Last month Samsung announced the highly anticipated Galaxy S10 and it somehow managed to launch with several controversies. Just before the launch, a rumour broke out which claimed that the Galaxy S10’s fingerprint scanner doesn’t work over screen protectors.
However, Samsung is using something called ultrasonic fingerprint scanner which uses sound waves to track the finger instead of green light. This has caused several issues especially for those who use screen protectors and tempered glass to protect the display. It was later dismissed as it was confirmed that the sensor works with the screen protector but it was too late and Samsung itself decided to add a screen protector to the device so that users don’t have to worry about it. However, it turns out that the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner doesn’t work at all if you accidentally shatter your screen.
This was confirmed by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything who tried to scratch and shatter the Galaxy S10’s screen to see if the fingerprint scanner works or not. Not only that, Samsung’s own screen protector is very thin and will get scratched up pretty easily. This wasn’t the end of problems for S10 users as another website confirmed that tempered glass and thick screen protectors will disable the fingerprint scanner as those will block the sound waves from hitting the fingers. This is bad considering that S10 has an edge-to-edge display which increases the chance of cracks if the right protection is not used.
There are people who will jump in and say that the same applies to the normal in-display scanner. While it is true to some extent, MKBHD tested the limits of optical in-display fingerprint scanner last year it managed to survive everything that was thrown at it including scratches from sandpaper.
Samsung’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is still in the early stages and it took companies a while to get the optical in-display fingerprint scanner right so Samsung can’t really be blamed here. However, if you do decide to go with Galaxy S10, a good case should go a long way. Moreover, we do expect companies to come with thin screen protectors for the Galaxy S10 soon. In the meantime, try not to break the screen as it will cost a fortune to replace.