Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
These days, you’ll find fingerprint scanners in varying locations across different smartphones. While most OEMs are jumping to in-display fingerprint scanners, we still find button-mounted and other dedicated physical scanners on some phones. Take the Asus Zenfone 9, for instance. It places the biometric reader in the smart key power button on the side. The Sony Xperia 1 IV also has a capacitive side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
While Android Authority’s Robert Triggs prefers one kind of fingerprint scanner over all others, we wanted to know what you, our readers, like more — in-display fingerprint scanners, side-mounted scanners, or back-mounted scanners. Here’s how you voted in our poll.
Which fingerprint scanner style do you prefer?
Our poll received over 2,600 votes from readers, and the fingerprint scanner of choice for the majority seems to be a side-mounted one. 48% of the respondents said that they like their phones with fingerprint scanners on the side.
The next most-preferred type of fingerprint security amongst our poll takers is the in-display kind. 27% of the chose this style. It is, after all, very popular on current smartphones.
Meanwhile, 22% of the respondents prefer back-mounted fingerprint scanners, and 4% don’t use fingerprint unlocking at all.
Internet Person: Best part of side FPS is the fact it forces OEMs to use flat screen.
Kasey Smith: Former Z5 owner, currently XZ2 owner’s thoughts: The side-mounted scanner was great in every situation. It was right at hand when pulling the phone out of a pocket, but it was also not blocked when the phone was mounted to a car or bicycle. I miss it, and I’m glad they brought it back in the Xperia 1 II. Definitely one of the reasons I’m looking forward to upgrading to a newer phone this fall.
emwy_tukur: Rarely use the power key. Double tap on and off is the norm for me. In that context, a side mount scanner is a no. In display all the way.
Kira: A fingerprint sensor on the back is the best implementation personally for me.
TwoMinus: A good rear FP scanner is probably the fastest on most use cases, eg grab phone from pocket or table and start using it, but it’s unreachable in other cases like when phone is on wireless charger, mounted to bkike or some car mounts, so I still prefer front or probably side mounted ones.
Stanley Kubrick: Not sure of the reasons…but why not put one on the back AND under the front glass? They both become active at the same time and you use whichever one is most convenient. It can’t cost that much more or take up much room. The OEM who does this first is the winner in my book.
crosph: Loved the side-mounted scanner with the Xperia Z5, love it again with the Galaxy Z Flip. On the Flip it’s a little redundant as opening the phone already wakes it, and face unlock is sometimes pretty quick, but either way, even if he’s asleep, I just need to touch the power button er, side key with a bit of intent, and I’m in before I can even press the button.
KRB: Never really cared if my device had a fingerprint reader on the back (my current device does), the side, the front chin or the display. So long as it works well and fast is what’s important… My preference? I’d probably put it on the back however given a choice.
Paul B: In general prefer touch to Face ID. My first touch was in screen Samsung S10… worked well. Then Pixel 5, touch on the back. Better than face but more awkward. Pixel 6 Pro on screen works well for me….. but I love my ipad airs touch the button feature.., would take this every time.
Marshall: In-display is, for the most part, a novelty. I have had rear, in-display and side-mounted (in that order) and I won’t be going back. Rear is fine, but I found that it worked best when using a case with a sculpted recess for the sensor (UB or similar). Side-mounted just seems to find itself under my thumb a heckuva lot quicker and easier, regardless of whether the phone is cased or au natural.
Pete Kilburn: Put in on the BACK!!! Phones are made for right-handed people when it comes to side fingerprint readers…really annoying.
Ofdeath: 100% of duck left-handed users hate side-mounted fingerprint readers. In-display is definitely the future. If your optical reader is trash, which they always are, get a phone with an ultrasonic reader.
Joe Carroll: I am VERY hesitant to buy another phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor. I absolutely hate them and have never used one that meets my expectations. I downgraded to an older phone just to not have to deal with it anymore, and I’ll probably buy a Pixel 5, 5A, or this new Asus (if my budget allows) instead of a Pixel 6, 6A, or 7 because of it.