Samsung Galaxy S10 Fingerprint Fiasco Explained In Detail


Samsung is one of the most renowned premium smartphone makers. However, the company's stint with fiascos surrounding its flagship seems far from over. We all remember the infamous Galaxy Note7, display issues with the Galaxy Fold, and now the company has one more issue to tackle on its flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone.


Samsung Galaxy S10 Fingerprint Fiasco Explained In Detail

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10 Plus in early 2019 with a new fingerprint sensor technology that uses sound waves to measure the depths of the finger ridges to accurately match a fingerprint for biometric authentication.

The company claimed that the ultrasonic technology used on its flagship smartphone is much safer than the typical optical in-display fingerprint sensors that are used on the majority of mid-tier Android smartphones.

The Saga

Last week a British couple had an issue with their Galaxy S10's fingerprint sensor. The phone was equipped with a gel-based screen protector and when the owner tried to unlock the smartphone from an unregistered finger accidentally the device unlocked without any issue. To confirm this issue the lady used his husband's thumb to unlock the device, again the device unlocked.

The same issue was persistent when with another Galaxy S10 fitted with the same fingerprint sensor. When this news made into the headlines, the company stated that the issue caused due to the third-party screen protector and the company is working on a software patch to fix the issue.

According to Samsung, there was a small air-gap between the screen protector and the screen that interfered with ultrasonic fingerprint technology.

Official Statement From Samsung

This issue involved ultrasonic fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 3-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users' fingerprints.

To prevent any further issues, we advise that Galaxy Note10/10+ and S10/S10+/S10 5G users who use such covers to remove the cover, delete all previous fingerprints and newly register their fingerprints.


If you currently use front screen protective covers, to ensure optimum fingerprint scanning, please refrain from using this cover until your device has been updated with a new software patch.

A software update is planned to be released as early as next week, and once updated, please be sure to scan your fingerprint in its entirety, so that all portions of your fingerprint, including the center and corners have been fully scanned.

Blaming The Screen Protector

The official statement makes it clear that the company is blaming users for using an unauthorized screen protector. It has become a common practice amongst the folks to protect their $1,000 phone with screen protectors.

It looks like the issue was present on the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10 from day one and nobody noticed until it made into the news.

After this news became viral, many of the banking apps removed fingerprint login support on the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy Note 10 series of devices.

It looks like the company has finally released a software update for the Galaxy Note 10 and the S10 smartphones that will fix the bug. The company is now recommending users to de-register the existing fingerprint data on the smartphone and freshly register the fingerprint for a secure biometric lock.

Our Inference

It looks like the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor technology is not as safe as the company claims. We recently published a story on using screen guards and cases on smartphones and this is again another example of why you should not use a screen guard especially on a phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

If you own any of the Galaxy Note 10 or the S10 smartphones and have a screen protector then remove it and re-register your fingerprint sensor for secure authentication. Besides, update your device to the latest firmware version for better device security.

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