Industry News

Screen Fingerprinting Technology Cellphone Launched



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After years of rumors, a mobile phone equipped with an on-screen fingerprint scanner was finally developed and mass-produced. This is Vivo X21.


The launch of the international version of the Vivo X21 marks the first time that the technology has been sold in India and other countries. It is also the first time that screen fingerprinting technology has become a mobile standard feature anywhere in the world.


The screen fingerprint scanner integrates biometric authentication into the display itself, while also allowing the smartphone to have a thin bezel and a higher screen share.


Of course, you can put the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone, like companies like Samsung, Google and LG. This technology has been done for many years, but in many cases, this is not convenient.

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You may not be familiar with Vivo. The American football team unexpectedly missed the World Cup. This means that the company's sponsorship will not go deeper into the United States as people expected.


But in other parts of the world, it is a huge brand. In China and India's smart phone market, Vivo has a large share.


Vivo is not the only company that uses this technology to sell mobile phones. Xiaomi and Huawei have recently released high-end versions of their latest flagship products, all of which use similar scanners. However, Vivo promotes it better than anyone else.


The Synaptics prototype we saw at CES this year was eventually released in China as the X20 UD. This is the special edition of the company's last flagship product. At MWC we saw the impressive Apex concept machine with its finger scan. Larger area.


Therefore, Vivo X21 represents the first mainstream test of this technology, using Goodix's sensor components. It is not a prototype or limited edition, but it is mass produced. And, it works fine.

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The design of the Vivo X21 may be shocking a year ago, but in the post-iphone X era, the situation is quite different. Like most Android flagships this year, the Vivo X21 has a high-aspect ratio concave display with a small chin border on the bottom. The design of this phone is basically the same as Vivo's own V9 earlier this year, but the phone's materials and components are very cheap, and the screen size is very similar to one plus six. (It is said that a complex network of leasing through investors and supply chains has a distant relationship with Vivo and Oppo, although the two companies have denied any design or engineering crossover.


The screen is not the only thing that the Vivo X21 and the One Plus 6 have in common, both have a glass back and there is no wireless charging, and there are click buttons. However, in terms of specifications, the two phones are completely different. The Vivo X21 uses a mid-range Qualcomm 660 processor, a low-end camera, and micro-USB charging. Of course, plus one plus six on almost all 2018 Android phones, there is also a fingerprint sensor on the back.


In contrast, the Vivo X21 does not have any visible fingerprint sensor. This kind of screen scanning technology can only be used on OLED screens, it must be able to light your finger, and the backlight of the LCD will hinder the scanning, which makes Vivo can use some clever techniques to highlight the sensor. When you pick up the phone, it will automatically light up a fingerprint icon on the sensor area. If you wake it up by pressing the sleep button, the same icon will be brighter than the rest of the screen.

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Once your finger is scanned into the phone, you unlock it in the same way as you do for other phones: Put your thumb down and wait. Of course, it is slower than the recent fingerprint scanner. You cannot unlock the phone just by clicking on the icon, as if it were a button. Instead, you will have to wait about half a second because a technical animation spreads across the screen. Sometimes it feels fast and sometimes it feels slow.


Ironically, the only time I got into trouble with the fingerprint sensor was in the same situation. This could cause problems for Apple's face recognition: direct sunlight. This does not mean that the scanner has any problems working in the sun, but it may be difficult to see the icons on the screen, and the sensors are not fast enough or not large enough to randomly slide. Some tactile feedback may be useful, or muscle memory will eventually take over everything. But for now, this is only an occasional worry.


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Overall, I think the Vivo X21 scanner is successful.


We also need to see how the Vivo X21's sensors have remained stable over time. The original Touch ID scanner on the iPhone 5S was not as useful after one year of use. Vivo X21 also has to withstand the time of the examination. Although the scanner is clearly the first generation technology, it is very good in real life.