We expect the Samsung Galaxy S23 phones to bring with it a host of upgrades, from cameras to processors, but apparently there's one key spec that won't see an upgrade: the fingerprint sensor.
Reliable leaker Ice Universe (opens in a new tab) seems to have gotten a protective glass coating for the Galaxy S23 Ultra model, and it reveals a spot where the fingerprint sensor will sit, a spot about the same size. Samsung Galaxy S22 phones.
There's nothing particularly wrong with the Galaxy S22's fingerprint sensor, but as Notebookcheck(Opens in a new tab) points out, we expected the Galaxy S23's sensor to be bigger and better. Now, that seems unlikely to be the case.
Specifically, the Galaxy S22 features Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, while the Galaxy S23 was thought to sport Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max, a sensor that is more accurate, more secure, and capable of scanning two fingers at once.
Perhaps Samsung decided it wanted to stick with the same fingerprint sensor to cut costs, or perhaps the original rumor about a fingerprint sensor upgrade was off the mark from the start, but it's an upgrade that now seems unlikely.
You can argue that fingerprint sensors aren't the most important component of a smartphone, but considering how often we unlock our phones every day, they can have a significant impact on the user experience.
Analysis: fingerprint sensor updates
Head over to the official Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max website (opens in a new tab) and you'll see improvements in a number of areas. It is the largest on-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor to date, using sound waves to scan fingerprints at fast speed and with incredibly fine resolution.
It's much more difficult to spoof a fingerprint with this technology compared to standard optical fingerprint sensors, Qualcomm says. It will scan fingerprints faster when wet and thanks to the implemented acoustic scanning it is also more reliable when your fingers are not squeaky clean.
The larger surface area allows two fingers to be scanned at once, and the sensor has an error rate of 1 in 250,000, according to its manufacturer. However, based on the leaky protective glass we've seen appearing online, we'll have to wait until at least 2024 to see it on a Samsung Galaxy S flagship phone.
It's not all bad news, as the Galaxy S23 will bring several improvements over the previous phone. Already this week, we heard that the phone will carry a customized version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that offers even better performance.