Should physical fingerprint readers return to smartphones?

A lot of handset makers have moved away from using physical fingerprint readers in their smartphones. Many are turning to in-display sensors instead. But should these handset makers consider making a return to physical sensors? A post on Reddit that’s gaining traction seems to suggest that there is a demand for it.

It’s not hard to imagine why more companies are turning to in-display readers versus physical ones. Pretty much all smartphones these days have ditched the home button, which is where the fingerprint reader used to reside. As a result, manufacturers are using in-display sensors as an alternative which also keeps their phones looking sleek.

But as the post points out, physical sensors are superior in the sense that they are “faster”. By faster, we don’t mean the speed of unlocking. Instead, it refers to how users can quickly and easily unlock their phones instead of having to fumble trying to get their thumb or fingerprint onto the optical/ultrasonic sensor.

It reminds us of the good old days of feature phones and its T9 keyboard, where if you’ve practiced enough, you could easily type out messages without having to look at your phone at all. We doubt a single Reddit post is enough to convince manufacturers to return to physical sensors, but it does seem to say that not everyone is enamored by these modern day alternatives. What say you? Should the physical fingerprint readers return to our smartphones?

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