Samsung Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanning home button detailed in new report



Samsung’s inclusion of fingerprint reading hardware and software for their next flagship Galaxy device have been up and down like a Flappy Bird. With rumors since back in December, at one point it was even whispered that Samsung might attempt to 1-up the competition (read: the Apple iPhone 5s) going with a retina scanner for added security. For whatever reason, Samsung would later forgo this security method, returning once again to the more easily doable fingerprint reading hardware. It was towards the tail end of January, @evleaks seemingly confirmed the move after showcasing a leaked app for the Galaxy S5 titled “FingerprintService.apk.

New and improved home button

Even though the security feature wasn’t specifically mentioned in a purported leaked image of the Galaxy S5’s packaging, a new report out of SamMobile is not only further confirming a fingerprint scanner for the S5, but providing some details about how it will work. Because Samsung’s typically longer/thinner shaped home buttons didn’t seem well suited for a fingerprint scanner, it was suggested that Sammy would build the scanner into the phone’s display. Not the case. Yes, the home button will be making a return in the Galaxy S5 (along with the other hardware buttons) only it will be enhanced with fingerprint reading capabilities.

How will it work?

Like we mentioned before, the long shape of Samsung’s home buttons means it will scan you fingerprint differently than the iPhone 5s. Apparently, users will need to swipe their finger from bottom to top, and at a slow enough speed for the device to register it. Samsung hopes to make this easy by showing you your fingerprint as it’s being scanned in real-time. Because the scanner is sensitive to moisture, your finger will need to be nice and dry in order to avoid an error message. Hmmmm… it’s already sounding a bit finicky.

Extra security

The Galaxy S5 will be able to store a total of 8 fingerprints which can be assigned to app shortcuts or launch various tasks. Samsung is even providing a new “Personal Folder” used for locking up specific apps inside. To unlock, simply scan your the assigned finger, and you’ll have access (pattern or PIN unlock can also be used). You can even register a specific finger to unlock the device in “Private Mode,” which should come in handy when handing the phone off to a friend or family member for making a quick call.

Fingerprints can also be registered to a Samsung account where they can later be used system wide, like when logging into websites. Tie this into the Google Play Store and you got yourself a winner here, Samsung.

More coming soon…

SamMobile mentions that they purposely didn’t want to leak any images of the software, in hopes of not spoiling the big reveal come February 24th in Barcelona. Of course, Phandroid will be in attendance for the big show during our Mobile World Congress coverage next week, so stay tuned.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Sammy did want to spoil their big surprise “a fingerprint swipe”. Every one of those I have ever used have been a pain in the a$$. I was looking forward to something cool in the S5 and starting to feel “meh” about this rendition. Guess “wait and see” is the best tactic at this point.

    1. Honestly, the best part about the fingerprint scanner is that it will be optional. It doesn’t take away anything about the GS5 to include it, I just want to see what else Samsung has up their sleeve.

      1. Agreed, was just pulling for the “anywhere on the screen” fingerprint scanner. I am due for a new phone so I really hope the S5 has something cool. (I have an S3 so in reality I just need better battery life..)

        1. Original stock battery T-Mo SGS III, and I’m still getting 16-18 hrs w/ 2.5-3.5hrs of screen on time. The 4.3 update really helped (although I hear it hurt several international users). Always have auto sync, auto brightness, and wi-fi, although I do leave the GPS off. I found that to be one of the bigger battery hogs.

      2. I agree, the finger print scanner doesnt interest me at all and i dont think its that big of a deal, honestly i think these smart phones are getting to a point were not a lot more can be done besides little gimmicks here and there.

        1. I can think of several non-gimmicky h/w and s/w ideas that haven’t been realized yet…

    2. My HP laptop has a swipe scanner and not once have I had a problem with it. I got it set for 3 of my fingers and it works perfectly 99% only time I mess it up is when I’m trying to swipe from a weird angle

  2. Blah somesong, blah!

  3. I hope it will work on the GPE.

  4. Blah. Don’t want a fingerprint scanner gimmick OR a physical home button on my next device.

    1. Fingerprint scanner is optional. As far as buttons, I don’t want a phone that just has software buttons…they’re nowhere near consistent enough. Physical buttons are the most responsive, hands down, with dedicated capacitive buttons a distant second. Between the lack of expandable storage, the lack of a replaceable battery, and the software buttons, I’ve never even really considered getting a Nexus 4/5, the Moto X, or an HTC One. The LG knock-knock feature might sway me over, but I’d have to have a lot of hands-on testing time before being convinced. At least the LG G2 still has physical buttons, albeit on the back. So, either the S5 or the next-gen LG device are where it’s at for me.

  5. HTC One M8 will defecate all over the S5… this much is clear.

    1. If the S5 is the same as the S4 but with a fingerprint scanner, that’s for sure…
      But the new redesign of TouchWiz might be the highlight of it. So I wouldn’t call it clear just yet. :)

  6. what finger do you scan to unlock the bootloader?

    1. Middle Finger

      1. That’s the one you get from Samsung with their KNOX software ;-)

  7. Man I just dont like hardware buttons! Im sure the GS5 will be a more than solid device, but I think the new G3 or Gpro will be my new daily driver this year.

  8. So even if we don’t want a scanner we’ll have to pay the premium for the hardware if you want the S5.

    Damn it Samsung you’re just going to end up getting sued by Apple again.

    1. Why would Apple sue them again?

      1. They’ll find some excuse, er, I mean reason.

      2. Finger print scanner on the home button. Once again Samsung giving more fuel to the courtroom fire.

  9. The event in Barcelona is free for everyone or you have to be invited?

  10. I was looking for a retina scanner. ..

  11. They implement new scurity holes and call it progress! Great….

  12. Awesome! One more feature I’ll have to disable on my Samsung phone. Ug.

  13. What people need to realize is that the fingerprint scanner is a wonderful thing if implemented properly. Not the way Apple has done it. It is added security but it needs to be used in conjunction with a password or passcode for real benefit. It’s a frightening thought when convenience trumps security and people don’t seem to care about it. Bring on the fingerprint scanner this year and use it together with a pass code. Bring on the retina scanner next year and use it together with pass code and fingerprint scanner. That’s actual security.

  14. why must the copy apple every chance they get…its for this reason i simply hate samsung…this and the quality of their devices is why i will never ever purchase one again

    1. News flash… It wasn’t Apple who first used finger print scanning for their phones!!!!

      1. Newsflash… Everyone knows that so its not a newsflash…putting it in their home button same exact spot as iiPhoneohone…copy cats

        1. My point is that every company, including Apple rolls out new features and functionallity that their competitors have and consumers like. Apple is just as bad as any other company in this respect.

        2. NEWS FLASH!!! …..Samsung had applied for a patent way back in 2011 for an Authentec Sensor no less in the Home Button of Galaxy S3. In fact just last April an image was pulled from Galaxy S3’s firmware that explained the sensor in the HOME BUTTON!

          It’s not even the same FAILED…. SPOOFED OUT OF EXISTENCE…. Touch scan even. It’s far more reliable slide scan that can be smaller than the scanner on their Notebooks. Validity is the technology provider and they demoed the technology last year at CES in a Samsung Phone!

  15. Let me see if I’m understanding this. Apple comes out with TouchID and people here criticize it as insecure, fingerprints should NEVER be used for authentication, and storing the fingerprint data is ripe for hackers and governments to steal….

    But wait… Samsung is copying…uhm… “doing” it too now so it’s okay?? Hypocrites.

    I’ll trust Apple far more to keep my fingerprint data secure than Samsung – that has a great history of throwing junk out there, and Google – who is in the business of selling you as their product.

    There’s no way you guys can spin this enough to not make you look like the hypocrites you are.

  16. Samsung, stop copying features from a loser OS…. it makes you a loser… LOL~

  17. Samsung had a PATENT…. applied for in 2011 specifically on an Authentec Sensor to be used in the HOME BUTTON of Galaxy S3. So why is this news? The only reason Samsung didn’t get to use that patent is because Apple was so paranoid about Samsung getting a sensor in the HOME BUTTON FIRST, that went right out and bought Authentec out from under literally all their competition to prevent it. Now tell me how BUYING your way into innovation, just so you can claim to be first and thereby better actually fixed the fact that Apple really bought DAMAGED GOODS!

    Somehow when their new Store Bought Authentec Sensor was launched in iPhone 5s, it flopped immediately in a matter of days by the hardware tech being Spoofed, Shamed and Shamed. But this is Apple we’re talking about. So the fact that a 10 yr old child could spoof your fingerprint just as easy as a criminal didn’t make any difference to iFanatics who see Apple as near GOD STATUS! ……so saintly and perfect they could probably get away with murder and their Super iReligious Zealots wouldn’t be swaying from buying iPhones again and again!

    But…. to have had that happen to Samsung instead on Galaxy S3 launch might have killed it. So THANK YOU APPLE for getting your sensor company now Spoofed out of existence. Samsung won’t have to suffer for that now!

    Now here’s another thing nobody seems to be aware of. Samsung has owned the Fingerprint Technology Business since 2002. When they first started using them in their Notebooks. Apple is still using the same tech today as what was used back then in 2004, when Samsung used their 1st sensor from Authentec, in iPhone 5s today.

    Yet…. Samsung provides Medical fingerprint locks, fingerprint door locks to government facilities and hospitals, along with their own Banking Industry. They have more experience in Biometrics than any other company in the World in putting the technology to work. They’ve even gotten awards for Biometrics in used in the workplace for user authentication. But to hear Apple fans talk, they invented it along with Moses’s Tablet with the 10 Commandments on it!

    That’s why I say enough of these ludicrous comparison’s to that fruity company only headquartered in Cupertino California, when they totally outsource everything they sell. They are a design house with no practical experience with biometrics prior to iPhone 5s! …..and since everyone seems to forget this so easily, their Fingerprint Sensor was a complete and utter FAILURE. It flopped so bad that they still can’t fix the hardware or technology until NEXT Generation. It’s a SPOOF….. a SPOOF OUT OF IT’S GOURD FAILURE!!!

    No doubt about it…… Samsung with over 12yrs of Biometric Experience in Fingerprint Authentication will not get Spoofed and a slide scan is a whole lot more accurate and dependable than a touch fingerprint sensor any day of the week. So get prepared to have iDiots coming out of the woodwork to prove it’s not, because Apple says so! lol… ;-P

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