Vivo makes splash with in-glass sensor
12 January 2018 15:20 GMT

Vivo has launched a smartphone with an in-glass sensor, and tech reviewers like it.

Vivo this week launched a new smartphone model using a newly announced Synaptics optical sensor, which has been in development for years. It works by peering through the gaps between the pixels in an OLED display (LCDs wouldn’t work because of their need for a backlight) and scanning your uniquely patterned epidermis.

Tech media speculates that this is likely the tech that Synaptics and Samsung were collaborating on for the Galaxy S8 for last year, right up until it became apparent that it wouldn’t be ready in time for the phone’s release. 

A Verge reviewer wrote: "The uncanny thing for me with this phone is how obvious and immediately intuitive the in-display fingerprint system is. This 6-inch phone has the minimal bezels of something like the OnePlus 5T, but it also happens to unlock when I put my finger at the bottom of its screen. The technological aspect is just totally invisible and, if you’re not paying attention to how challenging this is technically, it feels almost pedestrian and unimpressive. Like, of course, that’s how it always should have been."

This technology will only work for phones that use OLED displays because the sensor looks through the spaces between subpixels from under the panel. An LCD has a backlight that would interfere with the process.