Vivo launches first smartphone with embedded fingerprint scanner

The on-screen fingerprint sensor is here: Vivo launches first mainstream smartphone with scanner built into the display

  • Vivo unveiled the world’s first smartphone with an in-screen fingerprint scanner  
  • Called the Vivo X21, it has a fingerprint in the screen that unlocks the device
  • Apple and Samsung both considered adding in-display scanners to their phones 

Vivo has launched the world’s first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor. 

Called the Vivo X21, it has a fingerprint pad embedded in the screen that enables users to unlock the phone with ‘one touch’ and in a ‘futuristic style.’ 

Under-the-display fingerprint sensors have been hyped up for the last several months, with some rumors saying Apple and Samsung would release devices that use the technology, but it appears Vivo has beat them both to the punch. 

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Under-the-display fingerprint sensors have been hyped up for a while, with rumors saying Apple and Samsung would release devices that use them, but Vivo beat them to the punch

WHAT ARE THE VIVO X21’S SPECIFICATIONS? 

Vivo has launched the world’s first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

The device starts at $567 (£422) and is available worldwide. 

Here are the specs: 

  • 6.28-inch AMOLED display
  • First-ever in-screen fingerprint scanner 
  • Snapdragon 660 processor 
  • Runs Android 8.1 
  • 6gb of RAM and up to 128gb of memory 
  • Dual 12.5mp camera on back panel
  • Dual 12mp front-facing camera 

The device starts at $567 (£422), comes in black and the Chinese smartphone maker has made it available for purchase worldwide. 

Building a phone with a futuristic in-display fingerprint reader doesn’t come cheap, either, as the X21 is a significant step up in price from the Vivo V9, which runs about $354. 

And while Vivo may have brought the technology to market first, Mashable reports that the set up process for the fingerprint scanner isn’t flawless just yet. 

Traditional fingerprint scanners only take a few minutes to set up, while Vivo’s fingerprint scanner took several tries and requires users to press down pretty hard for the device to register their fingerprint. 

That said, users can still unlock the phone in under a second, Mashable noted. 

Many said the sensor takes some getting used to, as it can be hard to locate on the phone’s screen, but it helps that the button lights up with a flashing green animation when users activate it.

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The sensor takes some getting used to, as it can be hard to locate on the phone’s screen, but it helps that the button lights up with a flashing green animation when users activate it

The X21 has many similar design elements as Apple’s iPhone X and also shares a problem voiced by many consumers with the 10th anniversary phone. 

Like the iPhone X’s Face ID, the X21’s in-display fingerprint sensor can be hard to see and use in direct sunlight.

As the Verge noted, it will be worth keeping an eye on how the fingerprint scanner holds up over time, as Apple ran into some issues with its iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner after a year – and that wasn’t an in-display button.

But the novel technology makes way for the X21 to have an edge-to-edge screen, a notch at the top and a ‘chin’ at the bottom. 

It also has a massive 6.28-inch AMOLED display, coupled with a Snapdragon 660 processor.

The Vivo X21 features a notch at the top of the screen and a chin at the bottom. It also has a 6.28-inch AMOLED display, coupled with a Snapdragon 660 processor and 6b of RAM

The X21 starts at $567 (£422), comes in black and the Chinese smartphone maker has made it available worldwide. It’s a significant step up in price from the Vivo V9, which runs about $354

The X21 runs the latest Android 8.1, includes 6gb of RAM and up to 128gb of memory.

Additionally, the phone features a dual 12.5mp camera on the back panel and a dual 12mp front-facing camera.  

Again, like the iPhone X, it includes Portrait Mode and augmented reality stickers. 

There’s even an ‘artificial intelligence face beauty feature,’ which Vivo has evolved to get smarter over the years. 

‘AI Face Beauty gives a major upgrade to the Vivo’s classic Face Beauty feature,’ the company noted. 

‘It recognizes your unique facial features, and continues learning and improving to create the perfect selfie’

‘Think of it as your personal make-over team packed into one intelligent device. Even with backlight, your entire face looks bright and naturally beautiful,’ Vivo added. 

The phone features a dual 12.5mp camera on the back panel and a dual 12mp front-facing camera. Like the iPhone X, it includes Portrait Mode and augmented reality stickers

There’s even an ‘artificial intelligence face beauty feature,’ which Vivo has evolved over time. The company refers to it as ‘your personal make-over team packed into one intelligent device’

While the reliability of Vivo’s first-ever in-display fingerprint scanner remains to be seen, many are viewing it as a major step for the technology. 

Xiaomi and Huawei have recently announced versions of their flagship devices that use similar scanners.  

It could also mean that Apple or Samsung plan to take a second look at in-display fingerprint scanners in the near future.  

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