Samsung is preparing to launch the Galaxy S9 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), but the rumor mill is already looking forward to the Galaxy Note 9. We already know almost everything about the Galaxy S9, but not much is known about the Note 9 at this point. Now a Chinese tipster has learned from their sources that the Galaxy Note 9 will finally have the fingerprint sensor embedded under the display.
Galaxy Note 9 to be Samsung’s first phone with optical fingerprint tech
Twitter user MMDDJ_, who has leaked numerous details of unannounced smartphones on Twitter and Weibo in the past, said in a tweet that Samsung will incorporate the under display fingerprint reader on the Note 9. It means the Galaxy Note 9 owners will be able to unlock their handsets and authenticate payments by placing their finger on the screen. The Galaxy S9 would still have the fingerprint sensor placed on the back panel, below the camera.
Under display fingerprint sensor on GALAXY Note 9.
— 萌萌的电教 (@MMDDJ_) January 7, 2018
It’s not the first time we have come across reports of Samsung incorporating the optical fingerprint solution in its flagship phones. Earlier, there were speculations that the company would add the technology in the Galaxy S8 or Note 8. But it never happened, most likely because Samsung was still facing issues with security, speed, and low yield rates. The Korean company has been working on the feature for years.
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also told investors that the Galaxy Note 9 would be Samsung’s first device to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner. The analyst has learned from supply chain sources that Egis, BeyondEyes, and Samsung LSI were in the race to supply optical fingerprint sensors for the Note 9. It means the Korean company won’t be using sensors from Qualcomm or Synaptics for the feature.
Kuo believes the optical fingerprint scanner would be a stop-gap solution before Samsung could bring a 3D facial recognition system to take on Apple’s Face ID. Samsung’s flagship phones already feature facial recognition, but it isn’t secure. Ming-Chi Kuo noted that Android vendors including Samsung wouldn’t be able to replicate Face ID’s complex technology for at least 18-24 months. The Galaxy Note 9 would also come with an advanced iris scanner for additional security.
Vivo, Doogee beat Samsung in race to in-display fingerprint solution
The Note 9 won’t be the first smartphone to come with the optical fingerprint solution. Chinese vendor Vivo has showcased the world’s first phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor at the CES. Vivo said the device was ready to enter production, but it didn’t mention any other features or the release date. We expect it to arrive in the first half of this year. Vivo uses Synaptics’ new ClearID FS9500 fingerprint sensor on its phone.
Synaptics announced last month that it had started mass production of the ClearID FS9500. The company said at the time that it had partnered with a “top five” OEM to bring the technology to market this year. Turns out, that vendor was Vivo. BBK Electronics, which owns popular Chinese brands such as Vivo, OnePlus, and Oppo, is one of the world’s top five smartphone vendors.
Another Chinese company Doogee has announced its mid-range phone Doogee V with an in-display fingerprint reader. The Android phone directly steals the iPhone X’s notch and the design of Samsung’s Galaxy S phones. But it would boast of an optical fingerprint scanner, a feature that neither iPhone X nor Galaxy S8 has. The rumor mill claims it would be priced between $300 and $350.
The Doogee V sports two 16-megapixel sensors on the front and two 21-megapixel lenses on the back. It comes with MediaTek’s P40 processor, a huge 6GB RAM, and 128GB of built-in storage. Doogee hasn’t yet revealed when the Doogee V would hit the store shelves, but Twitter tipster Benjamin Geskin claims it would launch by the end of April or in May.
Galaxy Note 9 rumored specs
The Galaxy Note 9 would retain its signature S Pen stylus. Samsung executives have confirmed that the Note 9’s S Pen would get a major upgrade. So, we can expect new stylus features, though its design will likely remain the same. Samsung will also improve the Note 9’s dual camera system. The Note 8 has one of the world’s best smartphone cameras, but it still lags behind the iPhone X and Google’s Pixel 2.
The Note 9 would be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 or Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 chipsets depending on the region. The US would get the Snapdragon variant of the device. The Snapdragon 845 is 30% faster than last year’s SD835. It also brings tons of improvements in terms of camera, AI processing, security, and energy efficiency.
Rumors suggest the Note 9 would pack at least 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot. It would retain the 3.5mm headphone jack and the USB Type-C port. Samsung recently developed a new “graphene ball” battery technology that would allow the company to boost battery capacity by 45% without increasing its size. What’s more, it can increase the charging speed by up to five times. It is too early to says whether Samsung would add the new battery technology in the Galaxy Note 9, but consumers would love it if it happens.