A rumor originating from China claims that Samsung will be using an optical fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8. If true, it would mean that the Galaxy S8 would be the first smartphone in the world to use an optical fingerprint sensor.
We have already seen Xiaomi use an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor on the Xiaomi Mi 5s that was placed beneath the display cover glass. However, the optical fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 will be integrated into the front glass of the phone. While optical sensors are faster than ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, they are not necessarily accurate. The first smartphones that made use of a fingerprint scanner featured an optical sensor that were known for being easy to fool around.
I’d wager my bet on Samsung using an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8. With Apple switching to a capacitive home button on the iPhone 7 this year, Samsung is also likely to ditch its physical home button in favor of a capacitive one, especially since its other two navigation keys are already capacitive in nature. With a capacitive home button and by using an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, Samsung can easily extend the display cover glass across the front of the S8 without compromising on usability, experience, or the accuracy of the sensor.