Google May Use An Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner In The Pixel 9

Google is set to unveil its latest Pixel phones earlier than usual this year, with an announcement scheduled for August 13. Among the recent upgrades, a new report highlights a significant enhancement: replacing the current optical fingerprint sensor with an advanced ultrasonic in-display sensor.

The Pixel 6, 7, and 8 series function similarly to a camera using an optical sensor- a visible light sensor located beneath the display. To help you identify yourself, the OLED panel flashes your fingerprint, and a sensor reads the reflected light. On the other hand, an ultrasonic sensor maps your fingerprint using sound waves. According to Android Authority, the second-generation Fold will continue to include a sensor in the power button, while the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro will use Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sensors. Not even Samsung has included an in-display sensor in any of their foldable devices.

Google is anticipated to use Qualcomm’s most recent ultrasonic sensors, the 3D Sonic Gen 2 (QFS4008), which is identical to the technology used in Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra. Although many flagship and mid-range Android phones use optical sensors, many of them have integrated in-display fingerprint sensors. Samsung is still one of the few manufacturers focused on the more costly and sophisticated ultrasonic models.

Compared to optical scanners, ultrasonic sensors provide several important advantages. They don’t produce a lot of light during scanning, so there is no interference with hearing or sight. Furthermore, they work better, faster, and more accurately when your finger is dirty or wet. While Samsung’s first implementation had problems with screen protectors, the latest versions are reliable and well-secured.

The Pixel series needs this update, especially now that their costs are becoming close to those of Samsung’s Galaxy S models. A $1,000 smartphone with subpar biometric technology is hard to justify, given that users interact with the fingerprint sensor almost every time they use their phones.

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