New rumors suggest Samsung ditching Galaxy S5 iris scanner in favor of fingerprint scanner instead


With Apple popularizing the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S and HTC following along with the HTC One Max, we assumed Samsung would eventually want to offer something similar. That’s not to say the South Korean electronics giant is a copycat, but we can’t help but notice history suggests they’ll always look to one-up their most direct competitors.


That’s why we were a bit shocked when earlier rumors suggested Samsung wasn’t looking to bring a fingerprint scanner in the Samsung Galaxy S5, a device that’s supposed to push the limits with a Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, 2,560 x 1,440 display and more (check out the full list of rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 specs here).

Instead, the company had long been rumored to be working on an iris scanner. As futuristic and Mission Impossible-ey as this sounded, we wouldn’t put anything past today’s tech companies in terms of innovation.

But it looks like that might not pan out. New rumors suggest Samsung has shelved plans to put an iris scanner inside the Galaxy S5, and will instead use a fingerprint scanner to provide biometric scanners for security and authorization features. That news comes to us by way of the Korean Herald, a publication local to the company’s home turf that has a pretty good record when it comes to spilling Samsung’s beans.

It’s not hard to believe Samsung likely lost interest in the iris scanner considering the shortcomings the solution would be subject to. For starters, lighting conditions would have to be good enough for the camera to be able to accurately scan your eye, and those conditions aren’t something Samsung can always guarantee.

One might suggest they use a small LED light to illuminate that part of the user’s face, but that seems like a bit much for the sake of mobile security. Samsung would also have to spend a good deal of money on figuring out where and how to implement the camera. All told, it just sounds like something that’s not worth the trouble in the long run.

Besides, a fingerprint scanner is plenty secure unless you foresee your finger getting chopped off or having your print molded. Unless you’re a high-ranking government official or some sort of super spy, I wouldn’t bank on those things being issues for most common users. We’ll likely have to wait until March or April to see what Samsung decided to do, so sit tight and wait for more solid information to roll in.


Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I rather they remove this and spend more effort into making Touchwiz better and building and overall more reliable device. It was a gimmick on the 5S, I havent heard anyone who actually uses it, and even if they do its probably just because its there and not because its actually useful.

    1. Agreed. Just like the face unlock implemented in Android, I don’t think many people will use a fingerprint scanner or even iris scanner to lock/unlock their phones. A simple pin number is plenty secure if you don’t use a “1234” or “5555” type of code.

      1. A lot or people uses the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone …it was the best thingbapple ever did with their iPhone since they started making phones ..Face unlock was a waste of time cause it was not really that secure ..and was difficult to use outside at night ..

        1. I am a big Android fan, but have to say, the fingerprint scanner is very often used. It is intuitive and just works well. You’d be pretty silly to have a 5S and NOT use it.

          1. Aww that’s what I said …the fingerprint scanner was the best thing apple ever did with their phones…if u can’t read don’t reply plz ….and I am a s4 user ..

          2. Brian, you realize that just because someone replies to you doesn’t mean that they have to argue with you…right? Liferules seems to have been reinforcing your original point.

          3. First off there is no argent going on. If I want to voice my opinion to every comment that gets post ..I can ..I both the phone I am using and I also pay for the service that I use to surf the internet and leave comments with ..and because I reply to every one don’t mean u have to reply to me

          4. Never said you couldn’t voice your opinion buddy. Best of luck!

          5. @brian,

            I was AGREEING with you, idiot! Learn to read context…

      2. Until you need to unlock your phone to do something simple while driving which your connected car is interfacing with. Until cars get better apps and user customizations available, it’s a real PITA.

    2. Really? Everyone I’ve seen unlocking an iPhone 5s has used Touch ID…myself included. Makes unlocking my phone a snap, since my phone typically unlocks faster than the demonstration in Apple’s promotional video. (Skip to 0:39.)

      It’s a feature that seems like a gimmick until you use it several times, and then you don’t know how you dealt with using devices without it.

  2. Iirc lighting doesn’t matter for iris scanners because they usually work with infrared light.

  3. This is kinda lame. Hopefully someday Samsung will learn from Moto and quit trying to dump every possible thing into a phone.

    1. Are you seriously comparing samsung to motorola lol. You can keep your moto ill keep my samsung.

  4. So stupid samsung. Stop copying Apple.

    1. So stupid samsung. Stop copying apple who copied motorola.

      Thanks for the entertainment troll.

      1. unglued94ta’s definition of troll: “People who disagree with me”

        I swear, Samsung is the Android equivalent of Apple, and that goes for their fanbase, too.

        1. My definition of troll, on a website that is ALL about Android lovers, is someone who talks down an android OEM while trying to put apple up on a pedestal of doing no wrong.

          If you knew your facts you would know Motorola tried it already…Almost 3 full years before apple.

          Did the Motorola version work as well? Maybe not but don’t give a 1 line comment simply stating that Samsung copied Apple without expecting someone to call you a troll on this website.

          You’re probably the 1 person who down voted my comment.

          Buy what YOU want. And enjoy it. Bottom line.

    2. U should b quiet cause apple is usually the copy cat, do ur research ..apple is not the first to used fingerprint scanner on a mobile device ..

    3. Everybody copies everybody. That’s how the Mobile industry is. Apple is the only one who makes a huge fuss about it.

    4. I have to admit, I could go as far to say I “hate” apple and thought the same thing.

  5. Yeah, fingerprint scanner are hot now.
    They’ll cool off considerably as soon as some crack head psycho, after stealing an iphone on a NYC subway platform late one night decides to take out his garden pruner and lop off the victims thumb and index finger before he leaves.

    1. sounds like something Nancy Grace would say tbh

  6. None of this provides more security…only possibly increased entry speed. Since there is always a fall back password, the phone is only as secure as your gmail password.

  7. Fingerprint or Iris, those are just icing on the cake. The real deal holy field are the rest of the components which is looking awesome.

  8. The obvious, yet blatant copy cat style designing Samsung is doing is getting much worse as of late. Think.this Note 3 will be my last Samsung phone.

    Please begin innovating more Samsung instead of insane spec wars and crappy UI

    1. I don’t get u ..how is Samsung copying.. Android phones were the first to have fingerprint scanner, plus Samsung been making aluminum phones since 2006 so what exactly r they copying

      1. The Atrix was a joke. A “first” really only counts if it WORKS.

        1. Am glad u said that …because ..fingerprint scanning did work on the atrix it actually worked perfect ..I had 1 ..the only problem ..is it only had one function and that was to unlock the phone …

          1. The Atrix’s finger print scanner was great. I’ve been hoping they would bring it back inside of a nexus device

      2. I should be a little more specific. I simply mean Samsung is only concerned at being a copy-cat more than other OEMs. They seem to be trendy and focus on what others are doing.

        I see them release a gold Note 3 AFTER Apple announces they will release a gold Iphone. Then they release a rumored new UI that looks hideously like Windows 8/Windows Phones. Now this possibly useless fingerprint scanner, once again AFTER Apple makes a big deal about it.

        My point being, and its just my .02, is that Samsung seems more concerned about what they THINK people want, instead of actually what we really want.

    2. The Note 3 may be my last Samsung phone too (since 2010), since I really don’t want a gimmicky fingerprint scanner, a physical home button, or the lame “premium” metal construction rumored for the S5 and Note 4.

      My perfect device would be a soft-touch plastic, minimal-bezel, 5.3 – 5.7″ slab with software nav buttons, HTC front-facing stereo speakers, LG knockknock to turn on, and MotoX always-listening. The wide usb3 port + thick cables have got to go, too.

      1. I doubt you have the Note 3 or you wouldn’t be saying it’s your last sammy phone. I have the Note 2 and it’s the second of many sammy phones for me.

        1. Except that I DO have a Note 3 (running CM11), and it *MAY* be my last Samsung device in a string of 4. Depends on the competition ramping up.

  9. Fingerprint is a useless gimmick, if you are gonna do gimmicks do the most advanced one. Do the iris scanner or apple fans will just have more ammo to bash.

  10. Personally I like the implementation of the fingerprint scanner. I’m not an apple fanboy but I have to admit their execution was dead on.

  11. I wanted to see the iris scanner personally.

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