Samsung Galaxy S21 is set for a fingerprint reader speed upgrade

Samsung Galaxy S20
The Samsung Galaxy S20. (Image credit: Future)

Among the potential upgrades coming to the Samsung Galaxy S21, it seems we can now add the fingerprint reader embedded under the display. The sensor is set to be twice as fast and almost twice as large as the previous version, according to a new rumor.

That rumor comes from seasoned tipster Ice Universe on Twitter, who can usually be relied upon for accurate information. The claim is that the new fingerprint sensor will measure 8 mm x 8 mm, making it less likely that your finger will miss the mark.

The leaker goes on to say that the Galaxy S21 phones will be able to be unlocked with a tap of the finger, rather than a longer press – that should speed up the process of getting into your handset if you choose this method of security for your device.

Many of the top-end Android phones use in-screen fingerprint readers now – the Pixel series is an exception – and Samsung used the technology in both the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note series handsets that it launched during the course of 2020.

Banishing bezels and notches

In our review of the Samsung Galaxy S20, we did find the performance of the fingerprint scanner to be somewhat erratic, though our experience of the sensor technology on the Galaxy Note 20 was relatively trouble-free.

If the scanner placed under the screen of the Galaxy S21, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra fixes these previous issues and boosts the access speed too, it should make a big difference – depending on how many times you tend to unlock your phone during a day.

While the introduction of fingerprint sensors embedded in screens has helped to make phones more aesthetically appealing than ever before, we're still waiting for under-display cameras to give us handsets that are nothing but display panels on the front – and Samsung is said to be busy working on that technology too.

The Galaxy S21 series of phones is rumored to be launching on January 14. As well as a potential upgrade in the fingerprint sensor department, it looks as though we'll get performance and camera upgrades, as well as S Pen support for the S21 Ultra.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.