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Report: Galaxy S8 Fingerprint Reader on Backside Because Time Ran Out… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You’ve probably heard a few tech bloggers complain about the probable placement of the Galaxy S8’s fingerprint reader — It’s supposedly on the backside, next to the camera. Even I have already complained about this, but no amount of complaining and logical reasoning can fix the reported reason behind Samsung’s decision.

According to Korea’s The Investor, Samsung and Synaptics simply ran out of time with regard to developing the technology needed to implant a fingerprint reader into the Galaxy S8’s massive front display. This same tech was detailed earlier by Synaptics last year, but as we can see, it’s not quite ready for implementation.

Dating back to last year, initial rumors were that Samsung would put the fingerprint reader inside the display. It was sort of a wishlist feature, but when Synaptics detailed its technology and we began seeing very rough device renders, it seemed in the realm of possibility. Now, as it supposedly turns out, it was Samsung’s plan initially.

As claimed by The Investor’s source, “Samsung poured resources into Synaptics’ fledgling technology last year but the results were frustrating. With the production imminent, the company had to decide to relocate the fingerprint scanning home button to the back of the device at the last minute.”

Now, on the bright side, while the Galaxy S8 may not have a bezel-less display with fingerprint reading tech built-in, it seems like a safe bet that we shouldcould will see it in the future. If not from Samsung, though, then Apple. It is being reported that Cupertino is also working on this technology for use on the iPhone.

In the meantime, enjoy dirtying up your camera while you attempt to locate your fingerprint reader.

Via: The Investor
  • MadMartigan

    “In the meantime, enjoy dirtying up your camera while you attempt to locate your fingerprint reader.”

    How many times can you overreact to this? (Don’t answer, I’m sure it’s infinite…)

    Maybe 3 misses, and most folks will figure it out. Muscle memory is easily learned. It won’t be anywhere near as difficult as determining what “unlimited” means to carriers and everyone else in the world. 😉

  • theswillmerchant

    Not sure why anyone would give Samsung any business at this point.

  • paul_cus

    I still think Sony’s side-mounted fingerprint reader is on the best spot for a phone. The placement that Samsung is using this year is going to upset a lot of people.

  • trevorsalienarms

    Don’t care. Will buy regardless.

  • cadtek91

    So now, when it comes out in the S9 next year, they’ll be “copying Apple” again, as Apple will most likely have it for the new iPhone this fall.

  • Elky Asno

    This… Isn’t a problem? My Nexus 5x has its fingerprint reader on the back and the placement works out just dandy.

    Then again, simply by virtue of being a nexus device, it’s already better than any Samsung device, new or old.

    • Person Dude

      The difference is that while most phones with rear mounted sensors have theirs centered and below the camera, for some asinine reason Samsung decided to put it to the side of the camera. It’s a lot harder to reach up there, and the camera lens will be smudged by your finger if you aren’t careful.

  • Slim

    It’ll be on the Note, then. Which is what I was going to buy anyways so….. Idc.
    To me, the S8 is just an indication of the direction Samsung will drive the Note, and I don’t doubt this tech will be ready by September.

  • CousinSkeeta

    They didnt run outta time they simply said we should just put it on the note instead….its not a big deal for me since my index finger rest by the camera on my note 5…not to mention using an lg device when they release the g2 with the buttons on the back

  • rh

    Or just use the iris scanner! Jeez

  • Nymenon

    The technology by Synaptics allows fingerprint sensing “underneath a 1mm glass”. Not underneath the display. Huge difference. Your phone has to have some large enough bezels, if the fingerprint scanner is still going to be on the front. Most people are mis-interperting this.

  • daJudge805

    This is kind of what I thought happened when we started to see the flagship leaks this year. Seems like nobody could get it to work properly yet. Was hoping this would be built into all flagships this year. Wonder who will be first to get it right.

  • JP

    Put a long sensor the the bottom bezel under the glass that doubles as a gesture pad.

  • editorinchimp

    It belongs on the back, just not in this weird off-center spot.

  • Jose E. Adames

    Just wait for the phone to be released and then whoever decides to purchase it will make judgement if the fingerprint placement works or not. If samsung delevops a smart feature like LG or HTC phones have with the knock Knock screen turns on, then having the handset laying down on a surface facing up will not be as bad. Let’s wait a couple of more weeks when it’s announced and we can make our own verdict on it.There are ton of possibilities and a software workaround that they could have thought of.

    • CornBread

      Well said..one thing to be petty, but to be petty before the phone comes out out is another. When the first phone came out with the fingerprint scanner on the back…people didn’t like it until they tried it. If you get it and still don’t like it, they’re other security options it offers besides that…

  • ushneb

    Note 8!

  • CornBread

    Though it may be frustrating to being with, I’ll get use to it. You’ll adapt and it’ll be second nature. Unless you got extremely huge/fat fingers….

    • Mike DeQuardo

      Or are left handed.

      • Rod

        Maybe there’ll be a version for left-handed people.


  • illregal

    More like, not innovative enough to do it. Samsung Falaxy Suck8

    • jtwildman1

      I’m really not sure what you mean? Name some ground breaking inovation on your phone? I really haven’t seen any manufacturer knocking it out of the park with something new and great. Polish on a turd doesn’t make it anything other than.

      • CornBread

        Haha…funny! Good one!

        • jtwildman1

          Really.. So name one genius! People run their pie holes, but never back it up. So again Mr. Innovation give me something.

          • CornBread

            Whoa…hold ur horses cowboy…I’m on ur side. I was the one who like ur comment. I’m on team Samsung too. I was laughing at what you said to old boy…. calm down

          • jtwildman1

            I’m really not on any side. Yeah that was kinda harsh.

  • Andy

    Crazy that these companies run out of time developing products. Why not just finish what you started and make the best device you can make.

    • Daistaar

      It’s this new stupid thing called investors. Yeah I think this is the first year they’re trying it. They invest a ton of their money in companies who promise to make then more money with it. Apparently the invested company has to appease them somehow. I think it’s a new thing the French were trying last year. Go figure.

  • The Doctor

    Google “ran out of time” when developing the Pixel. Now Samsung “ran out of time” when developing the S8.

    Does anyone actually believe these lame excuses?

  • Howard Stern ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    woops! seems google is not the only one rushing things. the pixel, rushed. G6, rushed. s8, just a bit rushed. I hate that its right next to the camera like that. they should just move it below, like everyone else.

  • Mike O

    Kinda lame to rush this out when they’re telling you that they’re eventually gonna switch it up later. BUT to us, it’s more like “why bother with this when you’re gonna move it to a better spot on the next one.” So I’ll just wait. Good job, Sammy… I’ll stick with my N6P.

  • Beardr8

    So maybe it will be under the display for the note 8?? Assuming they have enough “time”…

  • The last time they rushed a product (Note 7) it ended up as a hand grenade mod in GTA.

    I’m not saying it’ll blow up too, but…. history

  • Lucky Armpit

    “In the meantime, enjoy dirtying up your camera while you attempt to locate your fingerprint reader.”

    Can’t wait to see your official review to see if you still stand by that statement.

  • Fred

    So the NOTE 8 will have it, sweet. Will get the G6 for now and pick up the new Note when it releases.

  • HollowLog

    Samsung: “Welp, we ran out of time. You’ll find the fingerprint reader right above the headphone jack. Here is the Verizon version.”


  • Me

    If the Note 8 has the same location this story is bs

  • seattle tech

    The original plan was always to put the fingerprint under the front glass. To have the back fingerprint reader under the camera in the center would have required a different “motherboard” design. Let’s just hope the front iris and face scanner work so well that we don’t need fingerprint anymore

  • TechGirl90

    I don’t believe this story, I feel that Samsung made that decision of putting the FPS next to the Camera was so that they can remain independent and not be accused of copying another OEM who places their FPS below the Camera, and not be sued for it.

    There is nothing wrong with being inspired by other OEMs implementations of the FPS just as long as that OEM who is taking inspiration don’t claim that it’s their own idea they conceived.

    This will most likely cause confusion between the Camera and the FPS.

    • seattle tech

      But they wouldn’t have been accused of copying because the fingerprint under the camera in the rear is the normal standard

  • Tony

    I will be glad when these phones are released so they can focus on something else. There are more things to write about than Samsung. Everyone has their own opinion but there are other phones that hold us just as good and even better. Especially if you drop one. I bought a Samsung. I took it back. Too much bloat ware for my liking. Suppose I was used to Motorola and there near stock Android.

  • Daddo0711

    I don’t get why you’d want the reader on the front. I have a Nexus 6P and that fingerprint reader falls so naturally under my index finger when I’m holding the phone that i don’t have to think about placement at all. Don’t know why I’d want to have to put my finger on the front of the phone when I pick it up to unlock it.

    • Brent Cooper

      Do you have to press the power button or wake the phone before the finger print sensor will work?

      • Isaac Ladd

        Once you place your finger on the sensor it wakes and unlocks the device

        • MadJoe

          You hope. There’s no confirmation of this so it’s just speculation for now.

    • EP_2012

      I keep my phone on the desk most of the time, and having a FP scanner on the back means I have to lift up my phone to unlock it – 100x a day. This also applies when it’s on a charger or in a car mount.

      • JSo

        Smart Lock really helps in those situations. It’s crazy to think what people used to do before finger print readers though. Unlocking a phone without one? That’s just silly. lol

        • EP_2012

          Smart lock is NOT a solution and should never be considered remotely secure.

          “It’s crazy to think what people used to do before finger print readers though.”

          We wasted a lot more time, that’s for sure! Why knock on the convenience factor? I’m giving you several instances where a front scanner works far better than a rear.

          • JSo

            Not knocking anything. Just kidding around. But to the other thing, how is smart lock not secure? All the stuff is labeled “Trusted”. So if you are in an area or connected to a device you trust, why not have it unlocked? I have mine unlocked at home, work and in my car connected to my bluetooth stereo and mounted in a dock and it makes things a lot easier. If those scenarios aren’t meant, it’s locked with a pattern.

          • EP_2012

            “But to the other thing, how is smart lock not secure?” “So if you are in an area or connected to a device you trust, why not have it unlocked?”

            When I’m at the office, I don’t have my phone in my pocket for every second of the day. Leaving to use the bathroom means my phone is available *and unlocked* when using Smart Lock.

            When I’m in my car, I don’t have BT devices that are unique to my car, so Smart Lock won’t work there.

            There are just too many variables to consider when using Smart Lock, and I’d prefer my phone always to be locked with a very quick option to unlock it when needed (by fingerprint).

          • JSo

            I guess it just differs from person to person. When I’m at work, my phone is on a dock on my desk and when I go to the bathroom, I take it with me so it’s never out of my sight. So it’s not a big deal to me to have it unlocked when I’m at work.

          • GotSka81

            I would disagree with a blanket statement that Smart Lock is insecure, but I would agree that an implementation based on location is insecure. I don’t have my device set to be unlocked at work solely for the reasons you stated…what if I lose my phone at work? However, I have it set to be unlocked whenever it detects a connection to my Huawei watch, so if I leave it behind it locks. This gives me the convenience of having my device unlocked when it’s on my person, while ensuring that my device is secured if I leave it behind, purposely or not.

          • EP_2012

            Unfortunately, if you get robbed, you’ll be robbed of your phone and smartwatch. This leaves your device completely open.

            Unlikely, maybe, but this is something that fingerprint scanners don’t have an issue with (and you won’t have to rely on a bluetooth connection).

        • twiz0r

          i don’t want anyone I work with to be able to access my phone.

          • JSo

            That’s why I still don’t just carelessly leave it sitting around unattended. It’s for my convenience.

          • MadJoe

            I don’t often leave my phone around either, but it happens once in awhile (1 time in 4 years, but that 1 time was enough to turn me off to Smart Lock). I got distracted while in the break room, left it sitting on a counter, went to the bathroom, and about my duties, and for whatever reason I was convinced it was sitting on my desk in it’s charger, but when I finally got back to my desk it wasn’t there. If I had enabled Smart Lock, my joker of a coworker probably would have texted my wife a photo of his brown eye or nuts. So yeah, not enabling it was the better way to go.

        • MadJoe

          I get that a lot of the security features we use are easily defeatable, but Smart Lock seems particularly easy to me. I won’t use it.

      • MJ

        One does NOT need to use the fingerprint reader or the Smart Lock feature to get into a phone laying on it’s back on a table. You can ALSO set a PIN and use it with a simple “double tap” on the screen. Whoa!

        • MadJoe

          I envy your lack of awareness.

          • MJ

            I envy your ability to post cryptic nonsensically comments.

          • What’s wrong with this method? I use it with pattern and it takes 1 second to unlock.

        • EP_2012

          sigh…. you’re the type of guy who would suggest that “you can mail a letter if email is down!”. I don’t find pins and patterns to be convenient at all. You might, but I don’t, and the front FP scanner has been something I find to be incredibly useful, quick, and convenient.

          • MJ

            What? LOL

            As mentioned by others a front fingerprint reader is not very convenient when a phone is in your pocket. The use of a fingerprint + PIN to cover any situation seems to make sense to me for a phone with a rear fingerprint reader.

            This desk your phone is sitting on doesn’t have a PC on it?

          • EP_2012

            “…front fingerprint reader is not very convenient when a phone is in your pocket”

            In what way is it not convenient? When I grab my phone, my thumb is already on the home button, so it’s unlocked by the time I see the screen. That’s beside the point – when it’s on a dock, or mounted in a car, it’s not easy to get your finger on the the back of the phone. When I’m cooking and have it on the counter, it’s really inconvenient to unlock by pin or pick it up and unlock it from behind.

            There are more advantages to having it on the front, so why bother putting it on the back?

            “This desk your phone is sitting on doesn’t have a PC?

            Relevance? It could be my side table, or the counter, or the coffee table, or couch…

          • MJ

            OK, confirmed you have never had a phone with a rear fingerprint reader or never owned pants with pockets. Dude, it’s normal to grab a phone at the center by the edges (where the index finger naturally touches the back) and NOT by the bottom of it when pulling it out of one’s pants pocket. That’s how you drop things. We have already covered you don’t need to get to the back of the phone if it is in a dock, mounted in a car, or on a desk to unlock it.

            Relevance? To quote you –> “I keep my phone on the desk most of the time…”

            It’s fine if you prefer a phone with a fingerprint reader on the front… Personally, it’s placement is not high on my list of concerns when choosing a phone.

          • EP_2012

            We can argue about how to take a phone out of ones pockets all day, but it doesn’t help the situation. I grab phones with my fingers, not my entire palm.

            “We have already covered you don’t need to get to the back of the phone if it is in a dock, mounted in a car, or on a desk to unlock it.”

            The “solution” is to go back to a pin, which is not a solution but an inconvenient workaround that completely negates the convenience of having a fingerprint scanner. I’m not a fan of compromise when it comes to something I’d be doing dozens of times a day.

          • Big EZ

            Exactly. I use it in this manner most of the day. I pull it out of my pocket only a fraction of the time I go to use it. I’m hoping that the Note 8 has it embedded under the display so I can finally have some security and convenience.

          • Disqus

            Can you set both a pin and fingerprint as unlock methods?

            Therefore the fingerprint will work in most situations but when you are at your desk you can use a pin or pattern to quickly unlock without having to lift the phone?

            Another option is a smart watch or a cheap alternative like a Mi Band 2 which has a setting to leave the phone unlocked when you are near the smart watch and then when its out of range it will automatically lock the phone. I guess the risk here is someone swiping the phone an disabling lock security settings quickly but I believe you need to to type in a pin # to change that setting.

          • EP_2012

            Yes, if you want to use the pin/pattern while FP is enabled, you can do that – it’ll default to that if it misreads your FP a few times.

            While it’s always an option to use a pin/pattern, it’s still far easier to simply have the FP scanner on the front (for me).

            I’ve used the Smart Lock option with my BT headphones and Android Wear watch at different times, but I don’t have those devices on me all the time/near me, so the FP reader is most convenient.

          • illregal

            You’re assuming people put their phones in their pockets upside down. I don’t. that’s weird man.

          • MJ

            Yes, I am assuming that since I prefer to have my phone to come out the right side up (especially if have a rear fingerprint reader) out of the (pants) pocket without having to turn it around. For humans anyway, I don’t know if your appendages work different.

    • jtwildman1

      I guess we all just get use to how our device operates. It seems seemless for me to pull the phone from my pocket and press the front reader with my thumb.

    • Jon

      I have a regular size pixel and I don’t even like where the placement of the reader is on the back. I’d give anything to have it on the front. The s8 looks even worse seeing as it’s up so high. I always like Samsung phones so I’m disappointed with the s8. I can’t stand the edge screen I’ll never buy a phone with that. Might see if I can find someone who wants a pixel and trade mine for the g6.

    • Big EZ

      I had to turn off the fingerprint reader shortly after enabling it. It’s simply too inconvenient on the back. Hopefully the Note 8 will have it under the front display so I can have some kind of security on my phone.

    • Raven ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Can’t we just settle this silly argument with:

    • GotSka81

      I’d just like to see a phone with one on the front AND back…I know, mind blown. Maybe when we get the on-screen tech this will be more feasible? I would assume that at this point it’s just a cost-savings things.

    • crimraw625

      Key phrase “when I’m holding the phone” No matter whether you’re holding the phone or not, your fingers will be touching the front of the device. Why wouldn’t you design the reader to be where 100% of the time your finger will be? Luckily Android has smart unlock, so the majority of time when I’m trying to use my phone without picking it up, I don’t have to unlock it first.

  • jtwildman1

    Did I miss something? Weren’t people complaining last year about the S7 fingerprint scanner not being on the back last year?

  • xzero425x

    Hopefully the retina reader works well enough now that you won’t have to use the fingerprint reader…..?

    • Duffman

      Iris* geez.

      • Eyeball* sheesh.

        • Daistaar

          Cornea* sheesh.

          (Eye just put the corny in cornea, lol)

          • KOBALT


    • Lucky Armpit

      Lol, Apple marketing much?

  • Manor

    Then why not put it below the camera like every other manufacture?

    • seattle tech

      Might of required a new board design and with a launch deadline approaching. It was not feasible. Somewhat like Googles excuse not having ip68

      • MJ

        Most people don’t really have any need for a ip68 rating for their phone but the fingerprint reader placement is kinda of important.

        • Bobb

          I’d prefer IP68 over a fingerprint reader.

          • MJ

            Hey… What you do in the shower is your business.

          • Bobb

            can do either with my MXPE :-/

          • mustbepbs

            Yeah, until it doesn’t have a fingerprint reader and you’re all like “No fingerprint reader in 2017? No buy.”

        • TS50

          You don’t need it. Until you do. Then it’s a huge deal. Finger print reader location doesn’t matter.

        • Sean Koppie

          I highly disagree. Water resistance has been standard since the s5. Such a nice feature to have. Along with the fingerprint. A quick drop in the sink or forgetting your phone when you went swimming use to mean buying a new one.

          • alarson83

            Indeed. I dont take my phone in the pool or anything, but having that peace of mind knowing if something spills on it the phone is fine is nice.

          • illregal

            Pretty much any phone in existence is fine if something spills on it.

          • MJ

            Yes, the S5 had water resistance but it is not a standard feature on phones even today (yet) like a fingerprint reader. People go swimming and forget they have a phone? LOL

        • trevorsalienarms

          Fingerprint reader *placement* is more important than water resistance? Just lol.

          • MJ

            Yes, a fingerprint reader is used dozens of times a day and it can’t be to the one side of the phone next to the camera or on the back at the bottom of the device. Right? Placement matters… I need a convenient method to unlock my phone and while water resistance is nice to have I don’t shower or swim with my phone.

          • trevorsalienarms

            Yes, showering and swimming with your phone are definitely the only two situations in which water resistance might be useful

          • The Doctor

            Shhhh…the Pixel fanatics are just trying to justify their terrible hardware purchase.

      • Facepalm

        it’s a design decision.
        fingerprint sensors will not be “built” into any displays in 2017. and would probably awfully malfunction.

        • illregal

          except for the new iphones, and maybe htc. But you’re right, none of the garbage phones from samsung

        • beeftip

          Qualcomm had working prototypes in 2015, still waiting…

    • Francesanelson

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    • editorinchimp

      Hopefully the Note 8 does.

      • sinfoman


      • Prototype

        Maybe they’ll have the on-screen tech ready for the Note 8. I don’t want to lift my phone every time I’m checking notifications while it’s on the desk, table, etc. Not a fan of rear readers at all.

        • Cindydcastillo

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    • Angryenglish

      Likely to do with the battery location

    • PoisonApple31

      Be together. Not the same.

    • Because Apple hasn’t done it yet.

    • Thales C

      the only reason I can think is that they are pretty confident that everyone will use the iris scanner/facial detection.

      so they can put in the worse place to put a fingerprint scanner, because it doesn’t matter.

  • TechGuy22