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June 17, 2017

The first phone with an on-screen fingerprint sensor could come from … Vivo?

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Including the fingerprint sensor in the screen looks to be a standard going forward, at least for future flagship smartphones — and Vivo’s device could be the first.

The last few months have made it clear that the age of the standalone fingerprint sensor will one day come to an end. Apple is looking into packing its TouchID technology into the screen, and may actually pull it off. There was talk of Samsung doing the same with the Galaxy S8, but when that didn’t pan out, the conversation moved to the upcoming Note 8.

Either way, somebody sooner or later is going to make it happen, and when they do, the industry will likely follow suit. Nobody expected the first to be Vivo, however.

A post on the Chinese social networking site Weibo from industry analyst Jiutang Pan discovered by Android Authority shows a video of a Vivo device being unlocked through on-screen fingerprint recognition. Pan says the phone could make it to market in the coming months, before the next flagship iPhone’s presumed fall reveal.

Still, the analyst says the iPhone could be the first phone outside China to launch with the feature. As for Samsung, the situation is a bit murkier. The company had to pass on the technology in the Galaxy S8, reportedly because it ran out of time perfecting its solution. You’d think that would bode well for the Note 8’s chances, but rumors suggest it will miss out as well.

So yes, Vivo has a very real shot at being the first phone maker in the world to produce something other, much larger tech firms have been racing to ship. And while that would be surprising, it’s not completely ridiculous when you factor in the company’s modest history of innovation.

Four years ago, Vivo released the X3 — the world’s thinnest smartphone at the time, measuring just 5.75 millimeters thick. Last November, it brought the very first phone with 6GB of RAM to the market in the form of its XPlay 5.

Will it follow those achievements up with an even greater one? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: don’t count on the device making it to our shores.




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