The OnePlus 6T Has a Less-Good In-Screen Fingerprint Scanner

By Holly Brockwell on at

In a post on the Chinese social networking site Weibo, OnePlus has revealed a bit more info about the promised in-screen fingerprint scanner on its upcoming 6T handset – and it's not amazing news.

According to Techradar, the champion of budget flagships mentioned that the new phone has a "light-sensitive" in-screen fingerprint scanner, which almost certainly means it's the optical kind, not the better ultrasonic sort. Both types allow your fingerprint to be read through the screen, which admittedly is very cool and we probably shouldn't complain – but optical scanners can only create a 2D picture of your digit (by bouncing light off it), while ultrasonic ones do a 3D picture using – you guessed it – ultrasound.

Unsurprisingly, a 3D rendering of your fingerprint is more rigorous and secure than a 2D one. Also unsurprisingly, it's more expensive to implement than the light-based option, and given OnePlus's aggressive approach to pricing, it makes sense that they've plumped for the cheaper option.

Again, it's still very cool that a likely not-that-expensive flagship-level smartphone will have a fingerprint reader in the screen at all – it wasn't that long ago that we were impressed by a phone having any kind of fingerprint reader. It's just that us nerds – especially OnePlus fans who tend to be smartphone perfectionists – are hard to please, and the teaser video got us all hyped.

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 will reportedly have an ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint scanner, but then it'll probably also be twice the price. Your call.