Galaxy S10's sluggish in-screen fingerprint reader: Samsung issues urgent fix

Samsung Galaxy S10's poor-performing in-screen fingerprint reader should work better now it's been patched.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Samsung has released an update for the fingerprint reader on its flagship Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus devices that some users complained wasn't responsive. 

Samsung issued a 'Biometrics security patch' for the Galaxy S10 pair on Friday, and according to early user reports it has resolved problems with the devices' in-screen fingerprint scanner, which was sluggish for many users. 

While a number of owners said the fingerprint sensor was slow, earlier this month some users reported that the sensor was not working at all, according to multiple complaints on Samsung's user forums

Samsung implemented Qualcomm's ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner to maximize screen space while avoiding the notch it made fun of in anti-iPhone ads. It also allowed Samsung to bring back the fingerprint sensor to the front of the device. 

The sensor uses sound waves to read a fingerprint and features blood-flow detection to prevent spoofing attacks. However, users have already demonstrated that the Galaxy S10 can be tricked by a 3D printed fingerprint. 

Some users have reported problems installing the fingerprint reader update, but those who have successfully installed it report dramatic improvements. 

"I have AT&T and received the fingerprint update yesterday. I will say that the sensor has gotten MUCH better and faster. Previously I would have to press my fingerprint multiple times (on average) to get it to unlock, but now I press it once and it opens at lightening speed," wrote one user.     

"Yeah, mine sure got a lot faster, which made a pretty big difference throughout my day," another user said.  

SEE: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

The update comes a month after Samsung admitted there were problems with the biometric scanner, which often failed when users attempted to pay for items in mobile apps. 

"There can be many occasions where users find the fingerprint scanner doesn't work well, for example, when you are in a dry environment, or when your finger skin is really dry, or when you have a scratch on your fingerprint," a Samsung official told the Korea Herald in March. 

"The accuracy has been improved through the first update of software recently just in one week since the launch, and we will continue providing updates to make the scanner work better." 

One Galaxy S10 Plus owner's response to the urgent update. Image: Raya Fahreza/Samsung/Twitter

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