iPhone, Galaxy's future? Vivo X20 Plus UD debuts world's first on-screen fingerprint scanner

Chinese consumers get first dibs on the world's first phone with an under-screen fingerprint reader.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Vivo's new X20 Plus UD is the first phone with an under-screen fingerprint reader.

Image: Vivo

Vivo's new X20 Plus UD is the world's first phone to have a non-Face ID answer to fuller-screen smartphones that have forced the fingerprint reader to the back of phones, either centrally like Google's Pixel 2, or off-center, like Samsung's Galaxy S8.

The fingerprint reader itself is located in the display but allows the scan to happen just by placing a finger on the screen. Synaptics showed off the technology at CES 2018 earlier this month in a Vivo prototype. The X20 Plus UD for now is only available in Vivo's home market of China.

As CNET reports, one downside of the onscreen scan is that you can't use a thick screen protector. However, the X20 Plus UD handily comes with a compatible one.

Given that the under-screen reader solves the space challenge posed by thinner bezels, it's likely that more Android phones will adopt the technology.

Besides the fingerprint reader, the X20 Plus UD shares the same specs as Vivo's X20 Plus, featuring a 6.43-inch Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, two rear 12-megapixel cameras, and a 3,905mAh battery.

Samsung's Galaxy S8 was reportedly meant to have the under-screen Synaptics fingerprint sensor but couldn't meet the production deadline.

Had the technology been ready, there's a chance Apple might have opted for it in the iPhone X over the more challenging sensors for Face ID.

According to CNET, the X20 Plus UD will retail for 3,600 Chinese yuan, which converts to $570.

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Vivo's X20 Plus UD features an under-screen fingerprint scanner (CNET)

Shown off at CES earlier this year, the world's first phone with a fingerprint scanner under the display is headed for its home market of China.

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