Well, this quote does not come from any technology expert or philosopher; it’s a lesson that I learned the hard way. I came across this realization when my phone refused to power on after a software update and I had to drop it to the service center. I had no choice but to use my 4 year old aged android phone. I was welcomed with a pattern lock when I turned it on and my finger was already rubbing its rear camera, thinking it was a fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, it did not have a fingerprint sensor, however, I badly smudged the rear camera with my fingerprint scan attempts.
In the following days, I learnt how important fingerprint sensors have become. Every time I unlocked my old phone, I had to struggle with pattern lock, failed attempts and I just wished that it too had a fingerprint sensor. So moral of the story (for me at least) is: technology raises expectations.
This incident made me put together top 10 phones with fingerprint sensor in 2018 (and fortunately most of them have it). So, here we go!
Top ten phones with fingerprint sensor
“Top 10 phones” can be a very subjective (and controversial) phrase, unless I specify what they are being ranked upon. Top in innovation, specifications or in market share? A cheaper phone with flagship specifications (Hello OnePlus, Pocophone!) will definitely attract more customers than an expensive phone with something innovative or class leading tech. So we have tried to keep our approach balanced by looking at all the aspects, innovation, price as well as popularity.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung’s Galaxy Note series devices offer top-notch specifications and they are launched when people are done with the handover of galaxy series devices, which sit just below the Galaxy Note series. With front and back made of Gorilla Glass 5, Galaxy Note 9 is a gorgeous piece of technology that you can get. It houses the flagship Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 octa processor backed with 6 or 8 GB RAM to handle any task you throw at it. A 6.4 inch super AMOLED screen gets you to the immersive experience of multimedia and gaming. Internal storage is 128 or 512GB depending on the version, it can be further expended up to 512GB with a microSD card, however. A stylus is also included with the device, which is a signature feature of Galaxy Note series.
Imaging department is taken care by a dual camera setup with a 12 MP, f/1.5-2.4 dual aperture, dual pixel phase detection autofocus and optically stabilized main camera supported by a 12MP f/2.4 optically stabilized telephoto lens that enables you to optically zoom up to 2x. An 8 MP, f/1.7, 25mm auto-focus front camera is also there to perform your selfie rituals.
Finally, the fingerprint sensor. Yes, this time it is where it should be, just below the camera and cantered horizontally on the rear panel. It comes as a sigh of relief after last year’s odd location of fingerprint sensor on Galaxy Note 8. Galaxy Note 9 is everything a 2018 power house should be, but all good things come at a price and Galaxy Note 9 is the Samsung’s most expensive phone yet.
Google Pixel 2 XL
After the demise of Google’s nexus series, the Pixels have taken over. The major difference, however, is that these devices are manufactured and branded by Google itself, unlike Nexus devices, that also bore manufacturer’s name with it. Google Pixel 2 XL is a significant upgrade over Pixel XL, the first smartphone of the Pixel series. It has improved camera, faster chipset, larger display with taller aspect ratio and thinner bezels. Launched in October 2017, the smartphone is still one of the hottest devices if you want stock android experience with flagship specifications (and yeah, with the big G logo on the back).
Powered with Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor and equipped with 4 GB RAM, the Pixel 2 XL comes in 64 or 128GB internal storage options. Main camera is a 12MP sensor which is optically stabilized and offers phase detection autofocus and laser AF for a quick and accurate focus. Front cam is an 8MP f/2.4 sensor. A 6 inch OLED display with 1440 x 2880 pixels resolution 18:9 aspect ratio makes sure that you do not take your eyes off the screen.
And yes, it does house a fingerprint scanner. Horizontally cantered on its rear panel, the fingerprint sensor of Pixel 2 XL is easy to reach and snappy to unlock or authenticate your identity on apps.
If you want your phone to flaunt flagship specifications yet stay affordable, OnePlus got you covered. Backed by the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo, OnePlus has stirred the industry in recent years with its flagship level offerings in way less-than-flagship price. If Samsung Galaxy S9+ is out of your budget but you still want that same level of performance from your device? OnePlus is here for you.
OnePlus 6 is the latest offering from the OnePlus. Launched in May 2018, the smartphone has smashed sales records in many countries thanks to the aggressive pricing. Equipped with flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset and up to 8GB of RAM, it is one of the fastest devices around. A 6.28 inch AMOLED display covers 83.8% area of the front surface. A 16MP and 20MP dual camera setup offers plenty of features like OIS, PDAD, to capture details in your photos and videos. The fingerprint sensor is located just below the camera which is easy to reach and has adequate distance from the camera to save it from accidental touches and the smudge that comes along.
Popularity of OnePlus devices has affected sales figures of many bigger brands like Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, etc. However, now other manufacturers are also gearing up for affordable devices with flagship features.
Samsung Galaxy S9+
Samsung is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world with market share of around 20.9% in 2018 Q2. Being the largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung has to meet expectations of its huge user base. So when it comes to Galaxy series smartphones, they are expected to standout, every single time.
No wonder Samsung tries to tick all the boxes with its Galaxy series by bringing all the mobile technology goodness to it.
This Galaxy line flagship comes with a huge 6.2″ Super AMOLED infinity display with 2,960 x 1440px resolution and tall 18.5:9 aspect ratio, which has become a kind of standard these days. In the chipset department, it is served with either a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 octa-core CPU, depending on the market. A 3500mAH Li-PO battery powers the device. RAM stays standard at 6GB for all memory options that vary from 64 GB to 256 GB, with the option to expand it up to 400GB with a microSD card.
The device offers a rear mounting fingerprint sensor located just below the dual camera setup, it was much desired change after Galaxy S8’s ergonomics disaster of fingerprint sensor location. The device also offers iris scanner if that flavour of biometric security suits you.
The Innovation part, however is less about the fingerprint sensor, and more about the camera where Samsung has managed to offer a variable aperture camera offering focal ratio of f/1.5 and f/2.5 in one camera by integrating a variable aperture. The f/1.5 offers improved low light photos by letting more light in, while f/2.4 can capture sharper images in good light. The variable aperture camera is supported by a telephoto camera with 12MP sensor, which also offers 2x optical zoom.
Huawei P20 Pro
Of course it doesn’t get pro just by adding the suffix in the name. Keeping that in mind, Huawei has done some incredible job to earn the Pro stature. The P 20 Pro stunned the reviewers and industry experts with its incredible imaging and processing ability.
Under the hood, the smartphones offers enough processing power to handle resource heavy games and apps. Powered with Hisilicon Kirin 970 chipset with 4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 cores and 6 GB of RAM, the phone gives direct challenge to other high-end devices. A gorgeous 6.1 inches AMOLED display with 1080 x 2240 pixels and 18.7:9 aspect ratio makes sure that you get completely immersed in the display. But we are not there yet, neither the processing power nor the display takes the center stage on this device.
It is the camera, the P 20 Pro boast to be the world’s first phone with triple camera setup including a 40 MP, f/1.8 main camera with PDAF/Laser auto-focus, a 20 MP monochrome sensor with f/1.6, 27mm, optical stabilization and Laser auto-focus and an 8 MP, f/2.4, 3x optical zoom camera with OIS and Laser AF as well. That sounds like too good to be true.
At biometric security front, the phone is equipped with a front mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor below the display which is snappy enough to let you in as soon as your brains feel the sense of touch on it. However, if that is not your preferred method of biometric phone security, you can go for the face-unlock, which comes inbuilt with the device.
Vivo X21 UD
Vivo, a lesser known Chinese smartphone manufacturer may have not broken 2018’s sales records with X21 UD, but it deserves to be in the list of top phones of 2018 with fingerprint sensors. Why? Because it is the first device that led the innovation of in-display fingerprint sensor and took the risk of launching a device with the technology. Being the first in the industry bears a higher risk of failure and rejection, yet Vivo chose to go for it.
Announced and released in March 2018, Vivo X21 UD is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor with 6 gigs of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. At the display front, it includes a gorgeous 6.28 inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution and a tall 19:9 ratio. Display also has a notch at the top to accommodate front camera, ear peace and some sensors. Main camera is a 12MP sensor equipped with f/1.8 dual pixel phase detection auto-focus.
There is no physically visible fingerprint sensor on the device. User has to put his/her finger on the always-on illuminating fingerprint icon at the bottom half of the display. Once the finger is placed, an in-display fingerprint sensor located just below the area can scan the user fingerprints.
iPhone 8 Plus
When it comes to list the top smartphones with fingerprint sensors, iPhone just cannot be skipped, not just because of the brand value, but also for bringing something innovative to the table.
Though iPhone 8 Plus was released in September 2017, counting it in 2018’s top smartphones does make a sense as there is only one competitor that Apple has to compete with: Apple itself.
Powered by Apple’s very own A11 bionic chipset, iPhone 8 Plus comes with a 3GB of RAM to take care of tasks on the fly and with 64 or 256GB of internal storage. Amount of RAM Apple offers with iPhone 8 Plus may sound little discouraging when Android phones are pushing 8GB RAM with their flagship offerings. However, iPhones are less about boasting specification and more about user experience. At the imaging front, main camera offers dual cam setup with a 12 MP sensor, f/1.8 that comes with optical image stabilization and a 12MP f/2.8, telephoto lens with the ability to bring objects closer to you with its 2x optical zoom. A 7MP, f2.2 front camera is there to take care of your selfie sessions.
A large 5.5 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD with 1080 x 1920 pixels takes care of the display department and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor rests just below it. It is the same second generation Touch ID used in Apple products since the iPhone 6S. It does the job and is fast enough to meet current user expectations.
Apple’s Touch ID led the smartphone makers to take the fingerprint authentication route. However, despite leading the way to present day fingerprint sensors on smartphones, Apple was not the first to introduce the fingerprint scanner on phones. It also surprisingly dropped fingerprint scanner from the iPhone X in favour of Face ID, Apple’s facial recognition solution.
LG V30S ThinQ
LG’s V series devices are known for their top-notch specification with innovative features and V30S ThinQ is the latest offering from the Korean manufacturer. Front and back of the devices is made of beautiful yet sturdy Gorilla Glass 5. The device feels gorgeous yet solid in hand. Under the hood, LG has plenty to offer. The devices comes in 128 or 256 internal memory options and is backed with a Snapdragon 835 processor (we wished it to be Snapdragon 845 though) to fulfil your processing needs.
Front panel houses a 6 inch OLED display with 1440 x 2880 pixel resolution and a tall 18:9 aspect ratio. Going with the current trends, camera is a dual cam setup a combo of 16 MP, f/1.6, 3-axis optically stabilised with PDAF and laser AF assisted by another 13MP f/1.9 camera. Front cam gets a 5 megapixel sensor.
Fingerprint sensor is located just below the rear camera which is easy to access and recognizes the registered fingerprints as soon as it is touched.
The Taiwanese manufacturer has been struggling at sales front as the competition from the Chinese manufacturers increasingly intensifies. Decreasing market share has not stopped HTC from launching new devices with innovating design and features. The first thing you instantly notice when you hold the HTC U12+ is its beautiful and eye catching design with translucent back. HTC calls it Liquid Surface design.
Equipped with Snapdragon 845 processor and 6 GB RAM, it is one of the fastest devices around. The U12+ is available in 64 or 128 internal storage options. A huge 6 inch Super LCD6 display with 1440 x 2880 pixels resolution is there to get you lost in games and multimedia. Keeping up with the trend, rear camera is a dual camera setup with 12 MP and 16MP sensors with OIS, PDAF, Laser AF and 2x optical zoom with AF respectively.
Below the camera, a capacitive fingerprint sensor is located which is both accurate as well as quick to unlock the device for you.
LG G7 ThinQ
LG’s G series is targeted at the people who want flagship specifications yet do not want to pay V series price for it. LG G series sits just below the V series and offers flagship features in simple yet sturdy and attractive design. LG G7 ThinQ was launched in May 2018. The ThinQ moniker indicates that the device offers some AI features. Keeping up with 2018’s trends, it is equipped with a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4/6 GB RAM and 64/128 GB internal storage. Front of the devices is mostly covered by a tall 6.1 inch IPS LCD display with 1440 x 3120 pixels and 19.5:9 aspect ratio, which offers incredible pixel density of 564 PPI.
Camera houses a dual camera setup, a 16 MP, f/1.6, camera with optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus and laser autofocus. Another camera is equipped with a 16 MP sensor, which captures the depth information.
A rear mounted fingerprint sensor sits just below the camera at the horizontal center of the devices, which is easy to reach and quick to unlock. LG may not be a brand as prominent as Samsung, which is also a Korean smartphone manufacturer; however, it has recently impressed reviewers with its simple yet beautifully designed devices.
Smartphones have become an inevitable part of daily life. They are often criticized for taking away your family time, hated by your boss at work and blamed by your ophthalmologist for poor eye health. Despite all that, they always find a reason to occupy your hand, eyes and attention.
No matter how many blames smartphones take, they are here to stay and stay for long. There is no way around to put it: Life has become unliveable without smartphones. They are addictive and fingerprint sensors make a part of this abdication as they are the ones that quickly unlock your device. All current flagship devices have a fingerprint sensors embedded with them. Shortcomings associated with face recognition and iris recognition being limited only to a few devices, fingerprint stays as the most preferred biometric method of choice.
Fingerprint recognition takes the center stage among all biometric approaches on smartphones. In-display fingerprint sensors have just started appearing on flagships, however soon they are expected to power even the affordable smartphones.