Galaxy S10 ships with screen protector as others may block fingerprint sensor

Samsung wants Galaxy S10 buyers to only use its own screen protectors, which cost $30 but the first one's free.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Samsung's Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus will come with a 'free' plastic screen protector. That's good news for customers who want to shield the screen from scratches. But actually Samsung is offering it because it fears the Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor won't work with some screen protectors. 

The company announced the "factory preinstalled screen protector" for the Galaxy A10 in a short note on its community site.

"This decision was made to increase overall customer experiences with the improved screen durability and full functionality of the Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor on Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus," said Samsung. 

The screen protector won't be covered under the usual one-year warranty, which is otherwise available for other accessories in the box, such as the travel adapter, USB connector, and the headphones. 

Samsung also wants carriers and retailers to offer its $30 Samsung branded screen protectors as the recommended replacement option. 

SEE: IT pro's guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)

"We cannot guarantee the experiences with screen protectors made of traditional glass and polyurethane materials. Samsung's replacement screen protector is available for all Galaxy S10 variants with a MSRP of $29.99," Samsung notes. 

However, as noted by ZDNet's mobile specialist, Matthew Miller, some third-party screen protectors work just fine, such as BodyGuardz's protector for the S10.  

Samsung opted to implement Qualcomm's ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner as part of its answer to the bezel-free phone. The sensor uses sound waves to read a fingerprint. 

The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor replaces iris scanning as the biometric sensor on the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, while the Galaxy S10E uses a capacitive fingerprint reader on the power button.


Samsung is offering its own preinstalled plastic protector because it fears the Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor won't work with some screen protectors. 

Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

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