Finally Vivo Unveiled World’s First In Display Fingerprint Smartphone

X20 Plus UD header

So, it’s neither the giant Apple nor the Samsung, rather it’s the China based Vivo with Synaptics who has answered all the speculations by launching world first fingerprint sensor under the display itself. After a year long rumor, let’s see what Vivo is offering in their tech box for all the smartphone lovers.

The year 2017 ended with the introduction of the bezel less smartphone concept. Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8, iPhone X, Xiaomi Mi Mix and One Plus 5T are few such devices. Such advancement in technology has embarked a great spectrum of ideas where one can use the mobile screen more effectively. The onscreen integrated fingerprint sensor is one such huge step taken by the collaboration of Synaptics and Vivo, a renowned China based smartphone manufacturer. Vivo couldn’t have found a better day than CES 2018 to announce this path-breaking futuristic move. It is bound to redefine the way we visualize our mobile screen taking the user experience to the next level.


One thing that we should know is that it is not really a new concept. A year or two back it was rumored that both Apple and Samsung were working on in display fingerprint technology. This year with the launch of iPhone X, Apple did revamp the screen unlock method, by going with the Face ID feature but disappointed many by dropping the idea of in display Touch ID. Samsung also failed to fulfill the requirement. However they seem positive to launch their first in display fingerprint sensor device later this year. Even Vivo has shown its intention earlier. Last year they came up with the ultra-sonic version of in display fingerprint along with Qualcomm.

What The Users Are Getting Exactly?

With the introduction of X20 Plus UD  (where UD stands for Under Display), the world’s first in display fingerprint scanner, Vivo is well aware that they have to meet their customers’ expectations. This is the reason they changed last year’s ultra-sonic sensor-based prototype with a solid optical fingerprint sensor.

The Synaptics built sensor is placed under the OLED display panel of the phone and it emits light to read and scan your fingerprint. The print is then reflected into the optical sensor and that’s how it is authenticated.

This move has given Vivo the option to experiment with the design of the device as there will be no home key at phone’s front nor there will be a fingerprint scanner at rear. However, this time there won’t be any changes in the design except the absence of fingerprint scanner as they believe that first it is important to ensure that the technology works fine. Then only it is better to explore the potential designs.

How Is The User Experience Till Now?

As infinity display and bezel-less phones are the new trend in the mobile industry, the in display fingerprint technology has only come as a blessing for all the tech lovers. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say it is a kind of magical experience for all the tech geeks. From setting up your fingerprint for first time to unlocking the device everything works in the same way as the traditional fingerprint sensor. However, this time the process seems rather more surreal, as you don’t have to place your finger to a visible scanner, but only on the display.

What Can Be Improved

  • I admit the process takes a little longer than the current fingerprint scanner or the face ID, but the difference is really not a big deal as the technology is only going to improve in future.

  • Another noticeable thing that user might not like is that the in display sensor is located only at the centre-bottom of the display. It would have been great if the user could have place their finger anywhere on the screen.

Overall, it is a delightful experience to see the little animation whenever we press our registered finger on it.

in display fingerprint


Possible Outcome

Clearly, the concept of in display fingerprint sensor will revolutionize the smartphone industry in many ways.

  • Like use of multiple OLED sensor in display or phone featuring the entire display with optical image sensors.

  • Another possible advancement could be in the design of the phone by using a less complex design with more controls.

Its too early to predict anything, as it has reached only to a limited section of people mainly in China. Date for global availability is yet to be declared by Vivo. However, it doesn’t stop me from acknowledging the great innovation attempting to make user experience more convenient.

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Definitely, Face ID is a major step forward which uses facial recognition for unlocking smartphone, still it can’t replace the convenient experience a user gets while using the fingerprint sensor. More importantly facial recognition technology has its own share of glitches like in the daylight users needs to have straight line of sight with the phone. Also, it takes twice the time than the traditional fingerprint sensor. Every technology comes with a set of pros and potential drawbacks. For example it could be argued here that whether the in display sensor will work fine on a scratched display?

There can be many issues with this technology or there may be none. We will come to know once the world wide launch is announced by the Chinese giant. So, till then let us wait and watch.

In the next article, we will come up with full specifications of  Vivo X20 Plus UD, so stay tuned.

We would love to hear your take on this latest innovation in the smartphone unlocking technology. Shoot in your thoughts in the comments section.


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