Which one to go for? In-display or side mounted Fingerprint sensor ?

In today’s time, fingerprint sensors have become increasingly common recent times and, to their advantage, they have proven to be quite useful tools, providing additional security to users who might not want to input their password or pin code every time to go to access their device. In recent times, however, the fingerprint sensor has gone through major and drastic changes.

The key amongst these changes is in relation to the shape and design of the fingerprint sensor. Earlier, there was just one kind of fingerprint sensor, a circular one that could be accessed either to the front of the display, much like the older versions of iPhones, or the ones to the back, rather common on various older versions of Android phones.

Now, there are two kinds of fingerprint sensors that have taken the throne. the first one is the in-display sensor, which is located inside our pones’ displays. And the second one is the side-munted, which as the name suggests, is located on the side panel of our phones.


side-mounted fingerprint sensor


Pros and Cons of Side-Mounted Fingerprint Sensor

To better understand the differences between both these sensors, we must first understand what are the advantages and disadvantages of both sensors.

  1. The first pro/advantage of using the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is the ease of use. the user will always be holding the phone by the side, and the finger will rest close to, if not directly on the area where the sensor is located. Even if our phone is lying flat on the table, this framework makes it easier for us to unlock our phone.
  2. Speed. Side-mounted fingerprint sensors are very responsive and quicker than any other alternative, be it rear-mounted fingerprint sensors, or in-display sensors with a pseudo fake effect in place since, when trying to pick up the device, we already touch the side, and by the time the phone reaches close to us, the device is already unlocked, seeming like there was no fingerprint sensor in the first place.


A major con in using the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is having slightly less security due to a smaller surface area when compared to those present on the rear, meaning that only a portion of our finger is being scanned. The second issue is in relation to smartphone cases, as some of them might be thicker than usual, rendering the sensors useless at times.


in-display fingerprint sensor



Pros and Cons of In-display Fingerprint Sensor

Talking about the in-display fingerprint sensor, they are the more advanced sort of fingerprint sensor, having come into existence a couple of years ago.

  1. The first advantage of using an in-display fingerprint sensor is its positioning. since, much like the side-mounted ones, it is quite easy to use, with the ease of use when the device lays flat being second to none. The size of these sensors is also quite decent, meaning hat coverage is not an issue, something that was a concern with the side-mounted one.
  2. The second pro is in relation to advancement. People love to be at the forefront of change and the in-display fingerprint sensor provided them with the opportunity. We could use a fingerprint sensor that is placed under the display, lying flush with the display, not requiring any additional chin or drop-off area.


Speaking about the cons, they brutally murder the pros, so considering the same, the in-display fingerprint sensors need a lot of R&D.

To begin with, the in-display sensors are much slower than the side-mounted ones, especially in budget devices. Even the best sensors would lose to the speed of side-mounted fingerprint sensors.

Although, in recent times, companies like OnePlus and Samsung have come up with the optical and Ultrasonic framework, which makes the in-display fingerprint sensors stand equal to the side-mounted ones. But if closely compared, they still lack speed.

Another issue is accuracy. Since, if the in-display is the one that uses light to shine the part of our fingerprint, it can be easily replicated and the rest is inevitable. Ultra-sonic fingerprint sensors are a little bit safer, so they can be considered safe to use. Ultrasonic sensors are mostly found in Samsung phones.

Nevertheless, if you are a user who wants a flashy feature or maybe flex your device, the in-display fingerprint sensor is suitable for you. But if you are a user who chooses overall use case and function over form, the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is something you should go with.



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