LCDs with in-display fingerprint scanners will bring the tech to budget phones
Smartphones are always progressing. Years ago, it was crazy to think that a budget smartphone could have a fingerprint scanner. Since then, the proliferation of the fingerprint scanner has made it so that it is ubiquitous even in the sub-$200 market. The next evolution of it is the in-display fingerprint scanner, which removes the need for a dedicated hardware sensor taking up space on the body of the device. That technology has been limited to OLED panels so far, though, because their thinness allows light to pass through easier. That’s set to change as both BOE and AUO Optronics announced an LCD displays that support an optical in-display fingerprint scanner.
For those unfamiliar, BOE is one of the lesser-known display manufacturers in the business. Even still, they’re no stranger to both the flagship and the budget markets. For example, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro used panels made by both BOE and LG (though they were seemingly not high quality). AMOLED panels are still more expensive than LCD, so this particular advancement will allow for budget phones to have an in-display fingerprint scanner.
Just last month, Taiwanese manufacturer AU Optronics launched a 6-inch full-screen optical embedded fingerprint scanning LTPS display. This is the world’s first fingerprint scanning technology that supports optical sensors embedded in an LCD screen. At the moment, it comes in FHD+ resolution, 2304×1080. We don’t really know when these panels will begin to ship, though Wang Teng, product director at Xiaomi, says that he expects to see them arrive early next year or by the end of this year.
These fingerprint scanners will definitely not be contenders for their flagship counterparts, but they’re yet another example of a hardware advancement trickling down to lower-cost phones. It could well be possible that their performance is actually worse than first-generation in-display fingerprint scanners on AMOLED panels.