The upcoming OnePlus 6T was previously teased by the OEM to ship with an in-display fingerprint sensor on-board, and if there was still any doubt in the wake of the OEM's promotional material, yesterday OnePlus reopened the topic on the Chinese social network Weibo where it not only reconfirmed the feature but also revealed that the module will be based on optical technology. In theory, the alternative would have been a sonic-based fingerprint sensor, but in practice, this technology is not yet ready for the consumer market, so OnePlus' hardware choice – or lack thereof – is understandable, though it might have undesirable consequences.
On paper, in-display fingerprint scanners provide an elegant solution for smartphone makers who are on a quest for thinner bezels – OnePlus included. However, between sonic-based and optic sensors, the former technology should surpass the latter once it becomes mainstream, thanks to faster response times and higher accuracy. In theory, this shouldn't be much of an issue for OEMs opting for the existing technology, provided that optical sensors can function well enough not to become a nuisance for end users, but so far this technology hasn't really inspired a lot of confidence. Vivo, who is a subsidiary of BBK Electronics much like OnePlus is, recently launched the NEX S smartphone boasting an in-panel optical-based sensor, and it's very likely – though unconfirmed – that the OnePlus 6T will adopt the same exact module. But Vivo's implementation leaves a lot to be desired, as detailed in Android Headlines' review of the NEX S. The in-panel fingerprint sensor proved to be unresponsive often times, while in all other cases there was a noticeable delay.
On the other hand, while Vivo and OnePlus share the same parent company, the two OEMs' philosophy when it comes to smartphone design and software is very different, so it may not be sensible to judge the OnePlus 6T ahead of its release, which should take place on November 6 following an official unveiling scheduled for October 30. There is a possibility that even if the sensor will be virtually the same as on the Vivo NEX S, the module employed by OnePlus could have been further tweaked. Additionally, software optimization goes a long way, and it's no mystery that OnePlus' near-stock flavor of Android OS facilitates performance more than Vivo's custom Android skin does. Android Headlines will make sure to take a closer look at how the OnePlus 6T's in-panel fingerprint sensor performs once the device visits our offices.