The ultrasonic fingerprint reader that Samsung is said to be planning to implement below the displays of its Galaxy S10-series smartphones will first debut on the Mate 20 lineup of Android flagships this year, Chinese media outlet CNMO reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Huawei is understood to have entered an exclusive technology licensing agreement with Qualcomm that will guarantee it's the only manufacturer to utilize the company's second-generation in-display fingerprint scanners until next February, i.e. until the approximate time the Galaxy S10 family is expected to be officially announced by Samsung.
Compared to the first generation of Qualcomm's solution, the new ultrasonic readers can work beneath a glass layer that's up to 800 microns thick, marking a 500-micron annual improvement. The modules are also said to be unfazed by wet fingertips and should authenticate fingerprints faster and with a smaller margin of error compared to the technology that preceded them. Huawei already commercialized an in-display fingerprint reader with the Mate RS Porsche Design (pictured above) but the optical reader implemented into that smartphone offers significantly worse performance than what the best traditional scanners can accomplish, most tech critics agree. That state of affairs is possibly what prompted Huawei to also place a conventional fingerprint reader on the back of the Mate RS Porsche Design, thus delivering a unique Android handset with two biometric scanners.
Samsung itself has been delaying in-screen sensors for several years now, having repeatedly signaled it's looking to perfect them and is prepared to keep postponing their commercialization for as long as it takes for the risk of delivering a subpar user experience to be mitigated. With the Mate 10 series being announced last November, the lineup meant to succeed it is likely to be unveiled around the same time this year and serve as the final flagship release of 2018. Besides featuring a cutting-edge fingerprint reader, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are also expected to debut with the Kirin 980, the most powerful chip ever created by Huawei's subsidiary HiSilicon which is set to be officially announced at Berlin-based IFA on August 31.