Pixel 9 series will receive an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner

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Pixel 9 series will receive an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner

Following user disappointment with the under-display fingerprint sensor introduced on the Pixel 6, Google is making changes to the Pixel 9 series.

According to a report by Android Authority, the optical sensor will be replaced with an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 9 and 9 Pro. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, is expected to retain its side-mounted capacitive sensor.

Ultrasonic fingerprint technology uses inaudible sound waves to create a map of a user’s fingerprint. This method has several potential advantages over the optical sensors used in previous Pixels.

Unlike optical sensors, which rely on light and can interfere with screen protection, ultrasonic sensors can create a more detailed “recreation” of a fingerprint, resulting in faster and more reliable unlocking.

The specific ultrasonic sensor that is rumored to be installed in the Pixel 9 is the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Gen 2 (QFS4008). Introduced in 2021, this sensor boasts a larger surface area (8×8 mm) compared to its predecessor, allowing for easier finger placement and more biometric data collection for improved accuracy.

In addition, the QFS4008 is faster than previous solutions, especially when fingers are wet, which is a common problem with optical sensors. This is the same sensor used in the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Google’s decision to switch to a fingerprint sensor technology is not unexpected. Starting with the Pixel 6, users have reported inconsistent performance from the under-display sensor, especially when compared to the highly regarded Pixel Imprint fingerprint scanner used in previous models.

Although Google has improved the performance of the Pixel 6a sensor, limitations such as the reduced number of registered fingerprints remain.

The delay in the introduction of ultrasonic technology is somewhat puzzling. Fortunately, the Pixel 8 has a universal face unlock that works quite well. However, face unlocking has its limitations.

Its reliance solely on the front-facing camera makes it unsuitable for use in low-light conditions, which highlights the need for a reliable alternative, such as a robust fingerprint sensor.

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