For the most part the Samsung Galaxy S8 is an improvement on the Samsung Galaxy S7, but moving the fingerprint scanner to the back was arguably a change for the worse. However, a patent suggests it’s one Samsung’s looking to remedy for the Galaxy S9.
Found by GalaxyClub (opens in new tab), a Samsung patent application shows a fingerprint scanner built into a little notch at the bottom of the screen, a lot like the notch on the Essential Phone or to a lesser extent the iPhone X, but at the bottom rather than the top, and housing a scanner rather than a camera.
This would allow Samsung to continue offering an almost bezel-free display, while having a fingerprint scanner in an arguably more convenient location than the Galaxy S8.
Patents aren't products
It’s worth noting that the application was made in 2016, so it’s not brand new, and that patent ideas often don’t get integrated into products, so we wouldn’t count on seeing this, but it’s a possibility.
Samsung is rumored to be working on a fingerprint scanner that would be integrated into the display, but an analyst prediction suggests we won’t see that before the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, if at all, so this fingerprint notch could be a stopgap used for the Samsung Galaxy S9.