Galaxy S10's Ultrasonic Sensor Has A Catch: Screen Protectors Won't Work With It

Samsung's next big thing, the Galaxy S10 has a pretty big flaw. Screen protectors will not work, due to the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor it is reportedly using.

This confirmation comes from Armadillotek, who make military-grade cases for many smartphones, including some of Samsung's latest and greatest like the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note9. The company Tweeted today that they have tested their cases "on real Galaxy S10 phones." Also noting that the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor will not support the screen protector, therefore their "vanguard will have no built-in screen protector."

That doesn't sound like a big deal from Armadillotek, but this isn't just going to affect one case maker. It is going to affect everyone that was looking to put out screen protectors for the upcoming Galaxy S10, as it will essentially render the fingerprint sensor useless. And that's not a good thing for Samsung or for customers. Though we can't say that we didn't see this coming, with in-display fingerprint options.

The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is said to be Qualcomm's - which it announced at the Snapdragon Tech Summit last December, and said it had a launch partner ready, but didn't mention any names. Since this is the first ultrasonic fingerprint sensor available, it's safe to assume that this is going to be Qualcomm's version. It is said to be thinner than other in-display fingerprint sensors, and you don't need to actually touch the screen to unlock the phone. Which is where things go wrong with screen protectors.

Basically, this sensor is a 3D ultrasonic sensor, and can read your finger through different contaminants like oil, water and so forth. So if you've been washing dishes and your fingers are shriveled, you can still unlock your phone with ease. Not to mention the fact that it removes an extra cut out from the back of the phone, which gives the Galaxy S10 a sleeker look.

The Galaxy S10 is expected to be announced on February 20, at Samsung's Unpacked event in San Francisco and London. Just ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Everything we've seen about the Galaxy S10 so far rumors, seeing as Samsung has not announced anything about the device just yet. So we'll have to take all of this with a grain of salt. But it would be really weird for Armadillotek to say that their screen protectors won't work on the device, if others do work on the Galaxy S10. Right now, fingerprint sensors aren't working with screen protectors mainly because the tech is still very new. In a few years once it's perfected a bit, it may work just like it does today.

If you are thinking about getting a Galaxy S10 once it is announced next month, you're going to want to be careful with that display. You're either going to have to go without a screen protector, or opt to not use the fingerprint sensor in favor of protecting that screen. With Samsung likely using Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen, it's going to scratch very easily, especially without a screen protector.

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Alexander Maxham

Section Editor
Alex has written for Androidheadlines since 2012 as Editor of the site and traveled the World to many of the biggest Smartphone and Technology events. Alex has a background in Technology and IT and Deep Passion for Everything Android and Google. His specialties lay in Smartphones of all budgets, Accessories, Home Automation and more. Contact him at [email protected]