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China’s Vivo will launch a smartphone with an under-the-display fingerprint sensor On January 24.
Vivo first shared the details of its upcoming fingerprint scanning tech, which it built together in June 2017, but no device was announced at the time. At this year’s CES, the company brought a working prototype, this time based on Synaptics’ technology. And on Wednesday, Vivo will launch the world’s first mass-produced phone with this functionality.
The phone in question will be a variant of the Vivo X20 Plus, a device that actually came out in September 2017.
A combination of previously known specs and a recent TENAA listing indicates the new phone will be a 6.43-inch phablet with a 2,160×1,080 pixel OLED screen, a 12-megapixel and a 5-megapixel dual camera on the back, a 12-megapixel selfie shooter, a Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
The device will launch in China for a price of roughly $624 and there’s no word on whether it’ll ever reach the western markets.
Still, it’s an important launch. The iPhone X’s face-scanning camera, hidden in the phone’s notch, works well, but it’s not as reliable as a fingerprint scanner. And if you can embed a fingerprint scanner directly into the display, it will take exactly zero screen real estate off your phone, unlike iPhone X’s notch (which, admittedly, also hosts a selfie camera, microphones, a speaker and sensors).
Vivo’s X20 Plus probably won’t make a huge dent in the market by itself. But if its fingerprint scanning tech passes the test of the market, it could mean that a Samsung or an Apple flagship with an under-the-display fingerprint scanner is back on the table.