Galaxy S10 ultrasonic fingerprint sensor works with scratches, but don’t crack your display


The Galaxy S10 featured a new technology to embed the fingerprint sensor under the display. While we’ve seen this on devices like the OnePlus 6T, the S10 uses ultrasonic waves to detect your fingerprint compared to the optical implementation on other devices.

The key difference of using an ultrasonic sensor is that it needs contact with a finger to reflect the waves off your fingerprints, whereas the optical sensor takes a picture of an illuminated finger so doesn’t require direct contact. While the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor therefore offers better security, it raised an interesting question of if screen protectors would work with the S10 or a cutout over the sensor would be required to maintain the direct contact with the display.

To answer the question, famous YouTube durability tester JerryRigEverything inflicted damage on a Galaxy S10. Alongside his usual tests, he created light scratches over the area where the sensor sits to evaluate if the ultrasonic sensor still detected his fingerprint. You’ll be pleased to hear that with light scratches that could be created through typical use, the ultrasonic sensor worked fine. However, he then proceeded to create deeper marks that resembled cracks in the glass, which rendered the sensor useless, failing to detect a fingerprint after multiple attempts.

Samsung includes a screen protector on the Galaxy S10 series out of the box, so you’ll have some protection as soon as you start using it, but any cracks to the display in the sensor area will render it useless.

You can see the video below, alongside the other tests that demonstrate the durability of the Galaxy S10.

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