its current form, it is slower than the second-generation Touch ID found on iPhone 6s and higher. Secondly, you cannot just keep your finger on the screen and expect the scanner to work. Instead, its a bit more intentional so you will have to press your finger on the display slightly to get the fingerprint scanner to work.
As the video shows, in-display fingerprint scanners have the same limitations as Touch ID on the iPhone. It does not work with wet or saucy fingers. While Touch ID did work with a dusty finger the very first time around, it took a few more tries for the in-display fingerprint scanner to work.
Even more impressive, the in-display fingerprint scanner worked with screen protectors installed — including those that were cracked, and it had no issues scanning Marques finger after getting some scratches on its display as well.
Sadly, Apple is unlikely to give up on Face ID and include an in-display fingerprint scanner on future versions of the iPhone X despite the technology being ready now. This is because Apple is known to never re-introduce a piece of technology that it has once removed from its devices. However, I still think the combination of Face ID and in-display fingerprint scanner would offer the best experience to users. In its current form, Face ID has a lot of limitations which can be a pain point for many.