The Galaxy Note 9 will almost certainly be Samsung's first Android smartphone with an in-display fingerprint reader, according to new reports from China citing a number of patents recently awarded to the South Korean tech giant. Samsung is apparently still unwilling to rely on a third-party solution such as the one offered by Synaptics and wants the in-screen fingerprint scanner of the Galaxy Note 9 to be based on its own technology. While that approach is likely to increase the smartphone's research and development costs, it should save money for Samsung in the long term as it will allow the company to simply iterate on its existing technology for its future products instead of continuing to pay hefty license fees to other firms.
The image seen above has been attached to one of Samsung's patents cited by the new reports on the company's efforts in the biometric authentication segment, though the design of the handset it shows is understood to be just a reference and not representative of the Galaxy Note 9 or any other future offering from the phone maker. The Seoul-based original equipment manufacturer has been reportedly trying to embed a fingerprint sensor under the display of its flagship devices for several years now, having originally started aggressively pursuing the technology following the release of the Galaxy S7 lineup in early 2016, according to previous reports. Both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 series ended up missing on the technology as Samsung continued to struggle with manufacturing yield rates, industry sources repeatedly claimed.
Chinese phone maker Vivo is the first OEM to have debuted a device with a fingerprint scanner installed beneath its display, having introduced it in the form of the Vivo X20 Plus UD earlier this year. Once the technology is perfected, future Android flagships are expected to support both in-screen fingerprint readers and facial recognition solutions, allowing users to choose between either. The Galaxy Note 9 is likely to be similar to the upcoming Galaxy S9 Plus in terms of raw processing power but should also boast the lineup's signature S Pen and a variety of unique features centered around the stylus. The handset is predicted to launch in late August or early September at IFA 2018, whereas the Galaxy S9 series has already been confirmed for a February 25 announcement at MWC 2018.