OnePlus 6T's Screen Unlock Gets Better Over Time, This Is How

The OnePlus 6T is OnePlus’ latest flagship, and it comes with a feature / component that was not presented on previous OnePlus devices, an in-display fingerprint scanner. OnePlus did mention when it announced the device that its fingerprint scanner will get better in time, but the company did not elaborate on that. Well, it’s time to change that, as the company’s new copywriter just shared some official information on the company’s official forums, explaining how the “Screen Unlock” feature works, and how it actually learns from you, the more you use it, the better it should get, at least in theory. Now, the company’s employee mentions that the OnePlus 6T’s Screen Unlock can unlock the phone in 0.34 seconds, and claims that this is the fastest in-display fingerprint scanner out there, which is possible, as not many phones use them just yet. It is worth noting that you’ll unlock your phone faster using a capacitive fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 6, as all you need to do is put your finger on it and you’ll almost instantly be ready to use the device, so the Screen Unlock is slower in practice, and less accurate, but it’s futuristic and still quite accurate. That is not something that the company’s employee mentioned, but is something that many tech outlets realized since they started using the 6T, us included.

In any case, the company’s copywriter mentions that the Screen Unlock has been tested since the OnePlus 5T, which is something that Pete Lau did mention a while back. If you take a look at the first image provided down below, you will be able to see a comparison between the company’s first-gen optical fingerprint scanner, and the second-gen one that is included in the OnePlus 6T. The first-gen product was quite large, and it had a low recognition rate, says the company’s employee, while the new one is a lot narrower, has strong structural stability, and fast recognition rate. In that forum post, it is also explained that Screen Unlock combines hardware and software in order to provide the best results possible. Once you place your finger on the 6T’s in-display fingerprint scanner, it sends out light to illuminate your finger, and is allowing the sensor to see your fingerprint, basically. As the company was testing this in-display fingerprint scanner, it realized that green light gives the best results when it comes to recognizing fingerprints, which is why it is using that color in order to recognize it.

OnePlus claims that Screen Unlock is a “natural evolution” of fingerprint technology, as traditional fingerprint scanners did a good job, but it’s time for a change. Now, as far as the “gets better over time” part, the company’s employee says that the scanner uses “sophisticated algorithms” in order to improve over time, as it will learn more about the way you unlock your phone. Yale Liu, the company’s software engineer, says that every time the OnePlus 6T scans your finger and successfully unlocks the device, the sensor also records areas of the finger that weren’t registered in the initial setup stage, and adds that data to the original scan, that it becomes more accurate. So, basically every time you unlock the device, the fingerprint scanner will have more info to work with, and thus should work better as a result.

Background: The OnePlus 6T was announced at the end of October. It originally arrived in Mirror Black and Midnight Black color variants, but the company additionally announced the Thunder Purple color as well. The very first special edition OnePlus 6T variant will be arriving later today, as the company is partnering up with McLaren in order to release the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition smartphone. That device leaked quite recently, and it seems like it will resemble the regular variant a lot when it comes to the design, in fact, the only difference in terms of the design will come to a different pattern under the display on the back, and some orange highlights that will be included on the back of the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition. It seems like there will be more difference when it comes to specs, however, as the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is rumored to sport 10GB of RAM, compared to 6GB / 8GB on the regular OnePlus 6T, while the McLaren Edition of the phone is also rumored to ship with “Warp Charge 30”, at least based on the promotional materials that leaked. This new charging tech is probably an equivalent to the Super VOOC charging tech used by some of OPPO’s smartphones, which is a 50W charging technology, the fastest charging tech in the mobile world at the moment. Other than that, the McLaren Edition of the phone may include more storage than a regular OnePlus 6T unit, but other than that, its specs will be the same as on the regular model. So, you can expect to see the Snapdragon 845 SoC, a 6.41-inch fullHD+ Optic AMOLED display, 16 and 20-megapixel rear-facing cameras, a 3,700mAh battery, and the very same Screen Unlock implementation as on the regular OnePlus 6T unit.

Impact: Screen Unlock may be futuristic and interesting to use, but it’s still not as useful as your regular capacitive fingerprint scanner, as it’s not as far nor as accurate. That will probably change moving forward, as ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanners will probably take over in 2019, not to say that the optical in-display fingerprint scanner in the OnePlus 6T is bad or anything of the sort, but it does not feel like a major step forward in its current form. In any case, it will be interesting to see what will OnePlus implement in the OnePlus 7, but we’ll hopefully see an even more capable in-display fingerprint scanner in that device, which is expected to arrive May or June next year, at least if the company opts to stick to its current release cycle, as the company’s 5G-enabled phone will launch in early 2019, at least according to the info that we have at the moment, and it will be considerably more expensive than the OnePlus 6T.

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About the Author
Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at Kristijan. [email protected]